EDIT: I think writing by hand might be good for me!
John Potter woke with a headache caused by an incomplete memory rattling around in his head. Or had it simply been a dream? John didn’t know, all he remembered was his sister crying and that’s what made him want to remember because Harriet did not cry.
He stumbled down the stars and found his father rummaging through the medicine cabinet in the kitchen.
“Cad could you hand me a headache relief potion?” John asked.
“I’d love to son, but we’re fresh out,” James replied closing the cabinet door. “And trust me, I could really use one right now.”
“oh, you’ve got one too?” John asked, slumping down at the kitchen table. James moved over to him and rested the back of his hand against John’s forehead and then his cheek.
“Well, you don’t have a fever, so what did you do to yourself to get a headache?”
“I dunno, I just woke up and my head felt like it was splitting,” John said. “It was all I could think about. Well, and I had a strange dream about Harriet.” James bit his lip and cocked his head to onside. “It was the strangest thing, Dad, because she was crying, and well I’ve seen her get hurt before, and I’ve seen some people say cruel things at Hogwarts, but it never even fazed her. And I’ve never seen Greeny cry before.”
“You remember when she broke her arm?” James asked. “You were both about ten then, she barley shed a tear and was so stoic when the Healers set her arm straight so the bone would grow properly once they had spelled it back together. I was amazed, because I had broken bones before and seen men stronger than me blubber at the pain, but Harriet was just so calm like she kept it all on the inside.” James shivered, and looked down at his son. “Are you sure you weren’t the one crying, son?” Your eyes are awfully red.” John blinked, realizing just how drying his eyes felt. It was then he noticed something about his father.
“Dad, your eyes are red too,” John observed. “What’s all this that we had to be crying about?”
The sound of feet trotting down the steps made both men stop and stare at the star casing ceasing al conversation. James had only felt this tense when in a battle, but somehow he didn’t feel any better when he saw it was just Lily at the bottom of the stairs.
“What?” she asked, flicking her hair over her shoulder. A nervous habit. What did lily have to be nervous about? “Are you both all right?” She leaned in for a kiss, which James’ body begged him not to give her.
“Headaches,” James replied. “Both woke up with one.”
“You’re probably both dehydrated, “Lily said. “ You both spent yesterday outside, dueling, and you probably weren’t drinking enough. Drink large glasses of water and see if that doesn’t help. I have to go out for some potion’s supplied but a hydration potion isn’t too hard to whip up and I can get the things for it. John why don’t you go and wake yours sister and the two of you can get started on your homework today so that you don’t have it looming over you for the rest of break. I’ll be back in a few hours, and I may stop by to talk to Albus before I get home.” And then in a flash, Lily was gone apparating out of the wards. John scrunched up his face.
“Has Mum always said that much at one?” he asked.
“Maybe,” James replied. “It probably feels like more because your head is hurting. Listen; let’s see if breakfast won’t get your sister. If not, don’t bother her. If she’s sleeping in, she must be tired.” John nodded. He had been planning on letting Harriet wake up on her own anyway because she hated being woken up by anything other than her own personal clock. Lily thought that was a load of rubbish, but Harriet almost never slept in, so they almost never had to worry about it.
His father made eggs and toast for the two of them, both of them drinking water all the while. After they finished breakfast both went to take a shower. Once John had finished his shower, he dressed and took out his summer assignments arranging them from ones that would need the most research to the one that would need the least. Unfortunately, potions was on the top of the pile, but John knew that the sooner her finished it, the sooner his mum wouldn’t bug him about it. She could not believe he was bad in something, and wouldn’t hear a word against Snape. After all, John did fine in defense, and he always complained about the professors there. Of course Harriet was good at everything in school. Should have been in Ravenclaw, though the hat put her in Hufflepuff.
John frowned and looked up at the clock. It was nearly ten, and Harriet still wasn’t up yet. This wasn’t like her, even when she was tired she was always up by nine. John stood up from his desk and stepped out into the hall. Harriet’s room was next to his and now that he thought about it, he hadn’t heard a peep out of her all morning, and even when she was quiet, John could hear something as she moved around the room. John listened, pressing his ear to the door, but heard nothing. This didn’t feel right, the whole morning he had felt off, the headache had only been a start.
He rapped against the door.
“Harriet?” he tried. “Greeny? Listen, I don’t mean to wake you, but it’s getting late and I’m a little worried about you.” he got no response. “Listen I’m going to come in, sorry.” Harriet’s room was arranged almost the same away his was—desk against the wall they shared, be juxtapose that, amour opposite the desk. The only real difference was that Harriet had a dressing table and a large mirror in front of it, and usually the room was covered in books and Harriet’s notes on whatever project she was working on (she was organized enough that she could find everything she needed, but it drove Lily mad the way Harriet lived in the room, always insisting that Harriet clean).
That simple fact made him feel even more wrong, because the room was completely spotless. And Harriet was not in it.
“Harriet? Greeny?” John called. The clean room made him feel helpless and made his stomach turn. There was nothing on the bed, or desk—not even her inkwell! The amour hung open a little revealing it was empty. There was only a single slip of paper left in the room, and it sat on Harriet’s dressing table.
“I cleaned my room,” it read. “I hope you’re happy.” It did not need to be signed or addressed, John knew who it was both to and from. Harriet had done a runner. He felt himself slip down onto Harriet’s bed, just as his father reached the room door.
“It was almost ten, so I decided to come and check.”
“James didn’t ask, but he didn’t need to for John to know what he was thinking. He held out of the slip of paper to his father, and when he had read it, Jame sjouned his on on the bed.
“Do…do you have any idea where she might go?” James asked.
“Luna’s maybe,” John said. “But I think she or Luna would have let me know she was okay somehow. They wouldn’t just leave me wondering. Dad, we have to hget her back. Something about this… it just doesn’t feel right. Like why she wouldn’t tell you or me where she was going---and I have a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach. I’ve felt it before when she was in trouble.”
“I…I agree with you John, something about this doesn’t feel right. Not that Harried is gone, but why she left. She would not have gone simply over her problems with your mother. There’s more to it than that.” John blinked, the head ache resurfacing from behind his eyes. Was there more too it? He felt like he needed to remember again. And from the way he was squeezing his eyes shut, it looked like shi father did too.
“Is there anyway of tracking her down?” John asked. “I mean she didn’t have that much money when she left, she couldn’t have.”
“John I never told you or your mother this, but when we faked our deaths everything went to Harriet,” James said. “And even though we came back, there was no technical way around it. She’s been letting us live off of the Potter gold, and she thanked me for telling her when she was ten. But she had this look in her eyes like she knew, like she had known for a while. But she never objected and asked me to help her set aside your inheritance and gave me one, since technically I was her responsibility.” James laughed. “And it’s not as if I could catch her for being a minor either.”
“Why not?” John asked.
“Because she became High Lady of the House of Potter,” James explained. He blinked in shock, like a jolt of electricity had gone through him. “John, what did we do last night?”
“We were dueling all of yesterday, remember?” John asked.
“Yes, but what did we do last night?” James emphasized.
“I dunno, we came in, washed up, had dinner, and Mum and Harriet had an argument.” The ache in John’s head turned into a throb as he tried to capture the dark shapes of the evening previous. “I…I can’t remember!”
“Neither can I,” James replied. “We’ve been obliviated.”
James was an unspeakable and an almost fully qualified Healer, so undoing a memory spell would be no problem for him. But teaching John to undo one on him was another story. Mostly, because John was so afraid he would mess things up.
“We will both be fine,” James assured him. “Undoing memory charms is about a thousand times safer for the caste than when you cast the original charm.”
“It…it just doesn’t feel right,” John said. “Could you do me first so I can see it done?” James frowned, but nodded, raising his wand to his son.
“I’m home!” Lilly called from downstairs. “And I’ve brought Albus with me.” John heard his father say something foul under his breath, though it was a mix of Welsh ad English he could not decipher. James only had time to slide his wand away before Lily and Albus made it into the room. “ What are you two doing in here?” And where’s Harriet?” John’s stomach did fli flops when his mother asked that Question. So, he simply held out the small slip of paper Harriet had left behind to his mother. Lily went red and her eyes col. “John, dear, that isn’t funny, where is your sister?”
“She’s left, Mum,” John replied.
“And did she tell you where she was going?” Lily asked.
“No. I suspect she didn’t want to be found,” John said. “She took almost everything with her, except for the furniture.”
“Yes, I can see that, John!” Lily exclaimed.
“Lily, there is no reason to be angry with John,” James said. “And there’s nothing we can do but pray Harriet comes home safely.”
“She isn’t of age, James, there’s plenty we can do!” Lily shouted. “Children are not simply allowed to run away from home!”
“Try what you will then,” James said with a shrug. “None of us are on good terms with the ministry right now in case you all have forgotten.” It sent a child up John’s spine to hear his father say something like that, but it was the truth. Ever since the tournament…
“Well, I simply won’t give up!” Lily said, turning to Dumbledore who had been quietly observing the family scene. “Albus, is there anything you can do to help?”
“I will ask the other order members to see if we cannot put out a subtle word for her. I shall also inquire with Amelia Bones at the ministry and see if she will not help.” Dumbledore eyed James again. “There is nothing you think will help, my boy?”
“Only patience,” James said. “She’ll come home when she’s ready. “ Lily stalked from the room, and after another hard look, Dumbledore followed after.
James collapsed only moments after they went. John raced to his father’s side, and helped him up onto the bed.
“Don’t go after your mother, or Dumbledore,” James rasped. “They’re the cause of all this. Just let me rest. I’ll be fine in a little while. I’m just remembering.” James closed his eyes and it was only when John leaned in and heard his father’s heart beat did he breathe deeply again.
John sat back in his sister’s desk chair and wondered when a little while might be, and thought of going to take a nap of his own. His head now felt like something was beating against it. He rested his head against the wood of the desk and stretched out his legs until they hit against the wall making a hollow thump.
That’s right, that’s where the door connecting their rooms was. They had used it when they were children to send messages to one another, when their parents were asleep or they were grounded. They had not used it in so long that John had forgotten about it.
But thinking about it now made him feel both better and worse at the same time. So, he crawled underneath the desk and tried to open the door, but Harriet’s end was locked. So, John stumbled around to his room and sprawled out under his desk and opened his side of the door.
Inside was a leather notebook stuffed with pages entitled, “The plan,” and branded with the Potter crest. Behind it was a plain black book, also branded with the potter crest, and on top were two sealed letters of parchment, the top one addressed, “Cloudy.” John knew it! She had not forgotten him after all. But suddenly he felt very tired. He barely made it to his bed before he collapsed.