Disclaimer: - Harry potter and all related material, characters and everything that's good about this fan fic belongs to the god that is JKR. All the rubbish and guffy crap in this fic sadly belongs to me. I wouldalso like to saythat thisis not my take on HP 6 this is merely a fic that I've had lying around on paper and in my head for many months, I've had this fic planed well before I had even started to write my Lily Evans Year 1 fic or my The way of the badger: a Hufflepuff adenture fic and all the others that I've written, Thisfic, like all my others is written purely for my pleasure (and yours of course).
Harry Potter and the white hart
Chapter 1: - Happy Birthday
Harry James Potter had never thought of himself as being a normal boy, how could he be when he had been forced to live with horrid relations and had been forced to live in the cupboard under their stairs until the age of eleven?
But exactly six years ago to the day Harry had eventually discovered that at least some part of him was normal. Normal in a very normal way, if you're a wizard that is!
Six years ago, on Harry's eleventh birthday Harry had learned that he was a wizard, and so was his parents Lily and James Potter. For all his life up until the age of eleven Harry's aunt and uncle, Petunia and Vernon Dursley, had convinced Harry that his parents had been killed in a car crash. But six years ago Harry had learned the truth.
James and Lily had both been murdered, murdered by the most evil wizard that had ever lived, Lord Voldemort. Voldemort's real name, Harry had learnt long ago, had been Tom Riddle. Riddle had been the son of a pure blooded witch and but his father had been a Muggle (None magical). And because Voldemort's father had abandoned him when his mother had died giving birth Voldemort hated anyone that wasn't of pure wizarding blood. Harry had learned all this since he had rejoined the magical world and learned the true reason of his parents death, a reason that still haunted Harry, and even more so in recent weeks.
Since he had discovered the truth about his parents deaths many questions had been pressing on Harry but growing up with the Dursleys had taught Harry that questions where never to be asked, especially question relating to his parents, as Vernon, Petunia and their son Dudley didn't approve of Harry, his parents and all the magical people that were like him. In Harry's eyes the Dursleys where just as bad as Voldemort, only one good thing could be said about the Dursleys though, they didn't approve of genocide. But even though Harry had learned so much during his years back in the magical world his questions had all remained unasked and unanswered, that was until a little over a month ago.
'One month' Harry thought as he lay on his bed in the room that had once belonged to his cousins old toys 'Had it really only been four weeks?'
Four weeks ago Harry's world had been turned upside down. In the space of twenty four hours Harry's life had changed forever as he saw the only person that he had loved and saw as a true friend and father figure die. Sirius Black, Harry's godfather and best friend to Harry's father had died whilst trying to protect Harry from lord Voldemort's followers, the Death Eaters.
And whilst still trying to comprehend the fact that Sirius was gone Harry was dealt another crushing blow as he learned the true reason his parents had been murdered, Lily and James had both been killed because it had been preordained to be so.
Their deaths had been inevitable, as was Harry's.
Harry knew it would be, because Harry had been made the chosen one, the lightning blot scar on Harry's forehead had marked him. Lord Voldemort had learned of the Prophecy that foretold of a child that would be capable of defeating him, and so Voldemort had struck first, but Voldemort's killing spell had backfired, and at the cost of Harry's parents lives the entire magical world was freed from Voldemort, but for only a short time. And now Voldemort was back, returned to full health by Harry's own blood. The sacrifice that Lily had made for her son had been a futile one for the protection of love that she had left within Harry now also lived within Voldemort. A small scar barely noticeable nowadays, still remained on Harry's upper arm where his blood had been forcibly taken from him over a year ago in order that the death eaters could restore their master to full health and power once more.
Last year Harry had seen Cedric Diggory die at the hands of Voldemort's followers and four weeks ago Harry had seen his godfather killed by another of Voldemort's followers. And in both cases Harry had been returned to his Aunt and Uncles house, 4 Privet Drive, in a state of shock. But this time it was worse, seeing Cedric's death had hit Harry hard but seeing Sirius' was worse. Cedric had died quickly and had no understanding of what had happened to him, where as Sirius had…
'…Sirius knew' Harry thought as the image of his godfather falling played through Harry's mind again and again, Harry closed his eyes trying to make the image go away but no matter how hard he squeezed his eyes together the image still stayed. Harry remembered every detail, the terror in Sirius' eyes, the small smile playing on his lips that had been from the joy of his fight and how his body arched and fell backwards to be engulfed within the folds and the vale.
Harry sniffed back the tears that threatened to fall, he had so many questions that still remained unanswered and the events of those twenty four hours added greatly to his already massive load. But with the death of Sirius and the thought that one day, and probably very soon, Harry was to either kill or more likely be killed looming over him Harry had started to become reclusive. Even more so then was normal for him to be during the summers he was made to spend at the Dursley's.
Everyday since his return to privet drive at the beginning of the summer Harry could be found lying on his bed staring directly, unblinkingly up at the ceiling. And even as the light outside the window began to fade and was be replaced with that of the gentle orange glow of the street lamps Harry didn't move. Not even to turn on the bedroom light.
His aunt and uncle and always believed Harry to be a strange boy but even they had started to become concern at Harry's behaviour.
"It's not natural!" Harry had heard his uncle hiss to his wife one night as the couple lay in bed and the house lay asleep. "Think what the neighbours will think if they don't see him out and about? They'll think we've done something to the boy, Mrs Figg is already asking questions about him! I told her, I said, he's going through a faze, I said, all that blackness and dark and stuff, Well it didn't take much for him to go like it, I told her, After all the boys always been disturbed!"
Harry had learned the previous summer that Mrs Figg wasn't everything that he had always thought she was, Mrs Figg, the cat loving old lady from Magnolia crescent was a squib, a none magical person born into a magical family. And unknown to the Dursleys had probably been sent to keep an eye on Harry by Albus Dumbledore the head teacher of Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry, who was also the leader of the order of the phoenix, an organisation created to fight against Voldemort and his forces.
But Harry didn't care, He didn't care what the neighbours would think or what the Dursleys said, Harry actually liked lying in the dark, it felt soothing and the blackness suited his mood. Over the past few weeks Harry had begun to hate everything to do with his life, he hated his aunt and uncle and he hate Dudley, he hated school and all the students there, he hated the fact that his friends couldn't feel the way he did, he hated the prophecy, he hated Dumbledore, and Snape. He really hated Bellatrix Black, he hated Cornelius Fudge the minister of magic for being so weak and not heeding the warnings that where given to him and Harry even found himself beginning to hate Remus Lupin, Neville Longbottom and all the other people and members of the order that had been present at Sirius' death.
But finally after hours of tears, blame and heartache Harry could finally accepted that there was only one person that he could hate and blame for his godfathers death and that person was himself.
And Harry really did hate himself; he had always known that he had been the one to blame but admitting that fact had meant that Harry had to finally accept that Sirius was gone and that he would never be coming back. Tears prickled at Harry's eyes at this thought but still he didn't move he didn't even blink the tears away as they pooled at the corners of his eyes and blurred his vision. Harry hated himself and he knew that Sirius wouldn't have wanted him to torture himself over things that had happened but Harry couldn't help it, he some how felt that he needed to be punished, that Dumbledore or some other member of the order should make him pay for the death of Sirius. But no one did and so Harry lay in his room, waiting, only venturing out for food and other things when the Dursleys had all left the house for the day.
But even though Harry was left alone and ignored by the Dursleys, a thing that Harry was glad of, one person had insisted on visiting him every three days. Remus Lupin had kept the promise that he had made to Harry at the start of the holidays, Lupin, Nymphadora Tonks and Mad-eye Moody, all members of the order of phoenix, had all agreed that if they hadn't heard from Harry for three straight days in a row they would visit the Dursley home to check that Harry was well. That had been over a month ago, the first three days had passed so quickly that Harry had scarcely even noticed. And it wasn't until Lupin had turned up on the evening of the third day to discover why Harry hadn't contacted him, that Harry had remembered the promise.
Lupin had had first been shocked by the fact that Harry had appeared so withdrawn and unwilling to interact with anyone and so after seeing that the reason didn't have anything to do with the Dursleys mistreatment of him Lupin promised that he'd visit Harry regularly. And he did.
Lupin came to see Harry meticulously every three days at 6pm, he tried to keep Harry informed about the happenings within the order and on Lupin's first visit he had told Harry that the Order had decide not to use 12 Grimmauld place as it headquarters anymore. Meaning, as Lupin pointed out that Harry would probably have to stay the entire summer at privet drive surrounded by the Dursley's. But like everything else that Lupin told Harry about Harry said he didn't care. In fact secretly Harry was glad that he wouldn't have to return to Grimmauld, the house that for an entire year had been Sirius' personal hell. Besides Lupin's constant visits Harry's two best friends Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger had been writing to him every day, but again Harry didn't care, their letters lay unread and unopened on top of his desk along with his uncompleted summer homework and his unopened exam results.
Lupin had urged Harry to open the results every time he visited
"They could change your entire future" Lupin had said on his last visit when he discovered the letter still unopened, Harry knew that whatever grades he received nothing would be able to change the future that had already been set for him. Harry wanted to tell Lupin this but he didn't, instead Harry just shrugged and Lupin had looked even more affronted by Harry's behaviour then he had done previously. Harry hated the fact that he felt the way he did, he hated the fact that he was so desperate to shear his burden with someone but didn't know how to tell them, Harry hated Dumbledore for telling him and he hated Bellatrix and Snape, he hated Voldemort and he hated Sirius for leaving him, and Harry hated himself more then ever for hating them.
A flutter of wings stirred Harry from his dark thoughts and he turned his head to see Hedwig, his owl, fly through the open window and land awkwardly onto the letter covered desk. The reason for Hedwig's ungraceful landing was immediately apparent, a large brown paper covered package was held in her clawed feet.
'It had started' Harry told himself as heaved himself onto his elbow to see Hedwig bustling with pride at having delivered such a large package, which was almost twice her size. Harry sighed as he raised his arm to glance at his wrist watch. 00:27 the digital display read. Harry had been 16 years old for nearly thirty minutes and Harry gloomily wondered if this would be the last ever birthday he would ever see?
Not long after Hedwig had delivered her large parcel then more and more Owls arrived, Ron's Owl, pig, whizzed into Harry's bedroom tweeting madly at having arrived at the right destination but after several laps of the room the small bird soon realised that Harry wasn't going to attempt a mid air capture and so the small owl settled himself next to Hedwig on the desk puffing out his tiny feathers in indignation. As more parcel laden Owls arrived and jostled for space on the desk as others arrived bearing cards and letters.
Hedwig glared at Harry with her huge amber eyes as Pig and the other owls hooted softly, Harry knew that he should really untie to birds from their packages as it was cruel to keep then cooped up in his misery, and so forcing himself to the task at hand Harry untied each bird which took off immediately, Even the usually playful pig didn't hang around and Harry was sure that the tiny bird shot him a dark look before he took off out the window and disappeared into the nights sky.
Harry didn't open any of the packages or cards, even though he had never in his entire life received so many birthday gifts, the truth was Harry didn't feel much like celebrating. All these people where supposed to be his friends Harry thought but he couldn't think of a single one of them that he could bring himself to tell how he was feeling deep inside.
'Besides,' Harry thought as he tried to convince himself 'they wouldn't be able to understand, none of them could understand, how could they?' Sirius had understood how Harry had felt as both Harry and Sirius had grown up with families that didn't care, Sirius had always seemed to understand Harry better then anyone and Harry hadn't been afraid to tell Sirius how he had felt, but now Sirius was gone, and Harry was once again alone with no one left to confide in.
Stopping his self brooding thoughts Harry removed his glasses and yawned, he was feeling very tired, even though he had hardly moved all day. Harry changed into his nightclothes and crossed to the still open window, leaning across the desk Harry pulled the window closed and as he was about to head back to his bed he suddenly stopped. Something strange had caught his eye, squinting, Harry could vaguely see, just beyond the streetlights glow on the opposite pavement directly across from his room, the figure of a cloaked person. Harry squinted even harder trying to focus his eyes more but it was no use, he quickly turned and grabbed his glasses but as he returned to the window and put his glasses on and the street came into focus Harry couldn't see anyone. The street was completely empty, not even one of Mrs Figg's cats was out prowling and the only thing that moved near the lamp post opposite Harry's room was the privet hedge as it's leaves shook in the gentle breeze.
"Maybe I imagined it?" Harry said to Hedwig who just turned her back on him and covered her head with her wing pretending to sleep.
"Fine!" Harry said angrily as he dived onto his bed and removed his glasses and tried to sleep.
Harry dreamed that night that Sirius had returned, that his godfather was standing outside number 4 privet drive waiting to take Harry away from this house and the Dursleys forever. In the Dream Sirius was laughing his usual bark like laugh as he turned Dudley into a huge pink pig and rode him around the Dursley's front lawn like he was a bucking bronco at a rodeo, and everyone that Harry knew was congregated outside the house laughing as the pig Dudley tried bucking Sirius off as aunt petunia and uncle Vernon grovelled at Harry's feet pleading for him to make the others change their son back. But suddenly the scene ended and Harry was left standing alone, surrounded in darkness, only a single light shone in the darkness ahead of him and standing within the light that it cast was the same cloaked figure that Harry had seen opposite his window.
Harry felt scared, but strangely not of the figure, it was the darkness that scared him, the darkness was thick and cold and it was surrounding him like a thick shroud enveloping him, Harry wanted to go to the figure within the light, the figure felt safe and secure, he didn't want to stay in the darkness but the more Harry tried to reach the figure the more the darkness covered him. Harry ran and ran but the darkness held him back, closing in around him pulling him further away form the figure and the light, the figure stretched out it's hand and Harry tried to run even harder, tried desperately to free himself of the darkness,
"Sirius!" Harry called to the figure as the darkness pulled Harry further away "Sirius please don't leave me!!!" Harry called desperately as the darkness pulled him down choking him as he fell
"Sirius!" Harry yelled as he sat up straight, looking around Harry realised that he was in his room, and he realised that it had all been part of a dream,
'But it had felt so real' Harry thought as he pulled at his sweat soaked top, ordinarily Harry's first reaction would have been that the dream had something to do with his connection with Voldemort, but Harry's scar didn't hurt at all.
"It was just a normal dream" Harry told himself, but if so then who was the cloaked figure? Something deep inside of him told him that it wasn't Sirius, even though Harry had hoped and thought it was. The figure had looked like a deatheater but something told Harry that the figure was definitely not any deatheater.
Sighing Harry tried to put the thoughts and the dream out of his head as he got washed and changed. Unusual dreams had been a regular occurrence with Harry over the past few years and even more so since Sirius' death. After Harry had changed into jumper and jeans he headed downstairs for breakfast, it was well past 11am when Harry stepped foot in the kitchen, the Dursleys had all left. Uncle Vernon for work, aunt Petunia shopping and Dudley was no doubt hanging around the local park, smoking and beating up the younger kids with the rest of his gang of thugs.
Harry's breakfast lay on the table, he sat down and dipped his cold sausage into the now hardened fried egg and nearly gagged at the horrid taste of the extremely cold food. It wasn't until he reached for his now cold mug of tea that he saw something strange on the table, it was a small box wrapped in silver paper, Harry couldn't believe his eyes, surely the Dursleys hadn't remembered it was his birthday? They had never given Harry so much as a card or a Happy birthday in all the years Harry had lived with them. Cautiously Harry picked up the small box, it was immaculately wrapped and the silver paper glistened as the sunlight from the windows reflected from it making the paper shimmer in a myriad of colours, Harry instantly knew that there was something magical about this tiny package and the small tag that was attached to the box only added to its mystery;
Harry, may you find this of some comfort.
The writing was very elegant and one which Harry didn't recognise, carefully Harry unwrapped the present to reveal an expensive looking small black leather box gilded with golden flourishes on its corners. The small box was stiff to open as though it hadn't been opened in a very long time and as Harry saw the contents of the box his face burst into a very long awaited smile. The insides of the box was as luxurious as its outside and sitting on a black velvet cushion was a solid gold signet ring it the initials 'SB' embossed on the face of the ring.
"Sirius!" Harry called excitedly as a wild thought flew into Harry's head as he ran to the front door and pulled it open but the street was empty and the only living thing that moved was a dark grey bird that was preening its feathers as it perched on top of the lamp post opposite the house.
What had he expected? Harry thought as he returned to the kitchen still holding the box in his hands, that Sirius would have been there, waiting for him as he had been in the dream? Harry looked back at the ring, it was a very simple design with a solid circle encapsulated the two letters and four small stones that looked like diamonds where spaced evenly across the top of the ring following the arch of the circle, making the face of the ring look like a paw print.
'Surly this ring hadn't belonged to Sirius' Harry thought. He had never seen his godfather wearing it, or any other jewellery for that matter. But if the ring had belonged to Sirius who had sent it?
'Sirius was gone' Harry told himself he had seen him fall and he knew, just like Lupin and the others all knew, that Sirius wasn't going to be coming back. 'But then again' Harry thought as he smiled and looked down at the golden ring still nestled within the box, someone had sent him this. 'It could be a message?' Harry thought excitedly as he looked down at the ring perhaps Sirius was alive after all, Harry smiled at this thought and gingerly picked the ring up and held it in his hands feeling the weight of it. At the back of Harry's mind the voice of Mad-eye moody was yelling Constant vigilance,
'But surely the ring couldn't be harmful?' Harry thought as he turned it over in his hands, 'who'd ever heard of a cursed ring? And it couldn't hurt to just try it on, could it?'
Slowly Harry slipped the ring onto his finger and found much to his surprise that it was a perfect fit. Harry smiled as he stared down at the ring on his index finger, the weight of it felt oddly comforting and safe, it felt good to be wearing it and in fact Harry felt good! In over four weeks Harry hadn't smiled once and he had felt like the entire weight of the world had been resting on his shoulders, but now the only weight that he felt was on his finger. It no longer mattered if or when Voldemort came for him or if one day he would soon have to kill, because Harry knew that somewhere someone was looking out for him. Sirius was alive and the ring proved it he wasn't alone anymore and soon when Sirius was ready he would show himself. Sirius' ring had made everything seem a lot more clearer and with the ring on his finger Harry felt content, complete and safe.
'It had to be charmed' Harry told himself, but if it was Harry didn't care, he no longer hurt inside. But with the appearance of the ring Harry had even more questions that he wanted answering and he resolved himself to ask Lupin that evening when he came for his usual visit.
Harry spent the rest of the day in a really good mood, he almost felt normal again, at least as normal as he could ever feel at the Dursleys. After breakfast Harry returned to his bedroom, a smile played across his face as he saw all the different parcels that his friends had sent him for his birthday.
"I'm sorry" Harry called to Hedwig as she turned her back on him as he walked towards her "I shouldn't have taken it out on you, you're the only friend I've got here, I am really sorry Hedwig" Hedwig turned her head and looked at him, her huge amber eyes seemed to look right into him, but after a second she hooted softly and Harry smiled as he stretched out his hand to stroke her, as he did so Hedwig nibbled his finger affectionately.
"All forgiven?" Harry asked and Hedwig hooted again "Right then, presents!" Harry said gleefully as he rubbed his hands together and eyed all the presents on his desk, "Which one first?"
Harry had never received so many cards and presents before in his entire life, most where from members of the order of the phoenix who Harry supposed must have felt sorry for him at his loss.
Kingsley Shacklebolt and Mundungus Fletcher had both sent cards along with lots of other order members that Harry had never even heard of before. Mad-eye had sent Harry a wand care polishing kit and a book called 'The beginners guide to elementary wand-safety'
Bill, Charlie and Ginny Weasley, Ron's brothers and sister had sent him a book on Quidditch, Harry's favourite sport, called 'The seekers guide to all things snitchy'.
Ron had sent his usual supply of Harry's favourite magical sweets, while Mr and Mrs Weasley, Ron's parents, had sent Harry a huge birthday cake with red icing with a Gryffindor lion in the centre.
Tonks had sent a Weird sister's T-shirt which had designer rips and was three sizes too big. Dobby, Harry's house elf friend had sent Harry a hand made card that Harry suspected was supposed to be a picture of Harry giving Dobby a sock and even though it looked like aunt petunia's congealed Breakfast it never the less they made Harry smile at the thought that had gone into it.
Fred and George, Ron's older twin brothers had gifted wrapped a huge bundle of items from their Joke shop and the label attached to the box read;
Compliments of Weasleys' Wizarding Wheezes, Don't use until you get back to Hogwarts, and tell as many people as possible where they came from.
PS, don't tell mum or she'd kill us!
Hagrid, Harry's Half Giant friend who was both teacher and gamekeeper at Hogwarts, had sent Harry a book on dragons which made Harry wonder what the huge care of magical creatures teacher had lined up for the sixth formers when they returned to Hogwarts. The final present was the largest and was the one that Hedwig had brought, it was from Hermione her card was signed with love and the note read 'I hope it fits' the reason for this was that Hermione's gift was a thick, dark red hand knitted jumper. Harry remembered how, through their fifth year, she had been making small woollen hats for the Hogwarts house elves in order to set them free. But even so Harry was surprised to see that the jumper actually looked pretty good and that it even fitted.
After he had stored his new belongings away in his trunk so that Dudley couldn't find them, Harry lined up all his cards on his desk and stood back to admire them.
For the rest of the day Harry set about completing the homework that he had been given over the summer holidays, he had completed Professor McGonagall's transformation assignment and was about to begin Professor Snape's Potions essay when the door bell rang, Harry didn't have to look at his watch to know that it was precisely 6pm. Before the chime of the bell had even had time to echo through the house Harry heard his uncle pull open the door,
"I've come to see Harry" Harry heard the familiar voice of Professor Remus J Lupin say as his uncle quickly ushered Lupin into the house. In ordinary circumstances Vernon Dursley wouldn't have allowed a person such as Remus Lupin inside his house, not because he was magical, although that didn't help, but because Lupin always had a certain unkemptness about him, his clothes were patched and worn and his brown hair was prematurely grey. The reason was that Remus Lupin, despite being a kind and caring man, was a werewolf and as such had always found it difficult to find and keep a job. Lupin's situation wasn't help by the fact that laws had been made by the ministry of magic making it almost impossible for werewolf's to have jobs in the first place. But despite this and the persecution that Lupin had always received since his childhood Lupin had always been fair and friendly towards others.
"How are you today Harr- Merlin beard!" Lupin exclaimed as he opened the door to Harry's bedroom to find Harry sitting at his desk completely headless,
"Do you like it?" Harry asked smiling as he quickly removed a pink bowler hat from his head so that it was visible again "Fred and George sent it me, along with lots of other stuff, I'm sorry if I scared you professor"
"No need to apologise Harry" Lupin said smiling as he settled himself onto Harry's bed "I'm glad to see you smiling again" at Lupin's words Harry couldn't help but smile even more,
"I've been a bit of a nuisance haven't I?" Harry asked softly daring not to look at Lupin,
"No Harry you haven't" Lupin said firmly "You've been through a lot for such a young person I would have been more alarmed if you hadn't grieved"
"Grieved? And I thought you thought I was just sulking? Professor" Harry said smiling,
"Grieving Harry, is different for everyone," Lupin said earnestly "and please do stop calling me professor I'm no longer your teacher. I want to be your friend if you'll let me"
"Friends sound good" Harry smiled bashfully as Lupin returned the smile, the moment felt a little awkward as neither Harry nor Lupin knew what to say
"Tonks got me this" Harry said quickly pulling at the T-shirt that he wore
"I could tell" Lupin said grinning "It's...It's very Tonks"
"I know" Harry laughed as he remembered the young bubbly pink haired witch that he had met over a year ago "And Hagrid sent me a book on dragons, you wouldn't know what he's planning to teach this year would you, profess- Remus" Lupin smiled at the use of his Christian name, to Harry it felt strange calling his once ex-teacher by his first name but it had seemed to please Lupin and that made Harry happy.
"I haven't seen Hagrid since the order moved head quarters but I'll ask him for you the next time I see him" Harry nodded and then began telling Lupin all about the other presents he had received, how Hermione had knitted him a jumper and how Fred and George had wanted Harry to pass on the word about their Joke shop when he got back to school. Not that Weasleys' Wizarding Wheezesneeded any advertising help from Harry. On a previous visit Lupin had told Harry how good the twins business was doing and that they had even employed several staff members just to keep up with demand.
"I'm pleased for them" Harry said earnestly "I bet McGonagall won't like the fact that they made a success out of themselves without any exam grades"
"I daresay" Lupin grinned "But Fred and George was a very exceptional case, they've been very lucky, not everyone is capable of doing what they did. Exam results are still very important, Harry"
"I'm glad you said that" Harry said pulling a now very battered envelope from his jeans pocket "because I opened my results today and, well they were pretty good, apart from Divination of course" Harry handed the envelope to Lupin.
"I'm very pleased to hear that Harry" Lupin smiled as he looked down at the now tatty parchment and his smile broadened "these are really good Harry you should be very proud"
"I am" Harry said modestly "I didn't think I would pass any of them let alone all" Lupin passed Harry the results back and Harry gazed down at the sheet fondly
"I've also decided on the subjects I'm going to be taking this year" Harry said grabbing a sheet of parchment from his desk "That's if it isn't already too late to apply?" Lupin smiled again, and in doing so Harry noticed how bright and young his eyes where, they contrasted deeply with his old teachers tired looking face.
"I'm glad you've decided to carry on your education" and Harry knew that Lupin was truly glad about it too, for every time Lupin had visited he had urged Harry to open the exam results but Harry had always insisted that he wasn't going to return to Hogwarts. Lupin had probably always known that Harry was lashing out because if Harry didn't return to Hogwarts then he would be stuck with the Dursleys forever, and that, despite Harry's previous dark mood, was a fate worse then anything Voldemort could deal to him. Harry knew that by finally saying that he wanted to return was a big step in the right direction and the pleased look on Lupin's face was well worth it.
"I'll give this to professor Dumbledore tonight" Lupin said as Harry handed over the subject list "I'm sure he'll be pleased to hear that you've finally decided to return"
"I didn't do it for him!" Harry spat bitterly and was shocked by the venom that had been in his tone, as was Lupin,
"I never said you were, Harry" Lupin said his bright eyes stared at Harry critically,
"I'm sorry" Harry found himself saying, even though deep inside Harry knew he wasn't, no matter how good his mood had been that day the hate that he felt towards Dumbledore and the others still resided within him.
"I'll make sure he gets it" Lupin said as he folded the parchment his eyes still looking at Harry as he stored it in his robes pocket "and I almost forgot, Happy Birthday" Lupin pulled a package out of his robes pocket and handed it to Harry,
"Now that you've decided to return to school it makes my present very apt"
Harry smiled as he unwrapped Lupin's gift, which was a very beautiful inkwell and quill set cast in solid pewter, the quill was pure white. Harry knew that it must have cost a lot of money,
"Thank you professor, Remus"
"I'm only glad that it'll get some use" Lupin said as he patted his robes pocket and Harry placed the inkwell on his desk. It must have been the sunlight reflecting off its polished surface that caught Lupin's eye because as Harry turned back to the bed Lupin's face had changed from being warm and friendly to the same cold, hard look that he had used when he had still thought Harry's godfather was a murderer.
"Who gave you that?" Lupin demanded savagely as he grabbed Harry's hand,
"No one!" Harry yelled in alarm as he pulled his hand away from Lupin, Harry had wanted to show Lupin his new ring but now he didn't, he didn't want anyone to look at it and he certainly wasn't going to show it to Lupin, not now.
"Harry, please show me that ring" Lupin urged, something in Lupin's tone told Harry that there was something very amiss, as the usually level headed and calm Lupin sounded almost frantic in his request and so against his better judgement Harry removed his hand from his back to show Lupin the ring.
Lupin's eyes widened and his month gaped a little as the sunlight danced over the surface of the ring making the diamonds sparkle.
"I haven't seen that in-" Lupin began his face showing astonishment but he cut himself off as he looked into Harry's face and his features once more became grave "Where did you get this Harry?"
"It was a present" Harry said defensively as he quickly hid his hand in his pocket and moved back towards the desk
"A present from who?"
"I don't know it was on the kitchen table this morning!"
"Harry!" Lupin's voice sounded strained "haven't you learned anything about accepting things from people you don't know?" Harry knew that Lupin was referring to the incident in his second year where Ginny Weasley had become possessed by a magical diary that had once belonged to Voldemort.
"I know!" Harry said savagely "But there's nothing wrong with it!"
"Harry you can't possibly know that" Lupin sighed "I haven't seen that ring in years-"
"So it was Sirius's?" Harry asked eagerly
"Yes-sort of but he-" Lupin began but Harry had heard all he wanted to, the ring was Sirius', Harry's heart leapt and the weight on his finger reassured him of the fact that he knew his godfather was alive.
"Harry I think your missing the big picture" Lupin said his voice stern "Yes, that ring did once belong to Sirius but he gave it away a very long time ago, anything could have happened to that ring or the person that was given it could have done something to it, please Harry let me take the ring to-"
"NO!!!" Harry yelled as he slammed his firsts onto the desk top scattering all his cards and homework to the floor as Hedwig screeched as her cage rattled "It's mine, your not having it!"
"I don't want it to keep, Harry" Lupin said taken aback by Harry's reaction "I only want to make sure that it's safe, that you're safe!"
"It is safe! I've been wearing it all day and I feel fine! Better then fine I feel fantastic" unknown to Harry he was balling his fists as he spoke and the tone of his voice was rising with each word. "I've never felt better!" Harry instantly knew that he had said and done the wrong thing as soon as the words left his mouth and the troubled look on Lupin's face only confirmed it.
"Very well Harry" Lupin said rising from the bed and breaking the silence that had begun to settle "I'm sure your right, I over reacted that's all, I'll see myself out" and with that Lupin left the room.
Harry sank onto the bed, his hands shaking in a mix of raged and despair as he listened to Lupin's footfalls fade down the stairs and the sound of the front door opening and closing. Harry felt stupid; of course Lupin hadn't wanted to take Sirius' ring he only wanted to protect Harry, to make sure that he was safe, just like Sirius would have wanted to have done. But that in itself Harry thought was foolish, he, Harry James Potter, had been through and dealt with much more then many grown wizards had ever done, he had survived Voldemort on countless occasions and alive or dead Sirius would never try to hurt him, Harry knew it, just like he knew Sirius was alive, just like he knew the ring wasn't charmed. He knew, somehow he just knew.