I do not own Harry Potter, no matter how badly I wish I did.

Chapter 1 : The dream

James Potter's POV

I knew I was dreaming for several reasons. One, was because it was summer here, and I was already back at Hogwarts for my seventh year.

Two, well…Let's just say it's not the first time I've dreamt that I was walking up the path to the Potter Mansion with my best mate, Sirius Black. We were coming back from King's Cross. Now that we were both of age, my parents trusted us to come home safely on our own.

Or something like that. I didn't really know or care why. I was having a great time being free of school rules. Not like I listened to them anyway, but it's much nicer not getting in trouble. But you'll never hear me say that out loud.

Anyway, since we were both enjoying ourselves so much, it took us a long time to figure out that something was wrong. And that's pretty impressive, considering it's a giant green mark that's completely out of place over my house.

I stopped dead in my tracks at the sight, all signs of laughter draining from my face. Sirius took a moment longer, and he looked back at me, then followed my gaze.

"Oh no," he said. We left our school trunks where they were and drew our wands as we ran to the house. I couldn't speak. The door didn't show signs of a forced entry. But hey, when you're a wizard and have this wonderful and deadly thing called a wand, that becomes a moot point.

"I'll take the upstairs, you search downstairs," he said, running right for the grand winding staircase. I nodded, my voice lost somewhere behind me. I turned right into the sitting room, but there was nothing there, or at least nothing that would have caught anyone's attention but my own.

See, my mother's very meticulous about the placement of everything in the house that she has to see. Especially furniture and how they're positioned. Sirius would have missed it, seeing as how he moved it half the time himself, but my father's black armchair was moved several inches to the left, in the way of the five foot gap.

So maybe they'd noticed something was wrong and hurried out of here?

I walked back to the entrance hall (really, there's nothing else to call it). I'm not surprised I missed it the first time; it's shrouded in the shadows of the house. But there all the same, a vase of flowers that's supposed to be on the white column pedestal not far from it was shattered on the ground.

My breath caught in my throat, and my pulse started racing faster than the wind in my ears when I played Quidditch. That could certainly not be a good thing. Vaguely, in the back of my mind, I remembered what was said about the Dark Mark, about how it's only summoned when someone was killed. But my mind refused to process the idea.

I shakily took a few steps forwards. I could hear the floor creaking above me as Sirius made his way through the upstairs. The rest of the house was unnaturally silent. I stopped next to the broken vase. The water was mostly evaporated. How long had it been then?

I looked down the hall. There were only three rooms left to check in this direction, and all of them led off the door only ten feet from me. I took a few deep breathes and held my wand out in front of me. What good I thought it would do, I have no idea. But I felt better with it there, ready to fire off at a moments notice.

This door had been blasted apart. Only part of it was still on the hinges. The rest of it was scattered around the dining room. The table in the middle of the hall was cracked in half, leaning in on itself. The chandelier that usually hung above it had fallen. That was in pieces, deadly shards scattered about the room. I tried not to notice that a few shards had a red substance on them.

I was closer to whatever had happened now, to knowing the answer that I'm not sure I want to find. Would I be happier not knowing? Would it be easier to think that maybe that had gotten away? That they were waiting some place safe for the war to end?

I didn't give myself time to dwell on it. I kept walking forward, around the destroyed table. Splinters littered the floor. Wind from the broken window blew through, making an odd sound. I'm pretty sure I imagined the voice I heard, telling me it's too late. They're dead. It's too late.

The entrance to the kitchens was pretty much in tact. Had I not been so numb, that probably would have surprised me. But I just pushed the door and stepped into the carnage that was the kitchen. Things were laying everywhere. Blood was everywhere. The sink must have gotten hit somehow, because it was leaking, mixing water with the blood. Making everything worse. A foul stench was rising into the air.

The blood led out to the back porch. I swallowed and took a deep breath. Would my parents still be barely alive? Would I be able to get them to St. Mungo's in time? Maybe, even, and I know this is crazy, but, is it possible, that maybe, it's a death eater that's in there? Could my parents have beaten them? Were they just hurt, waiting for me to help them?

It was this thought, I think, that propelled me forward. I turned out to the back porch. Normally a very calm and soothing place, this was now the sight of nauseous carnage. My parent's bodies were nearly destroyed. Blood was everywhere, splattered onto the screen windows, coating the wicker furniture. My parents looked like they'd been used to sharpen a knife. My father had a protective hold over my mother. They were both facedown. A single knife protruded from the side of his neck, at such an angle that it also pierced my mother's slender neck.

I fell to my knees, not able to tear my eyes from the sight. "No," I whispered. This couldn't be true. This wasn't real. They weren't dead! This wasn't real! "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"


"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" I screamed, successfully waking me and everyone else in the dorm. I thrashed around, still caught in part of the dream, as if I could do something, and fell off the four poster bed and onto the stone floor of my dorm room.

"Bloody Hell James!" Sirius yelled. I felt hands on my shoulders, lifting me back up and out of the dream. I opened my eyes completely and saw the blurry outline of my friend. I reached a shaky hand out to the nightstand for my glasses while trying to get back onto the bed. Sirius helped with the latter. He sat down next to me and laid a hand on my shoulder while I pushed my glasses into place.

Remus sat down on my other side and also laid a hand on my shoulder. Peter was at a loss, but finally settled for sitting behind me on the other side of my bed. I didn't even realize I was shaking so badly until Sirius said something about it.

"Geez James. You start shaking any harder and you'll go right through the floor." Remus glared at him. I tried to smile at the joke, but I couldn't. It was like I'd lost all control of my muscles.

It has been four months since that day. Four months since I found the bloody remains of my parents. And I still can't sleep. I still have nightmares. And I still shake out of control with the thought.

Remus rubbed my back. Yes, for two guys this is weird. No, it does not count as weird when the one guy is about to sob uncontrollably and needs someone to comfort him.

And yes, I just admitted that.

But what's a guy like me, who's never really had responsibility before, supposed to do when both parents are dead and he suddenly finds he has a fortune and a manor to his name?

Find any way to deal with it, that's what. Unfortunately, I'm still trying to find a way. And the whole, have a nightmare every night and wake up either in a cold sweat or screaming is not working for me, let me tell you. I'm so out of it during the day now I don't even feel like playing a prank on Snape anymore. This of course had my friends deeply concerned, but they knew what was up.

Everyone else however was thinking something along the lines of: What in the name of Merlin is wrong with James Potter?

Which is actually a really good question. I'm James Potter! I can handle anything! You could probably throw me off the astronomy tower and as long as I have my wand, I'll be fine! I run around with a werewolf every month and I'm fine!

Even in the beginning of the year when I'd been held captive by Death Eaters and nearly killed I wasn't as bad as this. I was somewhat back to normal within two weeks.

But kill my parents and I apparently go to pieces. And I can't put myself back together this time.

I don't know what to do. I don't want to sleep. I don't even want to prank people. Not even Snape.

Merlin I'm pathetic! I shake my head, noticing now that they've stopped that Sirius and Remus have been talking, and probably to me.

I'm not the only person out there that has to deal with this! And if they can get through it, then I certainly can. I handle anything. And I'm going to handle this.

"James?" Remus asks uncertainly. I turn towards him and give an uneasy smile.

"I'll be okay," I said. "Lets go back to sleep."

"Are you sure?" Sirius asks. He still has a hand on my shoulder. I nod.

"Yeah. We don't all need to be tired tomorrow."

"Alright," Remus says, still uncertain. I roll my eyes and push him and Sirius off my bed. Peter gets off on his own. The three go their own beds, looking back at me. I smile again and take off my glasses.

I was not going to sleep at all.

End Chapter

So, there's Chapter 1. If you haven't read it, Dark Days is a sort of prequel to this. You may want to read that if you haven't already, but I don't think it will be critical if you don't.

Please Review and tell me what you think of this!