Making History (1) – The Fate Of One
long A/N ahead, sorry – but it's the first chapter
Here it is, the first fic in the Making History Trilogy! Today you get two chapters, because I won't manage to update for the next fortnight as I'm on holiday. But finally the fic is finished to be posted. It'll be around 35 chapters, I haven't yet broken the later part of it into chapters so I can't say precisely. The chapters are shorter than in "Hunting The Traitor", depending on the chapter length there will be one or two updates a week. It's canon, but as the posting of the second and third fic might take until well into next year when the 6th novel is bound to come out, it might become AU at some point. We'll see. On with the disclaimers:
Disclaimer: I don't own anything here except the plot and the occasional original character. All Harry Potter™ settings and characters are the sole intellectual property of Joanne K. Rowling, her publishers, Warner Bros. and a lot of others who all aren't connected to me in any way. No copyright infringement is intended and no money is being made with this story as it was written for enjoyment only.
Rating: PG-13, the usual occasional swear word and piece of violence here or there, as always nothing serious.
Summary: 1st in the "Making History"-Trilogy.
In the aftermath of "Order of the Phoenix", everybody tries in their own way to deal with what has happened. But there is not much time for processing and self-reflection. The war has started, and the Order finds itself faced with the impossible task of stopping Voldemort before it's too late. There is no time for personal problems to interfere with the fate of the wizarding world. Yet personal problems never ask whether it is the right time for them to appear or not. Something from out of Remus' past suddenly surfaces, and Remus is not ready to deal with it in any way. His life is at stake, and there is nothing that can be done to save him – except from one very dangerous thing. And the only person who could save Remus' life is a person who does not want to awaken the ghosts of his own past – Severus Snape.
Now Harry has his own reasons to interfere with Remus' business, and though he only wants to do good, he increases the danger for everybody involved. What he foolishly sets in motion has to be finished. Only, nobody can say what prize will have to be paid for it. The only place where all the questions will be answered is the last place Harry ever wanted to see again – the Death Chamber in the Department of Mysteries. Yet that is exactly where he has to go to save the life of another person he holds dearly. Or where he might lose another one he cares for.
The fic is centred mostly on Harry and the adult characters, though of course Ron and Hermione appear. But for the most part, it focuses on either Harry or Remus. Occasionally, the point of view might shift between the two between the single chapters, but when that happens it should be obvious in the flow of the story.
Note: If anybody who read "Hunting the Traitor" might be confused about Janus Lupin the way he appears in this story here, don't be too surprised. I took the liberty of changing his background a little. Why? Two reasons: 1st: "HTT" was an AU, so everything that happened in that story did not necessarily happen here. 2nd: As "Order of the Phoenix" revealed the Unspeakables to be brain-growing, Death Chamber-guarding and indeed very strange guys and not the elite-Aurors I always imagined them to be, Janus Lupin in this story is an Auror. A good one, with a reputation and an attitude, as you might be able to imagine. Otherwise, he's still the lovable, cold-hearted bastard with difficult family relations we've gotten to know in early HTT. That's it. He only appears later in the story, anyway.
This fic is dedicated to Morgan D., because with her intense and mature perspective on HP and fic-writing in general she enriches the fandom far more than she probably knows. And on a more selfish basis, she has been a great friend, support and help for me, both in the small details as well as with the things on a larger scale. It's a good feeling to have her around.
And it's for Eva, for being a friend.
Climbs off her soap box and leaves the audience to read the story
Chapter 01 – Back To Reality
As he had done many times before during the past two weeks, Remus Lupin was sitting in his room at No. 12 Grimmauld Place and stared at the wall. Actually, stating that it was his room was not the whole truth, as he had only occupied it a few weeks ago. Before, the room had belonged to his friend Sirius. Until slightly more than three weeks ago. Until, Remus remembered with a mental sigh, until Sirius had fallen through that blasted veil.
Until Sirius had died.
Remus bit his lip to keep his emotions from spilling out and moved the armchair he was currently occupying closer towards the window and stared out into the bright London summer day.
The other members of the Order were downstairs, in the kitchen probably, discussing whatever it was they were planning now to try and stop Voldemort. Normally, Remus would be with them. Should be with them. After Sirius' death he had literally thrown himself into the Order work, into anything that would keep him from thinking too much about what had happened. While the last week of lessons at Hogwarts had passed by and Harry had been safely in the castle, Remus had hardly spent any waking hour thinking about anything related to the teenager or to his late friend. He had not been able to sleep for longer than three or four hours at night, and so he had spent most of the day with working out plans, searching through intercepted letters and messages, translating documents, establishing and keeping contact with Dumbledore's allies all throughout Britain. The other members of the Order of course had realized how little he was sleeping and how much he had been working, but he firmly refused every offer of brewing him a sleeping potion. Remus had had his fair share of them after Voldemort's first downfall, and back then he had learned the hard way that while they made sleeping easier they were also pretty difficult to let go of later. And anyway, they only pushed the nightmares aside until the time when the potion was no longer taken.
After that, except from Albus Dumbledore nobody had dared to approach him with anything that was not work-related and even when the old headmaster had gently asked Remus to stop working so hard and see to his own physical needs first it had not been one of the most successful things Albus Dumbledore had ever done. As concerned as Dumbledore might have been, he simply did not understand.
After that week of pushing aside the thought that his last friend had died when it had been absolutely needless, after seeing Harry to Surrey safely and doing the little he could do to ensure that James' son was taken care of at least better than during the previous years, reality had caught up with Remus like a speed train.
Full moon had been two days after Remus and the other Order Members had had their little talk with the Dursleys and as usual, Remus had spent the night safely locked up in the basement of his own small and run down cottage, warded and secured both magically and manually. There had been no time for Severus Snape to brew the Wolfsbane potion that month, unfortunately. Too many other things to attend to, too many meetings and summonings, too much other work for the Order's latest plan. Remus had assured those who were concerned enough about him to care that it would be no problem to get through the night without the potion, and indeed he had been convinced of that. After all, he had been through many of those transformations without the help of Snape's bitter brew, and one more would not kill him.
Or so he had thought.
Where Remus had been able to push his own thoughts about Sirius' death and the unanswered questions about who was to blame for it aside, Moony could not. Moony knew that his pack mate was gone for good this time, and he had raged that night in his grief. A rage that, for the lack of anything else to vent the anger out on, had turned on Remus.
Had Dumbledore not in a moment of foresight brought Madam Pomfrey with him when he came to look after him in the morning, Remus would not have survived the night. Even so it had taken the combined effort of the nurse and the powerful older wizard to keep Remus amongst the living, something he did not know whether he should be thankful for or not.
Ever since that night, Remus had spent his time first recovering and then brooding up here in what had once been Sirius' childhood room. His physical recovery had taken some time, and even though Madam Pomfrey had declared him physically fine yesterday morning, the truth was that Remus still felt extremely weak. Far weaker than he usually felt a week after a transformation, but he had hidden that fact from the Hogwarts nurse. If there was one thing he absolutely didn't want right now, it was her well-meant but unnerving hovering and fussing around and about him.
The other Order members had tried a couple of times to break through his shields and get him interested in anything again, but to no avail. And as there were more important things to be done than trying to get through to a depressed werewolf, they had left him to his brooding and did not try to actively involve him in the work that needed to be done anymore.
Remus knew he should feel guilty for letting them hang like that, he was aware that there were some areas of the research work that had to be done where his experience and skills could be of essential help, but he simply could not bring himself to care.
He had tried, of course. He definitely had tried, but had quickly found out that whatever he tried to do he simply wasn't able to keep thoughts about Sirius' death and the moments that had led to it at bay anymore. The images just kept flashing by in front of his inner eye and threw him into that bottomless hole of depression again and again, no matter what he was trying to do. It simply hurt him too much to think about anything else for the moment, and if he was completely honest with himself Remus did not know whether he could still see the sense in the Order work.
A month ago, a thought like that would not even have occurred to him, but Sirius' death seemed to have taken away the importance of all the aims he had been trying to achieve. Where was the sense in freeing the world from Voldemort when Remus knew exactly that it would not free him from his own personal hell? Where was the sense in establishing a safe and stable order for the wizarding community again when Remus knew that this as well came too late for himself and especially for Sirius? He was being selfish, Remus knew that, but after a lifetime of caring about the bigger things, after a lifetime of placing others' needs far above his own, Remus thought he had earned to be selfish.
Sirius would not have given up like this, Remus knew. But Sirius also had been stupid enough to taunt Bellatrix instead of keeping up his defences.
James wouldn't have given up, either. No, not him. Not golden James Potter who had willingly given his own life just for the slight chance that it might save his wife and son. But then again James had been the first of them to go, he had been the one to take the martyr's way out before he knew how much it hurt to be the one who was left behind. James had never known that there was only so much hurt one single person could endure before they broke.
Remus had gone through those thoughts numerous times during the past week. More often definitely than he thought about Harry and how he was coping. He did not know how the teenager was doing, had not heard anything from Surrey since they had parted at King's Cross. Obviously, the letters Harry had promised to write to inform the Order members about his wellbeing arrived regularly, otherwise he would have heard about it. But Remus had not asked anybody what those letters said, or if they sounded as if Harry was coping well with what had happened to him, and to Sirius. The truth was that Remus didn't really care. Whenever his thoughts drifted to the teenager, Remus could not help but thinking that whatever Harry was going through now, he had earned it. As soon as those thoughts came, Remus scolded himself and felt guilty for them. He knew that Harry was not the one to blame for Sirius' death, he knew that what the teenager had done that night in the Department of Mysteries had happened because Harry had cared for Sirius and had wanted to keep him from coming to harm. Harry might have acted rashly, he might have done exactly the wrong thing and walked straight into Voldemort's trap, but he simply had not known better. Had the Order and Dumbledore not kept so much information from him, things might have ended differently that night. Remus knew that Harry was not to blame, but one small part of his brain just could not stop thinking that for once Harry should have thought first before he had acted.
Remus sighed and rubbed his left hand across the back of his right hand as if to bring the warmth back into it. Maybe he should stop brooding up here and go downstairs to see if there wasn't something he could do to distract himself. Some errand-boy-work with no responsibility at all, just to keep himself from thinking. Something to tire him out so that he would be able to sleep again. Maybe the nightmares would vanish that way, if he only tired himself out sufficiently.
While he was contemplating this, his sensitive hearing picked up footsteps on the stairs to the second floor. Nobody except from him was up here, so obviously someone had decided to try and talk to him another time. Remus heard the low thud-clong, thud-clong of the steps which immediately told him that it was Mad Eye Moody who was coming this time. Well, that was something new for a change, after Molly, Arthur, Albus, Tonks and Kingsley had already tried their luck with him.
Remus listened motionlessly as the footsteps approached and finally stopped in front of his door. But Moody didn't knock. Remus could practically imagine him looking through the wooden door with his magic eye.
"You can as well come in, Alastor."
The door opened immediately and the slightly hunched form of Mad Eye Moody appeared in the frame. He looked Remus up and down once with both of his eyes, then gave a sigh and leaned against the doorframe.
"Boy, you're a mess."
Remus did not even look at him when he answered.
"Do I hear right and you are calling me 'boy' here? I'd guess that about sixty percent of your body-parts are by far younger than me."
Moody laughed, a low rumbling sound that was hanging somewhere between being comforting and being scary.
"My, do my old ears betray me? Was that a joke out of Remus Lupin's mouth? I can hardly wait to tell Kingsley about that."
Remus shrugged and finally tore his gaze away from the window.
"Actually it was a desperate attempt to express my sad and angry view on the world as a whole and you in particular, but take it as a joke if that helps to brighten your day. What do you want, Alastor?"
"We received a fire-call a minute ago and I think you should have a look at it."
Remus shook his head before Moody could even continue. No matter that he had thought about finding something to occupy himself with only moments ago, Remus did not want to give anybody the feeling that they had finally managed to turn him into his own self again. That Remus Lupin had gone the moment Sirius had fallen through that veil and had taken all perspective with him.
"No Alastor, no matter what it is, send somebody else. I'm not really ready for anything like that yet."
"It's about Potter."
Remus eyebrows quirked up in interest, a first in the last three weeks.
"What about him?"
"Arabella Figg said that some of his alarms have gone off a couple of minutes ago, telling her that the wards around Privet Drive have been breached."
Remus' heartbeat quickened beyond his ability to control it. A lump formed in his throat. Please not also Harry. Not him too.
Moody shook his head.
"No, strange thing is the wards seem to have been breached from the inside, meaning Potter has left them on his own."
"Did nobody see him leave? What about Arabella, it was her duty to watch him, wasn't it?"
"It was, but she can't watch the house twenty-four hours a day, you know that. When she came home from her weekly shopping her alarms had already gone off, and when she rang the bell at the Dursleys', nobody answered."
Remus sank back into his armchair and shrugged in relief.
"You don't get all worked up about nobody being home, do you? They might have gone on a one-day trip for all that we know. Or maybe Harry just needed some fresh air, so what? Let the kid have some room, for Merlin's sake! You can't keep him locked up in the house and the few streets around it for the entire holiday, no matter if he's Harry Potter or not. He wrote us letters saying that he was fine, just like we asked of him, so why do you get so upset just because he isn't home for the day? What do you want me to do about it, run through Little Whinging and search for him?"
Moody watched Remus with his real eye, the magical one rolled into the back of his head and supposedly watching the ghoul in the attic or whatever else.
"Dumbledore placed a tracking charm on him at the beginning of the holiday, just to make sure. Of course Potter does not know about it."
Remus rolled his eyes dramatically.
"Well, that's good, isn't it? Bloody great idea! Just track him down and you know where he is, a second year student at Hogwarts could to that. Surely you thought about that."
Moody nodded gravely and suddenly Remus got the sinking feeling that something was seriously wrong and that he was wasting precious time with petty talking here.
"What is it, Alastor?"
"Arabella already told Dumbledore a couple of times that the kid was not looking good the few times she saw him, no matter the letters. So when Potter seemingly disappeared, the first thing she did was tracking him down like Dumbledore had shown her to."
"And where is Harry?"
"Little Whinging Hospital."
The lump in Remus' throat was back again, and he felt as if somebody had just turned his stomach inside out.
"Maybe it's his aunt or uncle. Or his cousin. It doesn't have to mean that something happened to him."
Moody nodded slowly and Remus knew that he was believing those words as little as Remus himself did.
"No, it doesn't have to. But Figg is asking you to find that out. Kingsley prepared a portkey, it's set and ready."
Remus nodded again, thought for a moment and eventually got up from his armchair.
"All right, I'll have a look at it."
"I knew you'd say that. Now, it'd be best to report back once you know what is going on down there so that we can decide on what to do next. In case it's serious, we'll have to inform Dumbledore about it."
"He doesn't know yet? I thought that Albus was always the first to get alerted by the alarms."
"He is, but he's in a long-winded meeting with Minister Fudge since early this morning. And from the looks of it, Fudge's big on privacy at the moment. None of our calls were patched through, as soon as you've reported back Kingsley will apparate to the Ministry himself. If necessary."
Moody nodded at Remus and the two men left the room and went down into the kitchen, passing the portrait of Sirius' mother which was thankfully silent. Ever since she had gotten to know about her son's death, she had been positively gleeful. Remus had already considered to get rid of her with the use of some petrol and a match, but so far had refrained himself from it. Wouldn't want to burn down headquarters, now would he?
They reached the kitchen where the tall and dark form of Kingsley Shacklebolt was leaning against the table, a rubber glove lying next to him. He looked up when the two entered the otherwise empty room and his broad mouth stretched into a smile.
"Look who has finally decided to leave his room in the attic. The wallpaper stopped moving, I assume?"
Remus didn't answer, knowing fully well that both Alastor and Kingsley were only talking that lightly because they wanted to hide their worry and confusion about what might have happened to get Harry into hospital, though they might have less personal motives about it. But if Harry was needed as the only chance the wizarding world had to bring Voldemort down, Remus could not begrudge them for worrying that something might have happened to him that could smash those hopes. Right now, all hopes of ever winning against Voldemort were feeble, anyway. Kingsley pointed towards the glove on the table with his wand.
"Your portkey, set and ready. Just pick it up and within five seconds you'll be on your way."
"Where will it take me?"
"If I did it right, straight into a small side-alley across the road from the hospital."
Remus frowned. "And if you didn't do it right?"
Kingsley shrugged and showed his straight white teeth in another broad smile.
"Nepal, or if you're really lucky South Korea. No matter what, it should be a nice distraction from staring out of the window for the entire day."
Remus just shook his head and stepped towards the table.
"I'll get back to you as soon as I know what is wrong with Harry."
He nodded at the two men and reached for the glove on the table.
"Good luck, Remus."
Before he could answer, Remus felt a huge tuck behind his navel and the world lost its focus.