Talking With Grief: Chapter 1 (Anger, Sorrow and Hatred)
Disclaimer: The text that you recognise is in Italics and taken from The Order of the Phoenix and belongs to Joanne Rowling and Jo Rowling alone. (Who on earth else would be able to write such fantastic stuff?) All the characters also belong to J.K.
Spoilers: Huge Order of the Phoenix spoilers (although I'm sure by now that everyone has read it).
Author's Note: Hullo, this certainly isn't my first fic, but it's the first I've put up fanfiction.net. In other words, it's my first attempt at posting fanfiction and sharing it with others besides that of my sister's eyes. I've had the idea of this fic for quite a while, although I only decided to try and take a stab at it myself a few weeks ago. This is my most recent piece of writing, and though the way it is written is strange to even myself, I hope it will be easy to get to grips with.
This first chapter is a shortish one and is mainly Harry reliving the terrible moment of when Sirius died. And don't worry if you are slightly alarmed by Harry in this chapter – I'm not trying to let insanity take over him. Let's just say that he's very troubled at the moment. Well, not surprising really, now that his poor, lovely godfather Padfoot has gone :(.
Anyway, I would very much appreciate reviews! And of course, comments on how I could improve my writing. Thanks :-).
"Come on, you can do better than that!" he yelled, his voice echoing around the cavernous room.
The second jet of light hit him squarely on the chest. The laughter had not quite died from his face, but his eyes widened in shock.
And still Harry could not stop watching, listening. Watching the gaunt, pale face which formerly belonged to his once-living godfather, and reluctantly listening to that short bark of laughter which was familiar, but in a sense was not.
It seemed to take Sirius an age to fall: his body curved in a graceful arc as he sank backwards through the ragged veil hanging from the arch.
No matter how hard Harry tried to turn away, not to view the loss scene, he could not. Maybe it was because he was desperate for any trace of life in Sirius, or to remember how it had been when he had not been dead, and so he kept experiencing his godfather's last few moments of life. But this wasn't the part he wanted to remember – it was torture. Every time he found himself in that same room, that one terrible room, he tried to move his feet – to warn Sirius what was about to happen, but the memory never pushed its way far back enough.
There was a distinct look of mingled fear and surprise on his godfather's wasted, once-handsome face as he fell through the ancient doorway and disappeared behind the veil, which fluttered for a moment as though in a high wind, then fell back into place.
Harry heard Bellatrix Lestrange's triumphant scream, but knew it meant nothing – Sirius had only fallen through the archway, he would reappear from the other side any second.
But Sirius did not appear.
Harry knew – he knew that how ever many hundreds of times he desperately hoped and wished, it was always the same. Sirius never appeared. He never again would.
But maybe this time – this time he would come back! The curtain would swish aside, and there would be Sirius, with a huge doglike grin on his face, ready to triumphantly strike Lestrange. A false hope rose in Harry, filling him with bursting desire greater than any he had felt before. Desire to see Sirius do just that – reappear from behind the curtain. But maybe he needed aid; he needed Harry's voice to sound to help Sirius to reawaken.
"SIRIUS!" Harry yelled. "SIRIUS!"
He had reached the floor, his breath coming in searing gasps. Sirius must be just behind the curtain, he, Harry, would pull him back out –
But as he reached the ground and sprinted towards the dais, Lupin grabbed him around the chest, holding him back.
"There's nothing you can do Harry –"
"Get him, save him, he's only just gone through!"
"– it's too late Harry."
"We can still reach him –" He struggled hard and viciously, but Lupin would not let go…
"There's nothing you can do, Harry… nothing… he's gone..."
These words echoed continuously around Harry's troubled mind until he could stand no more. Scrambling out of bed, he landed on the carpeted flooring with a soft thud. He had to do something, anything that would stop this torture! He wanted to forget about Sirius's death, he wanted to remember the times when Harry was with him and he was alive, even if those times had not been many. He wanted Sirius present. He needed Sirius present.
Harry paced his small, plain bedroom with his hands on the back of his pounding head tightly, trying to squeeze out the thoughts that would not leave him in peace.
He could not carry on for the remainder of the summer holidays like this. After all, it was only the slow beginning of his third dreaded week back here at the Dursleys. He was absolutely exhausted; so far he had not managed to sleep properly at all, and when he was on the brink of falling into slumber, his mind always returned to that same scene, reminding him of it just when his mind was about to close down to tiredness.
Only one thing would prevent him from turning insane… pretending that Sirius was still present.
Flinging himself on the chair to his desk, he unravelled a piece of parchment and took some ink and the eagle feathered quill that Hermione had given him as a Christmas present a couple of years ago. Judging by the light outside, Harry guessed that the dark hours of this unpleasant night would soon be drawing to a close, and dawn would take its place, followed by another long suffering day.
After a few moments of thought, Harry dipped his quill in his ink and started to write:
Harry wondered how many times he had written that now. Quite a few. He knew he was being totally stupid, the deceased could not read letters, but he could not prevent himself. He felt as if he had no control.
It had been earlier in the morning than Harry had thought, for he had sat here for hour after hour, but the quill did not cease in scribbling away. In his previous letters to Sirius he had been quite limited in everything he had to say, in case the letters were intercepted or something. But now he didn't care; the thoughts in his mind flowed out onto the parchment endlessly.
He finally finished the three parchment long letter, signing off his name at the bottom as always, when there was a sharp tapping on his bedroom door – the tap that unmistakably belonged to Aunt Petunia.
"Get up, boy!" Aunt Petunia's shrill voice shrieked from the other side. "And hurry up, breakfast in five minutes."
Harry sighed and folded up his letter, calling Hedwig softly to him.
"Did you hear me?" barked Aunt Petunia.
"Yes, I'm coming, I'm coming," replied Harry heavily, getting to his feet and moving to the window.
Clumsily, he tied the note to Hedwig's leg as she stared up at him with those round amber eyes, showing what appeared to be pity. He finished what he was doing and looked at her, stretching out his arm in advance.
"I want you to take this note to Sirius for me," Harry said firmly. He was completely drained of energy; even Hedwig's light weight on his arm was an aching strain.
Hedwig continued to gaze at him for several moments, as if Harry had not given an instruction at all, and she was still waiting to hear it. Harry sighed yet again. He did not have the patience, but did not have the energy to show signs of irritation.
"Hedwig, please – take the letter to Sirius," Harry repeated tiredly. "And don't look at me like that."
She nipped his finger sharply. This was usually a sign of affection, but it looked as if she was trying to let him know something. Harry reached out and stroked her soft, silky feathers gently, feeling a sense of warmth.
"Look, I know… I know that Sirius is… no longer here." He gulped and shut his eyes for a second or two. "But just get it to him, OK?"
Hedwig hooted in a low, misunderstanding way, but even so, she crouched down on Harry's arm and took flight, her snowy figure souring out of the window and into the distance.
Harry gazed into the paling blue sky for a few moments. Why did he have to have this life? Why was the world so cruel to him alone? What had he ever done to deserve this pain he was suffering? And nothing could help.
He sighed again just as Aunt Petunia rattled on his wooden door once more, banging it almost hard enough to force it off its hinges.
"WHAT do you WANT?" Harry yelled, breaking out of his dreamy trance and turning to face the vibrating door angrily with his fists coiling almost threateningly.
"I told you to get ready!" shrieked Aunt Petunia. "It's Dudder's birthday today. You've supposed to have made breakfast by now!"
"Yeah, well, good for him," Harry mumbled under his breath, grabbing some clothes out of his old and chipped Chester-drawers.
"Now get your lazy, pathetic self out of that room, and get down to the kitchen in two minutes!"
"I'm not making breakfast for everybody else," said Harry irritably.
"You will do as you are told, boy."
"You can't force me, I'm not your slave," retorted Harry loudly, at that moment hearing a heavy stomping crashing nearing to his room, landing on every stair with a creaking bash. Yep, that was most likely to be Uncle Vernon arriving upstairs to rage and spit at him. And sure enough, Uncle Vernon's harsh tones sounded through to Harry, muffled slightly through the wooden door.
"What's going on, Petunia, dear?" he enquired, although Harry had a feeling he knew damn well that Harry was choosing to be stubborn to Aunt Petunia's requests, (well, stubborn in their eyes) otherwise, he wouldn't have been bothered to gather himself up from that lousy armchair of his and proceed up the stairs.
The fact was that Uncle Vernon loved to bully him, even if Harry wasn't going to stand for it anymore. Harry would have thought that after his strict warning from Moody, Tonks, Lupin and Mr Weasley at Kings Cross station, he would have settled down a bit and let Harry be. Indeed, at the time, he had looked mighty horrified, especially at the sight of Mad-Eye's revolving eye spinning around in its socket (Harry didn't exactly blame him for that, the sight of that eye certainly creeped him out sometimes).
But Uncle Vernon seemed to be taking no notice of it at all, as if he'd forgotten – and was treating Harry as badly as ever, in fact, it was probably actually worse than before.
"Vernon, I want everything to be perfect today, for little Dudley's birthday –" Aunt Petunia told him in a cross manner.
'Little Dudley?' thought Harry with a smirk; his cousin was hardly little any more, not that he ever had been of course.
She continued shrilly, "– But this ungrateful child inside this room – the room that we have generously lent to him – refuses blankly to do as I have asked! Not even accepting that it is his job today to prepare breakfast for our family."
Harry rolled his eyes exasperatedly at this and slumped down on his bed, abandoning all ideas of getting dressed and preparing to block his ears and shut himself off.
"Boy!" roared Uncle Vernon, so thunderously that Harry could have sworn that Hedwig's empty cage rattled on top of the wardrobe. "You will do as your Aunt and I say! Do you hear me?"
"How could I not hear you?" replied Harry through clenched teeth. Why couldn't they just leave him alone?
"You will not speak to me like that! You will get down here, right now, and make the breakfast as we have instructed you to do so. I want it ready in fifteen minutes."
"As I've already told my dearest Aunt," said Harry very sarcastically. "I'm not making breakfast for everybody else whilst watching that selfish pig of a cousin open present after present, and not even being grateful for it."
He knew he had gone too far. There was a long silence in which he anticipated the huge storm to follow, but it didn't come in the way he had expected.
"Fine," Uncle Vernon said softly but sneeringly. "All right then. Fine. You refuse to do what we kindly ask of you, we refuse to do as your nasty little friends ask of me. No food from us for a week. Scavenge in the dustbins for all I care! You'll find more food there than you're going to get from us, and that's if I allow you outside."
And Harry heard him stomp off again, surprised that he didn't actually care now. Deciding to voice this out loud, he shouted after him…
"Fine – you do that! I don't care anymore, I don't care about anything or anyone. You let me starve, I'm not bothered! I'm not bothered at all…" His voice became hoarse and suddenly broke and poured out mixed feelings, they trickled through his veins like lethal poisonous blood, causing them to swell with anger, sorrow and hatred; he felt like he was going to burst with emotion.