Title: Quite Past Time
Chapter 3: Solution
Disclaimer: Don't own it- not my characters,
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It had been roughly three weeks and Harry was still waiting on some of his answers. He had surmised the general gist of what was going on through Remus' uncharacteristically tight lips, but he had one fairly large question that he still could not figure out. Why?
He understood that Remus had decided it was best that he did not go to Hogwarts this year and instead go from city to city, staying only a few nights in each, effectively hiding from Voldemort. He understood that Remus had felt that Grimmauld Place wasn't necessarily the safest place anymore (Harry was actually feeling something of the like himself), but Hogwarts was safe wasn't it? His aunt and uncles' had still been safe….right? Or did Remus know something Harry did not?
Of course he did, Harry thought grimly to himself. Remus Lupin and the other members of the Order knew much more then Harry was ever deigned to know and he was the one whom would eventually have to face Voldemort himself! Pushing the sudden overwhelming feeling of bitterness aside, Harry took in a deep breath of fresh air, reveling in the fact that he was outside in the warm summer air, when in the other alternative location he would be tip-toeing around an old house, trying not to disturb Mrs. Black's picture.
Harry smiled suddenly into the warm night air, his heart comparatively lighter then his previous thoughts. He had been bitter the year before, he reminded himself, and look where that had gotten him. He very much doubted, however, that anyone would begrudge him his resentment. He supposed it was the natural thing to feel, though he hated to justify it that way. With this thought in mind, Harry turned his thoughts forcefully away from the year before to the present.
So he wouldn't be allowed to go to Hogwarts and he wasn't at Grimmauld Place. He didn't mind. As for his question why- well that was still valid. After all Remus wasn't a person able to go on the run without thinking through every possible consequence. Tonight they would have to find a place where he could stay during his transformations after all. He had as much as said so this morning.
Harry didn't even know if the Professor had Wolfsbane or if he did how much he had. That fact could easily tell him how long the Professor planned to keep him on the run as it couldn't. They could, after all, go back to Snape and get more, but Harry highly doubted Remus would take that chance.
Why did he think that this plan would work? How could it work, Harry wondered idly. There were so many ways they could be caught and if they were and Remus was with him….Harry didn't want to think about what they would do with him. He'd rather be back at Hogwarts worrying about when Voldemort would come for him for that fact alone.
Remus stared down at his report to Dumbledore with grim satisfaction. He finished it off, signing his name and folded it carefully before sealing it. It was the second one Fawkes had demanded of him, and the one-time Professor carefully picked up the feather and watched the letter vanish seemingly into thin air.
More Wolfsbane potion would come with the next sending he knew, and he was forever grateful the Headmaster was willing to ask Snape to continue to make it for him. Not that he wasn't just as grateful that Snape placed old grudges aside and made them for him once a month either, though he was under no illusion that Snape didn't loath every second of the process.
"Remus?" Remus turned to smile at his best friend's son, feeling a bit ashamed that he had yet to explain the situation to him properly. He simply could not risk "bugs" as Muggles aptly put them. Especially since the media had found out that Harry was missing (he had had to cancel his Daily Prophet prescription after that). Of course this all might sound a bit paranoid of him, but he wouldn't take any chances. Not after how the Marauder's last plan had gone so awry.
"Yes Harry?" He asked. Sometime in the near future, however, he would have to talk to Harry about Sirius. About the will and his last requests. But that could all wait for later. Not too much later of course; a few days….after his transformation. The sounded about right.
"Can I watch television?" The boy asked.
Remus stared at him for moment and assured him a bit incredulously, "Of course Harry; you didn't have to ask."
"Okay, thanks," Harry said brightly and went back to his bed and flicked on the television, his eyes more alight then they had been since Remus had first picked him up at the Dursleys'. Frowning, it took a moment for Remus to realize that Harry hadn't been watching television in the last few days (something he had found rather odd) because he had thought Remus wouldn't allow him to. It seemed stupid. More then stupid; why would Remus care? But judging from the look on Harry's face at the prospect of choosing his own channel he had more then thought he would; he had expected Remus to say no.
"Such a simple thing," Remus said to himself quietly, aware that Harry had shot him a rather startled and confused glance. Remus also noted, almost painfully, that it wasn't a cartoon or some other childish show that Harry settled on, but a news station.
Harry watched the news diligently through the weather (something he and Remus never bothered to care about and had several mishaps because of that fact), noting that the day after the next would be thundershowers; a day they would most likely like to stay inside. It was the crime report, which he was interested in however, and his patience was rewarded fifteen minutes later when a newscaster came on with a particularly bewildered expression.
- And in out-breaking news the eleventh victim to this new chain of unprecedented murders was found in an alleyway eleven o'clock this morning. As the other ten victims, the body was found to have no cohesive cause of death. Identification of the body is still underway. In other news-
Harry stared at the television for a long time, not hearing anything else. He looked over at Remus to find that the Werewolf had either missed that report or was pretending he hadn't heard. Harry couldn't blame him if it was the latter. He definitely hadn't wanted to hear that.
He flicked up a few channels, his skin still crawling on his back, but after a moment of just seeing the picture before moving on, he realized that he wouldn't be able to concentrate on it and turned it off, sending the room back into it's prior state of thick silence.
It had to have been Voldemort. That thought stood particularly firm in his mind. Or some of the Death Eaters, he amended. He tried to think about something else, knowing that even if he had the slightest chance of figuring out what Voldemort was doing, it would do him no good.
He could do nothing about it obviously. He was under Remus' watchful eye. For a moment Harry considered what he had just thought, frowning in concentration. A few minutes later, with a sinking feeling, Harry realized what the ultimate question he had to ask himself at this point in time was; what really stood in the way of him going to fight Voldemort?
Hadn't he decided that he was as prepared for this as he would ever be? Of course that had been a mild statement in the past, and he could label it more bitterness then anything else. He hadn't meant that he would go and "play hero" again as Hermione aptly put it. In fact, he had meant the opposite. Throughout the last few months he had been waiting for Voldemort to come for him; an action that was meant to go against his very nature.
But was it really Harry "playing hero" all these years? Was he really suffering from some sort of infliction that Hermione could immediately recognize and put into words and label wrong? Or had Hermione not been the real person to label it wrong? Had he just assumed that was what she meant because of the horrendous blotch on his part on the Sirius count?
When it came down to it what Hermione thought or didn't think wasn't the issue. Whether she had defined this condition accurately or not wasn't the issue either. The fact of the matter was right or wrong, he had not only the responsibility but the duty to do what he could for the Wizarding and even Muggle world. Even if he made mistakes in the process, lost love ones….
It wasn't about him. It wasn't about what he thought or didn't think. It wasn't about what others thought or didn't think. It was about Voldemort and the need to somehow defeat him. Harry had answered the calling ever since his first year at Hogwarts and there was no reason not to do so now. In fact, there was much more of a reason.
"Taking a vacation," as he decided upon before, definitely was not the best thing he could have done.
Remus was startled out of his thoughts when the television was abruptly switched off. For a moment he watched Harry in interest, as he seemed to be thinking rather seriously. Sighing, Remus turned away, more then aware that Harry would not like it if he caught Remus staring. It was one thing that assured Remus that Harry was still a teenage boy.
It wasn't until he realized that he was staring off into a semi-darkening sky and the pains of the transformation became a little more apparent that Remus stood up in shock, looking at his watch. Cursing, he said goodnight to Harry and rushed out of the hotel, hoping that he would make it to the cave in time.
Although he usually could transform now practically anywhere as long as he took the Wolfsbane potion, Remus still found himself screaming through the transformation. Although he could always place a silencing charm on whatever room he was staying in, he knew that the Death Eaters could easily seek him out just by his suddenly dark presence. As least Voldemort could….and Remus knew this, of course, from personal experience.
Transforming in a cave somewhere nowhere nearby would be the only thing he could do for Harry at a time like this. He hoped that it would be enough. In the end that was all that he could hope for; that he was doing the best thing for Harry as possible.
Harry smiled at the empty bed beside him, for once glad that Remus suffered from his affliction. The full moon gave him the chance to leave without a fight and what made it all the better was that Remus couldn't blame himself later. He would blame the wolf. Though Harry wasn't sure if that was any better then the Professor blaming himself.
It was too late now for Harry to back down from his decision anyway, so he pushed the nagging thought beside and made sure that he had his wand. Giving one last appraising look around the room, he left, the door swinging softly shut behind him.
For better or for worst, he would come face to face with Voldemort as soon as possible. This was the path he had chosen, and the best part about it was that when it all came down to it all of the people who sought to control his life and keep information from him had no way of affecting that decision and if they had they had gotten the result they hadn't intended. He wasn't in any way more prepared. If anything he was less.
Okay the ending is horrible I know *cries*. I'm sorry but I'm not going to change it. I didn't want this story to be anything more then me writing down whatever came to mind so it's no wonder that the ending doesn't tie this story together at all….I could go back and change so many things in this story but I've been writing so much for perfection lately that I needed this to be imperfect. I haven't changed anything that I wrote- I corrected a few grammatical statements so that anyone reading could understand what I was writing but that's about it. I know that there are still some sentences that don't make much sense and I know there's a lot of grammatical mistakes- it irks me more then it probably does you yet I refuse to correct them. *shrugs* It's hard to explain and I didn't think I would be but considering the ending *helpless shrug*
I just wanted to make two things clear, though, because I can't resist. The first is that Remus isn't thinking about Voldemort- that's the whole point of the first chapter. He's thinking about Harry's best interest, which you can say is surviving Voldemort, but Remus feels that he needs a break from his life as much as Harry does *shrugs* Again my brain working out some very strange logic, but it's really my interpretation of Remus.
The second thing is that what I meant for Harry's role in this never exactly happened. I meant for him to think "take a break" because of Sirius and what Hermione said but later realize that he can't take a break and that he was really only trying to run away. In the end he was supposed to get pissed at the Order for keeping so much from him when they really shouldn't have and be pissed at Dumbledore for allowing his "love" for Harry *cough* rule over the need for Harry to know everything he could possibly know about Dumbledore….
I really can't explain my thoughts sorry and this explanation is really just me trying to get over the fact that I'm posting this and there's so many things wrong with it…. *shudders*
Thanks hermionegreen, NyteShade, Moongirl, Lilly Black1, and Katie for reviewing! I luv ya'll!
I'm semi-planning to write a really big thanks in the near future because I really don't deserve so many reviews and you're all so nice to me. Thanks so much, I'm tempted to post more of my stories on ff.net ^.^;