A/N: I heard this song (words and music by Don Besig) at a choral concert
some years back and it has always been one of my favorites. It seemed to fit in
perfectly with Harry’s state of mind at the end of OotP. I hope you think so,
By the way, I’m just borrowing Harry from JKR for a little while.
There is a place I call my own
Where I can stand by the sea,
And look beyond the things I’ve known
And dream that I might be free.
Harry Potter stood at the edge of the Hogwarts lake with his hands in the
pockets, gazing off into the distance. Anyone could tell just by looking at him
that his thoughts were a million miles away, that something terribly heavy
weighed upon his mind. There were rumors that he had suffered a terrible loss
yet again and didn’t want to talk about it. Everyone knew he wasn’t speaking to
anyone about what had been in the Sunday Prophet two days ago and even
the Heads of Houses had been quietly warning students to leave Harry in peace.
It was just as well because Harry didn’t have the desire to discuss anything
with anyone at the moment. It seemed that it took all the energy he had just to
get out of bed in the morning and find a solitary place where he could be alone
with his thoughts.
Hogwarts: his refuge from his nearly unbearable life with the Dursleys; the
place where he first learned he could be something other than Dudley’s punching
bag; the one place he felt free to be himself; the place he had finally
discovered he had a future he could look forward to. He remembered telling
Dobby the summer before his second year that he absolutely had to go back to
Hogwarts because that was where he belonged; it was where his friends were. In
short, it was the place he called home.
So here he was, almost four years later, and so much had changed, yet so
much was the same. He still dreamed, but his dreams were different. What he
wanted for himself was a foreseeable future with no Lord Voldemort, a normal
adult existence and perhaps a family of his own someday. Right now, though, he
had no idea whether any of what he wished for was even feasible. Everything
went back to the prophesy and the fact that he was the one chosen to vanquish
the Dark Lord.
Harry knew his friends would try to help him attain whatever dreams he had
for himself, if he just asked. He knew the Weasley family would support any
decision he made about his future, like his ambition to become an Auror; that
Hermione wanted nothing more than to help him attain the highest marks in his
classes and pass his N.E.W.T.s with flying colors. But right now, the question
for Harry was whether or not taking all the pre-Auror courses at Hogwarts was
worth it due to the fact that he could very well be dead in two years’ time.
And although she and Ron didn’t know what the prophesy had contained, Hermione
seemed to think it would be worth the effort. If he was successful in killing
the Dark Lord, Harry would need a career to pursue once he left Hogwarts.
Besides, she and all the other DA members believed that Harry could destroy
Voldemort once and for all when the time came.
Like the bird above the trees
Gliding gently on the breeze,
I wish that all my life I’d be
Without a care and flying free.
Harry sighed and turned his eyes toward the Quidditch pitch. As it was late
in the afternoon after lessons, he could see quite a few students flying around
on their brooms. Normally, he would have been one of them, but even after
getting his Firebolt back from Professor Umbridge’s office, he had no desire to
join them. He turned away from the lake and began walking toward the castle
unable to watch any longer.
Where has my desire to fly gone? Did banning me from Quidditch affect me
more than I thought? he wondered as he mounted the steps to the front
doors. Or maybe I lost the craving to dance on the wind with Sirius’ death.
His stomach clenched with the all too-familiar despair, and he rubbed a hand over the back of his neck
where his head was beginning to ache. A heart-wrenching thought struck him. As
long as I own the Firebolt, it will hurt to fly. Could he ever be truly
free on a broomstick again?
He approached the Fat Lady and quietly gave the password. The portrait swung
forward and Harry climbed into the common room, heading for his dormitory. He
pulled his trunk out from under his bed and unlocked it with his wand. Inside,
on top of some wrinkled robes, was his Firebolt. Harry hesitated a moment
before picking it up. When he did, he felt it vibrate slightly in his grasp. It
had been so long since he had held it, much less ridden it. With a strangled
sob he clutched it to his chest and buried his head in his hands. Sirius,
why did you have to die?
The Firebolt, his Christmas gift from Sirius in his third year, had given
him the means to participate fully in the Wizarding world. The loss of it due
to Umbridge’s cruelty had taken its toll on him this year. He seemed to have
resigned himself to the fact that he was eternally earth-bound and would never
again experience the euphoria flying brought him. Its loss, and that of Sirius
himself, had brought reality crashing down on him and Harry felt that nothing
in the world would ever lift that feeling. Never again would he be an innocent
boy whose only cares included avoiding Dudley and whether or not he had
performed his chores to Aunt Petunia’s satisfaction.
Life was complicated now and for a fleeting moment Harry wished he could be
eleven again; he remembered how his heart had raced the first time he’d
mounted one of the school brooms. He had felt so light and buoyant, so alive in
the air. The feeling had never left him through every grueling Quidditch game
or even last August’s flight from Little Whinging to Grimmauld Place. Now Harry
didn’t know what to feel. All he knew was the terrible gaping hole that felt as
if it were about to swallow him.
But life is not a distant sky
Without a cloud, without rain,
And I can never hope that I
Can travel on without pain.
Harry finally raised his head and wiped his face on his sleeve. He dove back
into his trunk in search of his photo album. It was sandwiched between some old
spell books near the bottom and he flipped the pages until he came to the
familiar picture from his parents’ wedding. There, standing next to his father,
Would he ever stop hurting when his thoughts turned to his godfather? Perhaps
not. Could he learn to live with the pain of losing the one adult who had been
almost like a parent to him? Perhaps.
Harry felt incredibly hollow inside right now. He had not realized how
important Sirius had become to him until he wasn't there any longer. It had
been so comforting to know that almost any time he needed an adult to talk to
Sirius would be available or would risk everything to see that Harry had the
support he needed. Now Sirius was gone and there was no replacing him; that
hurt. Professor Dumbledore had said the other morning that feeling pain was
part of loving someone, part of being human. Harry hadn’t wanted to be human at
that particular moment and, at times, he wasn’t so sure if he still did. It was
all so confusing.
Time goes swiftly on its way.
All too soon we’ve lost today.
I cannot wait for skies of blue
Or dream so long that life is through.
Harry closed his eyes again, trying to master his emotions. When he opened
them his gaze again fell on the photo. At his mother’s side stood Remus Lupin,
the only remaining Marauder, and next to him, Peter Pettigrew. (True, Pettigrew
was still alive, but to those who had once known him, he was as good as dead.)
Harry had come to trust Remus almost as much as he had Sirius, but he wasn’t
sure he could ever establish the same rapport he’d had with Sirius. Maybe in
time he would.
Harry closed the album and locked it safely again in his trunk. Something
told him that he needed to make a decision about his life within the next few
days before it was too late.
He thought of Professor Trelawney’s prophesy. Somewhere in his past he had
learned that to kill another human (or part-human in Voldemort’s case) was
wrong. His destiny was at war with this concept: he didn’t want to kill, but in
order to stay alive he would have to or be murdered himself. And deep down,
Harry very much wanted to stay alive.
Harry thought about how guilt-ridden Professor Dumbledore had seemed the
other morning as he had confessed his own shortcomings to Harry. On the one hand, Harry was grateful
to his Headmaster for waiting until now to tell him what the prophesy
contained; on the other, he was furious with him for not having told him
Was this what really loving someone caused people to do sometimes? Could
Dumbledore love him so much that he had been truly blindsided as to obscure the
truth of the situation? So much pain could have been avoided. Pain that was
twisting and writhing inside him at this very moment as he agonized with his
So life’s a song that I must sing
A gift of love I must share
And when I see the joy it brings
My spirits soar through the air.
Harry walked to the window next to Neville’s bed still clutching his
Firebolt. He opened it and looked around. The grounds were now deserted
(everyone had gone into the Great Hall for dinner) and Harry suddenly felt the
urge to mount his broomstick and soar into the evening sky. Perhaps a short
flight might help him come to terms with his destiny after all. He threw his
leg over the Firebolt and pushed off.
A cool breeze ruffled his hair as he flew over the school. How different
Hogwarts looked from the air. Harry remembered the fleeting glimpses he’d had
as he’d passed over the castle on the thestral last week. His broom was much
slower than the thestral and he took his time appreciating the beauty of the
architectural details on the various wings as he flew over them.
As he flew he thought about how on Sunday he had sat by the lake thinking
about his life. He hadn’t felt scared or fearful then. Only at night were his
dreams affected and he had awoken shaken and sweaty and unable to go back to
One thing was certain; no matter what, he would have to face Voldemort one
day and he was suddenly determined to be alive at the end of that battle. He
was "The Boy Who Lived" after all and it wouldn’t do to die at the
hands of that evil wizard and therefore plunge the world further into darkness.
Too many people thought of him as their hero. If he let them down....
In the meantime, he decided, he had to accept his responsibility. If he were
successful, the majority of the Wizarding world would rejoice at being freed of
Voldemort. Maybe then he could be happier....
Like that bird up in the sky,
Life has taught me how to fly.
For now I know what I can be
And now my heart is flying free!
Harry landed on the Quidditch pitch with a monumental sigh. He’d found no
pleasure in this flight for too many things still weighed upon his mind.
However, it was time to return to Gryffindor Tower and get ready for the long
night ahead. He wasn’t happy with his acceptance of his prophesied destiny and
he wasn’t yet ready to share it with anyone. He would keep silent a while
longer. As he shouldered his Firebolt, he knew he’d do everything in his power
to see that the Wizarding world was purged of Voldemort and that in itself
lightened the burden on his heart a little.
A/N: Please review. Your words are always important and I appreciate
Also, a big thank you to Yolanda for beta-reading this for me. Her
suggestions and comments helped make this a better story.