Healing Harry

/AN1: This story starts roughly over a week after Hogwarts lets out for the summer holidays. There are several differences to the originals stories. I will try to cover the differences by use of flashbacks. I know those are difficult to do correctly. The primary divergence is a change of outcomes at the Ministry of Magic at the end of the fifth year. This story is a set of conditions and a specific set of events that has existed as a small collection of notes, ideas, and a giant game of what-ifs-then. Warnings of possible bashing and cliches abound.

/AN 2:

I am still not sure where I was going with this story. I wanted to address the issue of PTSD. There will be some bashing, very unforgivable bashing of Dumbles, which I feel he often soundly deserves. I see him burdened with hubris, an over-egotistical person turned into a buffoon that was really a one-hit-wonder. He is the type of person that is eternally in need of acclaim and adoration. Very similar to Lockheart is in all stories. He never really exhibited a proper 18th-century British mindset. In my research for this story, Brits, especially those in the 18-19th century, were slow to give out medals, awards, and acclaims. Accolades and awards are not generally used as proof of worth.

Remember, all heroes have their feet in clay.

Well, Dumbledore does hide his past very nicely in the original stories. But, unfortunately, he is only exposed for what he is and what he has done in the last book. He should have recognized what Tom Marvolo Riddle was and done something to prevent him from turning dark earlier because of his experience with Grindelwald. I guess that might be why so many Fan Fiction writers see and use this trope.

Lots of dirt could be exposed on almost any public person if you dig deep enough. Sorry, no one can not 100% escape the fallout from this. So Amos Diggory gets a little slack but still gets a little bashing.

The plotting and manipulations of Dumbledore to gain more fame and attempting to keep control over Harry Potter will be exposed in this tale. Initially, I had outlined that Amos Diggory gets offered a chance to resign or be prosecuted. Unfortunately, that scene didn't get written, I gave him a pass, and he is shown to be another of Albus's pawns. Weasleys also get some slack because the children aided Potter. Loyalty is good, but blind loyalty isn't. Finally, I hoped to put in a bit of a wake-up call for Arthur.

sigh

This story is AU, and that makes it non-canon compliant. If you didn't know that before, now you do. If you want to read cannon, go look elsewhere.

Dates Are Fuzzy for a specific reason.

This takes place at the Granger's Home, 2nd night after school is let out. Three weeks after the Battle at the Ministry.

Healing Harry

Chapter 1

Putting Harry Back Together Again

Harry sat up in the bed, gasping for air in a total panic. It was another night and another nightmare. These had kept happening again and again—all following the same set of themes.

Harry knew that sleep would not come back this night because of how severe the nightmare had been. It was the same basic nightmare that he had nearly every night for the last few weeks. Sometimes not as bad as this one, only one had been worse.

Harry ran his fingers through his messy hair, pushing it out of his face. Then, yawning and rubbing his eyes, he swung his feet over the side of the bed, sliding his feet into his slippers. The tired young man walked over to the desk in his room, sat down, and turned on the desk lamp. Rifling around the desk opened the drawer. Selecting a pen and a notepad and started writing. Trying to cover all which had to happen before and after he had killed Voldemort.

Sirius had written several letters to him after Dumbledore had been forced out of the castle. So it appeared that finally, Umbridge and the Ministry had accomplished one of their goals.

To circumvent them achieving their second goal, Sirius urged Harry to go to Gringotts. He had wanted Harry to visit the Goblins last summer and start to get his family matters sorted out, but Dumbledore had prevented it. Finally, however, the Goblins had indicated to Sirius a willingness to follow their obligations if Harry could make it to Gringotts.

After Dumbledore had been removed as Headmaster by the Ministry. He was replaced by Madam Umbridge as Head of the school. When she tried to exercise herself in Gringotts as Harry's Magical Guardian, the Goblins informed her she wasn't his magical or legal guardian. Then threw the fact in her face that Dumbledore had never been Harry Potter's Magical Guardian either. Finally, after she could not get legal control over him, she resorted to cracking down harder on Potter, trying to break him.

That failed after he simply disappeared outside of school hours on a Friday night. He didn't reappear at Hogwarts until it was time for Monday morning classes.

It had been easy for Harry to sneak out and sneak back into the school with the chaos created by Headmistress Umbridge. She had neither any idea of how to teach nor how to run a school, for that matter. She had tried to take control of the wards but failed. In the Ministry itself, Umbridge was a classic example of the Peter Principle. She had risen to the point she was not qualified for her position, totally incompetent and unaware of it.

The twins had a particular series of pranks designed just for Madam Umbridge. They had labeled one of the attacks: Project Chicken Herding. With a bit of help from a few other students, the two kept Delores running from one chaotic event to the next chaotic event. The chaos lasted for several weeks. Ebbing and flowing to keep Madam Umbridge off-guard and causing her to become paranoid.

During the time, which was the ramp-up to the 5th and 7th-year exams, Delores Umbridge was advised in an anonymous letter that she needed to read the requirements for taking and passing the OWL and NEWT examinations. If most of her Defense Against Dark Arts students failed their tests, it would trigger an extensive investigation. The ICW's Department of Magical Education and Testing would look into what had been taught in the classroom. If they did that, they might find how she disciplined the children in her detention sessions. There was a reason Blood Quill's were banned by ICW's edict, except for contact signatures administered under Goblins control. She knew she would be in big trouble if news came out she had used Blood Quills on minor children. She tried to cancel the testing but found out that she couldn't cancel because of an anti-muggle law that she had sponsored. Her own law absolutely required examination for all the 5th and 7th-year students.

Harry found getting things sorted out in Gringotts was more complicated than even Sirius thought it would be. It took two extended all weekend long visits. It was all done quietly. The change in his status to adult was certified without any actual notice by the Ministry.

Albus was none the wiser because he was on the run, a wanted man. Persona-Non-Gratis by the Ministry of Magic and the wizarding world in general. He was hiding behind a mail redirect ward. That meant he received no notification from either Gringotts or the Ministry of Magic about the change of status of Harold James Potter.

Even the plan for Harry to go home with Hermione, rather than to his Aunt and Uncle's house, went smoothly. That was easily accomplished without being questioned by an absentee Dumbledore. Hermione wrote her parents and got permission for him to stay for a few weeks. Sirius needed time to set his house right and completely clear his name.

That change did not cause the scene Harry had expected. Instead, a few days before the Leaving Feast, he had used a school owl and simply informed Vernon and Petunia of the good news. He would not be returning to their house this summer or ever. The so-called protection of the wards was no longer needed because Voldemort and most of his inner circle had been killed.

Dumbledore had not been reinstated as Hogwarts' Headmaster before the end of the school term. During that time, Albus was no longer a wanted man, but he held no public office or positions of power. Professor McGonagal simply wished Harry a good summer as he left the castle with his things.

Harry had no contact with Dumbledore during the school year. On the contrary, Dumbledore had actively avoided seeing Harry. That lack of pressure from Dumbledore for Harry to return to the Dursleys made making other arrangements a breeze.

The lack of political news on the Wizard Wireless and Daily Prophet made Harry think there must be some fallout and problems from the so-called Battle at the Ministry. But, unfortunately, the information about the fallout wasn't making it to the pages of The Daily Prophet.

What had happened unreported was that a significant power vacuum had suddenly been created. Political plays and infighting by all the different factions were afoot. One group tried to outmaneuver and blindside the other groups.

The three weeks before the Battle, during the 1st Friday evening, when Harry had made it to Gringotts, he met with the Potter account manager. He was asked a few questions about why he failed to reply to their correspondence. His reply was, "I had never received any letters or statements."

The Goblins found Harry had a mail redirect charm on him, set by Dumbledore.

Harry had sat there stunned. Finally, it was explained to him that he was wealthy and had a seat on the Wizengamot. He was an adult, not an emancipated minor, and had been since the Tri-Wizard tournament. All the forms were on hand and only needed his signature, and they would be filed at the Ministry.

Trying to wrap his head around everything had him confused for a time. Then, as his understanding grew, the Goblins dropped the second bomb.

Harry found out that Albus Brian Dumbledore had controlled his life and regularly took funds out of his vault for his personal uses. To top everything off, he had written and signed a marriage contract for Harry and Ginny Weasley. It had been signed by Dumbledore and Molly Weasley. The marriage contract named his contracted wife to be his heir, even if he died before the marriage took place. The terms of the agreement made Dumbledore their future child's regent. He would be in complete control of both his contracted wife and his child. The regency would take effect even if Harry was killed before the Marriage Contract could be fulfilled. The Goblins considered it all an outright act of line theft. They were not happy, and neither was Harry. Harry was informed Dumbledore would be declared a thief. The Goblins, which had allowed Dumbledore such access, had been punished for abetting such thievery. The thief's head would soon be adorning a pike set into the middle of the lobby as a gruesome reminder Goblins tolerated no theft. They promised Dumbledore's head would join the traitor's position in the bank's lobby.

Sirius was Harry's actual legal guardian when the marriage contract was signed. The fact that Molly wasn't head of house for the Weasley Family also gave grounds to completely void the marriage contract. Harry had instigated formal charges against Dumbledore for embezzlement of funds. The attempted line theft was to be filed at the Ministry. It would take time for those charges to be processed, but the wheels of justice had started turning. Goblins' wheels of justice turn and continually seek out retribution from would-be thieves.

Several days after the Battle, Tonks had overheard Dumbledore speaking with a few Order of the Phoenix members at Hogs Head Bar. "The plan is that Harry is to be the subject of a Special Wizengamot Inquiry," explained Albus. Then Albus went on to outline that, "I must have Harry my control for the Greater Good, or he will turn dark. Harry had killed all those people in the Department of Mystery, rather than using Stunners and other non-lethal spells on them. Diggory has promised to drop the charges against me. I will soon be back to where I belong sooner rather than later." he proclaimed.

The Ministry of Magic had been in flux after a vote of no confidence for Minister Fudge and his administration. That vote of no confidence occurred during an emergency meeting three days after Harry had fought the Battle of in Ministry of Magic and killed Voldemort.

Fudge's continued denial of the events which had taken place at the end of the Tri-Wizard Tournament and afterward was the basis for a call for the no-confidence vote. The morning after Fudge lost his position, Magical Britain had, at 1st, seen the closest near-permanent removal of Albus Dumbledore as Chief Wizard of the Wizengamot. He was initially also stripped of the position of Headmaster of Hogwarts. The temporary Headmistress Umbridge had also been removed and arrested. When the dust had settled, Amos Diggory appeared to be in charge as Minister of Magic. Sturgis Podmore was installed as Chief Wizard of the Wizengamot.

Both of them were considered Dumbledore's menion.

Amos Diggory, after newly installed as Minister of Magic, the press stated it appeared he was out for someone's blood. An editorial in the Daily Prophet had taken Diggory to task because the best of Britain's Pure-blood Aristocracy had apparently died at the end of Potter's wand. However, the headline's question was misleading. Was it a Battle or Massacre inside the Ministry's Department of Mysteries?

Dumbledore had someone whisper in Diggory's ear a rumor that Potter may have had a hand in Cedric's death. Minister Fudge had refused to allow any investigation of anything which had happened during the Tri-Wizard Tournament.

Diggory, while not always in favor of all things Dumbledore, he had been led by Albus in the past. He was still primed to be lead by him, as long as it was done indirectly. Playing upon the loss of Diggory's son made controlling him a little easier.

Three days of recovery after the Battle, Harry had met with Madam Bones and had given his memories of the fight. He also gave a copy of the memory of the last competition in the Tri-Wizard Tournament to Madam Bones, Department Head of the DMLE. She had reviewed those memories and studied them over and over. Her official report termed the actions as self-defense.

It seems her finding was being challenged by this Special Inquiry. She had sent word via Tonks that she would be an expert witness at the Special Inquiry. She would state only the truth and the results of her investigations.

Harry felt after the inquiry, no one would call him a liar anymore. The fact that Voldemort's headless body was left lying on the floor of the Ministry's Atrium. While his head was lying ten feet away was proof he had not lied about Voldemort's return. The bound body of Peter Pettigrew, lying on the floor in the Atrium, was also proof he had not been lying about Sirius at the end of his third year.

He set his pen down as he set quietly recalling the events of the Battle. That was when the shaking started again. It always came as he remembered that night. These bouts were a nightly occurrence. The tremors always followed his nightmares. He didn't have any idea of what to do.

After the Battle in the Ministry, he had slept several days using Dreamless Sleep potion after arriving at Sirius' place. The rest of the children had already returned to school the evening after the battle. They after been asleep most of the day after the fight.

When Harry returned to school, he was taken directly to the Hospital Ward. Madam Pomfrey could find nothing physically wrong with him. He was well along in recovering from both physical and magical exhaustion. He was fine, except for the reoccurring nightmares. The Magical world had no concept of mental health treatment. The Mediwitch could do nothing for Harry's nightmares besides giving a calming potion, which could cause a dependency issue eventually. He had already used the maximum dreamless sleep potions allowed.

Harry vaguely remembered the evening he was released from the hospital ward. He had made his way into the Great Hall in time for the traditional end-of-year Leaving Feast. The Great Hall was filled with the usual chattering, fell to silence when he walked into the Great Hall.

The sudden silence was oppressive. Every voice was silenced, and every eye turned to him. Professor McGonagal was sitting at the Head Table and just nodded for him to take his seat. He quickly moved to a place between Ron and Hermione.

He hadn't been hungry and basically pushed his food around on the plate and mentally zoned out. He did hear people talking but didn't pay much attention to the conversations or announcements. For example, he was unaware that Hermione said, 'Remember that you are going home with me until Sirius got things sorted, Harry.'

Quietly slipping on his night robe, Harry left the bedroom. Moving noiselessly down the stairs. At the foot of the stairs, he turned toward the kitchen. Grabbing and filling the stainless steel vessel, he put the kettle on to boil. He got out a cup for himself. He thought maybe a cup of warm herbal tea would help.

Hermione's parents, Dan and Emma Granger, had invited him into their home and giving him the run of the house. However, this arrangement was all temporary until Sirius got things at home under control. His house needed a massive amount of renovation after years of neglect.

Madam Bones had canceled Sirius Black's so-called Kiss on Sight order the morning after the Massacre in the Ministry. Yes, the press had their merry way as different facts, falsehoods, and rumors were leaked to the public. Initially, Potter was labeled the hero of the day, but that would change.

In a single day, the press had modified the term, turning it into misleading propaganda. The headlines went from "The Battle at the Ministry" to "The Massacre in the Ministry ." That slight change in phasing was followed by a vicious, whispered 'Big Lie' campaign. That campaign had been started by a few people in well-placed positions at the directions of Albus Dumbledore.

Sirius was currently under a combination of house arrest and house protection. A trial might be held for Sirius depending on several different official inquiries, none of which were scheduled for a future date. The debate was still ongoing if there was enough evidence for a Bill of Indictment. It was plain the original unlawful Bill of Attainder done under Bagnold, Crouch, and Dumbledore was without evidence or merit.

Soon the water boiled, and Harry made his cup of herbal tea and got a couple of biscuits out to go with his tea.

He had taken a couple sips of the tea and then suddenly tensed up. He saw the doorway to the kitchen filled with a person's outline. It was Dan Granger. Dan made his way into the kitchen, got himself a cup down, and made his own tea.

Looking at Harry, he said, "Morning, I thought this was sort of early for you. Having trouble sleeping, lad?"

Harry simply nodded in response.

Dan asked again, "Nightmares?"

Harry shrugged his shoulders and then added nod an affirmative, sheepishly.

Dan pointedly said, "That's not surprising after what you and Hermione said to us after you both got here. I know that was a hard thing to do, revisiting that night again. How often are the nightmares?"

Harry mumbled, "Every night. Of course, they are not always the same, but most of them make me doubt they will ever end. One thing common in every nightmare is the image Voldemort sent to me as I killed him."

Dan said, "I think you need to talk about it." Harry's head turned up sharply to look at Dan.

"Do you really want to know?" Rushed out the words, one after another, from Harry. "Voldemort said to me in my 1st year that: 'I was much like him and that I was going to end up just like him.'

Taking a deep breath, Harry spoke, "Do you know the story of the abyss? 'Beware that, when fighting monsters, you, yourself do not become a monster... for when you gaze long into the dark abyss. The abyss also gazes into you.'

Harry stopping for a second, said, "Do you know what I see nightly? I am standing at the edge of the abyss. I look into it and see myself twisted, turned to the dark and evil side of Magic. I am surrounded by death and destruction. I am a monster! I see that I have killed or caused the deaths of everyone and everything I cared about. As a result, the world is in ruin, and it is all my fault. Even today I think, Cedric Diggory would be alive, except for what I had done. I convinced him to take the Tri-Wizard Cup simultaneously as I did, making the contest a tie."

"I made things worse this year. I took five schoolchildren into what could only have been a trap." Harry said, " They fought beside me and watched me as I killed 12 people who were trying their best to capture or kill us. They stood there watching as I killed the worst Dark Lord of our time. It was only a stroke of luck that they walked out of that place with only scratches and bruises. Those men died because of my choices and actions. In a way, Dumbledore might be correct. What if they might have repented? Could it be true they died by my hand without need? Have I already turned dark?"

Dan Granger squared his shoulders, "Harry, you're not the first person to feel this way and ask those questions. What you are allowing to happen is casting doubt upon your own decisions and actions. I will share a secret with you. You are neither the first person to consider that question, nor will you be the last person to ask that question of themselves."

Dan took a sip of his tea, allowing him time to consider what he would say next. "First, you need to know something. Hermione is not the only Magical person in our family. Emma and I are both considered children of Squibs. Emma's Great Grandmother was a witch. All of my great Great Grandparents were magical also. The person I want you to talk to is also a 1st generation Squib. Let me make a phone call and see if he can make time for us?"

Harry thought about it for a few minutes and then spoke, "He won't tell anyone about what we talk about, will he?"

Dan said gently, "He was my Military Chaplain, Harry. If he mentions it at all, he will not be using your name unless you allow it. The Chaplain is not going to talk about it. He won't even tell me about what the two of you talk about unless you allow it. Go get dressed. It will be few hours of driving. I'll call him and set everything up for you."

Harry sat for a minute stunned, "He'll answer the call this time of the night?"

Dan said, "He helped put to rights my problems after the Falklands, and the offer to help me if I become troubled by it again is always on the table. Believe me, the British Special Forces is not 'Tommy this and Tommy that.' We are a family of sorts, all bonded through one common oath. BSF takes personal from all branches of armed forces. Most are recruited right after basic or advanced training."

Dan had retrieved the wireless phone handset and had punched in a number. Harry listened to a one-sided conversation that followed: "Hello? This is retired Captain Daniel Granger. Is the Chaplain Morse available? Yes, I guess you can say that, too. Thank you for putting me through." Dan hesitated until the other end was picked up. "Hello, Chaplain Morse, sorry to wake you. This is Dan Granger, I hate to call you at this hour, but something has come up. I need to see you when you have some time to spare. Yes, we can be there in a few hours. Thank you so very much." The click of the phone being hung up was a sharp sound.

"So run up and get cleaned up and dress casual. I'll do that myself and let Emma know where we are going. If you get back here before I grab the thermos out of the cupboard and make us some tea to go, please."

Harry quickly did as asked. At this point, he knew the need to talk about this issue with someone. Unfortunately, Harry had no one close enough to speak to about the problems in depth. Was he always going to suffer nightmares and following long-lasting shakes and tremors? Harry certainly didn't want to discuss it with Hermione or her father either. Mrs. Weasley had been angry because he had taken her two children into danger. Neville and Luna were not available. Neville's Gran had been so mad at him, she had slapped him in the middle of Platform 9 and 3/4s. Then Luna's father had just stared at him speechlessly.

He finished dressing after his very short shower. Sliding into clean pants and shirt, he tied his shoes and grabbed a jacket.

Arriving in the kitchen before Dan, he grabbed the thermos and dumped the last of the hot water into it, warming it. He then put on a second kettle of water. As soon as the kettle whistled, he made the tea and grabbed the second cup for the thermos, and bagged up some biscuits for the trip.

Dan walked in and said, "Emma will talk to Hermione for you. I told her we should be gone most of the day. Relax lad. Just think of it this way, it's a road trip for the two of us. Nothing More than a bit of male bonding. I will be going back to Regimental HQ for a reunion of sorts. You know the saying: 'Once in, always in'? So it is with the BSF crowd. I will always be one of them."

Harry nodded with a grin and sheepishly asked, "Like 007?"

Dan was startled a bit as he backed down the driveway. "Not exactly like that, but the regiment is a big part of who I am today. The S.R.R. Our Queen and County. The military is the refuge for so many Squibs and Muggle-born Wizards. I would say 90% of that unit's enlisted and maybe 70% of the officers, all Squibs or muggle-born Magicals. I think being a Squib made me a little bit better than a non-magical human. I feel it gave me a slight edge. Maybe a real 6th sense. Maybe seeing it will provide you with a better understanding, Harry.

The two settled into silence for a while. The music on the radio filled the void of the silence.

Dan worried because he understood what he went through as an adult during a war. Harry was too young to be tortured by these thoughts and memories. Dan knew Harry was still a developing teenager. It took him weeks and months of therapy before he had started getting the issues resolved. They would never go away. But he could live with them now.

Yes! He was upset his daughter had been there, fighting. She had seen what happened. She was upset about what she had been party to and what could have happened to her. But none of the deaths were at her hand directly, and he was thankful for that. She would be getting counseling. Maybe Chaplain Morse knew of a civilian counselor he could recommend if he could counsel Hermione. The last person he could ever blame was this quiet lad sitting beside him in the car.

After a while, Dan spoke up and suggested that Harry pour some tea and break out the biscuits. After a taste of the biscuit, he remarked how great they tasted. Dan recalled the teasing given to Harry about being a fair hand in the kitchen. He and Jane were amazed when they had come in from work yesterday and found dinner waiting. Then watched him pull out these homemade biscuits to cool.

They spent the next 60 Kilometers talking about how Harry enjoyed cooking for people that appreciated it. Dan spoke of him enjoying doing his BBQs in the summer, but that was the extent of his cooking skills. Emma was the real cook in the family. Hermione was pretty bad at cooking. The joke was Hermione could burn boiling water. Dan had the feeling Harry was in the master chief class when it came to cooking. He and his wife had been in awe of his cooking skills since the end of the school year.

Harry pointed out the Hermione was a gifted potions maker. She was better than most of the students. "Hermione usually comes in first or second place in Potions lab classes. I wonder why she has trouble cooking?" asked Harry.

By then, the Sun had finally started to rise in the east. Soon, Dan turned the car off the Motorway. They drove through some dense woody hills to a large gate with a Sterling Line Barracks sign. The gate guard stepped out with a clipboard in hand. Dan rolled down his window and stated, "Retired Captain Daniel Granger with Harry James Potter. I have an appointment with chaplain Morse. It should be on your daily sheet."

The Corporal snapped, "Yes, Sir! You're on the daily, but not Mister Potter. Just one second, and I'll get him a visitor's pass. You will have to sign him in and out, Sir. He is a minor, correct?"

"Yes, he is. I'll sign for him. Thank you," After the clipboard passed into the car, Dan quickly signed and handed Harry the pass on a bright yellow lanyard." Do not take that off until we are back here, Harry."

Harry nodded in agreement that he understood and slid the lanyard around his neck the same as he saw Dan had done.

They drove deeper onto the base. The dense woods opened up to broad fields. Harry watched the different groups of uniformed men marching or running around the base. Dan had to stop the car several times to let them move across in front of them on a crossroad. He watched several five, seven, and man groups dressed in fatigues with heavy packs running. Driving on and leaving the men behind, they soon arrived at a large building with the sign which stated:

United Kingdom's British Special Forces

14th Intelligence Company

Special Reconnaissance HQ

Dan parked his car and stepped outside, and Harry followed suit. "We are a few minutes early. So let us stretch our legs and walk around a bit."

"This is HQ for the unit. There are maybe 40 different units in the BSF. This base is shared with a SAS. Unit and two other units. What we are or I was part of a fast response team of the UK-BSF. Whenever things get nasty, a combined group is sent in to mess things up a bit. Often as a softening up action to pave the way for other units."

Dan explained. "This is the public entrance. Inside is what we call 'The Shrine,' That's where the regiment honors the worthy and the fallen. This is also where new members report for duty. This place showcases to newly assigned members of the regiment what we do and who we are and what is expected of them." So stated the tall man as he pulled open the door. "This is a history of the unit, our actions, our lives, and our fallen. From Burma during WW2 to today. This unit has existed covertly for years. It only takes the best from the rest of the military. We are all recruited from basic or advanced programs and get specialized training here."

They walked along the wall from the right-hand side of the door. There were rows upon rows of pictures of men and medals, thousands of them. Dan said, "The British military rarely awards medals and accolades. The bulk of the medals given go to BSF as unit awards. Personal awards are usually given after someone gave everything they had. Very few of them were lucky and came back with just a few scars. As they walked along the wall, they reached close to the last grouping of pictures. There was a picture of much younger Dan Granger. It had a brass plaque: Lieutenant Dan Granger, Distinguished Service Cross, Queen's South Atlantic Medal.

Dan stopped and looked at several pictures. He was close to tears. "These are the ones that were on the mission with me and didn't make it back. These three were from my SRR Unit, and I watched them fall. Our patrol was caught infiltrating Pebble Island. Seven people were on the mission. Then 3 were dead in a blink of an eye, and one was wounded and couldn't go on. He died 6 days later. The other two died while taking care of the ambushing enemy."

Taking a deep breath, "After the ambush, I went onward and completed our mission. I managed to take out all of the airbase's fuel supply which was the primary target. The secondary target was the munitions stores. Those went next. Most of the fighters and bomber jets were damaged beyond quick repair. I then went back to where the squad was. I carried each one of them back to our evacuation site. A small boat was there right on time and carried us to a submarine. A day later, we were on a medical support ship. Later, I was told our mission being completed saved several 1000s of lives. Those fighter jets and bombers could have made mincemeat out of the ships and troops. Those memories still wake me at night sometimes. Yeah, those were men that were stationed on the Argentine Airbase. Many of them were killed in the explosions and fire. It was war. The raid had one of the highest body counts of the war. Sadly, I have to live with the memory of those I killed."

Dan explained, "The dead are our burden, Harry. I know that Chaplain Morse helped me deal with this sort of problem. I was a mess. He helped me put myself back together after the war. Knowing how much it still hurts today, I still see myself doing the same thing again if required. Think how events played out as you discussed this with the Chaplain. The Chaplain will help guide you. Remember, those men you killed would have lived on. They would keep following the same path they were already walking. They would have gone on killing even more people after they killed you and your friends if you had not put them down."

A sound of a throat clearing behind them had them both turn around. A smile appeared on Dan's face. Harry's face only showed a great deal of tension, but he knew this man was the Chaplain which Dan spoke of so favorably.

Dan spoke proudly, "Chaplain Morse, it is my honor to introduce to you to Mister Harry James Potter, my daughter's closest friend and classmate. Harry, this is Chaplain Morse. "

Chaplain Morse said with a nod, "Pleasure to meet you, Mister Potter. Dan, your call was unexpected. But as I said so long ago, you are to call and disturb my sleep, better than you suffer a crisis alone. Any burden shared is a burden halved. Would you like to come to my office?" As he motioned them down the hall.

Dan and Harry followed him down a hall. As Harry walked down the hallway, he slowly realized Dan understood him far better than Harry had understood himself. They were alike in so many ways. He had started taking into consideration a realization that Dan and Voldemort were nothing alike. He and Dan had a shared burden. The burden of taking lives in defense of others. Harry had understood it was war. But still didn't know how to deal with the feelings. If he and Dan were alike, then He and Voldemort had to be different. The thought in the back of his mind continued to haunt him: What if Dumbledore was right and I am turning dark?

Harry recalled early on, during the fight, they had stunned the Death Eaters. Only for them to be revived over and over again and continue to fight. Dan had blown up those fighters and bombers and the collateral deaths to the people on that base he had killed. They were all killed in the act of war and fit within the rules of engagement. Dan had explained there were no shouts to surrender given, just a hail of gunfire. Was that malice? It was the same at the base with the fighter and bomber planes. Dan didn't have any personal malice. Boom! The military base was up in flames; planes, fuel, and ammo were gone in a matter of seconds. Dan's commanding officer had told him that it was a turning point of the war, and the resistance was quickly pushed away.

Harry walked into the Chaplain's office and saw a neatly kept space with a few comfortable chairs in the corner. The Chaplain hung a do-not-disturb sign and motioned them to the corner chairs. "Now, what has got you in a bother, Dan? I thought you were beyond needing my help."

Dan queried, "How much do you keep up with the news from the other side?"

The Chaplain replied, "I get an occasional letter from my great-nephew, the one that attends that special school. He tells me a few things. I really don't know how to take some of them. He has mentioned Mister Potter a few times, as well as Hermione. I'm not sure how honest he was in those mentions. I did get a copy of the Daily Prophet the other day, sent to me by my niece. It mentioned Mister Potter and dust-up in the Ministry of Magic. Wasn't there some major political fallout?"

"Yes, that dust-up is what we are here about. The other side has no concept of counseling or PTSD. Harry and my Hermione were highly involved with the messy side of that 'dust-up .' Did the paper mention a body count? They were all but one at Harry's hand, directly or indirectly. He was placed in a kill or be killed position. He has some issues from that event and what I think is survivor's guilt from a prior event. I suggested he talk to you as a starting place." Dan explained carefully.

"So, Mister Potter..." started the Chaplain but was quickly interrupted by the young man.

Harry interjected, asking the Chaplain, "Please call me Harry, Sir. Just Harry, Sir.

"So," the Chaplain started with a smile, "Just Harry, Sir. Why don't we start with a little background information? Tell me a little about your childhood. Your parents and where you grew up. I need to know a little about you."

Harry had smiled a the Chaplain's play on words but had frowned when the Chaplain asked about his parents, childhood, and growing up.

Dan got up to leave, but Harry asked, "Please stay, for now, Dan. You need to hear this, some of this might affect Hermione, and you need to know who and what you invited into your home. You might not want me in your home when you hear the truth about me."

Harry spoke clearly in monotone, "My parents died when I was 15 months old. I don't recall much of them except for the few minutes before my mother was killed. I was raised by my mother's sister and her husband. They didn't treat me well at all. Actually, they abused me physically and mentally daily until I went away to Hogwarts. I didn't even know my name or birth date until I was age 5. I was only called 'Boy' or 'Freak' by them. They continued their abuse of me every summer after I returned from Hogwarts. So I have never had any childhood. I grew up at Hogwarts the day I became aware that every year someone was trying to kill me."

The Chaplain looked shocked. The hardened edge to this young man's voice was as a knife cutting through all the niceties. There was no pulling of punches. Brutal truths had been spoken. He then considered the boy, no, that wasn't right, the man in front of him. He peered and tried to looking deep into him. He saw a backbone of hardened steel with a heart of gold. From the letters he had received from his niece and nephew, the story was that he was willing to stand up and take the necessary steps to protect others selflessly. The Chaplain saw himself and others like himself reflected in Harry's eyes. He was, without a doubt, a brother in arms.

"Harry, it is good you are honest about the abuse. You do understand it is not your fault you were abused. That responsibility for the abuse rests on your Aunt and Uncle's heads. It is their due to pay for those actions sooner or later." So spoke the Chaplain in a soothing voice.

The Chaplain said, "My concern from this point onward is that you need to understand a few things. Some abused persons will often become abusers themselves later in their lives if they don't get help. It is as if the lessons they learn while being abused become their adopted nature. Entire books have been written, and hours of classes are taken so counselors like me can recognize and help others overcome many aspects of abuse. Often times those abused have rages and fits of temper and blindly lash out. We have tools that help them recognize and overcome those issues. Just admitting you were abused and being taught the warning signs of becoming an abusive person yourself will be part of the road to better mental health. It could be maybe your Uncle was abused as a child. Perhaps the person who became Voldemort was abused as a child. Time and an investigation might tell. But now, let's work on helping you, Just Harry Sir. If I can not help you, I know of other, more experienced professionals who can."

Harry said while nodding in understanding, "I understand that it is theirs and Dumbledore's fault, not mine. I know that Dumbledore placed me there and made me go back every summer. Not once did he check up on me. He refused to believe anything I told him of the abuse. Even when the school's matron reported my scars, malnutrition, and abuse from my family, he dismissed the reports. I recently found out he ordered that I receive no treatment or help for the years of malnutrition or old injuries. With my Magic, I think I am terrified of turning dark. You said that being abused leads to becoming an abuser. In that case, I need to do something to stop myself before I harm an innocent."

"So you have been dealing with those stresses on your own so far. That could be contributory to the nightmares. What put you in a position that you are having nightmares, now?" Asked the Chaplain.

Harry said, "The increase in the nightmares and visions started the summer before the start of my 4th form. But what happened last year and the year before made them worse."

Taking a deep breath, Harry dove deeply into his explanation, "There seemed to exist some sort of mental connection between Voldemort and me. I was told of this occurrence by Dumbledore that the connection was through my scar. The dreams started when I witnessed and heard Voldemort kill a man in a vision before the start of my 4th year. During that summer and during the following school year, I had visions several times. I would listen to Voldemort make plans with different people. His followers had a fun evening causing chaos and killed a few people at the World Quidditch Cup final."

Harry recounted what was happened, "While other people ran to safety, I ran to pull people out of burning tents. I gathered dozens of children and protected them. Unfortunately, a few children became separated from their parents. They were lost in the chaos of a few men having their so-called fun. Those children were terrified. One of the children recognized me and thought I was their storybook hero. I hate those books, but those children felt safe because I was standing guard over them. I understand I killed three men that night. The DMLE report stated my actions were all in defense of others. Fudge was very upset. Those three wizards were all former Death Eaters that he had pardoned under the excuse they were being held under the Imperious curse."

Closing his eyes, Harry spoke, "Then, after the school term started, I would have brief visions or dreams. They got longer and worse as time progressed throughout the school year. On Halloween, I was entered and forced to participate in an event called the Tri-Wizard Tournament. It was an event that was supposed to be limited to participants that were of age. That is 17 years of age or older. I was a little over 15 years old. My name was entered without my permission or authorization. The instructions we were given were to enter the contest to was 'sign our full legal name and print our school's name.' My name was printed, not signed. There was also no valid school name visible. It was suspected it was from a piece of homework. I know now, Magic is 100% intent-based. The Goblet could have never bound me into a contract. Also, while I am called Harry Potter, my full legal name was Harold James Potter. I was informed that I was bound in a magical contract. I was given no option to not compete".

Harry said, "Now that I think about it, no one saw the paper come out of the Goblet of Fire. Dumbledore could have done something to the Goblet to make it flare and simply palmed my so-called entry until he appeared to pluck it out of the air."

Frowning and having an odd look on his face. Harry thought back to what he was saying, "The Tournament went onward, and I was required to participate. I did well for a 15-year-old in a competition designed for 17-year-old students. That would be restricted to nearly fully trained wizards, and witches was a good thing because the risk was always high for the contestants."

Struggling with a stifled sob, "During the last event, another participant and I reached the goal, which was the winner's cup, at the same time. We both had an understanding that the cup was a Portkey to the Winner's Podium in front of the Judge's Table. So we agreed to go for a tie. What happened was Cedric and I were kidnapped from the grounds and were transported to a graveyard. He was my schoolmate and friend. I watched as he was killed in front of me. 'Kill the spare' was the order from Voldemort."

Harry paused, forcing back tears, "Cedric was gone in a flash of green light. Then, after I was tied to a headstone, my blood was forcibly taken and was used in a dark ritual to restore Voldemort to a body. I was then tortured with curses and then fought him to a point I could escape. When I got back to school, I was kidnapped by a teacher, which I later found out was a Death Eater. It was the same one that had entered my name. He tried to kill me. I barely managed to get the upper edge in a fight, and a fluke of luck disarmed him. When I finally made it to the Hospital Wing. The authorities from the Ministry of Magic refused to listen to my story. They executed that captured Death Eater before he could be questioned because he was an escaped prisoner from Azkaban."

Taking a pause, Harry looked at the Chaplain. He continued, "I was attacked that summer by Dementors and then placed on trial for defending myself. I was branded in the press as a crazy, attention-seeking fool and a lunatic by the Ministry for Magic.

The Minister for Magic placed one of his own lackeys as a teacher for September's autumn term. That person didn't teach the subject and continued to say we had no need to defend ourselves. She tortured students by making them write lines with a blood quill. See?" Harry said as he punctuated this by pointing to the scars on the back of his hand where the words in red and still raw-looking wounds which read 'I will not tell lies' had been carved in his flesh.

Harry sighed, "Now, my own Magic will not let me be anything other than brutally truthful. Writing those lines with my blood created a Magical Oath. Did you know that she, Madam Umbridge, tried to torture me with several different curses? She admitted to me she was the one that sent the Dementors after me the last summer to silence me for good."

Harry took a breath. "During the school year, I kept having visions from Voldemort, which Dumbledoresaid was because of my scar. I was seeing and hearing what Voldemort was seeing or hearing. During one of my year-end tests, I got a vision my Godfather was being tortured by Voldemort. I tried to get a professor to help me, but none were available or would believe me. Five other students and I went to rescue him. Yeah, I thought it was most likely was a trap. We fought and fought... Let Me show you? Dobby?"

A pop took place, and Dobby stood bouncing on his feet. "Dobby, can you get me a pensive? Take the Pensive from the Hogwart's Headmaster office. It is mine, anyway. Bring it here, please?" Harry asked.

/AN note

I wrote this in a few settings from a simple one-page outline. It quickly grew to over 16k words.

I could not find a natural break-point to split it up. So I decided this place was the best break-point. So I will post the second part at the same time I post this if all goes well.