A/N: I'm so sorry for not updating sooner! I had a lot of difficulties to write this chapter…and with the exams coming… Anyway, this chapter is longer! Read and enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter, this universe belong to J.K Rowling.
Big thanks to my beta Evita-Beth!!
Where Truth Lies
Chapter 4 : Secrets Hidden
"Everybody has secrets. In one lifetime it is impossible to find all about ourselves, every day make us learn a new thing … Good or bad, that, we will never know until the day comes…"
Harry woke up with difficulty, all his body aching. He blinked several times, while his right hand reached his glasses and put them on his nose. He glanced around him, memories of the attack coming back to him in flashes. Harry remembered arriving in Grimmauld Place with Lupin, who had given him some potions for the Cruciatus curse side-effects, and then collapsed in his bed. Grimmauld Place. The very place he didn't want to go again; he couldn't bare to be in that house, again. But after all it was still better then being at the Dursleys'.
The house hadn't changed from last summer, even with all the cleaning work. It still had that dark and hostile atmosphere; it seemed that the dust would never go, that the house itself didn't want to change, as if time had stopped.
It seemed awfully quiet. Not a single sound. Harry was left alone, to himself and the dark thoughts that drifted through his mind. Half of him expected to hear his godfather's voice laughing happily, or even shouting to his mother's portrait. Harry shook his head. No … that will never happen … never …. He buried his head into his hand. It hurt so much to be here again; the place where Sirius had suffered all his childhood, the place where he was compelled to stay without going out for a whole year. Because of Dumbledore…it was for his safety, true, but still he had died. Harry closed his eyes tightly. Each time he thought back to it, he came with that same hurting conclusion. It was his fault … all his fault. Yet, he wasn't the only one to blame, he knew it.
Harry was taken back to reality when he heard footsteps. Remus had entered the room, and seeing Harry awake, hurried to his side, his face a picture of worry.
"How do you feel Harry?" he asked with concern.
"Fine," he lied, it was a simple answer, yet he knew Lupin didn't believe him. Oh no, he was far from fine, both mentally and physically.
Moony seemed slightly relieved and smiled at him.
"Come on sleeping beauty, you must be really hungry! You know, you've slept for three days straight?"
"Really?" Harry was taken back by this new revelation, although he shouldn't be. After all, he hadn't really slept since the beginning of the holidays, and he wasn't over the effects the Cruciatus curse had done.
"So?" said Remus grinning.
"Dense, aren't you?" Remus laughed heartedly. "Hungry?"
"Oh! Sure!" Harry answered, blushing slightly at his own stupidity.
Harry entered the living room to hear many voices shouting his name and their owners' descending on him. Mrs Weasley hugged him tightly and behind her he could see Hermione looking like she was ready to cry. All the Weasleys were present, apart from Percy; the one who had turned his back on his family. To his delight, Tonks, Moody and Mundungus were all there beaming at him fondly, except Moody of course. Mrs Weasley let go of him.
"Hello, mate!" said Ron, placing a hand on Harry's shoulder.
"Oh, Harry!" Hermione cried, hugging him briefly. "We were all so worried! I can't believe Death Eaters tried to capture you so soon!"
"Hermione!" Ron said, sighing. "Calm down."
Harry stopped listening to their argument. "Haven't change a bit…" Harry thought with sarcasm. He turned his look on the others, and saw the motherly figure of Mrs Weasley ordering the twins to do the table. Molly Weasley was a very kind and caring mother. She loved Harry like another son - and she had many! Harry, too, liked her; however he couldn't see her as his mother, even if she was acting like one. Maybe he feared he would forget his own mother… Yet, there had to be another reason, which Harry just… couldn't figure out.
The last summer's events had changed many things. Seeing her made Harry now feel uneasy.
Voices echoed around his head.
"He's not your son."
"He's as good as one, who else has he got?"
"He's got me!"
"Yes, the thing is, it's been rather difficult for you to look after him while you've been in Azkaban, hasn't it?"
Anger suddenly filled Harry. True, Mrs Weasley loved him, but was it a reason to judge Sirius like this? Was it too difficult for the Order's members to think by themselves? Maybe even to suggest that Dumbledore was wrong every now and again. No, they wouldn't, they all obeyed his orders blindly. Only Sirius, and occasionally Remus, had wanted to inform him of events that he needed to know. If he had known that Voldemort could make him see things, he would have more studied Occlumency; and most of all he would have thought twice before going to the Department of Mysteries.
"What?" he answered, perhaps more rudely then he would have done normally. However, when he saw Fred and George he calmed ever so slightly.
"Wow, mate! Relax, it's us!" Fred said with his joking voice. "Come and eat, or mum'll snap at us again."
They sat at the table, and Harry was relieved to see Ron and Hermione had finally stopped arguing.
The meal finished and Harry decided to go back to his room. He found that didn't really want to be in the company of people recently. Unfortunately for him, he heard two people follow him hurriedly. Harry shrugged. After all, he should try to talk to them; they were his best friends …
He entered the room, leaving the door open, and sat on his bed. He waited with the full knowledge that, inevitably, they would walk in and start talking to him.
"Harry, why on earth did you leave so soon?" Hermione said annoyed. Ron was beside her, also with a questioning look on his face. Harry didn't answer at first and just looked at them with a detached look.
"Hey!" said Ron rather frustrated. "Why can't you just act normally? Try to cheer up, there's still more than a whole month before school starts!"
The raven-haired boy merely shrugged, trying to look calm. He really didn't like the way things were heading. As if school was something that bothered him… ridiculous. He had others things on his mind, and unfortunately – maybe – Sirius. Hermione and Ron sat on his bed next to him. Hermione's eyes were full of anxiety, and her eyebrows furrowed.
"Harry… are you alright?" she asked, her voice definitely worried. Harry got up suddenly and turned to face them with an awful forced smile.
"Yeah, why wouldn't I be alright? You two obviously are: always snapping at each other for no reasonable reason!"
Harry breathed heavily, still trying to be calm, as Ron got up too, his freckles turning red.
"What's up with you?" Ron said angrily. "We haven't done anything, and you…you, come and yell at us!"
"Firstly, Ron," Harry shouted back. "I have not yelled! And what after all, the "Boy Who Lived" can't afford to be angry, can he?"
"Harry…" The other boy sighed, his eyebrows furrowed. "I haven't said that, and you know it's not what I think!"
Harry shook his head slightly and sat heavily on a chair. He, himself, didn't know why he was so angry at them. Seeing them so naïve and carefree … he should be happy for them, shouldn't he? But, they were in war, and war isn't a game. The raven haired boy passed a hand through his messy hair and closed his eyes briefly. He felt trapped by his own weakness, trapped by his fate too. Why couldn't he be like the other teenagers? He looked up at his friends again, knowing they were staring at him to try to find out what was wrong with him. But nothing was wrong, as his life had always been that way. If something goes well, then that is when something is wrong…
Hermione was twisting her fingers and biting her lower lip as every time she was anxious and concerned. Harry glanced at the window, his eyes half-closed, and said in almost a whisper:
"Yes … I'm alright…"
He knew he did sound as if he was trying to persuade himself, but he didn't care. Ron and Hermione glanced at each other with a worried look, but they knew better than trying to argue with him now.
Harry suddenly heard hooting and looked around him. Hedwig, looking really happy to see Harry, came immediately to him and perched on his arm. Harry stroked her soft feathers, as she bit his finger affectionately.
"Where have you been? With the other owls?" Harry said softly, and for the first time in a while, happy. The two others were relieved to see him smile, but he didn't even notice.
The other owl was from Hogwarts and Hermione had taken the letter looking excited.
"Hermione? Is it the O.W.L. results?" Harry asked, a note of dread in his voice.
"Yes! Wait, I'll give you your letter… Ron, here."
"Oh …" he said it, his hand trembling quite visibly. "What if I've done really bad, what if-"
"Ron, please, stop!" Harry said exasperatedly. The other boy calmed immediately, knowing what had happened earlier. Hermione had already opened her results and was scanning through them- a small smile crept over her face.
"Oh my God!" she exclaimed almost jumping up and down. "I've got 13 O.W.Ls! Top marks!"
Harry and Ron grinned too and said:
"Great! Congratulations Hermione!"
Ron finally managed to open his letter with his shaking hands. He read carefully, and then shouted: "8 O.W.L.s ! I can't believe it! Yes! … What about you, Harry?"
Mr Harry Potter,
The results of your O.W.L. examinations are as follows:
Defence Against the Dark Arts:
- Practical: O bonus point for the patronus
- Writing: O
- Practical: E
- Writing: E
- Practical: E
- Writing: A
- Practical: E
- Writing: E
- Practical: A
Care of Magical Creature:
- Practical: O
- Practical: P
History of Magic: D
Total: 10 O.W.L.s / 13
Harry stared at his letter with surprise, how on earth had he managed to get 10 O.W.L.s? He grinned at his friends, who were still waiting for him to answer. Hermione and Ron took his letter with impatience, and read.
"Oh Harry!" Hermione exclaimed like a little girl. "That's wonderful!"
"Yeah, congrats mate! I can't believe I've almost done as great as you!"
Harry chuckled softly, as Mrs. Weasley enter the room, a questioning look on her face.
"What's happening there?" she asked with an eyebrow raised.
"Mum!" Ron said showing his letter in the air, "My O.W.L.s results! I've got 8 O.W.L.s!"
Mrs Weasley looked at first a little surprise, but soon hugged her, son tightly with pride.
"Oh Ronnie, I'm so proud of you!" she cried beaming. "And two?"
"13 for me" Hermione answered trying not to look too pride of herself, "and 10 for Harry!"
"Congratulations!" She engulfed them in a hug too. Harry felt a little uneasy after what he had thought earlier on, however, he didn't let it show on his face. "Come downstairs now, Mad Eye, Tonks and the others are here."
The living room was crammed with people talking about one thing and another. Harry walked slowly inside, knowing perfectly, that all these people knew so many things about Voldemort, but that they wouldn't (or rather couldn't) say anything about Him when they were there.
Hermione was looking at him with that annoying know-it-all look, proving that she knew exactly what was on his mind. After all it was quite easy to find out what he was thinking after how he had reacted last year. But, she would never understand him, or know his real thoughts, no matter how hard she might try. On one hand this fact was saddening him, for he would always be alone, a "marked man"; but on the other hand, he had his freedom if no one could know his thoughts…
Harry stopped with these semi-depressing thoughts, when he nearly bumped into Mad Eye Moody.
"I'm sorry…" Harry said kicking himself mentally for being so clumsy. Moody was looking at him with his penetrating stare, which looked similar to Dumbledore's own- the one that made him feel ill-at-ease.
"So, Potter, you've got yourself into trouble again, eh?" he said with his famous growl.
"It wasn't MY fault," Harry protested. He wasn't going to be blame for something he hadn't done. He had to bit his lips to not yell: "Go ask your dear Dumbledore why I've been in trouble, because HE doesn't want to tell me, again!"
But Moody seemed to read his mind as he said:
"Albus has his reasons, boy."
Harry made a quick note; he really had to practice Occlumency. There was a tense silence. Harry was really relieved when he heard Moony's voice behind him. Harry turned on his heel to see a tired but smiling Remus.
"Moody, I hope you're not trying to scare Harry!" he said jokingly.
"Course not! I'm just realistic, and this boy must be aware of what's going on, constant vigilance!" he growled.
Harry looked at him questioningly, was he going to tell him something? Will he finally know something? Remus must had seen this as he laughed softly and said, "Harry, don't you want to ask us something?"
"Well, um…yes…" he stammered uneasily.
Moody stared at him with his magical eye, while Remus began suddenly grimly, "As you already know Harry, Voldemort has broken into Azkaban, and freed all his servants, including Lucius Malfoy."
"But how could that happen?" Harry interrupted.
"Voldemort has the dementors." He sighed. "It's been easy for him. The Ministry, and us too, have underestimated him… Moreover, the disappearances have begun, once again…like in his first rise to power."
Harry was deep in thought, bemused by what he had just heard. So many people were suffering, but for what? Mad Eye's voice caught his attention again.
"Yes, Dumbledore's brother for instance… Aberforth. Didn't know him well, but it's kind of strange that he'd disappeared, just when Dumbledore wanted to contact him."
A blurred image of the photo Moody had showed him last year appeared in Harry's mind. Aberforth Dumbledore, a strange, mysterious man that nobody really knew. An enigma as his brother. "Must be a family thing," Harry snorted mentally.
"Anyway, Dumbledore hasn't told us much about him." Remus sighed again, visibly tired. Harry knew for sure the old man was hiding something, or rather many.
"Do you know what he's been talking about with the Dursleys?" Harry asked, though he was rather sure he wasn't going to learn much.
"No," Remus answered sincerely. "You'll have to ask Dumbledore yourself."
Harry almost snorted with scepticism. "Yeah, as if he would tell me." He was tempted to ask if he would be staying here all the summer, or… Mad-Eye looked at him, his face expressionless. That look was really beginning to annoy the young boy; Harry shook his head slightly with a soft frustrated growl.
"Well, well Harry," Remus said after a while with an amused smile. "I think it's time for you to go to bed."
"What? I've been in bed for days and you want me to sleep, again!" Harry protested. Truthfully, he was exhausted, though he would never admit it. Lupin sent him a stern look and Harry sighed knowing it was hopeless to argue with the man.
The raven haired boy was once again lying on his bed, staring at the ceiling thoughtfully. So many strange things were happening, things he had no control over, things he knew might be linked to him… The mysterious disappearance of Dumbledore's brother was very intriguing.
From frustration and exhaustion, Harry passed a hand through his messy hair, only to make it look even more messier. There was no need to think too much about it after all… Although another fear, quite justified, was lurking in the back of his mind: Bellatrix's threat.
He hadn't told Remus, or anyone about it. True, he might have at first forgotten with all the agitation, but there was something else, he couldn't quite pin-point. How could he have forgotten? If he had told the Order, wasn't it in a way more dangerous? After all, she might have just wanted to scare him… Nevertheless, if her threat was true, then… then what would happen to his friends? On the other hand, if he told them, wouldn't there be consequences? Then, the Death Eaters would really come.
Harry closed his eyes out of tiredness and tried to clear his mind, deciding that maybe he should tell someone about it. Even if his friends were getting on his nerves, he still cared; he didn't want them to get hurt. He rested his hand on his scar, which started prickling uncomfortably, and rubbed his forehead more and more often. "Not a good sign…" Harry sighed. He clenched his jaw tightly, as he knew he might yell of pain if he didn't. He definitely didn't want people to worry more about him, it was already enough annoying. Darkness began to wrap around him and he knew what was coming next.
"Oh great…looks like I'm going to have another 'funny' dream and meet my "dear" Voldemort…again…"
To be continued…
Big thanks to :
Mikito: thanks! I hope you like this chapter!
Slimpun: I know it's been a really long time…sorry!
Aspid: I also love dark!harry though I still don't know how much dark he will be in this story… Dumbledore… well he hides manythings…
Wanderingwolf: Yeah I don't think Dumbledore will be really keen to tell Harry…
HermioneGreen: Thanks a lot!! Well it's difficult for Remus, he cares very much about Harry but he is still faithful to Dumbledore…still, Dumbledore is not evil. Hope you like this chapter!
Amandika: Here is the next chapter, finally!
Bellatrix Riddle: Thanks!
Anemosys: Thanks! The confrontation will come!
linky2: well I don't think he will be the next dark lord, though it's a really tempting thought...
Kento: Harry will have to train to become more powerful, by himself and with some aid!
Hunta: Thanks a lot!!
darknessallover: Thank you! I won't give up this story! It's just that sometimes I have some difficulties to write…and I hope you like this chapter too!
cintishortstop: Yes we will learn what he had tell them, but not immediately…
Lunalovegood: Thanks a lot!! Yes don't worry he will be more powerful!
Lady Phoenix Slytherin: Thanks!! Hope you like this chapter!
Shadowface: Thanlks!! I also really like dark Harry!
A/N: So how do you find this chapter? I hope I'll finish the next chapter sooner! Well it depends on the reviews! Please please review!!