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Who I Remember He Was

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Harry/Charlie
R
14,232 words
February 3, 2004

Harry Potter Fan Fics

During the summer at the Dursleys Harry has an accident and loses his memories. Aimlessly wandering around he is picked up by Charlie. But why does Charlie not tell anyone that he found Harry and what does he plan to do with Harry? Prequel to What Molly Doesn't Know...
The title comes from a quote (taken from this site) It is from Anne Sexton: "It doesn't matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was."

Book Reviews

This answers a challenge in the Harry/Weasley FQF. Challenge: During the summer at the Dursleys Harry has an accident and loses his memories. Aimlessly wandering around he is picked up by a Weasley. But why does the Weasley not tell anyone that he found Harry and what does he plan to do with the boy who lived ? (by LordGlorf33 )
Thank you to my incredibly fast betas hainuwele and Marley! Any remaining mistakes are mine!
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Charlie Weasley turned around when he thought he had seen somebody he knew. His gaze followed the boy he had just passed almost without recognising him.

From behind it was hard to see but he was quite sure that he had noticed the faint outline of a scar on the boy's forehead. He quickly turned back, catching up to the boy and stopping him. "Harry, where have you been? The whole Order is in an uproar and searching all of Britain for you. You know you aren't..." He stopped as he noticed the vacant expression on Harry's face. There was no sparkle of recognition in his eyes. Even though there was no doubt that it was Harry Potter standing before him.

From the scar on his forehead to the untidy hair, green eyes and black glasses, he looked almost exactly like the Harry he remembered from a year and a half ago. A bit taller, his face looking more mature, but there was no question that it was Harry Potter standing before him.

Harry Potter, who looked at him as if he had never seen him before and didn't look like he was going to answer his question. Charlie recognised a feeling of dread in his stomach. Something was not right with Harry. And he had to find out what before he did anything else.




Half an hour later, he had finally convinced Harry to at least come with him to talk in a café. At first Harry had even refused to go with him anywhere at all, but in the end he had reluctantly agreed to talk to Charlie if they stayed in a public place.

Charlie had been confused when Harry treated him like a stranger, but he quickly found the reason for this behaviour: Harry had lost his memories.

After a bit of prodding, he had told Charlie that he could only remember waking up in a stranger area. At first he had tried to find somebody who could help him, but eventually just started walking.

That had been yesterday.

Now he was sitting opposite of Charlie, seemingly content to just stay quiet. He was looking around the place, his gaze lingering on the modern pictures on the wall. Charlie was watching him while they waited for their drinks, trying to figure out how he could help him. He figured that losing his memory probably was connected to Harry's godfather's death. He just didn't know how.

Didn't know if that was the reason the curious and adventurous Harry he remembered, looked like he hadn't had a decent nights sleep in days. His eyes were blank and obviously there was something more wrong with him, than just having lost his memory. Not that that wasn't enough for anybody to be disturbed about.

The coffees finally arrived, and Charlie took a careful sip, still trying to figure out what to say to the obviously disturbed boy. He cleared his throat, and finally found the words he needed. "Harry, I know that this must be really strange to you. Not remembering anything. Not knowing where to go. And then you suddenly run into somebody and he tells you that you're supposed to know him."

Harry gave a slight nod, but still seemed wary of Charlie and just continued to listen.

"And I know that there isn't any real reason for you to trust me, but please believe me. I only have your best interests in mind. I'm Charlie Weasley and my younger brother Ron is your best friend. Actually, my mother almost adopted you and you're as good as part of the family."

Harry seemed to liven up a bit at that. He looked interested, but also confused. Perhaps he had the feeling that he should be interested in a family but didn't know why?

Charlie continued with his monologue, but was getting more nervous by the second. He just wished that Harry would say something to him. Anything really. Just to show that he was absorbing what Charlie was telling him and that there was perhaps a chance that he would come with him willingly. If necessary, he would just stun him and take him to Madame Pomfrey to sort out. He would, however, really feel better if Harry came with him because he trusted him and not because he had been kidnapped. Who knew how long this memory loss would last? It certainly wouldn't do for Harry to be suspicious of everybody he met, just because he had a bad experience with Charlie.

"This probably doesn't mean a lot to you, but I have to ask you to trust me, at least for the moment. I'm going to take you to a man named Dumbledore and..." This suddenly got a reaction out of the taciturn boy. A very unpleasant reaction.

His posture stiffened. Quick as a flash, he was out the door and halfway across the street before Charlie even understood what had happened. When his brain finally clicked, he jumped up as well, threw some money on the table (totally unconcerned about the fact that the Muggles probably couldn't do a lot with his Galleon) and raced after Harry.

Whatever had possessed him to flee like that?




Eventually, Charlie caught him. After a bit of a struggle and a promise not to tell anybody that he knew where Harry was, he even managed to sit the boy down again. Then he tried to get to the bottom of Harry's mysterious behaviour.

What he discovered horrified him.

Apparently the only things Harry hadn't forgotten, or more accurately, had already remembered were things that he would much rather just forget again. Memories of years of mental abuse by his relatives were foremost on his mind. He connected them with one name. A name that seemed to be responsible for everything that had happened to him: Dumbledore.

The memories he retained told him that Dumbledore had been the one to send him to his relatives fifteen years ago. Dumbledore hadn't checked up on him for ten years. Dumbledore told him to go there again and again. Dumbledore had told him that the most important thing for Harry was to stay alive, even if it meant enduring more emotional abuse. Dumbledore had listened to his admissions of his relative's behaviour after first year. Then flat out refused to let him go anywhere else, even though Harry had hoped that he could go somewhere else. Dumbledore had told Harry that there was a possibility that he had absorbed some of Voldemort's personality. Dumbledore had insisted that staying at the Dursleys would be the best way of ensuring that he didn't become evil. Dumbledore sent him to his relatives once again after somebody had died. Somebody important to him, Harry knew that much. Punishing him for killing that person.

Harry was more confused than anything else. He didn't know who Dumbledore or Voldemort were. He only had his feelings to rely on. Feelings that told him he didn't want to be like Voldemort. Feelings that told him he couldn't trust Dumbledore.

Charlie couldn't believe what Harry was telling him about the Headmaster and leader of the Order. Sure, he had heard about the way Harry had been treated by his relatives. His mother had raged about it more than once, but he couldn't believe that Dumbledore had been so cruel and calculating about the life of a child.

Looking at Harry's barely restrained face, he couldn't deny, however, that no matter what the Headmaster had really done or what Harry only thought he had done, he had deeply damaged the boy. It had never occurred to Charlie that Dumbledore could make such grievous mistakes. Mistakes which could ruin people's lives. Before him, obviously, was one of the people Dumbledore had affected in just that way.

He had never really thought about it, but there was just no excuse for leaving a little child with basic strangers and never checking up on him. Nor was there an excuse for sending that child back while knowing what was going on in that house. Just when the child had seen that there was something better out there, making the situation all the worse for knowing that things could be different.

He didn't know what the Headmaster hoped to accomplish with his schemes. Because that was something he had never doubted: Harry Potter was part of the Headmaster's plans for the defeat of Voldemort. He had just never stopped to think what this meant for the person Harry Potter, not the Boy-Who-Lived, destroyer of all things evil.

And now this realisation was staring him straight in the face, literally. Harry was anxiously looking at him, stiff as a flagpole. Ready to jump and run if Charlie did not believe him. Looking like an animal trapped between a predator and the fear of fire, unable to move, yet quivering with adrenaline pulsing through his veins, ready to flee.

Charlie carefully stretched out his hand, treating Harry like the frightened animal his instincts told him he was. He concentrated on projecting the same calmness and self-assurance that was crucial in his work with dragons.

He spoke in a soft, calming voice, very unlike the loud Weasley voice almost everybody in the family used. "Don't worry Harry. I believe you. And if you don't want to, I won't take you to Dumbledore, okay?" This time Harry only twitched when he heard that name. He slowly began to relax, his fingers unclenching, his shoulders slumping a bit, but still not leaving Charlie with his eyes.

"But still, you can't stay here either." Charlie reasoned with him, hoping to make Harry come to a decision by himself, trying to find again, the independent boy he had met before. "I work as a dragon handler in Romania, I'm only here because the whole Order is searching for you." Harry looked vaguely puzzled and slightly ill at these words, but Charlie went on, trying to come to the important part.

"I'm just going to tell the Order that there was an emergency and I had to go back. You can come with me. Nobody will find you there and the other dragon handlers won't know that you aren't just a friend visiting me." He carefully searched Harry's face for any clues as to what Harry was thinking, but there was nothing; not even his eyes betrayed any of his thoughts. Charlie wasn't even sure if he was listening at all. "What do you think? Of course, you don't have to. We could also find a way for you to stay in Muggle London. I have some friends here that can always use some help around their shops and can offer you a bed and board for it."

Harry finally looked at him, a decision clearly having formed in his mind. But he was still a far cry from the enthusiastic boy he had been before. It was strange, having lost his memories he still seemed to remember or at least know intuitively that he was in mourning. "I'll come with you." He gave a small, very small, smile that looked like it almost hurt. "I think I trust you." Charlie's stomach dropped at this admission. He was glad that Harry was still Harry enough to trust him, but he also became aware that with this trust he had a responsibility. He was responsible not only for Harry's physical, but also his emotional well-being. Something nobody else ever seemed to have bothered about.

He was shocked out of his determination to look after Harry from now on, when Harry carefully touched his hand, his smile turning into confusion. Charlie smiled back and squeezed the hand, showing that he was okay, that what Harry did was okay, that he was glad to have Harry with him. But then Harry's next question brought a whole new set of problems with it. "Charlie, what is a Muggle?"




It hadn't occurred to him that Harry wouldn't remember that the Wizarding world existed. Then he had remembered that Harry had only been told after his eleventh birthday, making it something he had basically learned and not something he had grown up with. It was not so ingrained that it was as hard to forget as knowing how to talk or write.

So the explanations started. Of wizards and witches and Muggles, of Hogwarts and the Ministry, of dragons and dragon handlers, of wands and spells and all the things that would seem utterly ridiculous to somebody who had grown up without it, but which Harry absorbed like a sponge. The descriptions brought a light to his face again and made his eyes shine with enthusiasm. That sight made Charlie vow that he was going to teach Harry magic again, no matter if - or when - he got his memory back. He just wanted to see that look on Harry's face again.

They left the stone steps in front of an official Muggle building after this explanation and Charlie led Harry in a Muggle hotel not far away. He told him that he would return the next morning, and then they could take the Floo from the International Floo Station at Heathrow and be in his dragon resort the next day.

At first he had been worried that perhaps Harry wouldn't want him to leave, not wanting to give him a chance to tell anybody about him, but he agreed to stay there without any problems. Charlie Apparated to the Burrow to pick up his things and tried to think of what to tell his family.

He couldn't tell them the truth of course. Couldn't tell knowing what Harry had told him. Knowing the way Harry had looked while he spoke. Knowing that Harry trusted him. He knew his family only had Harry's best interests in mind, but he also knew they were likely to think that Dumbledore knew what was best for the boy. After all, he had done an apparently good job all these years, and if you couldn't trust Dumbledore, then who could you trust?

But Charlie had seen Harry, had heard his story, and he had spent years away from England. Years, during which he had heard other people's opinions on their unofficial leader, heard stories about how he defeated Grindelwald. Heard speculations about Dumbledore offering a lot of wizards and witches up as cannon-fodder for Voldemort during his first reign. He had always thought the descriptions to be a bit over the top, but they had still changed his perception. He also hadn't been influenced by British wizards' high (or low) opinions of Dumbledore for a good while. Therefore he felt that he was reasonably disillusioned and realistic when it came to his opinion of Dumbledore.

On the other hand, he had to stop the search for Harry, and make sure that the Order's resources were directed towards the fight against Voldemort and not towards finding a missing boy. All this without giving away that he knew where Harry was, or at least without giving away that Harry was going to spend time with him.

He hated lying to his parents, but there seemed no way around it. He could try to persuade Dumbledore of course, but it seemed almost impossible to bamboozle him and his mother wasn't much better. She had always had a sixth sense for finding out when one of her children was lying.

That only left his father. He mostly seemed a bit absorbed in his version of the Muggle world, but was actually his best chance. Charlie was also sure that even if he found out that Charlie wasn't telling the whole truth; he was the one most likely to let sleeping dogs lie and trust his son to make the right decisions. Even if he didn't know why Charlie was making them.




"Dad, can I talk to you?"

At his father's nod, he looked around the cramped study that used to be his room at the Burrow and threw up a silencing ward. He had to be sure the two of them really were the only ones privy to this information.

His father sat up a little straighter. Obviously seeing that it was a serious matter, he gave Charlie his undivided attention. "What happened Charlie? Have you found out something about Harry?"

Charlie had to smile, and sat down opposite his father on an upturned box. Even in times when his father had a lot on his mind, his first thoughts still went to the family (or adopted family in this case).

However, when he remembered what he had to do, his smile left his face. He looked at his father earnestly, trying to make him see the seriousness of the situation and especially the sincerity with which he was going to give absolutely inadequate information.

"Yes, Dad I found out something." He took a deep breath. "But you have to promise me one thing: you have to promise me that you won't repeat anything of what I tell you now, not even to Mum, okay?" His father looked at him with a furrowed brow. Charlie could read the worry in his face and continued quickly to show him that he wasn't bringing bad news.

"Please, Dad. It's not bad. You just have to trust me that I know what I am doing, okay?" His father nodded once, shakily and Charlie continued. "I found Harry." He gripped his father's arms, before he could storm out of the office to tell the good news. He was glad for the silencing charm, because his father's shout of surprise and happiness would have been heard throughout the whole house otherwise. He looked sternly into the relaxed and happy face and manoevered him back to his seat. "Dad, you promised! Listen to me first."

His father searched his eyes, probably trying to find a clue as to what was going on. "Of course, but why are you so secretive about finding Harry? Molly will be so happy to have him back, not to mention Ron and Ginny of course. They have been beside themselves with worry." Clearly Charlie's pained expression told him that all wasn't well in that assumption and his brow creased in worry again. "Charlie, you said you found him, but you do really mean him, not just his body, right? He is okay, isn't he?"

Charlie gave a short nod, he couldn't tell his father that Harry really wasn't okay, but he also didn't want him to believe that he was dead, or seriously injured. "As I said, I found Harry but he can't come back at the moment and I can't tell you where he is." There, he had said it. Now, he only needed to explain himself. And by the look of things he needed a damn good explanation.

His father was suddenly looking very much like his mother, red in the face, about ready to explode and start to curse Charlie left and right; and looking very much like a typical Weasley. He was muttering under his breath, but then calmed himself and tried to listen to his son.

"Dad, you know that I would never say anything like this if I didn't think it was serious. I accidentally ran into Harry and spoke to him. And..." he took another deep breath. "And he told me a very good reason why he isn't with his relatives anymore, and why he is not going back. And I fully support his decision."

"But why? I mean, we all knew that he didn't like his relatives, but don't you think his reaction is perhaps a bit extreme?"

Charlie shook his head. "No, I don't think it is. But I can't tell you why." He held up a hand to prevent the interruption he was sure would follow. "I'€™m only telling you this because you have to tell Dumbledore to stop the Order searching for Harry. The Order has more important things they have to concentrate on, and Harry will be in good hands."

His father looked at him in disbelief. "And you think I can just tell Dumbledore, or even worse your mother, that they should stop searching for Harry and worrying about him? I can't do that, Charlie. Why do you think that Harry would be safer wherever he is, than he will be, being with us?"

"Because I'm not just looking after his physical but also his emotional health. I know that it is important that Harry survives, but I think it is just as important that Harry stays... stable."

The stricken look on his father's face told him that he had never thought of that. "You think he would... he wouldn't, would he? I mean, after losing Sirius, it is obvious that he is depressed, but surely he wouldn't go that far?"

"I don't know, Dad. But I do know that he can't come here, or go back to the Dursleys, or Grimmauld Place, or even Hogwarts at the moment. Please, trust me on this and just tell the others that I know where he is, that he is fine and that they shouldn't worry." He abruptly stopped, ending the discussion there. He had already almost said too much and he didn't want to break the promise he had made to Harry, so soon after he had made it.

So, he didn't wait for another response. He just got up, lifted the silencing charm and opened the door. "Dad, please. I promised Harry and you promised me. Just trust me please." With those last words, he took his bags and Apparated to Muggle London to fetch Harry and get him out of Britain as fast as possible.




The first part of the trip was easily accomplished. Charlie and Harry took a Muggle taxi to Heathrow Airport, entered a concealed area behind one of the men's lavatories and Flooed from there to Bucharest Otopeni Airport. From then on it became more complicated, as the two had to rely on Muggle means to get to the dragon reservation. Harry wasn't able to Apparate yet, the Floo connection had been closed down years ago due to an unfortunate accident involving a drunken German wizard and a breeding Romanian Longhorn, and Portkeys had to be Ministry approved. They were pretty hard to come by without previous reservation.

Therefore, Charlie bought tickets for both of them for the train from Bucharest to Cluj Napoca. After an excruciatingly long trip they took brooms from the local broom renting company and set off south-west into the mountains.

With Harry having no memories of life as a wizard the whole trip became something of an adventure. His 'first' Floo trip had left him nauseated and he only started to look less green when they boarded the train to the town closest to the dragon reservation. At that time, Charlie became worried about what kind of accidents could happen when they had to travel further by broom. Fortunately, they found out that Harry hadn't lost his inborn ability to ride a broom and they had a relatively pleasant and scenically beautiful two-hour trip to the dragon handler's station in the middle of the reservation.

What also left Harry speechless (even more than he already had been after the Floo trip) was the Romanian branch of Gringotts and the Wizarding shopping district, which could be entered from the Piata Romana in Bucharest. Charlie had made them stop there and had bought a few necessities for Harry: trousers and shirts that were non-flammable and a pair of heavy boots, along with a new wand and a few magic books to get him trained in the magic that had fascinated him so much. He hadn't wanted to risk going to the Dursley residence and the money wouldn't be totally wasted as many wizards carried secondary wands and the clothes would last a few years if Harry didn't grow too much.

They finally arrived at the station in the early hours of the morning. The light from the waning moon showered the whole place in an unearthly light. The station consisted of several small cabins, arranged in a half circle, with a large barn-like building at the open side of the circle. Even though Charlie had seen this sight hundreds of times, it still took his breath away. The mountains were a stark contrast against the slowly lightening sky and the smell of wilderness and freedom in the air made him want to take his broom and just fly. He didn't even care that it was the middle of the night. However, at the moment he had to look after Harry who looked like he was dead on his feet and was slowly swaying in the soft breeze. With a flick of his wand he activated the special Portkey the rental company used for retrieving their brooms and led Harry to the cabin furthest away from the entrance.

He had been living and working here for almost twelve years now and this cabin had been his from the very beginning. It wasn't much, but it was his home and he even had a comfortable sofa in the front room that Harry could use. Nobody, except perhaps Hagrid, had ever understood how he could do such an understated and poorly paid job that would most likely cost him his life one day, but when he looked around there was never any doubt in him that he had chosen the right career.

Even during his time at Hogwarts, he had already had an affinity for animals and had often helped Hagrid care for them during his free-time. He also just couldn't imagine working in a closed space all day, going to work in the morning and coming home at night, only to do the same thing over and over again.

No, this was where he belonged and where he felt safe. Other people would perhaps have felt twitchy at the thought that the camp was built in the middle of a dragon reservation, but Charlie just enjoyed the freedom and closeness to nature this gave him.

Walking towards one of the cabins, he looked at Harry who was taking in the scenery and looked a lot more... alive than he had yesterday. Even though he was barely awake there was an unmistakable glimmer of interest in his eyes. Charlie gave a small smile. Looked like the change of scenery was good for Harry as well. He gently steered Harry in the right direction by placing his right hand into the small of his back and led them to his home.




They had both forgone any elaborate plans on washing up and getting ready for bed. Both basically only shed most of their clothes and fell into bed or in Harry's case onto the sofa.

However, after what felt like only minutes, Charlie was thrown out of sleep. He had the feeling of falling out of bed, but when he tried to catch himself he was still lying in his bed, clutching the blanket with stiff fingers, breathing heavily. What had wakened him?

Then he heard it: a low whimpering sound that came from the front of the cabin. At first he was confused. What could be making these sounds? He suddenly remembered Harry sleeping in his front room. Harry, who was obviously having a bad dream.

Charlie got up and left his bedroom. When he entered the other room, he saw Harry lying on his makeshift bed, stiff as a board again and emitting whimpering noises from time to time. Charlie went over to him carefully, not wanting to frighten him too much, but at the same time wanting to wake him from his nightmare.

He shook Harry's shoulder lightly and with a small scream Harry shot up, panting heavily and looking around wildly until his eyes had adapted to the meagre light in the room. His eyes fell on Charlie and without a word, he lunged himself into Charlie's arms, crushing himself against him.

At first Charlie, didn't know what to do. He was surprised that a boy Harry's age would want a hug, but when he remembered the obvious distress Harry had been in, he did the same thing his mother would have done. He hugged him back, not caring that they were both almost naked.

After a few minutes, Harry's breathing slowly evened out and he let go of Charlie, now obviously embarrassed by his outburst, but still being worryingly quiet. Charlie looked him in the eyes and asked: "Can you tell me about your dream? Or was it a memory?" Harry had told him before that most of the things he had remembered had come to him in the little sleep he had had. Charlie had wanted to believe that they were merely parts of Harry's imagination, but he couldn't discount what Harry obviously felt and thought to be real.

Charlie didn't know a lot about amnesia, so there probably was a possibility that somebody who had lost his memories could still get glimpses of his life through his dreams.

Harry just nodded, not really answering either question and started speaking haltingly. "It was about Dumbledore again. I was in some kind of room which smelled and looked like a hospital."

Charlie nodded encouragingly. "Probably the hospital wing at Hogwarts. From what I heard, you almost spend more time there than in your dorm."

Harry gave a faint smile and dragged his hand through his hair before continuing: "He was talking to me, telling me a lot of things about my family. He... he also said that my mum hadn't really been Muggle-born but that she came from a line of squibs and that she was related to Voldemort."

Charlie drew in a sharp breath. He didn't know what to think. Was it possible? In his explanations about the Wizarding world he had had to include Voldemort. He hadn't wanted to disquiet Harry too much, but Voldemort's and Harry's life were just too interwoven to leave him out. Harry had been horrified to hear about the role Voldemort had played in his parent's death and in all the bad things that had happened to him over the years. For him to find out that he was supposed to be related to Voldemort must have come as a shock.

Charlie tried to let go of his own shock and instead concentrated on Harry. Harry, who looked at him with big, glimmering eyes full of uncertainty and questions. Charlie tried to give him a smile, but he thought that it probably looked more like a grimace. He tried to sort his thoughts but felt like he failed spectacularly. Therefore, he stuck to simple questions, trying to calm himself and Harry down. "Do you remember anything else? Perhaps why Dumbledore told you that?"

Harry looked blank for a moment, before slowly shaking his head. "No, but I think that he told me when I was younger, perhaps eleven or twelve. But why... I don't remember."

Charlie just shook his head and patted Harry's shoulder. "Don't worry. He won't find you here. And we'll find out what happened to you." Harry just shuddered and then lay back down, snuggling under the blanket. He looked up at Charlie sleepily.

"Thank you. I feel very stupid you know, not even knowing you and still giving you such a bunch of trouble."

Charlie just smiled, this time genuinely, and ruffled his hair, like he used to do with Ron. "Don't worry about it. Like I said you're almost family and family is one of the most important things for a Weasley."

Harry smiled back and fell back asleep, with Charlie still sitting next to him.




The next morning they both didn't really speak of Harry's midnight confessions. Harry had returned to his more subdued state, and Charlie was wondering if he had had any more nightmares. At the same time he didn't want to push Harry into anything. He and his brothers had always responded with stubbornness when somebody tried to pry too much, and he wanted Harry to feel that he could speak with him.

Charlie still had several days off that he had initially planned to spend in Britain and so he suggested to Harry to start relearning magic. Maybe, Harry's memory would be jogged by learning things he already knew; things which reminded him of his previous life.

So they spent the rest of the morning and all of the afternoon, pouring over books and restarting Harry's learning. Both enjoyed themselves immensely. Charlie had always enjoyed helping other students or his younger siblings understand new things. To teach somebody magic from the very beginning only represented a special challenge to him.

Harry was an eager student and soaked up all the knowledge Charlie poured into him. It was only natural, of course, for an almost sixth year student to be able to learn first year material much faster than he had done when he was eleven. So they advanced quite easily.

After lunch, Charlie had also talked to his superior, informing him that he was back early but would still be taking his holidays and that he had a friend with some medical problems visiting for a while. As long as visitors stuck to the camp and did not venture into the main part of the reservation without anybody to guide them, it had never been a problem and was not now either. Having guests didn't cause any payment difficulties as well, since although all the dragon handlers lived in the communal area, they all looked after themselves and bought what they needed in collective orders once a week.

One of the disadvantages of living in a dragon reservation was that they couldn't use postal owls and any messages they sent or got had to be delivered to the main office in Cluj Napoca. They were collected once a week and brought along with the food and other earlier placed orders. It was a somewhat awkward way to handle things, but it was necessary as otherwise one could never be sure if the owls reached their destination or not.

That was the way they spent the next three days: learning during the day and getting to know each other in the evening hours. Charlie was generally an early-riser and so their conversations were mostly cut short when it neared ten or eleven o'clock but they still managed to talk of a variety of things. It was mainly Charlie talking in the hope something would spark Harry's memories but even when it didn't, he still enjoyed telling Harry about his family and what he knew of Harry's other friends. Harry soaked up all the information.

Whereas he had looked somewhat gaunt and lifeless when Charlie had found him, Harry now had a healthier look to him. He was starting to come out of his cocoon much more often and even lost some of the blank look he had previously worn all the time.

Charlie still tried to only tell him about the positive aspects of the Wizarding World though, (except Voldemort, that was something that couldn't be kept from Harry) and not to force Harry to relive any of his bad memories of the Dursleys. He hoped taking it slow was the right thing to do, but if Harry's look was anything to go by, a bit of easing up on him was doing him a world of wonders.

They had arrived on a Thursday and Charlie was scheduled to start working on Monday again. So Monday morning, he left the cabin early to meet with his co-workers, not waking the still sleeping Harry.

They had both decided that Harry would continue to learn magic while Charlie worked and in the evenings they could go over any questions he had. Fortunately, the Romanian ministry of magic was less strict with their restriction on underage magic. Any children living in rural areas were allowed to practice magic, as they often needed to help their parents or even defend against wild animals and the like.

The improvement of their relationship had been going slowly but Harry was starting to trust him more and more. Therefore it was a surprise for Charlie when he found that Harry had returned to his former unresponsive state when he returned from work in the late afternoon. At first he hadn't seen anything unusual. Harry had seemed sullen, but Charlie dismissed it as being a typical teenager. However when Harry refused to even look at him, he became concerned.

They had their dinner in silence, but when they were doing the dishes, Charlie finally decided that not talking was obviously not working for Harry. So he did some prodding. "Harry, what is wrong with you today?" He hoped a relatively straightforward question such as that would also get a relatively straightforward answer. However, Harry only shrugged his shoulders and continued to deliberately dry plates, focusing all of his attention on that simple task.

"Is it because I was gone all day? You know that I had to work again today. As much as I'd like to stay here and continue teaching you, my holidays are over and I have to work for a living." He tried to sound reasonable, but didn't think that he fully succeeded. It was damn frustrating not to know what was wrong with Harry and have Harry refuse to tell him what it was.

He tried again. "Harry, come on, you know you can trust me and you told me before what was bothering you. Why not today?"

With those words life came back into the boy's posture and he looked at Charlie for the first time that evening. The look in his eyes was something Charlie hadn't seen in him before and he was hard-pressed to identify the meaning. However, it was the words he uttered, and the way he said them, that made Charlie take a surprised step back. Harry's voice was laced with venom. "Oh, I can trust you, you say? Can you also tell me why I should? Hm? Why should I trust somebody who is no different than DUMBLEDORE?"

Charlie looked at him in shock. What gave Harry the idea, he would do things like Dumbledore did?

With most of his frustration obviously gone into his verbal explosion, Harry huffed once, threw the dishtowel into the sink and stormed to the opposite side of the room to fling himself face-down onto the sofa.

Charlie still stood at the sink, cup in his had, dripping water all over the floor and trying to understand what had Harry in a snit. It couldn't be that he had gone working today, because they had talked about that beforehand and Harry hadn't seemed to have any problems at all with their new plans. Harry had also been fine when they went to sleep last night. Therefore Harry was either just in a bad mood - which didn't explain his accusations - or something must have happened in the meantime that made Harry believe that Charlie had somehow treated him in the way Dumbledore had. The only way, Harry could have got that idea was if he had had another dream/memory that was connected to Charlie.

With this realisation, Charlie put the cup onto the drain and went over to the other side of the room. He carefully sat down on the edge of the sofa and put a hand on Harry's shoulder. He was encouraged when Harry didn't shy away and asked again: "Tell me what happened in your memory, okay?"

At first Harry didn't give any indication that he had heard Charlie, but then he slowly and haltingly explained what he had seen. "It was at the Burrow, I think..." His voice was muffled because he was talking into the blanket but Charlie could still understand him clear enough. "And then a woman... your Mum I think, came out and started shouting at me for being there. She told me that it was f... foolish of me to leave my relatives and then you and, I think, your father came out of the house and said the same thing. And you all... you all told me that I had to go back, because that was what Dumbledore wanted and that it... was better for me."

Charlie had unconsciously clenched his hand around Harry's shoulder, but he made an effort to loosen it and only prodded Harry slightly to make him turn around and look at him. Charlie knew that he had a frown on his face, because there was one big problem with this memory of Harry's: Charlie didn't remember it; and for someone who had allegedly been in Harry's memory that was very strange indeed. "Harry, do you remember when this supposedly happened?"

Harry's face scrunched up in concentration, but then his shoulders slumped. "No, I don't." Suddenly he sat up straight. "What do you mean supposedly? Don't you believe me? Do you want to tell me that this didn't happen at all? That I just dreamt or imagined it?" He was clearly furious again.

Charlie tried to calm him down. "No, I don't think you're lying. It's just that I don't remember any of that happening. That's why I wanted to know if you knew when you think it happened."

Harry thought again for a minute and then he said: "Well, I can't remember when. But I know that I must have been younger, because both you and your dad were taller than me." He looked Charlie up and down. "And I think we're almost the same height now. I was probably as tall as your mum, though."

Charlie thought back to the first time he actually remembered meeting Harry two years ago and that just didn't fit. Harry had been taller by then, not as tall as Ron or his father or even himself, but definitely almost half a head taller than his mother. Something just wasn't right. And he told Harry so.

He explained how he remembered meeting Harry for the first time before the Quidditch World Cup. He even swore on all the dragons in the reservation that assuming nobody had Obliviated him, the scene Harry had described had never happened that way.

Harry eventually agreed that it was probably just a bad dream connecting everything that had happened in the last few days with the bad memories he had about Dumbledore. However, he still was more reserved during their talk that night and Charlie also couldn't get this evening out of his head. Something strange was going on.
 
That night Charlie lay in his bed, tossing and turning, unable to forget what Harry had told him. Told him that he remembered things about him that didn't happen, but things he clearly saw and relived in his dreams. However, if the memories about him weren't true, then what was to say those about Dumbledore were? Charlie took a great deal of comfort in those thoughts. While he knew that Dumbledore could think and act like a general in war -€“ and that included hard decisions regarding the lives of people -€“ he didn't really want to believe that Dumbledore would act that way towards a child.

Still, stories his parents and brothers and sister had told corroborated Harry's memories... or perhaps just dreams? He knew that the Dursleys had been terrible to him, knew that it had been Dumbledore who had placed him there and had asked him to go back again every summer. Something just didn't add up. He had half a mind to owl Dumbledore to ask him about those incidents, but in all honesty he couldn't say that he didn'€™t think Dumbledore would sugar-coat the truth if he thought it was necessary, or even outright lie.

So without any real solution to the situation, other than to just continue the way they had and with troubled thoughts of domineering Headmasters that forced little children into acting as pawns, he finally fell asleep in the early hours of the morning.



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They spent the next week returning to their planned schedule, with Harry learning during the day, sometimes outside in the sun, and Charlie working. However, after Harry was getting more crabby by the minute on Sunday afternoon, Charlie decided that there was also something like too much learning. No matter how much Harry enjoyed discovering magic, today Charlie would take him on a tour of the reservation. Up until now Harry had only been in the station, mainly during the days when it was almost empty. It was definitely time for him to get out, see a bit of the scenery as well as the most important thing of course: the dragons.

They took two of the station brooms and rode off further west, right into the mountains.

Charlie explained about the dragon reservation he was working at. It actually wasn't the only one in Romania. Because of the relatively recent access to even more remote areas in Romania the space for one big dragon reservation -€“ as it had been for centuries - was getting scarce. Therefore the authorities had decided to divide the biggest reservation in the world into five smaller ones. They were also looking into the possibility of moving dragons into less inhabited areas in Russia.

That was one of the reasons why they didn't have such a wide variety of dragons in every reservation anymore than for example a hundred years ago. In the Reservation Charlie worked in, there were only four different kinds of dragons left: Chinese Fireballs, Ukrainian Ironbellies, Norwegian Ridgebacks and of course Romanian Longhorns, the dragon race that was actually native to this area. It would be a great stroke of luck for them to actually see a dragon, but still the scenery more than made up for it.

While flying over the mountains, Charlie showed several known nests and caves to Harry and even though they didn't get too close, Harry still seemed impressed with the whole experience. They were almost back at the camp when a low rumbling sound below them made them stop their brooms.

They were at the nest closest to the station and Charlie realised that the Romanian Longhorn that was currently breeding was having problems. The Romanian Longhorn was one of the dragon races which had been almost extinct due to the value of its horns which were a very sought after ingredient in potions. Over the years the dragon handlers had managed to get the numbers of Longhorns back up, but they were still endangered and anybody who was caught illegally buying or selling Longhorn horn powder could be sure to go to prison for a lifetime.

The Romanian Longhorns were an incredibly difficult race of dragons to breed because they only laid one egg every two years. Charlie knew that this specific dragon had only laid its egg three weeks ago. He shouted to Harry to return to the station and then shot off towards where the noise was coming from.

He broke through some high tree crowns. Then he saw her: golden horns flashing in the light, caught up in a fight with six wizards, trying to protect her egg and at the same time trying to drive away the intruders. She had barely a chance against the curses that were coming from all directions. Although dragons were highly resistant to magic, several powerful wizards could take out one or at least severely wound it. Especially if they concentrated on the more vulnerable parts of a dragon: its eyes and the area just between its wings. There the scales weren't as close to allow for enough movement of the wings.

She was fighting with everything she had. Charlie could see that she was getting tired. She was weak from three weeks of breeding, during which she didn't feed. As soon as Charlie was within firing range, he let out a volley of curses. He managed to distract the wizards from their prey and turned them towards a new target: himself.

Being on a broom he had a distinct advantage. He swooped around the wizards, disturbing their efforts. His aim was rather miserable on it. He still managed to drive five of the wizards away from the dragon. They Apparated almost as one. Charlie breathed in relief.

However, his movements had captured the attention of the Longhorn. She had left her nest unsupervised. The last remaining wizard took his chance. From the corner of his eye Charlie could see him taking the egg. No doubt, he was about to Apparate. At that moment a blur from above startled him. His upper half disappeared. His legs were left standing there, looking like somebody had forgotten to take of part of an invisibility cloak.

However, the egg was still gone.

The Longhorn roared when she noticed this. She rushed towards were the egg had been last, knocking the legs away in the process.

Charlie hung his head. He knew how particularly difficult it had been to get this Longhorn to breed, how long they had been waiting for a success. Now they had to wait for two more years before they could even think about another breeding circle. Charlie refrained from swearing only with the knowledge that it would focus the dragon's attention on him and that was something that he definitely didn't need right now. He had to get back to the station and inform the others of the stolen egg. They also needed to inform the Romanian authorities. Even though the chances were slim, they would try to find the egg again. Even if by then it would probably be too late for the hatchling. They would at least get the thief.

He was just about to take off, when another flier showed up next to him. Charlie suddenly knew what that strange blur had been. Hovering there, holding the egg with one arm was Harry. Harry who was supposed to be back at the station and not hovering in front of a dragon that had just lost the egg he was holding. Even though he had been the one to rescue it for her, in the dragon's eyes he didn't look any different from the wizard who had tried to steal the egg.

Therefore Charlie kept quiet and with one glare sent Harry's way, also managed to make him understand not to make a sound. He motioned with his hands to show Harry what to do. And Harry understood. He carefully moved towards the ground. He put the egg down on the floor. Both of them steered their brooms up, rising fifty feet into the air before Charlie whistled loudly, capturing the dragon's attention.

They both rose still higher. Almost when they thought that the dragon would come after them, she noticed the egg on the floor in front of her. She gave another great roar, however, this one sounded much more... friendly and carefully rolled the egg back towards the nest with the end of her tail.



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Back at the station they both landed quietly and remained silent as they made their way to the storage shed. Only, when they had closed the door of the cabin behind them and Charlie had made them both a cup of tea did they talk.

Or rather Charlie talked, that is if you could call his near deafening yelling talking. "What did I tell you about dragons, Harry? I know I had told you not half an hour before you pulled that stunt that dragons were extremely protective of their eggs! And I told you that you never, EVER go near a breeding dragon, no matter what! And what do you do, at the next best opportunity? Just bloody that! Do you know how easily she could have killed you? One wrong noise from you and we both would have been dragon food!" He quietened when he saw the blank look entering Harry's eyes again, a look that had been absent most of the week. "Sorry, I didn't mean to shout. But do you know what kind of shock you gave me?"

Harry just shrugged his shoulders and didn't look up at Charlie. He looked like a little kid whose first hand-painted picture had just been torn to shreds and Charlie immediately felt guilty. Sure, he was angry, but he knew that Harry had only wanted to help. He shuffled closer with his chair and put his arm around Harry's shoulders. "Look, Harry, I'm not angry at you. I just... you scared me." He gave him a nudge. "Couldn't let you be toasted by a dragon after all. Do you know what kind of Howler I would get from Mum if you just disappeared while under my wing?"

Harry gave a small smile at this. Charlie had told him all about the famous temper of Mrs. Weasley and made him feel like he almost knew her, even though he remembered not even one bit about her. He looked up at Charlie's grinning face and his eyes started to sparkle again. "You know, she wasn't as bad as the Hungarian Horntail in my fourth year." and then he looked thunderstruck.

At first Charlie didn't know why, but then he realised. In an attempt to keep Harry from some of the worse memories of his life, he had left out the Triwizard Tournament. So, for Harry to know about that spectacle, he must have remembered something!

They both looked at each other, wearing identical grins, still sitting in an embrace. When Charlie noticed that, he quickly let Harry go, but not before giving him an encouraging squeeze. Perhaps everything was going to be back to normal soon.

They spent the rest of the afternoon sitting at the table, going though some transfiguration practises. When Harry was working on a particularly difficult piece, Charlie looked at him and noticed for the first time that he actually liked Harry. Of course, he had always liked him in a Harry-Potter-the-Boy-Who-Lived way or a Harry-the-Best-Friend-of-My-Brother way but he hadn't known him well enough to like him in a Just-Harry way and he found that he liked that even more.

When he had offered to look after Harry, he had been worried that he would find your typical sixteen-year old. Not that he had something against sixteen-year-olds, he had been one himself at one point in time, but it had been nice to discover that Harry wasn't only that. That he didn't wait for other people to solve his problems, like Ron still did. Or that he didn't expect anything from everybody around him but was just glad to be with them; unlike Fred and George who always wanted to be the centre of attention. Or that he didn't think the world revolved around himself, like Percy used to. That he didn't think he was invincible, like Charlie himself had been prone to at that age. But that that still didn't stop him from helping other people, or beings when he saw the need arise. That he didn't stand for any unfairness he perceived. That he engaged himself. In Charlie's eyes those were pretty special characteristics in a teenager, things he also admired in adults.

And then when he looked at Harry, he suddenly - or perhaps not so suddenly? - didn't see only a teenager, a friend of Ron's, an adoptive son of his Mum's anymore, but somebody much more than that. With that thought he dragged himself out of his reflections before he did something foolish like looking into those green eyes and kissing Harry Potter.



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"Okay, there are a man and a woman waiting at the hospital donation centre. The man asks: 'What are you doing here today?' And the woman says: 'Oh, I'm here to donate some blood. They're going to give me 5 Galleons for it.' The man looks non-plussed. 'Hmm, that's interesting. I'm here to donate sperm, myself. But they pay me 25 Galleons for that.' The woman looks thoughtful for a moment and then they chat some more before going their separate ways. A couple months later, the same man and woman meet again in the donation centre. The man greets her: 'Oh, hi there! Here to donate blood again?' And the woman shakes her head and just goes: 'Unh unh.'"

The laughter around the table was infectious. Even Harry wasn't able to hold back. At first the other guys had been reluctant to let a 'hatchling' into their crowd, but when Charlie had told them of this afternoon's adventure, he was quickly accepted. Anybody who didn't run screaming at the thought of being near a dragon and could fly well enough to leave a Longhorn stupefied was welcome in their group. The two rounds of beer Charlie had paid for in celebration of the rescue hadn't hurt either.

Officially, Harry wasn't allowed to drink yet, as he wasn't eighteen, but this crowd was almost like a family and so nobody thought of excluding him from drinking a few beers. Especially as the group consisted of men from several different countries with various legislations on the consumption of alcohol.

And so the evening wore on and the beer flowed freely and the jokes became even more tasteless.

After a while of this, Harry was starting to glow like a somewhat overripe tomato, causing several guys to comment on it. Above all, Pete, a sturdy thirty-something from Holland who looked like his skin was patched together from several different people because of the burns he had got during his life. He was always the first to open his mouth about anything. "Come on, Harry. Surely a good-looking lad like you isn't a blushing virgin anymore!" When Harry only went a deeper shade of red, he added, trying to look conspiratorially at Harry but only managing to look cross-eyed. "You know, in former times, they used to give virgin sacrifices to the dragons to keep them from destroying the villages. Of course, nobody knew if the dragons cared if they were virgins or not, but still around the time of the sacrifice there always was a mad scramble for all the children to get married off." He gave a great booming laugh, reminding Charlie of Hagrid after he had had one too many.

Charlie tried to support Harry by saying "Oh, come on, Pete. He lost his memories, how's he supposed to know if he's shagged someone?"

But Pete just waved him away. "Bullshit. That's something you'd never forget. Just look at him and you can see that he's as pure as a unicorn." He laughed again, not really at Harry, but more at his predicament, causing Harry to almost disappear under the table in an attempt to hide from him.

"But anyway, have I already told you this one? One day when the teacher walks into the classroom, she notices that someone has written the word 'PENIS' - in tiny letters - on the blackboard. She scans the class looking for a guilty face. Finding none, she rubs the word off and begins class. The next day, the word 'PENIS' is written on the board again; this time it's written about halfway across the board. Again she looks around in vain for the student who did that, so she proceeds with the day's lesson. Every morning for about a week, she goes into the classroom and finds the same disgusting word written on the board, each day's being larger than the previous one, and each being rubbed off vigorously. At the end of the second week, she walks in expecting to be greeted by the same word on the board but instead finds the words: 'The more you rub it, the bigger it gets.'"

Again the table was in an uproar and over the course of the telling, Harry had reappeared again. Now, he leant over to Charlie, grinning. "Can you imagine McGonagall's face if you did that? She would be asbol... abso... utterly furious.

Charlie just laughed and told him that that would cost Gryffindor the house cup more surely than trying to hex Snape in front of everybody in the Great Hall.

Only when he went to bed did he wonder if he had ever actually told Harry about his Head of House.



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The next morning came bright and early and with it the inevitable hangover. Charlie got up and went into the front room for a nice strong cup of coffee, only to find Harry already up and about, a bit too happy for his tastes. Why wasn't Harry feeling miserable like every other decent person after a night of drinking?

He must have voiced his question aloud, because Harry told him: "Can't really say, you know. But perhaps I got a lot of practise beforehand?" He smiled at Charlie and gave him a cup of coffee and a Hangover Potion from the bathroom. After having consumed both of those, he finally felt somewhat human again. After a quick, cold shower, he was as good as new. Which Harry took advantage of immediately. As today was Charlie's free day, he had agreed to tutor Harry some more. They were soon engrossed in a discussion about Enlargement Charms and their uses.

"Well, the most obvious one is as a counterpart to Shrinking Charms." Harry began with a grin. "Of course, you could also use it if you aren't happy with what nature has given you."

Charlie only looked at him. What had happened to Harry since yesterday? Harry still sat there grinning, until Charlie couldn't keep himself from doing the same. Really, it wasn't that funny, but it was good to see that Harry was comfortable enough around him to joke with him like he was one of his mates.

"I don't want to know how many guys have tried that already and had to be sent to Pomfrey for restoring." That sent both of them laughing, imagining the proper school matron in such a situation. Charlie didn't question anymore how Harry knew who certain people were. It seemed as if his memories were slowly returning, especially when something reminded him of a previous situation. It made Charlie starting to wonder if it would perhaps be good for Harry to return to England to see how much he would remember there.

However, at the moment he was still afraid that it would cause some kind of set-back. Anyway, they had two and a half weeks before the start of term. Since Harry had already got this much better in one week, in two more he would probably almost be back to his old self.

Charlie hadn't even noticed that he was still chuckling, while Harry had long since stopped and was now starring at him with a strange intensity. Then he just kissed him. At first Charlie was so surprised he didn't even react, but when a little lithe tongue wormed his way into his mouth, he pulled away.

His brain was in overdrive, but what came out was: "Harry, no. We can't do that."

Harry didn't seem so easily daunted and just tried to kiss him again. "But why not? I like you. And I think you like me as well, don't you? So why shouldn't we?"

Charlie tried to remember those reasons as well, and finally he managed something. "Harry, you know that I like you, but I am also almost double your age and you're my little brother'€™s best friend."

Here Harry gave a small, wry smile. "But don't you see? That's not the way it's for me. I don't know any of those people you are talking about. For me you are the only one I know of your family. For me it doesn't matter, who could say something against it or not, because the only thing that matters is here. It only matters what we think. Nobody else, just us. Can you honestly say that this is not something you want?"

Charlie hesitated, but in the end his conscience won. He stood up from the table. "We just can't. I'm sorry, Harry. I think I'll go outside for a bit. Why don't you start on that next part on Enlargement Charms while I'm gone?" The door closed behind him with a dull 'thunk'.



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When Charlie returned it was already well into the night. He had tried to burn some of the nervous energy by flying around the reservation once again and then had landed at the cabin of one of his co-workers. They had spent an interesting evening discussing the breeding programme. Charlie had even forgotten about his problems with Harry for a while.

He tiptoed into he cabin, careful not to disturb the sleeping Harry on the sofa. He crawled into bed, still trying not to think about what had happened this morning.

He was awakened a few hours later again by a quiet sound that came from the front of the cabin. He opened the door to his bedroom, prepared to console Harry after just another memory or nightmare, he wasn't sure anymore what his dreams were. Only to be confronted by a sight he wasn't expecting and which stopped him in his steps..

Except for the light from the lamp that burned outside, there was no other illumination in the room and therefore he could only make out vague outlines. It was still enough to see the form of Harry, though, moving his hips to the rhythm of his own hand, slowly and sensually squirming on the sofa, giving Charlie a prime view of what he was doing.

For a moment Charlie stood paralysed in the doorframe. Then he felt himself flush and just returned to his bed. He tried desperately not to think about the scene he had just witnessed, but it came back to him again and again. It was a long time until he finally found some sleep.



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It was a decidedly grumpy Charlie Weasley who went to work early the next morning. Harry had still been sleeping when he left and Charlie was glad they didn't have to face each other yet.

That was the way it went for the best part of the week, Charlie disappearing early in the morning, only to return late, so he didn't have to spend more time than necessary with Harry. Even the time they did spend together, was spent talking about Harry's lessons or Charlie's work. Charlie didn't like the situation, of course, but he also couldn't really bring himself to do something about it. His want for Harry - that was undoubtedly there - and his conscience - that just wouldn't shut up whenever he had an inappropriate thought about Harry - constantly fought with each other. He blamed his extremely bad mood on that; a mood so bad that his co-workers had already commented on it because it made the dragons nervous when he worked close to them.

On Friday he finally reached the conclusion that it couldn't go on like this. There had almost been an accident with one of the Norwegian Ridgebacks due to Charlie's distraction and bad temper which had been picked up by one of the dragons. It had almost fried one of his co-workers. He had to do something to defuse the situation with Harry. A nice long talk might just be what was needed, no matter how much he was dreading it.

He had thought all day about what he was going to say. That evening after dinner, just before they usually started their dance around each other, he got both Harry and himself a beer and told him they had to talk.

He knew that nothing good ever followed those words, but that was something he had to risk. Harry was fidgeting next to him in front of the fireplace, peeling the sticker from the bottle piece by piece and determinedly not looking at Charlie.

While Charlie was still thinking about how to start, something that wouldn't come to him now that the situation he had dreaded was there, Harry interrupted his thoughts.

"Do you want me to go back to England?"

Charlie was stunned for a moment, then he said: "I thought it might be a good idea, to help you remember more easily."

He deliberately didn't look at Harry, who only gave a short "Oh.". Charlie thought he sounded unbelievably sad, but they couldn't do what Harry wanted. It just wouldn't be right. He didn't even want to imagine what his mother would say if he took up with a sixteen-year-old. It had been enough of a shock for her that he fancied men.

He shook his head. Now wasn't the time to get lost in his thoughts. He had to concentrate on Harry, no matter how uncomfortable that might be for him. Harry was looking at him with an unreadable expression on his face. Charlie was worried that he might go back to be being as closed up as he had been at the beginning. He immediately felt guilty as his treatment of Harry over the last week surely hadn't helped any.

With a start he realised that his behaviour might have damaged Harry more than he would have if he had become involved with him.

He thought back on his decision and realised the only real reason for his reluctance was that Harry was more than ten years younger than him. On the other hand, hadn't he thought just a few days ago, how mature Harry was? How he didn't remind him of your average sixteen-year old? Then what was he frightened of?

Was he worried about what other people would think? Or was he more worried that it might not be what Harry wanted? He was confused. The past week he had thought his morals had kept him from entering a relationship with Harry. Had that really been the case?

He finally looked at Harry, trying to communicate what he was feeling without having to say anything, but it didn't look like Harry understood him. He sighed. He would have to spell it out, they just couldn't go on like this.

"Harry, you know I really like having you here. It's not that I want to get rid of you. I just think it's important for you to get your memories back and deal with what has been happening. This is not a good time to enter into a relationship, especially not with me. We are friends, but do you really think that a relationship could work out? After all, I spend most of my time here in Romania and you at Hogwarts. It would be difficult, you know that."

Harry nodded, but he also looked like he was readying himself for a good reply. "Yeah, I thought about that, too. The last bit I mean. I know I have to go back at some point, even if I don't trust Dumbledore. But I still think we could make it work. If we both really want it to that is. And I know I want to."

The Quaffle was back in his hands, Charlie realised. Harry had just shown him he wasn't too unrealistic about the possibilities. They could make it work, certainly. Charlie was able to Apparate. Although Apparition across Europe was taxing, he had done it before. Even when he didn't feel up to it, he could still Apparate to Bucharest and Floo from there. Additionally, his work for the Order took him to England on a semi-regular basis anyway.

The question now was: Did he want to? It was unlikely they would be able to keep the whole thing secret. Harry being the Boy-Who-Lived also meant the newspapers would probably report about it at length. His family would have a word or two to say about it as well.

However, he also realised he wanted to. He really liked Harry, there was no question about it. Were the circumstances any different, he wouldn't hesitate for a second. This clinched his decision for him. Years back, when he had realised how much influence his mother wanted to have on everyone's life - even if she always meant well - he had sworn he would never base his affections on his parent's approval. The only important thing was if Harry was really sure about this. Harry had told him he was sure. He hadn't really expected anything else from him.

He didn't bother with replying to Harry's unvoiced question. He just kissed him. Now, when he wasn't surprised, he could finally enjoy their mouths working together. The way Harry thrust his tongue into Charlie's mouth spoke of inexperience, but it also showed an enthusiasm Charlie relished.

They were still sitting on the two wicker chairs Charlie had in front of his fire place. Therefore Harry's attempt at climbing onto Charlie's lap didn't quite succeed. Charlie's chair groaned under the combined weight. He didn't want to risk falling and stood up as quickly as possible with a ten-stone Harry clinging to him.

He brought both of them over to the sofa which was really more comfortable. It also offered much better access to Harry. Of course, he took advantage of that as much as he liked. If the noises were anything to go by, Harry liked it as well. Both of them tried to take off the other's clothes, but none of their efforts worked. Reluctantly, they let go of each other for a few moments, before they fell back into each other's arms, naked.

Harry's smaller hands felt wonderful on his skin and he realised it had been way too long since he had cared about the person he slept with. For a dragon handler it was hard to find somebody who could understand or even just accept his job. He had always had difficulties finding somebody who wasn't just with him for a quick fuck.

He let these thoughts go; this wasn't the time to think about the others he had been with. This was the time to caress Harry's soft skin. To kiss along his collarbone and ribs and perhaps even a bit lower and ravish his beautiful mouth. The mouth that had got the stone rolling almost a week ago.

In exchange for the pleasure he gave Harry, he also received. Little, unsure kisses rained all over his upper body, bolder hands manipulated the flesh below that. He was free to enjoy the mouth that worked against his own and whose tongue perfectly fit his own.

When they were both exhausted, Harry snuggled against him and fell promptly asleep. Charlie was glad Harry felt so comfortable with him, and when he looked at Harry's face he noticed one thing that hadn't been there before:

Harry finally looked happy and relaxed.



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Charlie woke up the next morning with the sun shining on his face. At first he was a bit disoriented because the window in his room faced west and he had never had the sun waking him up. Then he noticed the small warm bundle next to him, and he smiled, and smiled. He just couldn't seem to stop.

He loved sleeping naked next to somebody. Sharing body heat, one body moulding into the other, the possessiveness of the gesture. He tightened his arms around Harry and tried to fall back asleep, but somehow it just wouldn't come. If he was honest with himself, he was getting worried again. Maybe Harry would have regrets today. Perhaps they had gone too fast. Or...

His list of worries was never finished, because just as he was getting a good start, Harry stirred. He opened sleepy green eyes and when he discovered Charlie next to him, he broke into a smile. He nuzzled against Charlie and mumbled: "Glad, you're still here. Almost thought it was a dream." He seemed quite content, so Charlie quickly stopped his list making and instead just enjoyed the moment.

He could feel the movement of Harry's lips against his neck, but couldn't understand a word he was saying. "Hm?"

Harry moved a bit away and peered at him. "I said, it'd probably be for the best if I returned to England like you said yesterday." He definitely looked like he didn't want to, but still wanted to do everything possible to get better. He now was a lot more secure, even without his memories, than he had been two weeks ago. If something went wrong he knew he could always count on Charlie to help him.

Charlie was a bit shocked at that. He had thought Harry wouldn't agree with him on this. He had been so terrified of Dumbledore and what he had done to him; Charlie had thought he would probably have to persuade him to go back to Hogwarts for the new school year. Yet he had decided to go back voluntarily. Now with Harry's wish it was as good as decided: Harry would return to Britain. Charlie gave Harry another squeeze and said: "I'll talk to John tomorrow, see if I can get another holiday. Don't know what he'll say, but if I plead family emergency - which really isn't that far off - he'll probably give me at least a few days."

Harry just nodded. He didn't seem surprised at Charlie's wish to accompany him, and Charlie liked to think he was actually rather relieved.

They lay in each other'€™s arms for what seemed like only minutes, but was probably more than half an hour. They were just trying to enjoy the sunshine that was bathing them through the window, trying not to worry about what was going to happen. Somehow it didn't quite work.



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They returned to the Burrow the next afternoon. Mrs. Weasley was already awaiting them and crushed first Harry and then Charlie into a hug. She looked relieved as well as angry and Charlie definitely wasn't looking forward to her tirade about responsibilities he was sure to get after he had just disappeared with Harry.

Charlie was put into Percy's old room while Harry was whisked away by Ron and Hermione, who was visiting once again. Both bombarded him with questions right away, making him look rather uncomfortable. When he exited the kitchen he threw one last, almost frantic glance back at Charlie who interrupted his brother and Hermione. "Guys, calm down a bit. Harry lost his memory. Don't just pester him with questions but try and help him to remember." Hermione nodded quickly, always fast on the uptake, and pulled the other two outside.

Thus only Charlie and his mother remained in the kitchen. He was expecting a thorough verbal bashing and he wasn't disappointed.

His mother really was a formidable figure, standing there in her flower apron with a spoon in one and her wand in her other hand. Hair frizzed around her face, as if charged with her anger. "I can't believe you did that, Charles Archibald Weasley!"

Charlie winced. The use of his second name had always been followed by the use of the spoon on his backside.

"Do you know what could have happened to you two out there? What if You-Know-Who had found you? By now I know than to think you'd worry over your health, but it wasn't just you! What if Harry had been attacked by a dragon in that place? Without his memories! Can you even imagine how worried we were? Professor Dumbledore? Remus Lupin? Ron? Arthur and I?" She took a deep breath. "No, of course not. You just had some crackpot idea and acted on it without thinking first!"

Charlie listened with a polite expression on his face, letting his mother vent her anger without interrupting. It was a reliable way to get out of one of his mother's blow-ups with minimal damage. After several minutes she finally quieted down and Charlie breathed a sigh of relief, silently of course.



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After dinner, the whole family met in the sitting room and waited for Dumbledore. When his mother had announced during dinner that he would be by later, it had caused Charlie to look up nervously at Harry who suddenly hadn't seemed that interested in his food anymore.

And now Charlie was waiting for the confrontation. They had only sporadically explained why Charlie thought it had been necessary to take Harry with him and everybody was waiting for the full story. Charlie had taken the seat next to Harry. He could almost feel the nervous energy coming from him. Maybe this was too early after all. However, Harry's memories were returning even faster now, being in familiar surroundings and Charlie just hoped that his suspicions about the falseness of Harry's memories were correct. He didn't know what he would do otherwise.

With a sudden 'crack' Dumbledore stood in the room. Charlie could feel Harry tensing next to him and put a hand on his shoulder to calm him down. Dumbledore looked around the room with a benign smile and then settled into the last empty armchair. His gaze landed on Harry and the smile grew even wider. "Good evening to you all. And Harry, let me tell you how glad I am - and of course we all are -€“ to have you with us again. I suppose you have some explaining to do?"

Harry and Charlie had decided Charlie would be the one to tell of their decisions. They wanted to spare Harry the distress of having to clarify their actions in front of everybody and especially in front of Dumbledore. So Charlie explained. How he had found Harry in London. How he got him to explain what happened to him. He quickly outlined what Harry thought were memories of Dumbledore and how they had decided in order to get better it would be best to disconnect Harry from all this. To allow him time to recuperate somewhere he could feel safe.

The whole group listened in amazed silence - at least for a Weasley family gathering. There were only a few interruptions that seemed to alternate between anger at Dumbledore and disbelief at Harry's story.

When Charlie finally finished with their decision to come back - leaving out the exact location of where this discussion had taken place - he was met with a piercing gaze from Dumbledore. A gaze that told him that Dumbledore knew he had left something out, but the longer he looked at Charlie the more his eyes twinkled. Charlie randomly wondered if Dumbledore was a mind reader, but quickly pushed that thought away. It was really much better not to think about that.

Suddenly, Harry gave a little shriek. Dumbledore had turned his eyes to him and something in Harry's demeanour changed. He looked less frightened of Dumbledore and more understanding. Then he looked horrified, quickly got up and disappeared upstairs.

Everybody in the room gave a confused glance at the others. Finally all eyes landed on Dumbledore who seemed to be the only one who wasn't perplexed. Sure enough, he started to explain. "I'm sure Harry will feel better soon. If I'm not mistaken the 'memories' he had, were planted there by Voldemort." A quick intake of breath from the biggest part of the family, then he continued. "I know some of you," he glanced at Hermione and Ron "are aware that Voldemort has managed to plant images in his mind before. Without his memories Harry didn't know that he had to protect himself from it."

Charlie's mother interrupted. "But how do you think he lost his memories? Was it also You-Know-Who?"

Here something happened Charlie thought he would never see. Dumbledore's eyes lost their twinkle. "Of course, I cannot be sure. I fear, however, that I might have taken Harry's psychological situation too lightly. The death of his godfather traumatised him more than I thought." He sighed heavily. "Combined with his return to his relatives it might have caused him to lose his memories..."

A simple hand motion brought the room to silence again. "After Molly contacted me about Harry this afternoon, I spoke with Poppy. She said that after a traumatic event, such as the death a family member, particularly if there have been other traumatic events before, amnesia isn't an uncommon escape route. Especially, when the person hasn't dealt with their feelings about these events yet."

Charlie didn't want to hear the rest of the discussion or the accusations by his mother. He disappeared upstairs as well. When he entered his room, he found Harry sitting on his bed, a pillow clutched to his chest, slowly rocking back and forth. He didn't say anything. He just held him and let Harry start talking. He finally whispered: "I'm sorry. I caused all this fuss about nothing."

Charlie held him tighter against his chest. "For you it wasn't nothing."

"But I should have known that those memories... dreams... whatever, weren't true!"

"And how could you have known?" Charlie could feel Harry shrugging his shoulders, but he stayed silent. "Don't worry. After all something good came out of it and no harm was done, right?"

Harry looked up at him. He snuggled further into Charlie and Charlie decided this would be a perfect moment to kiss him, no matter if anybody came in here and made a stupid remark about it.


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