A/N: I do not own anything other than the plot of the story in bold and the plot of this story. Everything else belongs to either Disney or JK Rowling.
*ducks incoming projectiles* I know, I know! I'm so sorry for the delay in updating! Long story short, I fell down a rabbit hole over in another fandom and this one sort of fell to the wayside. But I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't let that happen again and so I'll make sure it gets updated more regularly! Promise!
Hope you all enjoy the chapter!
"Chapter Fourteen," McGonagall read.
Simba had thought that when one was petrified, as Dumbledore called it, that they could not feel anything that happened to them. Alas, that was not the case.
"You weren't hurt, were you?" Sarabi asked.
"No, but it was irritating to feel them poking and prodding me and not be able to say anything," Simba told her.
Hey watch it, he mentally growled as Dumbledore started to poke and prod. He didn't know why the human was doing it but he did know that it tickled a bit. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Harry. He didn't like the look on his brother's face one bit.
"That look promised someone would be going on an adventure," Simba rolled his eyes.
"What else was I supposed to do?" Harry asked.
"Be a normal twelve year old?"
"Yes, the boy who grew up around a lion, meerkat and warthog was going to be a normal twelve year old."
"Okay point taken."
"I strongly advise caution to all," Dumbledore stated and Simba felt himself floating. Thankfully, it was McGonagall performing the spell and not Lockhart. Had it been that fraud, Simba would have feared for his life.
"As would we all," Sirius nodded.
Nose still itches people! he thought angrily. He couldn't move and it was bothering him! How long did it take before someone realized that?
"You know, I think they're more concerned about you being petrified than your nose itching," Susan said with a chuckle.
Then again, it's not like you can talk to tell them, he sighed in his head. He had a feeling that being petrified was not going to be fun.
"You know, I don't think I know anyone who would describe it as fun," James said.
"James, you don't know anyone who's been petrified," Remus told him.
The Hospital Wing had very comfortable beds; at least comfortable enough that Simba wouldn't go insane lying there for however long it took.
"We would have to agree to disagree there," Sirius muttered.
"Well mate, it's been about twenty years since we've been there," James pointed out. "They might have upgraded the beds."
"How are the Mandrakes doing Ponoma?" Pomfrey asked Professor Sprout.
"Oh I hope they're doing okay," Marline said. "They're going to be crucial in getting Simba and Mrs. Norris un-petrified."
"Honestly, the cat could stay petrified," Edgar said with a shrug.
"They're doing fine," Professor Sprout said with a sigh. "I do hope that young Mr. Potter doesn't do anything stupid. You know how siblings will do anything to protect each other."
"I knew Professor Sprout was a good sort," Harry said with a grin. "One of the few people at Hogwarts to realize we were siblings and that you weren't a pet."
"Yeah but clearly she didn't know you all that well if she hoped you didn't do something stupid," Simba said with a smirk.
Simba felt a sense of loyalty towards the head of Hufflepuff. She was the first person at Hogwarts who realized that Harry was his brother, not his owner.
How can I protect his pride while I'm like this? he thought glumly, staring at the ceiling. A bit of his mane brushed into his eyes and he mentally groaned. Just perfect.
"You do know you're twelve right?" Ginny asked. "No one would honestly expect a twelve year old to protect anyone, lion or not."
He had several visitors over the next few weeks. Oliver Wood had even stopped by to see how he was doing.
"Do get un-petrified soon," he said as he was leaving. "Harry is awfully distracted at practice."
"Of course that would be Oliver's main concern," Harry chuckled.
Simba mentally snorted. Trust Oliver to focus on the game and not the player. Harry and Ron had been down whenever they had free time—which almost seemed nonexistent.
"How is that possible?" Edgar asked. "You're second years."
Is it just me, or does Harry seem almost exhausted? Simba thought after one of the visits. Harry seemed to have bags under his eyes and he almost seemed to fall asleep whenever he blinked.
"I was trying to read every book in the library to see what had caused your petrification," Harry said. "I was a stupid twelve year old."
"You said it, not me," Simba chuckled.
Of course, I wish I could sleep. I've never been good at sleeping with my eyes open.
His thoughts drifted over to Ginny. Why had she been in that hallway? Why had she run away from him?
Ginny stiffened at the memory, not realizing her mother and uncles were looking at her in concern.
Well, you've got plenty of time to think, he thought and then mentally sighed. He was quickly getting bored.
"Merlin, I think he's worse than Sirius!" Remus exclaimed.
"I'm not that bad!" Simba shouted.
That weekend marked the first Quidditch game of the year and Madam Pomfrey was kindly letting the window stay open as to allow Simba to listen.
"Nice of her," Lily said with a smile as James perked up at the mention of Quidditch.
"You'd sneak out if you could," she said with a smile. "Enjoy."
"I feel bad for Pomfrey," Harry chuckled. "Between you and me, I'm not surprised she retired."
Simba would have nuzzled her if he could move. He heard every word of Lee's commentary and dread filled his heart as he heard someone mention a rouge bludger.
"Bludgers don't go rouge," James said quickly. "Unless it's been tampered with. Tell me there was an inquiry."
"Umm….it was against Slytherin and an inquiry would have meant we'd have to forfeit!"
"Oh Merlin, you have a son more obsessed with the sport than you, Prongs!" Sirius chuckled.
A what? he thought. That didn't happen last year!
"Nope, just my broom going haywire," Harry chuckled.
"Yeah, are you trying to give me a heart attack for every one of your first Quidditch games?" Simba asked.
"Hey, nothing happened in fourth year!"
The sound of a whistle allowed him to relax. There was no way that Harry could get hurt anymore after the game was over. He hated being wrong.
"You sound like Hermione," Ginny chuckled despite herself.
"You should have been brought straight to me!" Madam Pomfrey snapped. "Oh Mr. Malfoy, stop making such a fuss! You can go!"
"What happened to Malfoy?" Simba asked, looking at Harry.
"He fell off his broom and landed in the splits," Harry said and Simba snorted in amusement.
Simba mentally smirked at the comment towards Malfoy and wondered what had happened to the little snake. No way did he have enough talent on a broom to get on the team.
"You'd be right," Harry nodded. "Bought his way on the team."
"Why am I not at all surprised?" Simba sighed.
"I can mend bones in a heart beat, but growing them back—"
"Lockhart," Harry told his father.
"More of an explanation please!"
"The bludger broke my arm and Lockhart thought he could heal my arm. However all he did was vanish the bones in my arm."
"You will be able to, won't you?" Harry asked and Simba heard the note of panic in his brother's voice. It made him wonder just what had happened to his little brother—and who's arse he had to kick.
"Of course I'll be able to but it will be tricky," the nurse said. "You're in for a rough night Potter. Re-growing bones is a nasty business."
"Skelegrow is disgusting," Sirius nodded.
"I'm not sure I want to know how you know that," Simba sighed.
Probably not as bad as eating grubs for the first time, Simba thought and inwardly chuckled as Harry spat out his drink.
"Well, what did you expect? Pumpkin juice?" the nurse asked and Simba wondered what was with these people. Grubs were gross but a juice made out of pumpkins was normal?
"You humans are weird," Simba shook his head in amusement.
"Hey Simba," Fred walked over and scratched the lion's nose. Simba inwardly sighed; the redhead was officially his new favorite person. The team stayed at Harry's bedside for a while before the nurse chased them out.
Wow, humans have thirty-three bones in their arms? You learn something new every day, Simba thought, impressed. He was bored though, and staring at the ceiling was growing dull.
"It is a rather dull ceiling," Harry nodded.
"I shall talk to Madam Pomfrey about finding a way to rectify that," Dumbledore chuckled.
"Hey Simba," Harry whispered. "I know you can't hear me but I hope you're doing okay. Hermione, Ron and me, well, we're trying to find out who did this to you."
"It'd be too much to hope you just stuck with the research, wouldn't it?" Lily sighed.
Simba wished he could show Harry that he could hear him. He was touched, but hoped this quest of Harry's wouldn't become life threatening. He didn't value the bet any more than he valued his brother's life.
"And this is why we don't tempt fate with bets like this," Lily sighed.
House-elves were weird. It was official and Simba really wanted to chase Dobby around the hospital wing for putting his brother in danger.
"Dobby?" Sarabi asked.
"A well meaning house elf," Harry explained with a sad smile at the mention of the elf.
"Dobby had to come," the house elf said and Simba mentally rolled his eyes. Dobby didn't have to do anything really. If something was after Harry, he would protect his brother.
"Just want to point out that you're petrified," Fabian said.
Yeah, you're really protecting him aren't you?
Oh shut up annoying voice of negativity.
I'm only saying that you can't really protect your brother while you're petrified.
I said SHUT UP!
Okay, he really needed a hobby of some sort if he was starting to have arguments with the voices in his head.
"And how, pray tell, are you going to get this hobby while petrified?" Susan asked, looking over at Simba.
Dobby left as the sound of footsteps grew louder.
"Set him down on the bed," McGonagall said and Simba wondered what had happened.
"What happened?" Madam Pomfrey asked and Simba sent a mental thank you to the nurse for asking the questions he wanted answered.
"I think we all want that question answered," Molly said softly.
"You know, I think…I think he's been petrified, Madam Pomfrey," McGonagall said. "Maybe he managed to take a picture of his attacker."
Only one person Simba knew of carried a camera around with him at all times. Colin. This meant war. It was one thing to attack him, but to attack a first year—that was low.
"Oh no! That poor boy!" Alice exclaimed and Ginny winced softly at the reminder that she had not only attacked a fellow student but she had attacked a friend of her's.
Harry unconsciously rubbed her shoulder, as if to remind Ginny she wasn't alone.
The weeks flew by and before Simba knew it, it was Christmas. The school was quiet for a change, which was good because he was tired of hearing rumors of his brother being a dark wizard.
"Wait, what?" James asked, looking over at Harry.
Harry sighed. "They thought that because Colin had tried to take a picture of Lockhart 'fixing' my arm and I got annoyed by that, that I had made it so Colin got petrified."
"Never mind the fact that you were, you know, in the Hospital Wing at the time," Simba muttered.
If he's dark, then I'm a hyena, he inwardly snorted. Colin was still as stiff as a statue, causing Simba to wonder just how long this potion took to brew. He also wondered what idiotic plan his brother was cooking up. It had to be soon.
"Oh dear," he heard Madam Pomfrey gasp and saw Nearly Headless Nick go past his head. Only, Nick wasn't moving.
"What can petrify a ghost?" Lily gasped, holding baby Harry close to her as if to ward off any potential attack on him.
What could do that to a ghost? Simba thought in dread. He didn't even notice there were more people in the Hospital Wing until Professor Flitwick started to talk.
"Albus has been talking about the school possibly closing," he said in a whisper, which wasn't as affective as he wished due to his high voice. "What will happen to the students in that case?"
"They'll go back to their homes," Pomfrey sighed. "The purebloods have it lucky. Their parents can home school them or get them a tutor. It's the Muggle borns I'm worried about."
"Well isn't that just what Slytherin wanted," Sirius muttered. "For the Purebloods to keep getting their education while the muggleborns were exiled back to the muggle world."
"Aren't we all?" Flitwick asked. "At least no one's died this time."
"Well doesn't that sound ominous," Fabian muttered.
Sarabi looked over at Simba in worry, as if trying to reassure herself that because her son was sitting before her fully grown that he wouldn't be the one to die.
"Don't say that!" Pomfrey snapped. "You know everyone's nervous enough as it is."
Flitwick gasped, and whispered something Simba couldn't make out. Pomfrey seemed to take comfort from it though.
"We'll get through this," Flitwick said. "We have to."
"Did you?" James asked.
"Of course we did," Harry nodded, seeing no reason to keep that a secret.
Was it possible to die of silent laughter? Simba didn't know, however seeing Hermione with a furry face was the highlight of his year.
"I know you're laughing," Hermione glared at his bed. "It was a cat hair, not a mistake."
How'd she mess up? She's the smartest witch of her year!
Even the brightest mess up sometimes.
"Ain't that the truth," Lily nodded. "How'd she mess up though?"
"Cat hair," Harry said. "She pulled it off the girl's robes."
Simba mentally sighed. The voices in his head were starting up again.
"How are you doing Simba?" Hermione got out of bed and walked over to him. "Harry's a nervous wreck, trying to find the heir. He's poured through every book in the library, well as much as he could with his busy schedule."
Wow, and that's a lot!
Harry shrugged as Susan and Neville looked over at him in shock. "Simba needed me. I'd do it again too."
"I know that's a lot," Hermione nodded, almost as if she had read Simba's mind. "He's worried about you though. Here."
She reached into her pocket and pulled out Timon.
"Something tells me she couldn't bring Pumba," Fabian chuckled.
"Still nice of her though," Molly said, smiling slightly at the thought of the young girl who'd become her youngest son's friend.
"I couldn't bring Pumba, so I thought seeing one of your guardians would be better than none," Hermione said with a smile and then slunk back to bed before Pomfrey could see her.
"Sneaky, sneaky," James chuckled.
"Hey buddy," Timon patted Simba's paw. "It's boring without you. Why didn't you just stay with us?"
"If 'ifs and buts' were candy and nuts, we'd all have a happy Christmas," Edgar sighed.
You know, I'm beginning to wish I had, Simba thought. It wasn't pleasant being petrified; and he really needed to be pee.
"Huh that's an interesting point," Marline said. "You never stop to think about whether the body itself continues to function as normal when a person is petrified."
"You okay buddy?" Timon asked. "We'll get you set, you know that? We'll help out as much as we can."
Thanks Timon, Simba thought with an inward smile. I'll pay you back for your loyalty someday.
"He's a father figure. You don't pay that back," Sirius whispered to himself. After all, Mr. Potter had never asked for anything in return other than Sirius be happy and healthy.
"Visiting hours are over," Madam Pomfrey called out and Timon ducked under the covers on Simba's bed.
"Just like old times, eh buddy?" Timon asked.
Just like old times, Simba agreed. If only he could move around with his brother. That would make it even more like old times.
"That was the end of that chapter," McGonagall stated.
"I do believe that it is time we retire for the night," Dumbledore said. "Otherwise, we'll be too tired to continue and then we'd be trapped in this room for who knows how long?"
"Considering You-Know-Who still has full reign that would not be a good thing," Marline nodded.
"Very well. Everyone go on and pick a room, and I shall see you in the morning!"