Harry Potter & 'The Passion Year' Memoirs
Disclaimers: I don't own anything….yeah, I'll let yalls keep thinking that! MWAHAHA
AN: NOT PART OF THE 'LEGACY' SERIES!
Set partly during the POA but as an AU & partly the Marauders Era
Contains S/J, then traditional pairings of S/R & J/L.
PLEASE READ THE FIRST PARAGRAPH OF MY PROFILE BEFORE READING THIS STORY. THANKS! : )
Summary: Partly POA (slight AU)/partly Marauders Era. While exploring the Map's layout of Hogwarts, Harry finds a secret room in which a collection of memoirs written by James Potter were left. Reading it, Harry discovers that Sirius is innocent but has no idea how to prove it without exposing a dark secret of his father's past.
(Remember: read the first paragraph of my profile before continuing. Thanks.)
(1) The Lost Secret
"Hermione, your cat killed him!"
"NO HE DIDN'T!"
Harry shook his head, watching his two best friends have yet another row. They have never fought so badly before & he wondered if it would all fall apart. Hermione was cuddling Crookshanks close, Ron was brandishing his wand at the cat but didn't dare cast a spell, knowing Hermione was better at magic than Ron & Harry combined, while Harry did his best to become invisible.
In fact, he decided to do just that. He was tired of hearing them fight & tired of trying to help them patch things up. It was nearly Christmas, but they still continued to fight. Both were too mad at each other to pay Harry Potter any mind.
"I'm just gonna go, uh, ya know," Harry stopped trying. They didn't hear him. He turned on his heel & went up the stairs to the boys' dorms to get his Cloak & the Map the Weasley twins had given him earlier to sneak into Hogsmeade. The Map was his most fascinating possession yet. Harry had no idea who Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot & Prongs were, but if they were good enough for the Weasley twins who have been using the Map for years without harm, it was good enough for Harry if only to avoid the war between Hermione & Ron.
Harry stepped out of the Common Room under cloak ("IT'S A CAT, RONALD!"/"I DON'T CARE!") & hurried away to the Grand Staircase. The entire castle was decorated from turret to moat in Christmas festivities but Harry didn't take too much notice of them. He went down to the fifth floor & passed several tapestries to a bookcase in one corner of a small alcove, next to a few armchairs. Behind that bookcase was a hidden passage that was a shortcut down to the dungeons. Harry came out near where the Slytherin blank wall was, turned left away from it & went behind another tapestry. Here, the Map had shown three different passage ways all leading beyond Slytherin's borders & into the belly of the ancient castle. He finally took the cloak off & folded it up as small as possible to stuff under his robes, then entered the main doorway after using 'diffindo' on the tapestry. If one merely lifted the tapestry over, it would show a brick wall. Cutting it loose opened the hole. The moment Harry passed into the tunnel, the tapestry became whole once more & the false brick wall returned. Harry glanced down the tunnels, wandlight held aloft.
Trying the one on the left, he was blocked halfway in by an old cave-in. Harry turned back & went down the one on the right. It opened into a large circular room that looked like a cathedral. The stone floor had a stream going through its center & a wide stone bridge arched over it. The stream ran underground towards the Black Lake. The far end had a hall that led to a small door which opened to the outside on a long forgotten sandy shore of the lake. Harry watched the giant squid dive before turning back & taking the main route down the center.
After nearly twenty minutes of walking straight without any new openings, it apparently stopped at a dead end. Checking the Map, Harry saw that a room was supposed to be just beyond the wall. The Map didn't tell him how to get through. Harry stared at it, thinking. He checked the Map once more, but it remained mute on the subject. He wondered if the wall had been built in later. Harry tried to give it a shove, just to be sure, only to end up falling right through.
A cloud of dust rose up where Harry's head had been as he fell flat on his face. He stood up, cursing the Marauders for not putting in a warning, fixed his glasses & put them back on his face, then brushed himself off. Glancing back, Harry could see the wall he had just walked through. Oh well, at least he'll know to just walk through as if it wasn't there, just like at Platform 9 & ¾'s.
Harry coughed on the dust as he waited a few moments for it to settle, then looked around. It was a triangular shaped room that had a small torch in each corner that flared into life in his presence. The small glows from each torch were aimed up the corners to the ceiling & cast a circular light around the area, leaving the tips of each corner slightly darkened by shadows. There were two couches along each side of the triangle, with the false wall for the base of the shape. Between them was one long table from the false wall to the farthest tip with carvings on each leg & a pile of old papers on the top, covered with several layers of dust.
Harry read the carvings on the table legs facing him. Prongs. Padfoot. Walking around to the other end of the table, the leg in line with Padfoot was named Moony & the one across from it was Wormtail. Harry looked at the false wall again. "Who are you people?" He asked no one in particular. Perhaps they had been students here, or teachers. Or maybe students that had become teachers. How long ago were they? Was any one of them still alive? Harry knew he would probably never get those answers but he couldn't help but wonder at them.
He blew the dust off the papers sitting in the center of the table. They were bound together with strips of black leather to form a sort of book. Harry was looking at the title upside-down. He turned it the right way as he read it.
'The Passion Year'
It was etched in large golden letters, starting from the top left-hand corner & going diagonally down to the bottom right-hand corner.
Harry blinked. Could it be? Was this something else left behind by the Marauders? Would he find answers to his questions with this? He read the title again & then pulled over the first page which was the cover. It crackled as he gently pushed it over the binds of old leather until it lay more or less flat so that it was like an open book. The parchment was definitely old & yellowed. He looked down on the next page.
It is my 6th year at Hogwarts. I am surprised I made it here alive & in one piece. I was nearly killed a couple months ago by a horrible excuse of a life who just happens to be the father of one of my best friends. In fact, if it weren't for the best friend now, I would have probably committed suicide. I already have two scars on my left wrist from an attempt.
This was supposed to be the best year of my life. It is, thanks to Padfoot—
Harry stared at the name. So it was part of the Marauders history! The year was 1977 so it wasn't all that long ago. He did a quick mental calculation in his head. "Oh my God!" He redid the calculations. His father would have been in 6th year in 1977! Would he have known the Marauders? An even more crazy idea; would he have been one of them? Harry bent over the pages again.
—Padfoot, but it was also my worst. Though my beloved Padfoot is helping me through this mess of my life, I feel that I must channel my anger & hurt somewhere, so I'm writing this out. I hope no one reads it. I'll probably burn it after.
Harry stopped reading & looked around, feeling guilty. If this wasn't meant to be read, then should he continue? He told himself that the parchments were never burned. They were right here. Maybe the writer had changed his mind. He stared at the page, heart racing. What if his father was in here? He thought long & hard, justified his decision that he was only looking for anything about his father & pulled an edge of one couch over so he could sit down to read.
To this day, I have told no one of what happened last summer. The only reason Padfoot knows is because he was forced to witness my ordeal.
I'm still hurting from it now & I probably always will. I feel a rage within me that I can not control if I ever see that horrible man again. The only thing keeping me sane is finding what solitude I can when writing & the support of my closest friend.
These are my memoirs of that fateful year. My name is James Prongs Potter—
Harry's mouth fell open. His father—HIS FATHER!—wrote this! Hardly had that thought crossed his mind when he realised, his father...was Prongs! He reread that bit before going on, only to receive not one but two more shocks.
—& I was cruelly raped by Orion Black.
With a shout of anguished surprise, Harry raised his head to stare at the opposite wall. What the hell did he just read? What the bloody hell was that? He stared at the wall for several long moments until he gasped for a much needed breath. He hadn't realised that he wasn't breathing. Harry took off his glasses with one hand & held his face with the other. He put one hand over his nose while closing his eyes, processing that. His father was Prongs. A Marauder. Raped. Raped? By a Black.
Hands clenched to his sides, Harry jumped to his feet & began pacing. He wanted to cry. He wanted to scream. He was furious! He stood over the memoirs again & stared at that line. "Man, you just weren't lucky with that Black family, were you? Father hurts you. Son murders you!" He went back to pacing, passing one hand through his messy hair.
Harry suddenly realised why the memoirs weren't supposed to be read. He wished he could forget what he had read so far. Whatever James—his father—had felt, Harry didn't even kid himself to try & imagine.
Gritting his teeth, Harry marched through the false wall into the long forgotten corridor. After going a few steps, he fell to his knees, feeling he would be sick. He wasn't after all, but had come close. Harry leaned against the wall, feeling the cold stone against his cheek. He realised that he was burning with anger. "Is this the rage you were talking about, Dad?" Harry whispered to the darkness. He sat there, feeling the coolness, allowing it to bring his temperature down. He suddenly wondered if his mother ever found out. Harry suddenly gasped again, unclenching his jaw. It hurt! He had ground his teeth so tightly together that it was hard to open his mouth even a little to breathe.
After several minutes, Harry stood up & pulled out his wand. "Lumos." He began walking down the hall away from that room. When the tapestry was in front of him, Harry pointed his wand to cut himself out but the spell never came. He stood there, staring at the back of the tapestry which looked like a brick wall, but couldn't bring himself to cut it down. He looked back down the tunnel. The memoirs were never burned. They were still back there. His father was long dead. What would it matter? It wasn't like Harry was planning to broadcast to the whole world what had happened to James Potter during his 6th year. It was all he had of his dad besides an old Map & the cloak. Harry suddenly turned tail & ran pell-mell down the tunnel. He didn't even slow down when he reached the false wall but ploughed right on through.
Harry gently picked up the pages of his father's memoirs. The binding cracked in protest from being held after so long. The pages flaked a little. He put it under one arm & pulled out the cloak with the other. Running back to the tapestry, he put the cloak on & finally cut himself out. He headed straight for the Gryffindor Tower. As soon as he was inside the portrait, Harry took off the cloak & wrapped the memoirs inside it, then put the whole thing under his robes.
"Harry!" Hermione exclaimed. "Where have you been? We've been looking for you for almost four hours!"
"Just wandering about the castle," Harry shrugged. Now that he didn't want the attention of his friends, it seemed like he would be unable to get rid of them any time soon.
Ron stood close behind Hermione. "You off using that Map again?"
Hermione glared at Harry. "You shouldn't be doing that. What if you run into Sirius Black?"
"Well funny thing about the Map, Hermione," Harry snapped. "The names appear on it. I'd see him coming."
Hermione stared at him. She held out her hand. "Give me that Map!"
"Hermione!" Harry's teeth were gritted so hard they nearly cracked. "I have a nasty headache right now. I'm going upstairs to bed. I don't want to argue with you or anyone else about that Map right now!" At that, he shoved past both of them & marched upstairs.
Harry felt bad for shouting at her. He wasn't mad at her. She didn't hurt his father (or kill him, for that matter). But he was so infuriated that he couldn't help himself. "A rage I can not control." Isn't that what his father had said? Harry wasn't even the victim here, yet he was mad. How much more so was the fury of his father? The fury of ...Prongs? What did Prongs even mean?
Harry dropped the cloak still covering the pages James Potter had touched, into his trunk, slammed it shut, kicked it, cursed for the pain in his foot & then sat himself on his bed. Harry folded his hands in front of him & leaned his head over his knees. That last line kept echoing in his head & it was giving him a headache.
He didn't know how long he had stayed like that. He heard an owl hoot, but didn't look up to see if it was Hedwig or someone else. His mind was too stuck on that line.
These are my memoirs of that fateful year. My name is James Prongs Potter & I was cruelly raped by Orion Black.
"Harry?" Ron poked his shoulder. Harry just shook his head, not looking anywhere. "Um, Hermione went to the hospital wing. She said to give you this. For your headache, you know." A vial was shoved under Harry's nose. He finally sat up, glaring at it. No magic potion or muggle cure would ever fix this headache. Not this time. But Ron was looking scared. They stared at each other. Then Harry knew why Ron was apprehensive around him. He was afraid of setting Harry off on another shouting spree when he noticed Harry was still upset. "Harry …your eyes." Ron made a motion around his eyes.
Harry wiped his face only to find a few tears on his hands. "It really hurts." He took the vial & swallowed it in one shot.
"Ok," Ron sighed. "G'night."
"Night," Harry lay down on his bed & pulled the rope for the curtains to close. He heard Ron leave. He waited a few minutes, then got up & pulled out the memoirs. He took them to bed with him & began to read.
(If you still haven't read my first paragraph in my profile READ IT NOW! Thanks so much!)