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HP stories following Canon after HBP >> Harry Potter & the Second Chance by azerjaban

Simple Text - To view MORE chapters use the chapter jump box to the right.
Chapter 1

“Lily!” a voice calls from the corner, “Over here!”

Lily turned to face her long-term friend standing by the door with her husband and let out an excited squeal. “Alice, Frank how are you two? When did you get back?” she hugged each in turn. And conjured them a drink.

“Just now,” replied Alice “we dropped of Neville at his grandmother’s...”

“Complaining the entire time!” interrupted Frank with a chuckle.

“ The boy can’t get out of visiting his grand-mother,” exclaimed Alice. “ Yet he still thinks he can do anything now that he’s of age- oh you know how it is!”

“Of course” agreed Lily, hoping they didn’t notice the wistful reply.

But as the smiles slid off the Longbottom’s faces as they glanced at each other then back to her, she realized they had.

The atmosphere became suddenly tense as neither party wanted to be the first to break the silence that had fallen between them. Around them members of the Order laughed and talked, oblivious to exchange that had just taken place.

“I mean,” Lily tried to explain “because Roseline won’t be of age until...” she faltered.

“Right. Of course” came Frank’s rushed agreement, pretending not to notice her laps in speech.

Lily could practically see Alice’s brain working furiously. Struggling to say something or form and explanation of some kind, as she nervously shifted from one foot to the other and cast pleading looks to her husband-who suddenly found his glass extremely interesting.

“Last week... would have been Harry’s 17th right?”

Lily’s head snapped back to Alice, she had expected her to dance around the subject as always, not head straight to the point. As the full extent of the question hit her, Lily had not been prepared for the tide of pain that followed and she was unable to school her features into the look of neutral indifference that she had so perfected.

Frank had made a hasty getaway at some point, but the girls had hardly noticed. Lily was staring at Alice as if seeing her for the first time- fighting to keep the current of emotions inside. Alice began wringing her fingers and flushed under Lily’s scrutiny.

“Oh I’ve gone and put my foot in my mouth haven’t I, here I am bragging about my Neville while you..”

“I’m fine Alice,” Lily interrupted not knowing if she could handle another mention of her firstborn. “ I’m happy for you Alice, you have nothing to apologize about, the question just shocked me that’s all. “she lied. “Now I want to hear all about you vacation!”

For a moment it looked as if Alice wasn’t going to take the bait. She shot Lily a look that said she knew Lily was trying to change the subject. But the next moment she beamed and began to explain her one month trip to France. Lily made sure to nod at the right times and forced herself to laugh as Alice described Frank’s reaction the Veela’s.

It hadn’t always been like this between her and Alice, odd and awkward. Quite the contrary, Lily and Alice had been best friends since they’re Hogwarts days. They had been in the same house with each other, same year and had been inseparable. In fact they had even been pregnant together and gave birth to they’re first borns son’s during the same month.

But that was where their similarities ended.

Lily hadn’t lied when she said she was happy for her friend, but at the same time she couldn’t help but envy Alice, her life had not fallen apart 16 years ago. She didn’t know how it felt to watch your child die.. Only James did.

At the thought of her husband Lily turned to find him laughing with Frank at something Sirius had just said. How can he do that? She mused. How was it that he stayed strong and didn’t fall apart entirely as she did. He had simply gotten right back up and dusted himself off.

Not that he was insensitive or cold hearted. Lily knew her husband had grieved in his own way.

Matter of fact it was James that blocked off Harry’s nursery, left it unchanged as if he would suddenly be back in his crib...not six feet under.

Lily forced herself to stop thinking along those lines as she turned back to Alice and found her staring at her expectantly.

“Well?” her friend gushed.

Lily blinked slowly and realized that Alice must have asked her a question. “Umm...”

“Ah! Hello, hello yes, yes it seems as though everyone’s here, lets get started now shall we?”

Lily rushed off to find a seat by her husband grateful for Albus’s greatly timed entrance. Her conversation with Alice had shook her up more than she expected. She saw James give her a look that clearly asked are you OK? Before he sat down. Lily forced another smile and nodded although she knew her husband would not fall for the facade.

As expected he raised his eyebrows skeptically, so Lily shook her head. A clear indication that she did not want to talk about it. This was neither the time, nor the place.

“Well it seems as though this might be the last full-scale meeting of the Order of Phoenix,” Dumbledore began when everyone had sat down in a circle surrounding him. His blue eyes twinkled beneath his half-moon glasses, as he surveyed each member. “The last of the Horcrux have been destroyed for quite some time now, so I believe it’s safe to say that we will not be hearing from Lord Voldemort anymore.”

A resounding cheer sounded along with loud whistling and stomping of feet. Lily shook her head at her husband and Sirius’s childishness.

“Yes, well there is still the matter of his followers, even after sixteen years they still remain loyal to his cause, recent attacks have...”

Dumbledore never got to finish, for at that moment a dazzling light erupted from the center of the room, so bright that everyone had to shield their eyes. Dumbledore gestured everyone to the far end of the wall, and Lily found herself being pushed behind her husband. All the Order members made a large space in the middle of the living room and only Dumbledore seemed to be the only one capable of staring into the light.

A crash sounded, and just as quickly as light erupted it vanished. Lily screamed as she caught sight of the bloody mangled body that it had left in it’s wake. Beside her she heard her husband shift into Auror mode as he and Sirius took out they’re wands and moved forward slowly.

“Oh my goodness!” cried Minerva McGonagall pushing her way towards the body.

“Stay back Minerva,”cautioned Dumbledore stopping her with his hand, “he could be dangerous.”

“Dangerous! But Albus he is just a boy!” she pushed Dumbledore’s hand aside and lent down beside the body curled in a fetal position. “Even if he was dangerous what could he do in this state?”

“How did he get in here?” asked James his wand still pointed at the abnormally still body. “there are anti-apparting wards around here strong enough to rival Hogwarts.”

“Well you can’t ask him anything if he’s dead now could you?” Minerva snapped at her former student, she felt for a pulse. “He’s barley alive, and covered in blood! Albus we must get this boy to Saint Mungo’s immediately!”

“Yes, yes,” Dumbledore’s brow furrowed, “when you get there Minerva, please tell them to put him under Nora Filch’s care. Hurry now he looks to be in severe condition.”

Lily watched wide-eyed as Minerva levitated the boy to the door. Her eyes never left the blood caked body as she willed her heart to slow down. Vaguely she acknowledged her husbands voice calling to her and the stares of her fellow Order members, yet she didn’t look away until the boy was out of sight.

“Lily!” she jumped with a start to see her husband looking up at her in concern, “Lily, honey? What’s wrong?” they had the attention of everyone in the room now, even Dumbledore was boring into her with his crystal blue eyes.

Lily shrugged off they’re concerned glances, “Look at this mess!” she cried indicating the broken table in the center of her living room, snapped in half and cloaked in a dark red liquid. “I’ll have to clean it up.” with that she rushed to the broom cupboard aware off the entire Orders stares.

There was something about that boy, something so eerily familiar. Lily pondered while opening the broom cupboard. She just couldn’t shake the feeling of deja vu she was getting.

They still stared at her when she got back and Lily felt her face flush, (damn her redhead tendencies she cursed). “What!” she snapped hating how everyone seemed to walk eggshells around her, especially during this time of year.

“Going to clean the mess with a Nimbus 2000 Lil’s?” replied Sirius barley concealing a grin. Everyone who had been trying to hold in they’re laughter, broke down at Sirius’s comment. Lily looked down and realized that in her haste she had grabbed Roseline's old broom. She felt her face heat up and knew it was probably the same color as her hair now.

‘I know you don’t care much for Quidditch Lil’s,” James added between his laughter. “But you can’t use it’s brooms for cleaning!” Lily didn’t understand what was so funny but suspected that her pinched, red-faced expression was the cause for everyone’s laughter.

She turned to face her husband, now laughing so hard he had crouched into a fetal position, with a comeback on the tip of her tongue but paused.

Her eyes widened, and as her mind clicked, she felt the broom drop from her hand.

“Oh-merlin” she whispered, realizing with a start why the body had felt so familiar. Why as she stood next to it kept getting the feeling of deja vu. Why the whole incident had disturbed her to a whole new level.

Because he had looked like James.

The body had looked exactly like a younger version of her husband!

With that last thought Lily’s eyes rolled to the back of her head and she promptly fainted dead away.

Chapter 2

When Harry woke up, the first thing he noticed was that everything was white. He had a split second to register this before slamming his eyes shut at the blinding light surrounding him. A strong smell of antiseptic’s hit him as Harry struggle to keep his eyes open against the abnormally white room.

No doubt he was in a hospital.

For a moment he wondered why, when it all came rushing back to him. The attack, the battle...the massacre.

Harry forced himself to push these thoughts aside as his eyes adjusted to his bright surroundings. He squinted, growing frustrated by his blurry vision until he remembered his need for glasses.

Harry groggily tried to sit up. But his hands felt oddly numb.

He heard as door open in the distance and froze, his body instantly going on alert.

“Awake are you?” asked a voice, followed by the blurry image of a figure- also in white. “About time”

Harry deducted that she must me a nurse, and watched her wearily for a moment before opening his mouth to reply. But all he could manage was a throaty gasp.

The nurse seemed to pause her furious scribbling on her clipboard for a moment. And the next thing Harry knew, he felt the cool taste of water slide down his throat.

“Thank you,” he murmured when he got some semblance of his voice back.

Harry wondering why he couldn’t seem to move any part of his body. He tried to turn his head but even it, felt oddly heavy. His surroundings, were still blurry ans distorted and Harry again remembered the absence of his glasses.

“Glasses” he choked out. The nurse paused again, a long moment paused until he felt them pushed onto his face.

When he was finally able to see he surveyed the nurse who had moved to begin unwrapping the bandages off his chest. She seemed short from his perspective, looked to be around her mid 50's, had mousy brown hair which she pulled in a tight bun and had a no-nonsense air about her.

“How long have I been here?” he managed to whisper as she moved on to his other side.

“4 days,” she responded curtly and Harry had to do a double take. Four days! That was a new record even for him. The nurse seemed to be mumbling to herself.

“Crushed leg, twisted arms, collapsed lung! What do you expect” she tissked angrily and Harry cringed as she pulled a little too hard on one of his bandages. “Would have died if Minerva had brought you here any later!”

Minerva? Harry’s ears perked up. “Professor McGonagall?” the nurse’s head lifted in surprise, “She’s alright then?” he asked, afraid for the answer. The last he saw of her she was dueling with Dolohov.

“Alright? Of course she is dear why wouldn’t she be?” the nurse’s brow furrowed as she gave him one last odd look before moving on to inspect his arms.

Harry tried again. “Were there any others?” he asked, “Did anyone else come in here injured?”

“Your in St. Mungo’s dear, the only people that come in here are injured.” she replied dryly.

Harry had the distinct impression that the nurse was purposely avoiding his questions. He grew irritated.

“I mean,” he forced between gritted teeth, “did anyone come in here...

“...as injured as you were?” she finished, turning to inspect the other side of his arm.

He nodded, wincing at the pain accompanying sudden twist of his arm.

“No, I can’t say they have.”

Harry bit back a gasp, did that mean they were all dead? The couldn’t be, they had been doing fine, unless more came...and they were outnumbered.

Harry shook out of his revere to catch the last bit of the nurses rant “ ...don’t know what you kids get yourselves into these days.”

He felt a flash of anger as the nurse looked at him, as if she expected him to apologize profusely and promise to never do it again.

“How did you get those injuries boy?” she inquired.

Harry avoided her gaze and began to inspect the ceiling, though it was just as plain and white as the rest of the room. He wasn’t going to talk about it. He was never going to about what happened. But try as he might he couldn’t block out the memories that seemed keen to resurface.

He wasn’t ready to face the world again, he wasn’t sure if he ever would. Harry wasn’t ready to tell Mr. Weasley it was his fault his family would never be full once more. Didn’t want to know if there weren’t any survivors.

At this thought he turned to the nurse who was currently shining a light from her wand, into each of his eyes. “Did I have any visitors?” he asked, afraid for the answer.

“Just one...” Harry felt his heart rate double. “He’s outside at the moment I’ll go get him.”

As the nurse walked out of the room muttering about skele-grow and today’s teenagers. Harry found himself wondering who his visitor was. Was it Lupin? He hoped that the last of the Marauder’s survived, after all he had just found happiness with Tonk’s, and she didn’t deserve to lose him just yet. It wouldn’t be any of the Weasley’s, he wouldn’t be surprised if they never wanted to speak to him again.

Harry was so engrossed in his thoughts, he didn’t hear his door open and someone approach his bed. Not until they spoke.

“Ah, awake at last I see! We were wondering when you were going to come around.”

Instantly Harry recognized the voice, and felt his blood run hot and cold at the same time. His eyes widened as he turned to face Albus Dumbledore. Half-moon glasses, crooked nose, sliver hair and all.

Albus Dumbledore his headmaster.

Albus Dumbledore the only wizard Voldemort had ever feared

Albus Dumbledore his mentor, the one who he had completed his mission for.

Albus Dumbledore, the man who he had seen murdered in his last year.

With that last thought Harry’s eyes rolled to the back of his head and he promptly fainted dead away.

Not going to make someone faint every chapter- just wanted to show similarities. What do you think?

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