The Tangibility of Magic
Chapter 7: Remus and the Decision to Move
Harry groaned as he woke up. He sat up and blinked. Urgh, damn contacts. His eyes were as dry as the desert. He blinked his eyes a few more times and then gave it up, deciding to go to the bathroom and get the contacts out. He stood up, and then looked around in surprise. What the hell? This isn't Privet Drive. This looks like… He groaned as he recognized his room in Grimmuald Place. He let out yet another groan as he recalled the events of the previous night. He sat down heavily on the bed and thought, what the hell was I thinking? Casting a Cruciatus Curse in front of Remus? How bloody thick can I get?
He looked up as the door opened and brightened as he saw Ron and Hermione enter, each looking rather worried.
"Oh, Harry!" said Hermione as she rushed towards Harry, giving him a hug. "We were so worried last night when you left the wards!"
"Heh," said Harry, "Sorry about that, I didn't realize that I did. Dumbledore never bothered to mention where the wards ended."
Hermione let go of him and sat down next to him as Ron said in surprise, "Blimey, Harry! Nice eyes! How did you do that? Are you a Metamorphmagus? I noticed you changed your hair too!"
Harry grinned at Ron and said, "I'm fine, Ron, thanks for asking."
Ron had the good grace to blush before saying, "Sorry, mate. You're all right, yeah? But are you a Metamorphmagus?"
Harry was about to say something before Hermione interrupted, saying, "Of course not, Ron. Those are probably just contacts, and some highlights in his hair. If he were a Metamorphmagus, the signs should've been there since he was very young."
Harry grinned, and jerked his thumb at Hermione. "She's right, Ron. Absolutely astounding, isn't it?"
Ron grinned back, and played along. "Oh, of course, Harry. We all know that Hermione doesn't have a clue about anything!"
Hermione huffed and crossed her arms, glaring playfully at the boys, with the corners of her lips curved slightly upwards.
"So how long have you guys been here?" asked Harry, laughing at Hermione's reaction.
Ron replied, "Oh, I've been here since almost the beginning of summer. Dumbledore wants us close, in case You-Know-Who tries to attack us."
Hermione said, "I just got here a few days ago. I just got back from Italy. Oh, Harry, it was so beautiful! The Romans were incredibly advanced…"
She trailed off as she realized that both boys were rolling their eyes at each other. She gave Ron a smack and muttered, "Boys!" under her breath.
"Ow! What was that for?" said Ron as he rubbed his smarting arm.
Hermione huffed and said, "For acting like a prat!"
"Harry was doing the same thing! Why didn't you hit him?" Ron said.
Harry smiled as he watched his friends bicker over absolutely nothing. He looked up as the door opened again and frowned slightly as he saw Remus enter the room with some food.
Remus smiled at the trio and said, "Harry, glad to see that you're awake. Ron, Hermione, can I talk to Harry alone for a few minutes, please?
Hermione and Ron glanced at each other and Hermione said, "Sure, Professor."
"Yeah, we'll be down in the kitchens, I'm feeling a bit peaked," said Ron.
Harry smiled as Hermione rolled her eyes. "All right, guys. I'll be down in a minute."
Harry accepted the food with a simple, "Thank you," and asked Remus to sit down on the chair previously occupied by Ron.
Harry realized suddenly that he was hungry, and he dug into his food with a passion. Remus watched him for a few minutes and then said, "Harry, I have a question for you,"
The teenager looked up from his food with a little trepidation. "Uh…sure, Remus. What is it?"
"How is it that the Ministry didn't detect you underage magic?"
Harry remained quiet as his mind worked furiously to think of a suitable answer. "Err, I'm not sure, Remus. Maybe they had some problems?" He stumbled a bit over his words, cursing along the way.
Remus lifted one eyebrow. "This isn't a joke, Harry. I convinced the rest of the Order that I did an anti-detection charm on your wand, because I didn't want the Ministry to meddle like it did last year."
Harry lifted his head in surprise and said, "Why would you do that?"
It was Remus's turn to stay silent. After a few moments he said, "I saw what curse you used on Bellatrix, Harry."
The Boy-Who-Lived winced slightly and looked back at his food, poking at it listlessly.
Remus could take no more, he let out all the frustration he been feeling over the past few hours. "Damn it, Harry! This isn't a matter you can just stay silent about! You just used an Unforgivable against a person!"
Harry glared at him and got up of the bed, food forgotten. "That person killed Sirius! Or have you forgotten that?"
"Of course I remember that, Harry! You're not the only one Sirius was close to!" Remus snapped at Harry.
"Well, you sure aren't acting like it! Who cares what happens to the wench!" retorted Harry.
"I miss Sirius too, Harry! But I'm not about to use a Cruciatus Curse on a person," Remus said in a heated tone. "No matter what they did in the past! It's called an Unforgivable for a reason!"
Harry deflated visibly, and looked down in guilt. "I know, I'm sorry."
Remus just shook his head and sank down into the chair. After a few minutes of silence Harry said, "What did Dumbledore say?"
"Professor Dumbledore, Harry. And he didn't say anything." said Remus.
"What? Why?" Harry asked in surprise.
"Because I didn't tell the Order."
Harry felt relief wash over him, Remus wasn't mad at him. Well he was mad, but he wasn't that mad. He then had a thought, "Wait, but what about the symptoms? How did you explain that?"
Remus sighed and rubbed his eyes tiredly – he hadn't gotten any sleep. "Conveniently, Lucius Malfoy's last curse towards me was the Cruciatus Curse. I told them that both you and I had dodged that curse and it hit Bellatrix instead."
Harry blinked, thinking that he had amazingly good luck, but said nothing about it.
"You have to promise me that you won't use anymore Dark Magic, Harry."
Harry lifted his face up, green eyes flashing. He was about to tell Remus off for his views, but then realized that it wouldn't help. He just let it go at, "I promise not to use any more of the Unforgivable's, Remus."
Remus relaxed, not noticing that Harry had made a loophole: he didn't say that he wouldn't use Dark Magic in general.
"Right then. Eat your food, Harry."
Harry happily obliged and dug in.
Remus then said, "Dumbledore says that you must go back to the Dursley's, Harry. Just for another week or so, he says that the blood wards need a little more time to strengthen."
Harry froze, the fork halfway between the plate and his mouth. He put it back down on the plate and glared at Remus. "Why the hell did you bring me here if you're just going to throw me back to the Dursley's?"
Remus sighed; he had known this was coming. "Madam Pomfrey wanted to check on you, Harry, to see that you were unharmed."
Harry ran his hand through his hair and sulked. He knew that life at Privet Drive wouldn't be that bad, but he still wanted to spend some time with his friends. He glared one last time at Remus then stared sullenly at his plate. "Fine," he said with resignation, "Let me say bye to Ron and Hermione and then we can go."
Remus smiled gently at him and said, "Why don't you come downstairs with me Harry, I'm sure Mrs. Weasley wants to talk to you."
Harry nodded his acceptance and finished his food off. He stood up, plate in hand, and followed Remus out the door.
Harry stood nervously in front of number twenty eight, Privet Drive, his hand wavering uncertainly over the door. He had never visited a friend's house before, other than Ron, and didn't know what to expect in a normal muggle household. He gathered up his so-called Gryffindor courage and knocked three times on the door. He waited for a minute before deciding that no one was home. He had just started down the steps when the door abruptly opened, and Cathy's head poked cautiously out.
"Harry?" asked Cathy. "What are you doing here?"
Harry smiled nervously and scratched the back of his head. "Hi, Cathy. Err, I was just here to apologize. I kind of ran out the other day and never came back."
Cathy squinted at him and bit her lower lip, looking back inside her house. She then got some keys and a coat, and then came out on the steps, closing the door behind her. "Let's walk to the park, shall we?"
Harry quickly agreed, and he and Cathy fell in step together, on their way to the nearby park. Cathy kept giving Harry fleeting glances, and seemed to be holding the keys tightly in her coat pocket. He was slightly confused, but said nothing about her strange behavior, attributing it to the fact that she was a girl.
They got to the park and sat under one of the trees, an awkward silence hovering between them.
Harry decided to take the initiative and said, "So, I really am sorry about the other day, Cathy. But I kind of got knocked out, and my friend took me to his house, he didn't realize that you were left in the dark about what happened to me."
Cathy squinted her eyes, looking suspiciously at him. She then said, "Piers body was found dead, the police said that he was stabbed in the heart."
Harry nodded, Remus had told him what memories they had implanted in the muggle peace officers, so he could verify it with the rest of the muggles. Harry remembered last night, when he had returned to the Dursley's. They hadn't gotten their memory altered, of course, since they were aware of the existence of magic, however hard they denied it.
Harry rang the doorbell to number four Privet Drive, feeling angry and just wanting to get to his room and sleep.
Petunia opened the door, stared at Harry for a second, then let out a shrill shriek. She then proceeded to slam the door in Harry's face.
Harry blinked as the air from the closing door hit his eyes. He rolled his eyes and said, "Alohomora!"
The door opened and he walked in, putting his wand in his back pocket, and then started up the stairs. He looked up and gaped, before throwing himself over the banister, rolling as he hit the floor. "What the fuck!" he yelled as he ducked into the living room.
His Uncle Vernon came down the steps, holding a shotgun in his trembling hands. "Now, see here, fre…fre…freak! I will not have you in my house any longer! You just ki…ki…killed Piers!"
Harry backed away from his uncle, holding his arms up in the classic, "I give up!" stance.
"Uncle Vernon…don't be too hasty here, now. Just calm down, I didn't kill Piers!"
Vernon bristled and said, "Oh? I suppose those another Dementoid killed him?" He saw Harry's hands go down, and yelled, "Keep your hands up boy!" His confidence was growing, since it was obvious that he had the advantage.
Harry's hand shot up and Vernon sneered. "Not so tough are you, freak? Without that blasted stick of yours."
Harry fumed silently, forming a plan in his mind. He glanced down quickly and kicked one of Dudley's shoes at Vernon, distracting him while he jumped behind a sofa. He heard his uncle bellow and a shot suddenly rang out, showering Harry with bits of plaster. He heard a shriek coming from Aunt Petunia upstairs. He got his wand out of his new wand holster and readied himself.
He jumped out from behind the sofa and yelled, "Incendio!"
The shotgun became red with the heat it had suddenly absorbed and Vernon let out another bellow, dropping the shotgun abruptly. Harry watched, as if in slow motion, the shotgun fall to the floor. He yelped and jumped sideways as the shotgun let loose another time. The wall behind him was blasted through, showering him with plaster once again. He shook his head, to clear his hair of the plaster, and peeked over the sofa to see if the coast was clear.
Vernon was blowing on his red hands, his face an angry purple. He looked up and saw Harry pointing his wand at him, and paled quickly, a pasty white replacing the purple. "Now, see here b – b – boy, point that thing somewhere else."
Harry smirked evilly before casting a pain curse on his uncle. He watched in amusement as Vernon fell to the floor, causing vibration to issue forth. After a few seconds, Harry took pity on Vernon and let go of the curse.
"None of that, Uncle Vernon." said Harry, stressing the word 'uncle.' "I told you that I didn't kill Piers, and I was telling the truth. If you would have listened for once, instead of blustering on as usual, you would have realized that if I had the desire to kill Piers, I would have done it long ago. Now, I'm tired, and I'm going to sleep. Good night."
He then walked out of the living room, deliberately showing his back to his wheezing uncle. He stopped by the bottom of the stairs and said, "Oh, by the way…Stupefy!"
Harry had gone up to his room, placing locking charms on his door, as well as an unbreakable charm – to prevent the Dursley's coming into his room and finishing him off in his sleep. As an extra protection, he had Stunned both remaining Dursley's. He woke up late the next morning, around ten or eleven. He had done a lot of thinking the night before, and had decided that he had to get out of Privet Drive. He knew just the perfect place as well, somewhere that Dumbledore would never think of.
So he had gathered up all his belongings, shrunk his trunk, ate his breakfast/lunch, and went off to meet Cathy.
"Did you do it? Did you kill Polkiss?" said Cathy abruptly.
Harry looked at her, shocked, and a little hurt. "No! Of course not! How could you think that of me?"
Cathy looked at her feet and said, "I heard rumors."
Harry was confused; there were rumors about him circulating around Privet Drive? "Rumors? What kind of rumors?"
Cathy looked up and glared defiantly at Harry. She said, "Rumors that you go to St. Brutus's! You told me that you went to a boarding school up north! You lied to me! How can I be sure that you aren't lying to me now?"
Harry sighed and looked down at his hands. That ruddy rumor that Uncle Vernon had started! "Cathy, that's all it is, a rumor. Look, my home life hasn't exactly been pleasant Cathy. You know that I live with my Aunt and Uncle, right?"
Cathy nodded her affirmation, looking at him suspiciously.
"Well, they didn't like my parent's very much, due to a…a…big family feud my aunt and mother had when they were younger. They didn't take it very well when it fell upon them to raise me, suffice to say. Well, it turns out that my parents had already paid for me to go to this prestigious boarding school when I was eleven, and they didn't like it one bit. They were, uh…jealous that I could go and Dudley couldn't, so they started that ridiculous rumor that I went to St. Brutus's. And that's all there is too it."
Cathy looked at him with compassion and pity in her eyes, replacing the earlier look of suspicion. Harry glared at her and said, "I don't need your pity, Cathy! I'm doing all right, as you can see."
"They abused you, didn't they?"
"No. They treat me just fine, just like a guest. It's not their fault that they can't love me." said Harry shortly.
Cathy nodded, recognizing the statement for the lie that it was. "Not all abuse is physical, you know."
Harry glared at her and said, "It doesn't matter if they don't love me. I have other people who love me, and that's all I need."
Cathy smiled understandingly and let that particular discussion end there.
"So, who did kill Polkiss?" asked Cathy.
"Err…some gang that we ran into. I dodged them, but I guess he wasn't so lucky."
Cathy nodded, and finally let relaxed her arms and took her hands out of her jacket. Harry looked at her strangely again and said, "Cathy?"
"If you don't mind me asking, why were your hands in your pocket?"
Cathy grinned sheepishly and blushed a little. She took out the set of keys from her pocket and showed Harry a small switchblade on the key ring. "It was just a precaution, I didn't know if you were a killer or not."
Harry gaped at the blade before throwing his head back and laughing.
"Oh, Cathy, you make me laugh. Remind me never to underestimate you again."
Cathy grinned and said, "Do you want to go the point and get something to eat? I haven't eaten lunch yet."
Harry smiled back and stood up, offering his hand to Cathy. "Of course we can. I already ate, but I could always use something more."
Cathy took his hand and got up from the ground. "Boys," she said with a laugh.
"You finished yet, Harry?" asked Cathy as she watched her friend happily much away on some fries.
Harry finished his fries and took a swig from his soda bottle. "Done! Come on, I'll walk you home."
Cathy smiled and said, "You're such a gentleman, Harry."
Harry smiled and said nothing. He opened the door and motioned her to go forward.
They walked down the sidewalk to Cathy's house in a companionable silence, feeling very full from the meal they had just eaten. Harry walked her up to her door and said, "Well, bye then. I'll try to see if I can see you tomorrow."
Cathy smiled and nodded before turning her head and opening her door. Harry turned and walked down her driveway before stopping at the sound of her voice. "Harry!"
He turned around again and said, "Yeah?"
He saw Cathy standing by the door, looking a little uncertain. "Do you…d'you want to come in?"
Harry wavered for a moment, wanting to get to his hiding place, but gave in to the hopeful look on Cathy's face. "Sure, why not?"
Cathy grinned and walked in the door, waiting for Harry to do the same.
They walked to the living room, and saw a teenage boy sitting on the sofa, smoking a blunt. Cathy rolled her eyes and said, "Harry, meet my brother, Alec. Alec, this is Harry."
"Hey man, what's up?" said Alec, taking another drag. He sounded a bit high.
"Hi…" said Harry strangely, he knew that Dudley probably did the same, but in parks and such. He knew that even Dudley knew not to smoke in the house.
"This your new boyfriend, sis?" asked Alec.
Cathy sighed and said, "No, Alec, he's just a friend."
"Hey, that's cool. You wanna puff of this, man?" asked Alec, noticing Harry looking at him smoking.
Harry said, "Err…" before Cathy butted in and said, "No, Alec, that's fine, he doesn't need any. What are you doing here anyways? I thought that you were going to meet up with your friends?"
Alec looked at his watch and laughed, "Yeah, you're right. I'll get going then."
He walked out the door, looking extremely happy. Harry glanced sideways at Cathy, but she just rolled her eyes and said, "Come on, let's go to the kitchen, I don't want to inhale any more of these noxious fumes."
He followed her into the kitchen and sat down. "Your parents don't mind that he smokes? In the house, even?"
Cathy shrugged and said, "They really don't care either way. They don't spend much time worrying about us."
She saw Harry looking at her with stunned eyes and laughed, "Yes, Harry, you're not the only person with a bad home life. But I too have people that care about me, and that's all that really matters, in the end. It's not blood that makes a person family, its love."
Harry smiled weakly and quietly agreed with her, thinking of Sirius, the man who loved him more than his own life. They sat and talked quietly about little things of no importance for the next few hours before Harry had to go.
A/N: Hey, guys. Been a while, hasn't it? Sorry about that, I know, I'm a lazy bum. :shrugs: Sorry about the long wait. I hope everyone liked this chapter. Some of you might think that Harry told Cathy too much when he said that the Dursley's didn't care for him, but at that point, he wanted Cathy to stay his friend, and not another person who thought badly of him. And Cathy revealed her family situation to Harry because she wanted to show him that he wasn't the only one who had guardians that didn't give a shit about what happened to them. Oh, and, heh, sorry about how the last chapter jumped around a bit. Yes, Harry did get his wand, and he did get his new wand holsters. I just didn't want to go through all that and bore you all.
And with that, I'm done. I hope to get the next chapter out soon. Toodles.
Comments and flames welcomed, as always.