A/N: I know, I haven't updated this in forever, actually a year, but here it is. Thanks for everyone who ever reviewed in the first place, and anyone who continues to read it. If I contradict myself in this chapter, remember it's been a long time. Things might sound a bit softer in this chapter, but it's coming mostly from the thinking of Dumbledore, and I have a fond spot of a softy Dumbledore.


Chapter 6

The first person Dumbledore had properly been able to speak to was Remus, who he was honestly counting on to give him the fullest report. Yes, he had seen Sirius stomp through the house and right up to him, where he promptly yelled something incoherent at him before stomping away again. Albus really wouldn't have heard him anyways, for the sight of the mangled boy lying limply in his arms. However, Mrs. Black did hear him, and promptly began to wail.

He sighed. Severus had been next in line to pass through. Albus couldn't help but notice that the younger man looked at him differently than before. He mentioned briefly that Mr. Potter would need Madam Pomfrey's aid as quickly as possible, and quite reasonably the attention of someone to deal with his mental issues. As he stalked to the fireplace, Albus also heard some mumblings about a group rate for him and his mutt godfather.

Finally Remus walked in the door, calmly as ever. He appeared to be several minutes delayed when compared to the others, and after seeing the state of Harry, Albus could only hope the lad had kept the werewolf in check. He was by now accustomed to all of the few faces Remus Lupin could or would bear, and Albus thought this was the one he originally called 'there's-no-reason-to-pity-me, I'm-only-watching-my-last-friend-and-cub-get-away." Then he realized this one was a new one. One he wished never to see.

Albus thought the worst face the werewolf had to wear was the one of the brutality of his transformation. Before his friends knew of his other half, Albus was the one to watch over Remus when he transformed. No, he was not there in physical means, but he watched from his office and often collected the boy in the morning, carrying him to the Hospital Wing.

This face was not the one he thought it was, it was somehow different. Instead of watching them get away, this was the face to show that his very last good friend and the young boy he wished he could care for like a son were gone. And Remus Lupin was standing there utterly lost.

"Remus, my dear boy?" the old man stepped forward carefully. He had seen Sirius in the midst of a major breakdown, Harry just physically broken down, and he couldn't have his ex-professor joining them, not if he could help him.

Remus was silent for a few moments more, and Albus could see him flexing his jaw tightly. He stared straight ahead towards the stairs where Sirius had carried Harry off to. Albus reached forward to grasp his arm before he finally turned to look at him.

"This wasn't his relatives' fault," said the rough voice. "They honestly tried to help him, I believe. I just think they didn't know how to help him by the time they realized he needed it. Oh Albus, Harry…he's been digging away at his own skin, there's dried blood all over him. His finger pads look like a mass of bloody carnage. Besides from the dark circles under his eyes, his complexion is as pale as a ghost…and he has streaks of gray through his hair. Whole chunks of it at a time. The only time you see that is when…"

"When the person has gone through an extreme ordeal, one that has scared or shocked them deeply," Albus finished for him frowning. "I'd say Mr. Potter feels both at the moment."

"Merlin, did you see him?" Remus felt ready to collapse. "I saw the effect the dementors had on him, and I heard of all the things he did and I always pictured him…but I saw him tonight Albus. This wasn't something I imagined seeing. Merlin, someone should have tried talking to him sooner…we should have known…"

"I spoke to him myself before the end of term, and we all sent him several letters," Albus said. "Yes, it is apparent now that is was not enough, but you can not blame yourself. I am accused of many things when it comes to our dear Mr. Potter. Favoritism seems to be the biggest concern. I've let Harry slide by with many things in the past. Favor is not the word I would use…I suppose I love Harry. I hold a fonder spot for him than others."

"You love him, but you didn't check up on him?" Remus was getting wobbly now. "Not once during the ten years before Hogwarts, and not now? After he saw one of classmates die by the hands of the same man who killed his parents?"

"I suppose I deserve that," Albus looked down sadly for a moment. He was about to continue when he heard a thud and an alarming voice echo through the house. Madam Pomfrey had arrived. They could hear Snape mentioning some things to her as he led her upstairs.

"Albus, we need to get up there too," Remus looked slightly ill. "Sirius, he's really gone into hysterics. I'm not sure if he'll give up Harry to let her check him…"

Albus nodded before turning to the stairs. Madam Pomfrey and Severus were already upstairs, and Remus didn't want Severus to stun Padfoot again. They heard a great deal of shouting coming from one of the last rooms further down the upstairs hallway, otherwise Remus wouldn't be sure which room Sirius had disappeared to. It was a room close to Sirius's, and he imagined he had always been planning to make the room next to his Harry's. Remus took a big breath before Albus motioned him in.

Inside the room, Sirius was standing on a makeshift bed still holding Harry, who was awake, or so it appeared. His green eyes were slightly opened, however unfocused. Sirius was trying to get the boy to acknowledge him while he smoothed back his hair, not being as near as careful as he should be of the wounds there. Meanwhile Pomfrey was trying to get the convict off the bed and her patient in her own hands. Severus stood by with his wand raised, following the man's movements as he swayed on the bed.

"Severus, that won't be necessary," Albus said. "Sirius, please calm down. You'll only further harm Harry."

"Harry, Harry, please look at me, please," Sirius was begging. "Please…Harry…"

"Black, will you-" Severus started.

"Why won't he look at me?" Sirius sounded almost angry. He slightly shook the boy's body, and Remus saw the boy's grimace.

"Padfoot! Stop! You're hurting him!" the werewolf shouted. He briskly strode forward and attempted to take the boy from him. It took both Albus's and Pomfrey's help to be successful. Severus grasped both of Sirius's arms and tried to drag him out of the room.

"Stop! I'm his godfather! I'm his godfather!" he was frantic. "Remus! Help!"

Remus made no motion towards him. Not one gesture. He was gently lying Harry down on the bed, who was still staring off into space, clearly not aware of his surroundings, not who he was with, or where. He might not have even realized he was awake. Sirius, who realized Remus had just taken Harry away from him without a second glance became furious.

"That's it, isn't it? You're trying to steal him from me!" he bellowed. "You were always jealous it wasn't you. I always had James's vote, but you hoped Lily would choose you! You were always jealous they didn't make you his godfather! You couldn't have a kid yourself, so you take someone else's!"

"That is quite enough!" Albus said finally. He gave Sirius a look that made his mouth quit for the moment, and Severus took the chance to drag him out of the room manually.

"Remus, really, you shouldn't even think a moment about it," Madam Pomfrey said, lighting rubbing his arm. Her face then became serious as she stood over Harry. "I think you two better leave for the moment being while I see what I can do."

"Of course," Albus nodded. He vaguely gestured towards the door with one hand, and with the other lightly embraced the man beside him. He looked at the young boy on the bed, not even of fifteen yet, and thought he couldn't look more like the man standing beside him right now, both quite broken.

"Actually, if you would excuse me one moment Remus," Albus requested softly. The werewolf nodded before shakily walking out the door, hoping to Merlin he didn't see Sirius.

Albus, seeing the man was out of sight, let drop his calm demeanor and walked closer to Harry. He took in the boney body and the cracked lips. He gently picked up one of the boy's hands, and felt a tear spring into his eye. He moved his hand up to Harry's limp hair which glistened slightly and let out a small choked noise when he parted a portion of his hair to see shards of glass embedded there.

"Oh, Harry my boy," Albus let the tear fall. "I hope you know you were one of my favorites."

The great wizard thought he saw something spark deep within those once beautiful eyes, but he knew he probably hoped so hard for it he made himself see it. He leaned forward and gently kissed the boy atop his scar.

"I'll leave you to your work then," he said straightening up, calling upon his acting skills once more. He walked as calmly as he could away from her as she mentioned:

"As soon as I'm done, I'll be down to give you my report," Pomfrey stated. She had already removed Harry's clothing with a spell and was scanning it carefully.

"I'm afraid I must be going," he said with a long drawl. He wearily rubbed his forehead as she went on.

"Who will be here to look after him, Albus?"

"Give any instructions you have to Remus or Molly, in addition I'll have Severus remain here. There will be others in and out to help as well, and I hope you'll check in on him every once in awhile."

"Yes, of course Albus," the witch agreed. "He's one of my favorites too. But what about Mr. Black? I'm not sure it's advisable to let him be around Mr. Potter, not right now."

"Sirius will be joining me for the while being, and unless there is anything else I can do for you, I will be collecting him and leaving." He took something gingerly out of his pocket, though the woman couldn't see what it was.

"Of course, I'll try to find you later to give you any information I have. Oh, and do be careful with Black. He's in a fragile state as well."

"I know, I know," replied the very tired voice. "It's time I did something about it."

A/N: Whoo, that whole thing was rushed. At least you all have something. Happy New Year's, everyone!