"So, tell me about yourself, Harry." Rapunzel had a hint of polite curiosity in her eye and she wasn't pointing a frying pan at his face anymore, so he decided to indulge her.
"Well, what do you want to know?"
"Everything, or anything that you're willing to tell me. I haven't really met a boy before or well anyone besides my mother, so tell me about your life."
"You want to hear about my whole life? And, what do you mean you haven't met anyone besides your mother? You don't have friends?"
"I have pascal" She nods to the chameleon that was trying to analyze him. "And I never leave the tower."
"Why don't you leave?"
"Because then - wait I asked you a question first!" Rapunzel pouts at him and Harry sighs.
"Do you have chairs that we can use? This is going to be a long story." Rapunzel flicks her wrist and 2 chairs appear. 'How did she do that?' She sits down and stares at him eagerly almost inching out of her seat and it reminds him of Hermione when she tries to answer a question in potions class.
"Well, my story starts before I was born." And with that Harry begins to explain his story and Rapunzel watches utterly captivated and with fascination, finally getting to hear about the outside world. She occasionally asks questions and tears up at the right parts. He tells her everything from his parents giving up their lives to protect him to Dudley and his gang bullying him to when Hagrid stormed into the boathouse telling him that he was a wizard when his vision got a little fuzzy.
"Wow, I can't even imagine. I mean I would probably be scared to death if a giant man was chasing me down trying to tell me I'm a witch. I mean I'd probably think he was crazy. I think Dudley got what he deserved though. Tell me more, tell me about your trip to Diagon Alley." She smiles and everything just glows, he wishes he could tell her more. She is completely different from when today started out. She looks less lonely, 'Probably glad she has someone to talk to that isn't an animal' and she definitely isn't going to try and hit him with a frying pan anytime soon.
"I would love to … tomorrow. I think my body is going to wake up soon." He watches Rapunzel's smile slowly fall off and he finds himself wishing he could stay. "Don't worry I'll be back tomorrow and I'll tell you about my 1st year at Hogwarts tomorrow."
She smiles at him, "See you tomorrow."
Harry starts to feel himself fading away as a green light engulfs him.
Harry wakes up slowly this time, no James rushing in and no scary rush of breath. He feels lighter getting off his chest what Dudley and the Dursleys did to him, getting not pity, but understanding, probably because she knew what it was like to be alone. After getting ready, he heads downstairs to find that everyone was already up.
"Sleeping in, Harry?"
"No dad, just had a long night last night."
Breakfast isn't awkward per se, everyone's focused on waking up. Everyone starts to clean up and get ready to do their own thing when Lily clears her throat. "Everyone, we have an announcement. If you could stay a moment longer." Harry narrows his eyes in suspicion at Lily as everyone goes to sit down.
"We wanted to announce that we and by we I mean James, Remus, Sirius, and I will be joining you kids at Hogwarts."
All of the kids look at each other in question when Hermione finally speaks up, "What do you mean by that, is Remus going to be our Defense teacher again?"
Remus responds, "No, they already have a person for that position, Auror Moody. I will be replacing Professor Binns in History. Lily will be helping out Madame Pomfrey and James and Sirius have decided to teach Alchemy together, lord help us. I only think they hired us because they wanted more hands to help with the surprise that we mentioned earlier this summer."
Harry pinches the bridge of his nose, "So let me get this straight, not only will you all be at Hogwarts, but you'll also be teaching and we'll be stuck there with you guys and Snape." Harry vaguely hears an 'oh god' in the background from Lily and Remus once they realize what he's saying. "I'm going to go and fly a bit, maybe clear my head, try and figure out how I'm going to get through this school year. Anyone want to join me."
All the children got up and quickly made their way out of the room. The first ones to speak up were the twins, starting with Fred.
"How on Earth"
Harry groans, "That's what you got from this. Have any of you seen our lives? Every year I have some sort of new challenge that usually involves scheming and sneaking around after hours. How are we supposed to do that with them having the Marauders Map."
Ron shrugs, "I don't know mate, but at least history will be interesting this year without Binns."
The rest of the day passes without much excitement as do the next days, they fall into a domestic bliss awaiting the school year.
And so I'll read a book
Or maybe two or three
I'll add a few new paintings to my gallery
I'll play guitar and knit
And cook and basically
Just wonder when will my life begin?
"It's good to know that you have something to do. I thought you just sat dramatically waiting for your life to begin."
"Harry!" Rapunzel turns and is holding a batch of cookies. "I thought we would eat something while you told me about your first year."
"That sounds great." Sitting down on the chairs that have just appeared he gets started. He tries to save the look on her face when he tells her about Diagon Alley, the ride to school, and his argument with the magical hat. "You can't fight with a hat Harry!" He had never had this much fun telling someone about his tales. Usually, people just try to get in his good graces and ignore the story while he's telling it or get all in his face to interrupt him and get an autograph. Even when telling her about his fame she doesn't change. He makes it through his first year and to the part where he threatens Dudley with his magic when his vision gets fuzzy again.
"I've to go." Rapunzel's smile never wavers this time and she bids him farewell. He doesn't realize that he had a cookie in his hand when he wakes up, finding it in his hand when he woke up was a startling realization on its own, confirming that Rapunzel was real and he had to help her.
Then after lunch it's puzzles and darts and baking
Paper mache, a bit of ballet and chess
Pottery and ventriloquy, candle making
Then I'll stretch, maybe sketch, take a climb
Sew a dress!
This time when he arrives, she has a chess set up and ready for him to play. "You mentioned you knew how to play yesterday. I know you're not the best, but I've never played with anyone but Pascal. I was wondering if, maybe…"
"I would love to."
This time he tells her about The Chamber of Secrets. He tells her about the petrified cat, then how the people started going missing. He tells her about how Hagrid "opened" it the first time and that's how he gets expelled. "But that's not possible, he's so nice." She groans when he tells her about Lockhart fixing his arm. She laughs when Harry tells her about Hermione turning into a giant cat and she gasps when she hears Ginny was the one who opened the chamber. She becomes shocked when he mentions the spirit in the book was Tom Riddle aka Voldemort. Her eyes get hysterically wide when she hears he almost died and cries in happiness when Fawkes comes in and saves him as if he wasn't right there telling the story.
This time before he leaves, she gives him a bracelet with wooden beads that have been carved and stained for his birthday. "I know it's not much, but I wanted to give you something."
Harry smiles at her as he leaves and holds onto the bracelet tight hoping that it comes with him. When his dad asks who he got it from, Harry smiles brighter than he has a while and says it's from a good friend of his.
And I'll reread the books
If I have time to spare
I'll paint the walls some more
I'm sure there's room somewhere
Harry comes to, with the most beautiful scene displayed in front of him. Rapunzel is suspended by her hair painting a new mural when she turns he sees splotches of paint on her dress and a splotch of yellow covering her nose. Harry goes to get a napkin as she makes her way down.
"Um, you have something on your face."
"Oh, could you get it for me." Harry starts to wipe the paint off of her nose, ever aware of the freckles that are home to her cheeks and the light blush that starts to appear, his breath gets caught in his throat. He keeps his hand on her face a little longer than he should have and then realizes where he is, he flicks a piece of hair out of her face and backs out of her space. She has a dazed look on her face before she notices Harry wearing her bracelet and she smiles. He doesn't notice the fact that he touched her. She still can't touch him though.
"Did you want to paint today?"
Painting was a bad idea. When he tells her who Sirius Black is she drops her paintbrush, when he tells her that Ron's rat was Peter Pettigrew, she almost falls off of the swing of hair she made. When he tells her his parents came back to life she squeals in joy and hugs him, dropping the cup of paint she was holding, letting red splatter all over the ground. Usually when he ends the year he stops because the Dursleys are boring, but this time he goes on and tells her about his insecurities. How he isn't sure how to feel about his parents, yes he knows them but is it too soon to call them mom and dad. How they act as if they have always been there, but they have really only gotten to know him for a few weeks. She listens and she gives him the advice to talk to them, tell them about everything that he told her. Harry knows he should, but he doesn't think he's ready to do it, not yet.
And then I'll brush and brush
And brush and brush my hair
Stuck in the same place I've always been
He watches Rapunzel finish brushing her hair and watches her startle when she finally realizes that he is there. "How long have you been there?"
"Long enough, why don't you ever style your hair differently to keep it out of the way?"
"I don't know-how. I don't exactly know any other hairstyles." Her feet shift inward and she starts to bite her lip. "So um I was wondering if we could play darts and you could tell me more about movies and music."
Wanting to leave the awkward moment behind Harry takes the bait. He starts with Valentine's Day going throughout the year and goes into muggle music and magical music. She absorbs the information like she always does. He brings up the topic of careers explaining a few of them and asks her opinion.
"Well, I'd want to adventure around the world trying to find mythical places and animals or ancient artifacts. I would also get a teaching degree because I would like to think I would love children, maybe I'd even be good at it. When I want to settle down I would teach something like Care for Magical Creatures or something else, it doesn't really matter, so I have a steady job, and then I would still go on adventures during the summer. That way I would have a story to tell the next year and I still get to adventure the unknown." Harry could easily see her pursuing that dream and him following, he'd like a good adventure with no real danger for once in a while. At school, something bad always happens.
"Oh, at school!"
"I forgot to mention, this year at my school, Remus is replacing Professor Binns and Sirius and my dad are teaching Alchemy and my mom is helping out with Madame Pomfrey. Apparently the school needs extra authority figures for the surprise at school."
"That's so sweet. This way you can spend all year round with them and really get to know them. Didn't you get any hints on what the surprise is?"
"Nope, they are tight-lipped about it."
"I wish I could go to school with you and make friends and help you with your troubles and meet your family."
"Why don't you? Why don't you leave this tower? Why is your hair so long and how come I haven't seen your parents?" Rapunzel turns away from him, "Rapunzel?"
"How about tomorrow I tell you my story?" She offers and Harry nods, his eyes going fuzzy once again. Once he woke up he may have asked Hermione and his mother how to braid hair and do different styles for long hair. They didn't question him, but they gave him a weird look, happy he was going out of his way to converse with him as he had been keeping to himself the past couple of days.
And I'll keep wonderin'' and wanderin'
And wanderin' and wonderin'
When will my life begin?
Rapunzel was nervous. She was going to tell Harry about her life without mentioning her healing hair of course. Would he think she was weird for never trying to go out by herself and for always obeying her mother? Harry had always gone with his gut, but she wasn't like that, she wasn't brave like him. The smile on his lips and the non-judgmental look in his eyes prompted her to start talking.
Harry listened to her story. He listened to how someone tried to kidnap her as a baby to steal her magic. He listened to how the kidnapper killed her father but barely missed her mother. He listened to how they went into hiding and Rapunzel never left for her safety. He listened to her explain that her hair was so long as a result of her magic. He listened to all of it, but he couldn't help but wonder if the kidnapper did get away with Rapunzel and Rapunzel was stuck in this tower so that her "mother" could have her magic all for herself. He doesn't voice these thoughts though, not without more evidence.
"How do you do magic without a wand? I've seen the books and everything, but where is your wand?"
"Wand? I don't have a wand. Mother never got me one. Wands choose the wizard and since I never left the tower I had to teach myself magic without a wand. It took a lot of effort at first, but as time went on I was able to do it with ease, even silent casting. Of course, whenever I learn the next year's worth of magic I do take a few tries to get it right, but eventually, I get it."
"You can do magic without a wand! Only really powerful witches can do that!" Rapunzel blushes and shrugs a little when the both hear it.
"Rapunzel! Rapunzel dear let down your hair."
"Harry! You have to hide. Go up to my room and hide up there, she'll be gone soon, don't worry."
Harry goes up to her room as she brings up Gothel. He peeks out around the doorframe to see her. He looks at her black curly hair and sharp features. He looks at her pointy nose and slightly straighter body shape and his suspicions are confirmed. This woman looks nothing like Rapunzel. They converse a little and she gives Rapunzel new paints for her birthday tomorrow. When Rapunzel has her back turned or she thinks has her back turned Gothel runs her foot along a rug and stomps lightly on a floorboard feeling for something. She leaves promising to be back later with ingredients for Rapunzel's favorite soup that she'll be cooking tomorrow. Once she's gone from the premise Rapunzel signals me to come down.
"What's wrong? Don't tell me nothings wrong, either. I just bared my soul to you today, don't lie to me, I can see it in your face."
Harry sighs, "Look Rapunzel I don't know how to tell you this, but that woman looks nothing like you. I get that magic and your father's genes changed some of yours, but I don't think it's supposed to not have any of her genes carry over. She has black curly hair with a heart-shaped face and a pointy nose. She doesn't have any freckles and she has harsh looking cheekbones. Her skin pigment has no warmth to it and her body shape is different." Meeting Rapunzel's confused expression he sighs again, "Look I just think, that maybe, ….. she was the one who kidnapped you. That's why she won't let you leave the tower and that's why she's having you learn magic and that's why she won't let you get a wand because if you get a wand your record goes on file and they can track you through the wand." He watches the smile fall from her face and the doubt creeps into her eyes.
"I think you should go, find a way to wake yourself up."
"I think you should go"
"Happy early birthday"
Harry wakes up wondering if he'll ever see her again.
Rapunzel watches as he fades away with the green light that she's grown so familiar with. She stood there for a few moments before going over to the board that her mother was stomping on earlier. She finds that it's loose and lifts it up and finds a satchel, one that she feels like she should know.
She opens it up and gasps, memories come flooding back and she pulls up a chair waiting for her Mother to come back.
Her mother climbs up her hair, throwing over to baskets before pulling herself up. One basket full of ingredients and the other full of flowers. She comes to a stop when she sees what is in her hand though.
"Why, Mother? Why did you do it? What happened to the people in this picture? Why are there crowns in this satchel?"
"Sweetheart, why don't you-"
" Now, Gothel. "
Rapunzel watches as the sweet facade fades from her "mother". "THEY stole my flower. The king and queen of Corona. The precious queen was sick when she was pregnant with you. The only cure was my flower and they stole it, but I needed it to keep me young. So, I stole you and killed them for good measure."
"Harry was right about you, you're just some evil witch!"
Gothel makes her way around her pet slowly reaching for a pan. "Who is Harry?" Rapunzel freezes unknowing how to continue the conversation, she didn't mean to mention Harry.
"He's a good guy and a friend and I think he likes me"
"Likes you? Please, Rapunzel, that's demented
Dear, this whole romance that you've invented
Why would he like you? Come on now, really!
Look at you, you think that he's impressed?
Don't be a dummy" With those words Rapunzel falls to the floor, Gothel had hit her on the head.
"I guess I'll just have to get rid of this Harry and move somewhere where no one can find us."
Rapunzel wakes up with cuffs around her wrists retraining her magic and a gag around her mouth. The chains lead to Gothel smirking at her. "We will just wait for this Harry boy and then we'll be on our way, dear don't you worry." That's when Rapunzel notices the dagger in her hand and she starts to struggle against her chains.
Harry goes to bed anxious and worried that he won't see Rapunzel this time. He comes to the familiar scene and he breathes a breath of relief. However, he was worried when he didn't hear singing.
"Rapunzel, I wanted to-" Harry catches sight of Rapunzel on the floor bound and gagged. She was struggling, trying to warn him. He feels a sharp pain in his back and he hears her cry out. He then sees Gothel in front of him, this time she stabs him in the heart. "Just for good measure."
She grabs the chains connected to Rapunzel and she struggles. He can hear her mention something about them moving and Rapunzel bargaining with her. He can't do anything though because he has become very weak from the pain and the poison that was spreading through his body, the poison that was on her knife.
"I can heal you."
Harry starts to shake his head. He's too far gone. "No, I can. I have magical hair that can heal people when I sing."
Harry finally notices that she is crying and tries to wipe her tears away when he realizes what she said. He runs his fingers through her hair when he notices a tiny part of her hair that was extremely short and dark brown. He feels a sharp piece of glass and he knows what to do. In one sweeping motion, he brings it up to her hair and cuts it all off, turning her hair a dark brown and her beautiful blonde hair fades to brown.
He hears screaming, both Rapunzel and he turns to see Gothel grabbing at Rapunzel's hair like it was her lifeline.
"What did you do?!" She shoves her hood over her head, but they can still see her aging, too fast to be normal. Nobody notices Pascal pulling at Rapunzel's hair to trip Gothel over the balcony. She is gone before her cloak hits the floor.
Rapunzel shakes herself out of her shock and looks down at Harry, this time the tears are flowing freely.
"Please, let me touch you." She grabs his hand and pulls it up to her head.
She starts to sing:
Flower gleam and glow
Let your power shine
Make the clock reverse
Bring back what once was
Harry feels his eyes go blurry and he can't hear her sing anymore. He knows he won't be making it back to Godric's Hollow. He has a feeling that he has disappeared from that universe? entirely. Harry always thought that if he were to go, that it would be fighting Voldemort. He wishes he could be there for Rapunzel, show her the world and go on adventures with her. The last thing he sees is a patch of golden sparkles shaping into a woman before everything fades to black.
Rapunzel was hysterically crying, "Please, please anything, anyone help."
She doesn't notice the woman behind her until she starts to speak. "I can help you."
Her head shoots up, "You can? You can heal him."
"Well, not exactly. You and your friend here have made some unexpected self-sacrificing choices. It threw us both for a loop."
"Both? There's only, and you can't heal him. Then why?"
"You can heal him."
"But, I don't know any spells and my hair." The lady puts her hand on Rapunzel's hair and Rapunzel feels a wave of magic and a familiar weight comes back to her head, looking down she sees her blonde hair is back and twice as long.
"Now you can heal him." Rapunzel was so entranced with her hair and the idea of healing Harry she almost didn't hear the last bit the lady muttered. "You won't be able to cut it either."
"Thank you, thank you so much!"
"Your welcome, dear. I've got to go, you better start healing him, you don't have much time."
"Oh! Wait, what should I call you? Who are you?"
"My name is Helios." With that, she was gone.
Rapunzel looks down at Harry, tears still falling and she carefully wraps her hair around his torso.
Flower gleam and glow
Let your power shine
Make the clock reverse
Bring back what once was mine
Heal what has been hurt
Change the fates design
Save what has been lost
Bring back what once was mine
… what once was mine
Halfway through the song, Harry takes a deep breath and a fresh new wave of tears come. Finishing her song, she waits for him to come to, soaking his shirt with her tears.
Harry wakes up to a person he thought he would never see again with hair that he swore that he just cut off. "How? What? But? Your hair is glowing." She laughs and smiles with tears still falling, so Harry goes to wipe them away with his hand when he lifts his head up and kisses her.
A gold light of energy shoots out and starts to encase both of them with each getting their own heart surrounding them once they pull apart. They both laugh a breathy laugh and Harry brings his hand to her face once more, her delicate hand encasing his as she relishes in his warmth.
"So, what happened, why am I not dead and how is your hair back?"
She smiles at him once more and tells him her encounter with a lady named Helios.
"You met the Goddess of Sun!"
Meanwhile That Morning at Godric's Hollow
"Guys, do you know what's taking Harry so long to wake up?"
Hermione supplies James with a response, "Well, last night he said he wasn't feeling well and he went to bed early. I can go check on him if you want."
"Sure, tell him breakfast is ready, while you're up there."
Hermione makes her way to his room and opens it expecting to see Harry asleep, she is met with an empty bed and no Harry to be found.
"Guys! Harry isn't here!"
Everyone comes running. "What do you mean he's not here?"
Hermione looks over at Ginny, "I mean he isn't in his room or his bathroom or at breakfast. Why don't we split up and look for him? He couldn't have left or else we would have heard him."
Hermione splits people up to look at different spots that Harry frequents, leaving her and Ron.
"Hermione, you don't think, it was?"
"No, Ron. They couldn't have gotten through the wards. Let's just hope wherever Harry is, he's alright."
"So you mean to tell me that she kidnapped you for your hair. To keep her young?"
"Yes, and I'd appreciate if you didn't go around telling people about my secret. Gothel was telling the truth about one thing, my powers are something to be hidden. Who knows what people would do if they figured out that it could heal anything and keep people young forever. Here let me help you up." Once Harry gets up her finally gets a good look at her hair, finding it to be twice as long.
"I don't remember it being that long."
"Yeah, I think she made it longer than she was supposed to. So, what happens now?" She looks at him with hopeful eyes and Harry smiles.
"Well, come with me. I don't exactly know how that would happen though. Apparition is the only thing that comes to mind and I only know the theory. I've never really done it before."
"Okay, we can cross that bridge when we get to it. I need to pack my stuff and get Pascal and give you a new shirt."
"You have a shirt for me?"
"I made one for you for your birthday, but I didn't know if it would be weird to give it to you."
She makes her way upstairs ignoring the chains and gags on the floor. She comes back down with a silk green shirt that brings out his eyes, that he immediately changes into.
She grabs a satchel that was thrown across the room and starts to shrink the items that were in it and gives it to Harry to hold. He looks at the crowns and the picture that it holds, "I can't believe you're a princess." Rapunzel shrinks her bookcase in the background and makes her way over to Harry and puts it in the satchel along with a few clean dresses.
"Oh, you're a princess! Did you want to go to your castle? I mean don't you have a kingdom and everything to rule."
"No! I mean, according to Gothel they already have a new King and Queen. Besides I want to go with you, I want to learn magic and be part of the wizarding world. I mean Corona was supposed to be my home, but I've never lived there and I have no family to go live there for. You know. Unless you wanted me to go there."
Harry smiles at her and gives her a kiss, "I would love for you to go with me. I just didn't want to assume that you wanted to go with me."
"Of course I want to go with you! I just have to change real quick. This dress is all ruined and then grab Pascal and we will be ready to go."
She comes back down a few moments later with Pascal on her shoulder.
"Are you ready?"
She takes the satchel from my hand and hesitates, "My hair."
"What about your hair?"
"It's really long. Will it cause complications?"
Harry looks at her. He can see the nervousness bounce between her eyes and doesn't mention it. "I can actually braid your hair if it makes you feel better. I sorta asked my mom and Hermione how to do different hairstyles with long hair, they showed me different types of braids. I don't wanna brag or anything, but I've gotten pretty good." She smiles at him and brings out a chair for him to sit on and she sits on the floor. He notices the flowers in a basket in one of the corners and brings it over before he sits down. He decides to go with just an inside-out fishtail braid and weaves the flowers in as he goes. Once he's finished, she gets up and laughs when she sees how far down it goes almost reaching the end of her calf. She smiles even brighter when she sees the flowers. She goes over to her shattered mirror, straightens it, and fixes it with her magic. He watches as she tears up at her reflection, he comes over and gives her a hug from behind both transfixed with the mirror. Harry can't help but feel it reminds him of another mirror he used to look into.
"Are you ready?"
She scoops up Pascal and puts her satchel on her shoulder. This time she has a fiery determination in her eye. "Yes."
Harry pulls her in for one more kiss before they leave and then holds out his hand. She takes it and a swirl of golden and emerald fire engulfs them.
"We've been looking for them all day. I think it's time to-" Everyone looks up as they hear 2 thumps coming from upstairs. Taking their wands, they all rush upstairs and burst through Harry's door. They open the door to see Harry on the floor with an unfamiliar girl sitting on his lap. They both look over at the door when they come in. The girl looks at them curiously and tilts her head, Harry looks over at them and grimaces, slowly raising his hand, "I can explain."
The girl waves, "Hello, pleasure to meet you. I'm Rapunzel." Harry looks over at her and snorts.
The twins break out of their stupor first, "Looks like ickle Harry has grown up and has brought a girl home."