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Harry Potter Alternate Universe >> Keeping Even The Broken Promises by summerpotter

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

One moment I'm in the dark and in the next, I'm in the light. I know I'm in here somewhere—the real me—not the person I am when I'm awake. In this place, I know who I am. But I always wake up, and it's all gone.

I am trapped in my own mind, unable to remember.

I could feel myself coming out of the deep sleep, the kind you have when the hospital gives you the really good drugs. This is my second time in the last four years in a hospital. And no, I'm not addicted to these drugs, I only like how deeply I sleep because I feel like I'm closer to the part of my mind that knows who I am and where I came from.

I don't know who that person is. I only remember the person I've been for the past four years.

Waking up is always depressing because you're is aware of the body's ascent from the safety of the mind. It starts with being aware of the light in the room; you start to realize you slept funny and your back hurts, and you start to register the sounds around you.

The first sound Harry heard was the sound of his doctor's voice, just outside the door.

"Yes, he's awake. You can go on in, Miss Reeve."

The next voice is that of Harry's girlfriend's voice—Samantha Reeve. Although he's been asleep, he's sure she was with him until they forced her to go home. Sam would have argued with the nurses, too. "Thank you. Has there been any change?"

"Yes, he woke up around two-thirty this morning." There was a brief pause and then the doctor spoke again, too low for Harry to hear.

Opening his eyes, Harry peered around the room until he spotted Sam and the doctor in the window of the doorway. He could make out the blurry shapes of the white-coated doctor and his girlfriend, in all black. Sam's brownish red hair hung down her back in a shiny mane, different from the messy braid he'd seen her wearing last.

Sam reached out and patted the doctor's arm gratefully, and then turned to open the door. She entered the room and her face lit up as they locked eyes. Sam had beautiful, large blue eyes. Sometimes they made her look a bit like a cartoon character, but Harry thought they were beautiful.

"Hi!" She exclaimed cheerfully, closing the door behind her to give them privacy. "I was so worried about you. It's good to see you awake! The doctor says you're going to be just fine!"

"I'm assuming we're back home?" Harry guessed, glancing around again at the unfamiliar hospital room. "Is it bad that I don't remember coming back?"

His voice sounded rough from his deep sleep. He pulled himself up to a sitting position, wincing as his head suddenly throbbed and his vision blurred for a moment—well, blurred worse than usual. Harry had a fairly strong prescription for his glasses.

Sam moved over to his bedside and took the glasses from the night table. She slid them onto his face and pecked him on the cheek. Sam came into sharp focus, and he saw that she wore that black pencil skirt he liked to see her in. She was fairly dressed up just for a visit to the hospital.

Sam gently pushed his fringe aside, running her fingers through his hair affectionately. "No, the doctor said it's normal. You hit your head pretty hard, Harry."

She leaned forward and pressed her lips gently against his, her fingers brushing against his cheek. The kiss ended and Harry blinked, trying to get a grip on his surroundings. He was having a hard time recalling what had happened to him, although struggling with his memories was not a new challenge.

Sam sat on the side of his bed, her smile faltering. "You remember who I am, don't you?"

Harry looked at her for a moment and then smiled weakly. "You're my Sam."

She smiled back and nodded, lightly kicking off her stilettos. "You had me worried there for a second. So, Doctor Biold says you can come home today. You've got a concussion, but no major damages. We're just lucky that a concussion is all you have."

"A concussion? That's what this headache is?"

She tucked her legs up under her and adjusted her skirt so that it covered her properly. "Yeah. They kept you here because you were pretty out of it in Costa Rica, and because this was your second serious head injury in the last few years. Trust me, getting you back to the States was no easy task, but I wanted to make sure you got the proper medical care."

Running a hand over his head, he found a large bump, but no other sighs of injury. "Remind me again why we thought that mountain hike was a good idea?"

Sam chuckled darkly and patted his hand. "Actually, love, that was your brilliant idea. Just like it was your brilliant idea for you and Andrew to stand on that ledge. If you hadn't finished all the beer first, you might have been more hurt by the fall." Her smile faltered and sadness replaced the amused look. "You could have died."

Harry groaned and leaned forward to hug Sam, his arms tugging her close and off-balance. She laughed and edged closer to him as his lips pressed against the side of her head. He buried his nose in her auburn hair, inhaling the smell of her shampoo and the hint of the expensive perfume he'd bought her last Christmas.

"I'm sorry for worrying you," he murmured. "Sorry for ruining our first vacation by being a complete git."

She giggled and kissed him again, lingering this time before pulling back to look up at him. "I love when you use your British slang. It's very sexy." She touched his face, gently pushing his hair from his eyes. Her warm fingers brushed over the pink jagged scar on his forehead and then tangled into his hair.

"I'm just glad you're okay, Harry. Swear you won't do anything that stupid again."

He smiled and kissed her once more. "I swear. Can we get going? I hate hospitals."

"Yes." Sam slid off the bed and pulled her shoes back on. "Absolutely. I'll tell Doctor Biold you're ready to go. Your bag is in that cupboard," she said, pointing to the cupboard door of the nightstand. "Get dressed."

"Thanks Sam"

Sam hurried out of the room, leaving Harry to get dressed. He pulled the duffel from the cupboard and pulled out a blue collared shirt and a pair of dark jeans. He changed quickly, eager to be out of the hospital and get back to his life. He remembered the accident, remembered feeling brave and stupid out there on that cliff. He and Sam, as well as their friends Andrew and his girlfriend Julia, were on a two-day hike to the top of a hill in Costa Rica. Several drinks later and too many steps too close to a ledge and Harry had gone tumbling down the rocky hill.

He had vague, blurry memories of the hospital in Costa Rica. He remembered Sam crying and clutching his hand. He remembered doctors asking him questions, their voices distorted as he swam in and out of consciousness. He remembered hearing the doctors' amazement that he had survived. The doctors had said it was a miracle Harry walked away with nothing but a concussion. No broken bones, no major bleeds; a few cuts, bruises and a bump on the head.

And now, he'd woken up here, back in the United States. He knew he was lucky—too lucky. He probably should never expect to have any luck again.

Luck had gotten him a lot these last few years. Luck had gotten him a job when he probably didn't deserve one. Luck had made him survive his first bad head injury: one with memory loss; one that had affected him almost every damn day since waking up in a strange hospital in New York four years ago.

Luck hadn't however, allowed this second concussion to cause his memories to come back to him.

It had been over four years since that day, and he wasn't any closer to remembering who he was before waking up in New York. The sad part was that he couldn't remember whatever happened to him that made him lose his memories. All he knew was that he was Harry Potter, he was twenty-six, he liked his job at the New York Times newspaper, and he loved his girlfriend Samantha Reeve. Harry landed a staff writer job two years ago as a sports journalist. The job had long hours and kept him busy attending games, keeping notes and making deadlines, but he loved it. Writing let him focus on something that wasn't his inability to remember.

Waking up four years ago, he'd found himself alone, with no recollection of where he lived or where he'd been before he got hurt. The doctors weren't able to tell him much. Apparently, Harry been brought in by a kind woman who had found him unconscious on the side of a road. Fortunately, Harry had his wallet on him with everything in it: driver's license, birth certificate, social insurance number, health card, a debit card and a few credit cards. There was no sign of drugs or alcohol in his system, and no physical sign of injury. Baffled by Harry's inability to remember, they tentatively diagnosed him as having amnesia and having likely suffered a recent head trauma, they released him shortly after.

Harry met Sam while checking himself out of the hospital. He tripped over a suitcase she was bringing for her uncle. His clumsiness had cost him a sprained ankle and several more hours in the hospital. Sam had felt so bad that she bought him dinner and drove him home to the address on his driver's license (a home he had no recollection of, but of which he had the keys to).

Samantha Reeve had been his hero. He doubted many other people would have been so generous and helpful. Really, if luck had given him anything, it was Sam. Sam was the only thing about his life in New York that made much sense. She was fun, smart, pretty, and kind. And somehow, she'd stuck around long enough for him to ask her out on a date. Four years and two concussions later, they were living together and relatively happy.

The door opened just as Harry was lacing up his shoes and Sam reappeared with the doctor.

"All ready to go, are we, Mr. Potter?" Dr. Biold asked.

Harry nodded and sat back down on the bed to await his final checkup. "Yes, sir."

"Well, Mr. Potter, let's get you on your way."

Thirty minutes later, Harry's release papers were signed and Harry was leaving the hospital with Sam. He'd had strict orders from the doctor to take it easy for the next few days. Sam was instructed to wake him up tonight every few hours, and if he experienced any worsening symptoms, he should come back to the hospital.

"I'm done with hospitals," Harry declared as Sam flagged down a taxi for them. "There's something so depressing about them."

"Hey, they're not all bad," Sam disagreed lightly, grabbing his hand and hurrying him toward a slowing cab. "It's where you met me, remember?"

Harry grinned and he kissed her quickly before opening the car door for her. "Well, that's true. I still don't want to have to be checked into one again." Harry gave the cab driver their address and then settled back against the seat, putting one arm around Sam. "I think two head injuries are enough. I'm just lucky that that bump on the head didn't mess with my memory anymore."

Sam patted his chest and leaned her head on his shoulder. "Well, nothing permanent, anyway. You were a little confused after the fall… mumbling incoherently and when you looked at me, Andrew and Julia. It was like you didn't know who we were. I don't think you knew who you were, either."

Harry frowned, not remembering any of this. "Really?"

Sam nodded, her face sad. "It was scary. You kept asking if we won."

"Won what?"

Sam shrugged, studying his face. "I dunno, babe. Probably some important game you wrote about. Which reminds me, I got you out of writing that article on the Yankees' game tonight, so it's me and you for dinner. No work, no interruptions."

Their whole trip to Costa Rica had been Sam's solution to solving the 'work' and 'interruptions' issues to their relationship. Lately, they'd both had long hours and it had caused a few fights. "Sounds good."

As the cab wound through the city to their suburban home, Harry stared out the window and thought about what Sam had said. He wondered if in those moments of confusion, he'd remembered what kind of life he'd had before his first accident. Obviously, he lived in New York and he had a job, some money, and an apartment. But did he have friends and family in the city? He still had no idea… the past was foggy to him. However, something told him his friends and family were not in the city. Wouldn't they have come looking for him by now?

Not knowing was very frustrating for him. Harry always felt very close to his mind's realizing the details of the life he'd once had. It was very strange whenever Sam, or Andrew, or Julia asked about his life. While he didn't know anything for sure, some things he knew based on a gut feeling. For instance, he knew that he had loved school. He also knew that he was not very close to his parents.

As stressful as not knowing was, he was grateful for Sam and the support she offered. Loving her made him feel happy and calm. She made things make sense and he felt that as long as he had her in his life, the world would make a bit of sense. Mind you, lately, Harry had become increasingly frustrated with himself and he knew he was taking it out on Sam and their relationship.

Later that night, Harry was sitting at his desk flipping through the day's paper. He lingered on several articles, only reading a few paragraphs of each. Nothing seemed to interest him long enough to invest in reading the whole story. He flipped several pages forward and then several pages back, not really sure what he was looking for.

Harry sighed as he stared at his byline in the sports section, not really sure why he liked writing so much. When he told people what he did for a living, Harry felt kind of stupid. It felt like writing shouldn't have been a natural career choice for him, but again, he had no idea why.

Harry stared at the double-page spread of the sports section. His eyes moved over all the writing in the vertical columns, thinking that it was a lot of boring text. (This wasn't his article—Harry never wrote such lengthy articles). The words just went on and on, stacked on top of each other in tiny typeface. The landscape-photo fit neatly between the columns on the left-side, but even then, it seemed boring. Couldn't a newspaper look more interesting?

He tilted his head as he stared at the visual effect of the words and the picture together on the spread. Raising the paper a little higher, he turned the whole thing in his hands, imagining a different spread: one with different columns, more boxes, and text at different angles. Reading might be way more fun if the articles weren't all set in vertical columns. What about some upside down boxes? Or different typefaces and fonts?

"You know, it might be easier to read if you turned it around," teased Sam from the doorway.

Harry looked up with an embarrassed smile. "Probably," he agreed.

Sam chuckled and came into the room, folding her arms across her chest. Harry noticed that she'd changed into one of his old T-shirts. It was so big on her that it looked like a dress. Sam knew that Harry liked to see her in his shirts as he associated this fashion choice with sex, as in 'you took off all my clothes so I've got to wear yours.'

"What are you doing, weirdo? You work at the paper, don't you know how to read it?"

Harry smiled and shrugged. He wasn't about to admit what he was just thinking about. Sometimes his mind came up with weird ideas. He had always assumed it was a side-effect of his first head injury. "I dunno. You going to bed?"

She nodded and leaned over his desk to kiss him lightly. He kissed her back and deepened the kiss, pleased when a soft moan escaped her. She pulled back with a soft, sexy smile and gestured to the door.

"Yes. You want to come join me?"

Harry stared again at the paper, wishing that it held the answers he wanted, wishing he knew which answers he was looking for. Sam sighed and he looked up at her guiltily. He knew what she was going to say before she even opened her mouth and folded her arms across her chest. Sam could see the hesitation on his face; his unwillingness again to act like a normal couple.

"Harry, come on, come to bed. You're obsessing again. You did this the last time you hit your head. The doctor told you that your memories won't come back by you sheer will. They need to be triggered, and the best way to do that is to live your life, have fun, and relax. They'll come back, they will."

He was tired of hearing it. Tired of remembering nothing of his life before waking up in a hospital four years ago. Tired of nothing triggering his memory and not being able to do anything to help solve his identity crisis. Shouldn't this second blow to the head have corrected the first one?

Harry tried to keep his voice even, but he could feel himself becoming angry, quickly. This topic always made him irritable. "It's been four years and I haven't made any progress. I still don't have a clue about my family, my friends… who I was before they found me. I need to know, Sam!"

"Harry, you have family and you have friends here. I love you, our friends love you. We're happy and we have great jobs, a nice life, and our health. Maybe this isn't exactly what you want, but it's not that bad either."

Frustration and exhaustion made him snap. "I want to know who I am," he barked, snatching the newspaper and tossing it across the room. Despite how angry he felt, Harry knew Sam was just trying to be optimistic. He knew that he was hurting her every time he told her that what he had wasn't good enough.

Sam glared at him and Harry eventually sighed, forcing his temper under control. "You don't understand what this is like for me. Sam, I love you, but I know that there's more to who I am—there must be. And I know I'm close to the truth, but its like I'm in the dark and the truth is on the other side of a brick wall. I can't get to that part of me, and I'm worried I won't ever know."

Sam didn't speak for a long time. When she finally did, she sounded weary. "Harry, you need to listen to your doctor. Just… relax. You won't remember anything by obsessing. These things take time."

He sank back down to his desk chair and put his head in his hands. "It feels like I'm running out of time. I need to know who I am, Sam. Why can't I remember? Why doesn't anyone know why I was on the side of the road in the first place?"

"I don't have the answers," she told him softly, relaxing her defensive stance at last. She leaned in and kissed his forehead briefly as a sign of making peace.

He let out a long breath, his eyes on his desk. "Sorry I yelled."

"Come to bed, Harry." She moved to the doorway and then paused to look back at him, as if she expected him to follow, but he wasn't ready yet. He was still pulling his temper under control.

"I'll be right there."

He could feel her disapproving look from the doorway when he didn't move, but she gave up and left without another word. Sam disappeared down the hall to their shared bedroom, leaving Harry to his thoughts.

Harry was aware that his temper and frustration was taking a toll on their relationship. Sam blamed him outright for their lack of a sexual relationship, and their lack of communication. She had accused him of burying himself in his work and of being too distracted. She had often assumed he wanted to break up with her, but this wasn't true. As much as these accusations hurt him and pissed him off, Harry knew that she was hurting. Sam was doing her best to be supportive, but Harry couldn't shake his own feelings, and Sam couldn't ignore her own pain, rejection, and the anxiety she felt about losing him.

The problem was all his, but h didn't know how not to think about not remembering. He loved Sam; she was the only person in this world closest to being family. He also knew that she was hoping he'd propose soon, which was also contributing to their fights, but Harry wasn't ready. Something in his gut told him that he couldn't propose until he remembered.

Harry did love Sam, and he hated that he was always disappointing her. He wished that he could just forget his anger and be happy with what he had. But something in his heart was telling him remembering was more important that anything.

Deciding he needed to at least try and relax and live a normal life, he followed Sam to their bedroom. Sam was reclining on their pillows, looking extremely worried until she spotted him. She sat up a little more and offered a shy smile. Harry smiled back and went to her, intent on making her happy and calming her down, at least for tonight.

Sam deserved much better than him. As selfish as she could be with her feelings sometimes, Harry knew he was far more selfish in that he couldn't let her find someone who would treat her a lot better.

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