A Time of PromisesAuthor:
Do I really need to say?Genre(s):
PG and up. I'll warn you if smut ensues.Summary:
One was a cop who'd seen too much death and destruction in his career. The other had lost every memory he'd ever had. In the remote snowcapped mountains of Montana, USA, they will both find the strength to go on, and maybe even find that one thing they'd been missing...each other.Challenge:
Part of my Insanejournal's 50harlequins table
. Prompt #22 – Cop & Amnesiac Accident Victim.Disclaimer:
All recognizable characters and plots from the Harry Potterverse belong to JK Rowling and various publishing companies and movie studios. I am not making any money from this. I am simply doing this for the fun of it. Any plot devices and original characters belong to me alone and are simply a figment of my imagination.Author's Note:
This is my third annual HP Christmas story. Probably won't be done until after Christmas, but I'll give it a shot.
- - -Chapter 2
Harry got a pleasant surprise on his arrival at the cabin. Arthur and Molly Weasley were waiting for him on the front porch. It had been years since he'd last seen them.
"Arthur, Molly! What are you doing here?" Harry smiled, hugging them both when he left the truck.
"Remus called us yesterday and said you were coming to the cabin for the holidays. We had to come up and make sure you were all stocked up on the things you'd need." Arthur replied.
"Arthur brought plenty of wood for the fireplace and I've cleaned everything and put fresh sheets on the bed. The pantry is fully stocked and the generator's been serviced and fueled." Molly added.
"And, we got you a 'Welcome back' gift." Arthur smiled as he helped Harry bring his bags inside. In the corner beside the window was a five-foot pine tree, decorated fully. He noticed there were a few presents beneath it.
"You didn't have to do that." Harry smiled warmly.
"Nonsense. We wanted to." Molly smiled, hugging him. "We are so sorry for your loss, darling." She added in a whisper. Harry closed his eyes and buried his head into her shoulder, willing away the tears.
"Thank you." he whispered back. She patted his back in comfort before stepping away.
"Now. You come down to the diner. I imagine it's been some time since you've had a home cooked meal." Arthur told him in a way that brooked no argument. Harry smiled.
"Give me an hour or so and I'll be there." Arthur nodded and he guided his wife out of the cabin. Just before he closed the door, he looked at Harry.
"It is good to see you again, Harry."
"Same here, Arthur. Same here." Harry agreed, realizing he had missed them. Arthur nodded and then left.
- - -
After unpacking and taking a quick shower, Harry hopped into his truck and headed into town. He parked in front of the diner, aptly named "Molly's Place" and jumped out. He headed inside as a young woman with frizzy brown hair zoomed by him. Chuckling, he watched her go behind the counter.
"I need 2 volcano dogs, curly rings and macs in the snow!" she shouted.
"No need to shout, Mione." came another familiar voice.
"She just wants to make sure you hear her." Harry chuckled. He winced when Hermione dropped an empty plate in shock and something fell over in the kitchen. Ron's face popped into view a moment later.
"It can't be!" Ron gaped.
"Harry!" Hermione shouted, practically mowing down Molly in her haste to get to Harry. Harry met her halfway, pulling her into a bone-crushing hug.
"Harry!" Ron exclaimed, coming out of the kitchen and squishing Hermione between them in a three-way hug.
"Can't...breathe!" Hermione gasped. The two men stepped apart and Hermione breathed a sigh of relief. "What are you doing here?" She looked at Harry.
"Forced vacation." Harry replied.
"How long you staying?" Ron wondered.
"I'll be here through New Year's at least." Harry shrugged. "It's good to see you both. I'm sorry I couldn't make it to the wedding."
"As busy as you are, we understood it." Ron told him. "So, Josh didn't come with you?"
At the innocently asked question, Harry's face became blank, and he held on to his emotions by the skin of his teeth. Hermione noticed the change and her face softened.
"What happened?" she asked.
"He was killed. I was shot in the process, and I've been forced on this vacation to rest and heal." Harry replied in a stilted tone. They had known him long enough not to pry. Harry would tell them the rest when he was good and ready to.
"You must be hungry. What can we get you? On the house." Ron wondered, pushing Harry into a booth.
"One of your cheeseburgers sounds nice right about now." Harry managed a small smile.
"Charred cow on bread it is." Ron grinned, heading back into the kitchen. Hermione patted his shoulder before she left to get him something to drink. As Harry watched The Weasley family work, he suddenly felt a greater peace then he'd ever known steal over him.Maybe this vacation is exactly what I needed.
- - -
After changing into his pajamas, Harry settled in front of the fire, wrapping up in the blanket and settled down to listen to the radio. From where he sat, he had clear view of the lit Christmas tree and the window beyond. Snow was beginning to fall, covering everything in white. His breathing slowed and his eyes began to droop. Before he knew it, he was asleep.
- - -
A loud thud awoke Harry some time later. He looked around, groggily, wondering what had woken him. He looked at the clock and saw that he'd been asleep only a couple of hours. What had woken him?
He heard the sound again and his head turned toward the window. At first he saw nothing through the swirling snow. He got to his feet and moved closer to the window. A hand rose up out of the snow and slapped against the glass door, scaring him half to death. He quickly opened the door and grasped the cold hand in his warm ones, pulling a shivering body into the room. The person on the floor began to curl in on themselves, shivering increasing and Harry wondered how long that poor soul had been out in the cold.
Quickly thinking, he picked up the stranger and deposited them on the floor in front of the fire. He grabbed the blanket he'd been using off the couch and wrapped the trembling figure in its folds before sprinting upstairs and running the bath as hot as he could stand it. He laid out some dry clothes before heading back downstairs. He knelt on the floor.
"Can you hear me?" He waited a moment before the figure nodded. "I'm going to help you upstairs into the bath. We need to warm you up as soon as possible." The figure nodded again. Harry got an arm under the knees and felt a trembling arm wrap around his neck. He hefted the slight figure in his arms and headed upstairs to the bath. He set them on their feet, keeping an arm about their waist when he felt their knees began to buckle.
"H-H-Help?" came a whispered voice. Harry realized that the person's hands were shaking too badly to get undressed. He helped them to sit on the toilet and removed the blanket, shocked when he came across a shock of short blonde hair. What was even more surprising was the fact that the person wasn't female like he'd first assumed. It was a male. And a very beautiful one from what he could see.
Turning his mind back to the task at hand, he helped the shivering young man get undressed and into the bath. He took up a sponge and ran water through the young man's hair, gently passing the sponge over his face. The man yelped in pain when Harry passed the sponge over a spot over his left ear.
"You've got a bit of a bump there. What happened?"
"Don't...remember." the man whispered.
"Do you know how you got here? I'm pretty far back."
"They're pretty." Harry agreed. The man's shivering began to ease off and his coloring began to come back. Harry watched as he drifted off to sleep. He kept sponging the sleeping man until the water went tepid, then gently pulled him out of the water and dried him off. He led the sleeping man to the bedroom and helped him dress in the pajamas he laid out. They were a little big on the blonde but they were dry and warm. Harry eased him under the sheets and covered him back up. He stoked the fire and turned out the light. He looked back at the unknown man in his bed, wondering what had happened to him. He shook his head and closed the door, returning to his spot on the couch.
Morning would come all too soon, and with that (he hoped) some answers.To be continued...