A/N: No comment. Readers Block. No comment… Well, except for enjoy!
Disclaimer: I'm not even going to start with this … Again…
Chapter Twenty-Three: Oh Crap – were screwed!
The aging Headmaster's hand roamed the large shelf of books rotating around his room.
Each title seemed as un-appraising as the next when nothing of what he was looking for seemed to be there.
He was pretty sure by now that these Aparations were no accident. Every single clue he gathered – no matter how small – seemed to point to purposefully done. He was a little unsure of which timeline was doing this – or who – but he had slightly more then an educated guess to go on.
His hand finally landed on an extremely old and worn book that he hadn't thought about looking at for years. From the amount of dust on the cover when he took it off the shelf, so did everybody else. It might have been because the book was highly illegal and dangerous – but that was not the point. He brought the book back to his large oak desk.
Fawkes cocked his head curiously to the side as Dumbledore started flipping through the pages randomly, his fingers skim reading what looked like between the lines until he reached a final chapter. His eyes widened in shock, as he pushed his half moon glasses back up his long crooked nose.Discovering the Future by: Analyze Grindelwald
Dumbledore paused for a moment. He didn't know Grindelwald had married. He stored the information in the back of his brain for later. That was worth looking at.Ever since I was a little girl, I have been interested in the topic of Time. Upon years of in-depth research in the areas of time travel and time warps, I have come across a startling discovery.
It seems that while time warps are accidental due to the amounts of different types of magic mixing in the world, time travel has been found to be caused purposefully and usually not without intent.
I myself have experiment with different amounts of time traveling sand and potions, clocks and mirrors. Most of which didn't show up anything not already known to mankind.
Then when I was experimenting with different types of time traveling potion ingredients, I accidentally added too much powdered horn of Unicorn, and found myself in a situation where there was not only a past me in the room – but a present one as well.
It looked like an Apparation, a type of translucent ghost figure stuck in a situation that was familiar to me. Further investigation showed that it wasn't only a Apparation that was being shown – it was an event that had already happened to me, and on some occasions, haven't.
I shall conclude this diary here, for further information on my works, look for 'To Withdrawal a Secret' by Analyze Grindelwald.
Closing the book, Dumbledore set it carefully in the top drawer of his desk and placed a highly complicated locking charm on it.
Things had just gotten more complicated and clear very suddenly, and while these thoughts and ponderings rang through his head, he grabbed a quill and paper, writing a quick note to Flourish and Blotts, then sending it off with Fawkes.
His eyes landed back onto his desk, where the individual Order member contacts were.
He needed to contact James Potter, and maybe have a little chat with Harry.
"James!" Lily yelled, running through the house to gather some assorted items "JAMES HAROLD POTTER!"
"What?" James yelled back, poking his head around the door. Masses of black hair stuck out in every angle, and his smiley faced pajamas were all scrunched up from waking. He looked annoyed. "I'm trying to sleep woman; it's freaking two am!"
She rolled her eyes "Get a grip, Potter. Anyway, I've been called in, I may not be home until around five. Could you make dinner?" She closed her briefcase and looked at him expectantly. "Well?"
"You're going to work? Now? But you're only a trainee!" He whined. "Trainees aren't supposed to work!"
"Oh be quiet. And yes I am going to work even if I am only a trainee – they need the extra help. Supposedly some patient from the permanent ward escaped and they can't find him."
"You mean the psycho ward?"
"James!" She scolded. "Don't call it that; those people could have easily been you."
He looked at the ground, suddenly ashamed. They both stood there in silence, reflecting on all of those who had been lost to the 'permanent' ward due to the war. Lily broke the silence by stepping forward and giving him a fierce hug.
"It's okay hun, you are forgiven – if you make dinner." She grinned. "Kidding. Just stay out of trouble, and…" She sighed, "Watch Harry, alright? I worry about him a lot."
"Same goes for you." He said giving her a soft kiss. "Watch that tummy of yours."
"Aye aye captain." She whispered and with that, turned away to use the floo.
As soon as she had gone, James walked back over to the bed, shaking his head as he did so. He glanced at the wide window, and stopped. A movement in the long grass had caught his eye, and he stepped closer to get a better look.
Something large and shaggy was running across the lawn, and James simply raised a brow, shaking his already unruly head once again. "Seriously," he muttered, getting back into bed "can't even sleep without dogging around."
Then he was asleep.
Dumbledore sat behind his desk later that afternoon, surveying the four people before him that he had just called into his office. The sight was not a totally pleasant one to say in the least, for each of them held heavy bags under their eyes, and a more then a couple dark looks was shot his way. He hated being the bearer of bad news, and he knew they hated being the receivers, but this had to be done sooner or later.
"Professor? Why did you call us here?" Harry asked quietly.
Dumbledore turned his gaze to the young man before him, feeling terrible that he couldn't say something good for once. This boy had gone through so much. Why him?
"I'll get to that in a moment, Harry. But first -," He looked around at them once again. "May I ask where Lily, and Peter are?"
"Lily had to go on some emergency call in at St. Mungos. Apparently one of the patients had gone missing, and they needed all trainees on board as well." James replied.
"…Has been visiting his parents again." Harry muttered darkly.
Remus lifted a brow, questioningly. "Harry?"
"Why so mad?" James asked after he didn't answer Remus. "It's not like we didn't tell you he wouldn't be coming…"
Sirius snorted. "Yeah – It's not like he's a Death Eater or something!"
Harry quickly averted his eyes to the floor. "That's what you think…"
"What was that?"
"N-nothing." He mumbled making a mental note to keep his mouth firmly shut where Peter was concerned from now on.
Dumbledore cleared his throat lightly, bringing the attention back to him.
"Before we begin, I was wondering if there were any updates from the Ministry?"
Even though it had barely been a week since Harry had arrived, already there was news traveling of a mysterious boy staying with the Potters. Other then lots of verbal attacks on James and Dumbledore, there hadn't been anything else of importance, though.
And that shaggy black dog nobody but him seemed to see outside the windows at night…
James shook his head. "Nah, other then a lot of questions about Harry, nothing."
"Excellent – now that only leaves us with one problem." The room seemed to darken at the mention of why they were gathered here again. Dumbledore cleared his throat again. Harry winced, distinctly wishing he wouldn't do that. It reminded him too much of Umbridge.
"I have been doing some research, and had stumbled upon a brief passage written by somebody by the name Analyze Grindelwald."
Remus lifted his brows in surprise "Grindelwald? I thought that he was the last -,"
"So did I, Remus. So did I." He sighed wearily, rubbing his eyes behind his glasses, looking for once the hundred and some years he was. "It seems he has some other relations we were unaware of. I will look into that after this meeting. Now," He picked up a heavy book, which resembled an old journal with yellowing pages. "I think it would be easier if I just let you four read this." He handed the book to James, who took it tenderly.
The four of them crowded together around James, who was sitting in a chair to Harry's relief, because he felt extremely short next to these 6'0 men. He was only 5'4 himself.
A couple minutes of silence ensued as the small group read the tiny journal entry. Although it was a small one, when they had finished reading, it had mentioned all they really needed to know about it, yet left so many unanswered questions.
Harry was the first one to speak. "So these Apparations…are being controlled by somebody?"
Dumbledore nodded slowly, seemingly lost in thought. "Exactly."
"And the problem is," Remus jumped in, dawning comprehension on his face. "They might not even be from this time frame…"
"…Or aren't anymore."
Everybody looked at Sirius, not because it was probably one of the rare occasions something intelligent came from his mouth, but because his statement was the truth that non of them wanted to hear.
They were all so screwed…for the moment anyway.
"So…" Remus continued. "If we don't figure out who it is…we may not be able to stop them before its too late?"
Dumbledore steep hold his fingers together in front of him, starring at them all gravely.
Lily turned the corner, walking straight up to the front desk. "Miss Maybelene?"
The round faced plump woman turned from her papers. "Yes?"
Lily cleared her throat. "I was sent to find out who exactly the patient is, and their personal records that you were able to collect on him."
"Yeah, the one that went missing about five hours ago…"
The receptionist's eyebrows were drawn inwards. "I don't understand what you are talking about – there isn't a missing patient."
Lily raised a brow. "There isn't? Are you sure?"
She straightened up importantly "I am the assistant manager to the Head of the department. I get informed of all misplacing, emergencies, and missing people cases." She huffed indignantly "I am pretty sure I would have been informed if anything like this had happened – especially if it was only five hours ago."
Lily tried not to scrunch up her nose at this lady. "Right, well thanks for the help then Miss-I-know-better-then-you." And with that she turned around and stormed off, ignoring the receptionist's look of utter offence.
"Of course I'd know everything – I'm a bloody important person unlike you after all -," Lily muttered – smacking head first into somebody "Umph!"
"I'm sorry!" She exclaimed, not looking the person in the face "Are you quite alright?"
Pause. "I'm fine." Another pause. "Do you happen to know where the door is?"
Lily sighed in relief "Of course! It's on the right side -," She stopped suddenly, seeing the man before her. "Excuse me for a moment, have we met before?"
The tall dark haired man hesitated for a second more – a second Lily didn't like at all – and shook his head no.
"I'm sorry, I don't think we have."
Still getting this weird vibe, Lily nodded slowly. "In that case, I'm sorry for smacking into you, and I hope you can find your own way out – I'm kind of busy…" For some reason, she suddenly wanted to get as far away from this man as possible.
"Of course, sorry for troubling you." And he was gone.
Shaking off that weird feeling that she had just missed something extremely important, Lily took off through the busy halls once more, watching her step more carefully now.
Harry flopped down in an armchair. His father and Sirius were both arguing about something in the living room, and Remus had left early due to certain 'circumstances' which Harry knew all to well was because he was a Werewolf.
The only one he hadn't really seen except for that short time in the hospital wing the other day – was Peter.
Harry tried hard not to growl at the mere mention of his name. He may have been a little more forgiving of the guy if he wasn't already under the Dark Lord's instruction – which he was. He learned earlier what year it was – the year before his parents died. He also knew for a fact that Peter had been spying on them for a year before he betrayed them.
It all added up to an utter and completely terrifying result.
His eyes wandered over to the wide window. It had taken a while for him to get used to what was happening – which was only about a couple days. Yet at the same time he still couldn't believe quite what was going on, and had a sneaking suspicion he was not the only one confused.
Sirius and his father were heard laughing now, and another sound of them jinxing each other made him smile slightly. He could definitely get used to this.
But could you really? A voice that sounded strangely like Hermione rebuked could you really live here, among all of this chaos and war, only to see your parents as they die – knowing you couldn't do anything about it?
We've already had this conversation Harry shot back and I distinctly remember telling you to go away
No you didn't
Well I am now
Without realizing it, Harry had started talking to himself in the head. He shook himself afterwards, scolding himself about not paying attention to something, before stalking over to the window.
For all of his life, he now realized with a bit of shame, that he had not ever even considered going to Godric's Hollow. Seeing the place in the past was certainly an experience in itself. The large lushes lawns were surrounded by a large dark wood (it reminded him of the Forbidden Forest) and a medium size lake was just visible out of the corner of his eyes, behind the house.
The house. The place where he knew that incident would someday happen at… an incident that would mark him and the Potters as one of the history's biggest turning points for the Wizarding World.
He just hoped he would be back home by then, he didn't know if he could stand being there while … that happened.
Suddenly something large black and shaggy caught his eyes. Wait a second. He shook his head again, trying not to think of that. Sirius died. He had seen it happen with his very own eyes. He had seen him fall, beyond the veil…. You just couldn't bring back the dead. The question still remained though; how do you make these strange visions go away?
"Harry? C-Can you come here for a moment?"
Ironic eh? They are also supposed to be dead – In his time anyway. He hastily corrected his thoughts.
"Yeah, I'll be right there." He cast the forest one last look before following his father into the kitchen.
He never saw the shadow watching his every move through the window…
Lily turned the corner, looking over her shoulder every time she did so. That man she had bumped into at least an hour ago was still following her – well, very casually that is.
The problem was, she had no idea how to loose his trail without him noticing or getting suspicious. She wasn't sure how to act, for she didn't know who he was or his motives. Although the familiarity he showed gave Lily the impression that she had seen him somewhere.
Some other scenarios of where she could have seen him came to mind:
- One of Sirius' obnoxious stalking friends
- A party guest of Frank and Alice Longbottom
- A Professor she had forgotten about at Hogwarts
- He was a Death Eater she'd seen at a raid.
The last one was the worst, and she crossed her fingers that he wasn't one.
Her gut was telling her otherwise.
She rounded another corner, and as quick as a flash slid into an open broom cupboard.
The door closed softly behind her, and the heavy tell tale sound of his footsteps slowly passed the cupboard. Lily held her breath.
After what seemed like hours, the footsteps were heard fading into the distance, and she let out the breath she was unaware of holding.
"That was close." Lily muttered, pushing the door open a crack to look into the corridor. The sight of an empty corridor should have made her jump for joy, but her gut only twisted more deeply. Something was wrong…
"Going somewhere Princess?"
Shrieking, Lily jumped as a hand came out and clasped her wrists tightly together. She just managed to see the man who had been stalking her for the longest time, when she felt a cloth over her mouth, and all went black.
"What do you mean that she's been kidnapped?" James demanded, fearfully to the Auror. "This better not be some twisted kind of joke you trainees pull." He growled.
"N-no, sir!" The young lad stuttered. "Just p-passing on the message…"
"I believe you are done here then," Sirius said, coming out from behind James at the floo in the kitchen. "Now scat."
The boy didn't look offended in the least that he was being kicked out. In the blink of an eye he had gone.
Harry stepped up behind his two parental figures, wondering why they had called him into the kitchen so suddenly. He had thought it was something about joining them in a prank war against Remus. By the hunched look of their bodies, and grim expressions, he knew he was totally mistaken.
Feeling a whirl of fear swim in his gut, Harry whispered, "What's wrong?"
For a whole minute nobody moved. Finally Sirius turned around and beckoned him into an embrace.
"What's wrong?" Harry demanded more fearfully this time.
James lifted his head, and Harry noticed with shock that his father had been crying.
"You're mother," He croaked. "Has been K-kidnapped."
Harry felt his chest tighten. This wasn't happening.
"H-how?" He managed to ask.
"A sick person came up and stunned a whole hallway of people, before proceeding to snatch your mother." Sirius snarled, slamming his hand down on the table. Harry jumped.
Sirius pulled all of them into a group hug once again. None of them let go.
"Well what are we waiting for?" Harry demanded after a couple minutes of grief filled silence "Lets go find her!"
"We can't, Harry." Sirius said, sounding eerily serious. "Were not allowed."
Harry looked back at James, but he was too busy trying to blink away his tears to notice much. He did answer though, albeit very miserably.
"They won't let me… I mean, the Aurors think I would get," He blinked rapidly "too emotionally attached." He finished bitterly.
Harry stayed quiet, listening to the rapid beatings of their hearts, as they held onto each other tightly, feeling for all-of-the-world, lost.
"What are we going to do now?" Harry whispered into his father's chest.
"There's nothing we can do now, except wait."
They waited for five hours, every ten minutes or so glancing at the clock. Sirius had gotten into this irritating habit of pacing back and forth in the kitchen. James sat as stiff as a board in a chair, muttering to himself about something, whiles his eyes shifted every two seconds. Harry on the other hand had taken to retreating into the living room. Their nervous antics were not helping his own at all.
It was dark out now, and still not a word had come. Harry knew for a fact that the Order had been informed, and many people from the group were already out there searching. He felt an odd twang of guilt in his gut. He wanted to help too – it just didn't seem right sitting at the side watching this unfold. He wanted to do something. To help her.
Unfortunately, that would probably be the worst thing to do in this case. Going out would only exploit his existence more then it was, and possibly makes things worse if Voldemort found out.
Harry bitterly reflected on how Fate had outwitted him yet again.
"Stupid prophesies and Veils," he muttered "And towers that suck you through time like a bloody vacuum cleaner."
Not to mention obnoxious Dark Lords who would like nothing better then to get your arse kicked and served on a silver platter for lunch
Harry winced. Now that's a pleasant thought, Potter
He settled back onto the couch, waiting, and watching the clock for any news.
He wasn't really aware when it happened, but not long after he reached counting to 456 for the fourth time, something loud crashed behind him.'Crash!'
Harry ducked, along with his Dad and Sirius on impulse. The two Aurors had joined him not long ago, preferring for some reason not to leave him alone. Harry got the distinct impression they felt like protecting him incase a similar incident to what happened to his mom occurred.
A loud bang was heard overhead, and the soft sound of shattering glass rang out around them brought him back out of his thoughts. On a second look though, there was no glass in sight. Harry frowned. That must mean this was an…
"Apparation." Murmured James' breathlessly "It's another Apparation!"
A jet of slightly colored mist flew over their heads, and Harry tried not to flinch. After all, if that's all this was (an Apparation) then he shouldn't have to get worried about being hit.
"Stay down, Harry." Sirius warned, pulling the restless Harry back under the table. "These may be just mist now – but think what happened to you. It could become solid any moment, and we wouldn't now any the better. Best to stay alert."
Harry gulped, realizing for the first time that they didn't have anything under any control after all – they hardy knew a thing about them.
"Sirius is right, Harry." James whispered beside him, flinching slightly as a jet of greenish mist – unmistakably the killing curse – blew up an apparation flowerpot. "Were best to stay alert – imagine if that curse came to life suddenly."
"How about we don't." Sirius muttered, not letting go of Harry's shirt. "Duck!"
Another jet of green light soared over their heads, hitting something non-existent and shattering to pieces. They all winced.
"Hey…" Harry said "Haven't you noticed anything strange yet? Like how the Apparation actually has colour? Is it supposed to be like that?"
James frowned. Now that he thought about it, he was starting to notice the colors getting darker…as if becoming more realistic. The thought chilled him.
"Just stay down, Harry!" He shouted over the constant crashes and shouts in the white mist floating around them. "Were not sure if it's safe."
As much as he didn't want to listen, Harry stayed low, keeping cover under the large living room table. Sirius was beside him, looking oddly focused onto the mist. Harry followed his gaze, but couldn't see any more then white looking air. He looked back to Sirius.
"What are you looking at?"
"More what are you looking for, Sirius." James corrected, crouching beside them even closer. Harry got the feeling his father felt more protective when he was doing this, as if helping out in a helpless situation brought comfort too him. He didn't comment on it.
"What do you think is happening?" Harry asked, still slightly awed. He hadn't witnessed and apparation before; he was usually the center focus of them.
"By the sound of all this racket, I assume somebody is fighting." Sirius said seriously.
Harry rolled his eyes, turning towards his dad. "Dad?"
James hesitated for a second "I, I think that there is somebody fighting in our house as that's where this is taking place. Not to mention there are quite a few people after my blood, so it isn't that far off of a guess." He added, slightly humorous.
"Dad, that's not funny."
He sighed bitterly "I know, just trying to make light of a situation – ARGH!"
They all jumped as a jet of green mist flew straight threw James' head and hit the wall behind him.
Harry gasped "Dad!"
Sirius screamed "James!"
James blinked, and then shook his head as if clearing it of something. It took him five whole minutes to notice that they were both still staring at him. He stared back blankly. "What?"
"Dad…" Harry said slowly "A killing curse just went straight through your head."
"Basically what he is saying is – Are –You – Okay?" Sirius chimed in.
James blinked again, nodding a little shakily "Y-yeah. I'm fine. I guess." They both gave him identical stares "Okay – just a little shaken up, nothing serious…"
They had not time to elaborate on this, for yet another stream of mist was flown there way, and for extra safety precautions, they rolled out of the way and gasped as the mist began to clear a bit, giving them a good look at what was happening.
"You're a fool Potter – an utter fool."
Harry gasped, feeling a painful twinge in his scar. The scene before him was way to familiar to be a coincidence. He knew whom that voice belonged too. He also knew for a fact what exact scene was happening – for only one of those four encounters his parents had with Voldemort was at Godric's Hollow.
This was the scene of that fateful night on October 31st, 1981.
Harry knew he had to act – and fast. He couldn't let them see this; it would screw up everything!
"Sirius – Dad – let's get out of here! I'm not sure about you, but those spells are making me feel a little off ease-,"
It was no use. His lame excuse didn't even catch their surprised attention, their beady eyes now glued to the scene before him. Harry was about to try once more, when a voice caught his attention, and even he couldn't help but be drawn into what was happening before them.
"Give it up, Potter," Voldemort snarled, throwing a curse at the apparation James who ducked "It's not use! By the time I'm done, only the pitiful remains of your house will be visible -,"
"Stupefy!" James shouted ducking behind the table they were just behind. They all watched in transfixed horror as the Dark Lord just laughed, lazily exploding the table with a flick of his wand and slowly advancing on the apparation James.
"I've given you a choice Jamesss," He hissed, "Now you have to make it."
James looked like he was having an eternal struggle with himself. "And what choice, do tell, is that, Voldemort?"
A disgusting smirk appeared on the Dark Lord's face, making it look even less human then it was. Harry and the two other adults cringed. "The choice between living, while I kill the rest of your family – or the same thing except you would die as well. What will it be, Potter?"
James rolled over and shouted "Impedimenta!" then screamed "Never you filthy bitch! Stay away from my family! Reducto!"
From past experience with the monster, Harry knew that was the wrong thing to say. Obviously the Apparation James did as well, for a look of horror suddenly crossed his pale face.
"Shit." He muttered, and then a determined look came over James' face. "Fine then."
Voldemort paused "Fine then?" he repeated.
James nodded "That's right – kill me now. You know you've wanted to for a while."
A look between disappointment and triumph crossed over the older wizard's face.
"To tell the truth, Potter, I thought you had more then that. Obviously," he smirked widely at this. "I was wrong – this time."
James didn't do anything but stare hard into the monster's eyes. Harry could barely believe his father would do such a thing as sacrifice himself for…him. It made his heart ache rather badly. In a good way.
Voldemort's smirk grew wider "Any last words, Potter?"
"Yeah," James snarled "Get that extremely crooked stick out of your arse – maybe your overly ambitious ideas might just go down by a tad if you weren't so constipated."
A dark shadow appeared over the dark wizard. "Wrong answer." With one swift movement only a person with practice could have achieved, the monster swung his wand towards James and shouted "Avada Kedavra!"
Harry didn't need to look to know that the loud 'thunk' of a body hitting the floor was his father's. The blasted curse had struck yet again, taking yet another innocent life.
Just before any of them could really get through their heads that they just witnessed James' untimely death, a loud villainous high-pitched and deathly cold laughter filled the air, sending multiple chills down their spines.
Voldemort kicked the body ruthlessly with his foot. "One down, two to go."
Without another word, they watched silently as the creepiest man alive waltzed up the stairs, and disappeared into the growing fog.
Not a word was spoken after the white mist disappeared, and their focus finally returned to the present. Only the slight creeks of the trees hitting the windows in the wind made a sound.
Sirius cleared his throat. He opened his mouth – then closed it. He wasn't alone though. It seemed that nobody knew just what to say - or do.
Harry's hoarse voice was all it took for the too-silent man to jump like they had just received an electric shock. Slowly shadowed hazel eyes darted towards Harry.
He didn't say anything, just stared blankly ahead.
Finally after another five minutes of this, Harry seemed to understand what was going on.
"He's in shock isn't he?" Harry asked Sirius, who had taken up poking his best friend with his wand.
Sirius nodded, stopping his ministrations for a second to reply, "It would appear so."
"S-shouldn't we get him to the hospital wing then?"
Sirius blinked. "Right." With a wave of his wand, he had James unconscious, and levitated in the air like a puppet, in front of them. Harry gave him a dubious look.
"Was stunning him really that necessary?"
Sirius shrugged, a light red tinged his cheeks. "Err…no?"
Harry rolled his eyes "Whatever, lets just get him to Hogwarts. Floo is probably best - I'll follow." He was starting to wonder who was the adult here. Sirius didn't even bat an eyelash at his sudden authority though, and did as told. Harry had the distinct impression his father wasn't the only one in shock.
He bent over and grabbed a pinch of floo powder, throwing it in just like his Godfather had done right before him. "Hogwarts Hospital Wing!"
In a flu of colors, he was off. Hogwarts here I come again.
He was going to have a lot of covering up to do.
Dumbledore closed the infirmary door behind him, turning his grave expression towards the nervous Harry. He frowned slightly.
"Harry, would you mind stepping up to my office momentarily?"
It wasn't a request, and Harry knew better then to say no – even though that's what he desperately wanted to do. Obeying his wishes on the other hand, might just come in handy for not telling the truth. Okay, he was officially confusing himself now.
"Yes, sir." He followed the Headmaster all the way through the castle; ignoring some very strange looks he was receiving from the other students wondering the halls. Neither of them said a word on the way there, and by the time the password was given, (Sherbet Lemons) Harry felt internally exhausted. He was not totally sure what to tell the man. He didn't know how much Sirius had told the man in the hospital wing about his dad's condition, or how he got to that condition. Harry was told to wait in the hall to his utter annoyance.
Harry declined the offer, and took a vacant seat in front of the large mahogany desk.
"Sir, is there something you would like to discuss?"
Dumbledore surveyed him over his wire-rimmed glasses, nodding slightly. "Indeed there is, Harry. I was wondering … how did your father come to be in such a state of shock?"
Okay, so Sirius hadn't said anything about… well…anything. This made things way easier for him.
"W-when he was told about my mother's disappearance, Sir." Harry said, crossing his fingers that this would work.
Dumbledore didn't look convinced. "He was like this… for five hours?"
Harry winced. Crap. He was screwed. "N-no, it just took a little while for the info to sink in, you know?"
The Headmaster stared at him hard for a couple seconds, and Harry lowered his eyes. He didn't need the man legilimens him for the truth. That could be possibly disastrous. Some things were just meant to be kept secret.
"Very well, Harry. You may go now." Dumbledore said after a couple more minutes of silence and the freaky starring. Harry knew that the Headmaster knew that he knew he was lying. Talk about confusing.
Without another word, Harry jumped up and scurried out of their as fast as possible, heading straight for the Hospital Wing. He needed to talk to Sirius…and see his dad, too of course.
"Sirius," Harry said, giving him a hug "How's dad?"
Sirius smiled grimly "He's had worse. How about you, kiddo?"
"Fine." Harry lied. In truth he was feeling like absolute crap. It must have shown on his face though, for Sirius instantly frowned.
"It's alright, Sirius. I'm fine." Harry repeated firmly, looking anything but.
Sirius looked unsure. "Well if you say so… but you do know we are going to have to talk about this -," he gestured to his dad and him " – right?"
Harry swallowed thickly. This was the one thing he was hoping to avoid! Why would you want to talk about that anyways? The mere remembrance of it sent shivers down his spine.
"Alright," he conceded finally "but only after you answer my questions first."
Sirius lifted a brow "And those would be?"
"First – did you tell Dumbledore anything? Anything at all?"
Sirius snorted, shaking his head. "You'll have to remember, I was kind of in a state of shock at the time too. Though," he glanced at James "not nearly as much so as your dear old dad."
Harry snorted at the pun. "That's good – and now for my second question."
"What's with all of the formalities all of a sudden?"
"Formalities? Don't you mean business?"
"Yeah, whatever." Sirius rolled his eyes "So? What's with it? We shouldn't be seeing any of that until your at least 16."
"Uh, Sirius? I am 16."
Sirius waved a hand "I knew that. Now what is your next question?"
"Right." Harry thought for a moment, trying to remember what it was "Aha. I remember now." He narrowed his eyes at the dark haired young man – his younger Godfather "Why do you keep running around outside in your animagus form at night?"
This was what was bugging him the most as of late, it just seemed to bother him more then his father in shock did. A little messed up thinking wise, but that's how it was. He just couldn't figure out why his younger Godfather ran outside as a dog no less, at night. He should be at his own house sleeping.
Although, Sirius was rather odd, so he wouldn't put it past him.
The shock on Sirius' face faded rather quickly. He must have deduced that Harry knew about his animagus form sometime in the future. His shock soon turned to confusion.
"Harry? What are you talking about?" He asked incredulously "I haven't been out pondering like a dog in the nighttime."
Harry frowned. "You haven't? Then who is that…" He looked back at his sleeping father "Unless…"
"Unless?" Sirius prompted.
"…This is some kind of prank?"
Sirius snorted, leaning back into his seat. "I wouldn't doubt it with your father, Harry. He likes the pranks that mess with peoples brains the most."
Harry smiled slightly at this, dropping the subject for now but not really believing it was his father. Something really fishy was going on.
A light snort warned them of James' awakening from his fitful sleep. The dreamless sleep potion was wearing off now, and rather large bags like Harry's were showing up under the dark hazel eyes. He let out a groan and promptly rolled onto the floor.
Sirius rolled his eyes mouthing 'bout bloody time' before hauling the groggy man to his feet. James swayed for a moment before regaining his balance.
"You were sure out for a long time." Harry pointed out; looking at his watch he had received from Ron as a present earlier that summer. He gulped, trying not to think of his friends fighting alone in the future without him…
"Sorry," James muttered sheepishly "I guess me going into shock wasn't that great, yeah?"
"Yeah," Sirius agreed heartily "Talk about dead men walking."
"Sirius…you do realize that made no sense whatsoever, don't you?"
Sirius waved his hand at Harry once again "Of course I did, just making sure your more awake then you look."
James frowned at his, looking harder at Harry, who shifted on his feet uncomfortably. "When was the last time you got some rest, Harry?"
"A proper nights rest?" Sirius added, noticing for once, where this was going.
Harry's ears turned a slight red in color. He was truly awful at lying. "Err, I don't really remember? Last night?"
"…Last night? That's it?" James repeated incredulously. "Harry!"
"Why didn't you tell us?" Sirius demanded.
"I-I didn't want to worry you, in fear of this reaction." Harry pointed out. It wasn't the real reason, and they all knew it, but getting information that just didn't want to come out of Harry was nearly impossible. They knew that too.
"Fine." James and Sirius both snapped simultaneously "Don't tell us then."
"Okay." Harry smirked. "I won't."
The three of them went down to the kitchens for a quick late night snack, before sneaking back to the Hospital Wing to check out and floo back to Godric's Hollow … all without the Headmasters knowledge, of course.
"Phew," James said, wiping a bit of sweat from his forehead. "This day has certainly been eventful enough."
Sirius shook his head sadly. "Yeah, it sure has mate. It sure has."
"Now you mister," James said, swinging around and pointing a threatening finger at Harry "Off to bed with you – you need some sleep. If Lily were here she would have …" His voice suddenly trailed off, but they all understood what he was trying to say anyways.
"Your dads right, Harry." Sirius spoke up after a couple more minutes of silence "You should head on up to bed, you look dead on your feet. And before you say it, yes you are tired, and no you are not fine."
Harry managed to crack a weak smile at this, stifling a yawn as he did so. Without another word he ushered himself to bed, leaving the adults to their own devices. He was just so tired, and sleepy. His whole day had been a living running nightmare, and to top it all off, his mother wasn't even there to kiss him goodnight. He was just getting used to it too.
You shouldn't be, Potter A voice in his head hissed you might just be leaving them soon, then what? Aunt Petunia will kiss you nitghtie night?
"Oh shut it you," Harry mumbled into his pillow, blinking blearily "t-too tired…"
A couple minutes later, Harry had fallen asleep, the only sounds indicating any noise was the adults quiet chatter down the stairs, and Harry's steady breathing as he slept on.
Harry rolled over, pulling the pillow over his head for silence. "N-no Ron, I don't want to play quiditch now…" he mumbled, sleepily.
Somebody was shaking his arm.
"Harry!" They hissed. His eyes snapped open. Another shake. "Psst – Harry!"
A set of sapphire eyes met his and Harry blinked away his sleepy eyes "S-Sirius?" He grumbled, "What are you doing here?" he glanced at the clock "It's barely 5 am…"
"Exactly," the man hissed, although for some strange reason, Harry detected a little wariness from him. The room was still too dark to see anymore then his eyes and figure though. "We've got to get going before sunrise. Lest we wake them up."
Harry sat up, rubbing at his eyes in confusion. "Siri… what are you on about?"
"Nothing, nothing…" he mumbled, going through some drawers and grabbing a couple of things before shoving them in a suitcase and shrinking them. "Just get up and dressed – quickly."
Frowning, Harry got up and dressed, watching in clear confusion as his extremely odd Godfather ran around his room like a maniac, throwing his clothes and … future possessions in another suitcase.
"Sirius – you still haven't answered my question." Harry repeated. "What – the – heck – are – you – doing?"
"Packing." He replied mildly, shoving an article of clothing Harry recognized as his favorite pair of boxers into the suitcase. Harry blushed. "Now hurry up! We need to leave like – now!"
Harry goggled at him "Are you completely off your rocker? It's 5 am, and you want to leave the house – to Merlin knows where?"
Sirius paused his current ministrations, only half listening to him. "Mmhm." He muttered. "That sounds about right. Are you ready?"
"Ready? To become a bloody psycho?" Harry sputtered. "Not quite, sorry."
Sirius waved a hand, well, Harry thought he did for it was too dark to see very much. He frowned. "Why not turn on a light? I can hardly see you…"
Harry paused in alarm. "What? Why?" his eyes narrowed. "This is a prank isn't it? To make me feel better about my mother going missing, isn't that right?"
There was a heavy silence where Harry thought his musings were right. It was an odd silence though, almost like the person listening was shocked.
"Yeah…" Harry took a step forward, concerned. "Okay, Sirius, now your really scaring me…"
"Yeah, I knew that." Another lengthy pause. "Of course I knew that."
To Harry it sounded like the man was trying to convince himself that he knew his mother – Lily – was missing. This only happened earlier the other day; was this man really off his rocker before he went to Azkaban?
Harry winced. Not a good thought, Potter.
"Shut up, I know it wasn't."
"Err, nothing, Sirius. Just talking to myself."
"Alright…ready to go now?"
Harry frowned, but after some thought shrugged and followed his Godfather a little wearily out of his room, ready in case some sort of prank had been set up.
When they had reached the outskirts of the forest though, Harry stopped. Sirius looked back at him, but it was still too dark to see what his facial expressions were.
"Harry? What's the hold up? We don't have much time!"
"No?" Sirius echoed dubiously.
"No – I'm not going another step further until you give me some answers, Siri!" Harry said firmly, getting a little on edge. He needed answers. And he needed them now.
Sirius sighed, clearly irritated. "Look, I – I can explain after we get away from here – you got to trust me, Harry." His voice had taken on a pleading tone "Please?"
Harry sighed, wondering if he would regret this later. "Fine – but when we get to wherever, you are going to give me answers, and not puny side-stepping ones either."
"Fine." The older wizard agreed.
The two of them proceeded into the dark forest. With one last look behind him, Harry followed the older man, careful to keep in arms length. When it was dark out like this, in a magical forest, you never really knew what to expect.
Lily felt her breath come in harsh and ragged. Her emerald eyes kept darting back and forth between the two arguing Death Eaters in front of her.
It had been nearly twelve hours since she had gone missing, and yet there was still no sign of a rescue attempt or disturbance. The growing numbers of rumors and whispers from the guards of her cell were beginning to worry her. Well, they were to begin with, but her anxiety was getting tenth fold by the time the twelfth hour rolled by.
"Why," She stressed the word. "Am I here?"
Besides the fact that you're a valuable Order member, close to James, Sirius, Dumbledore, Remus, and could possibly hold extremely valuable information – I couldn't imagine why they would want you!
Lily ignored her inner mocker and glared at the two smirking men.
"Why, oh Mrs. Potter, would that be any concern of yours?" One she recognized as Rodolphus Lestrange from a raid, spat viciously in her face.
"More like you wouldn't want to know Mudblood." The other one snarled.
Lily gritted her teeth. "Why don't you try me?"
As quick as a flash the bars disappeared between them, and a pair of large gnarled hands were gripping her neck tightly.
"Why don't we just see how long you last before you break, hmmm?"
"N-no!" She gasped, thinking of the unborn child in her womb "D-don't!"
The hands gripped tighter. She gasped. "And why, do tell, not?"
"B-because…" She clawed at the hands holding her against the wall now. The pressure was slowly being applied more and more. "…Y-you just c-can't!"
"Awww, is the Mudblood keeping some secrets?"
Lily knew for a fact that they would most likely kill her and the growing baby inside of her if she told them about Harry. At the same time, she couldn't just kill him by not saying anything. It was risky, but she needed oxygen for little Harry. "Y-yes…"
"Well?" The other one said, sticking his face disgustingly close to hers. She winced as the hot smelly breath hit her face. "Aren't you going to tell us?"
"N-no…why s-should I?" She was starting to see black.
"For the benefit of your pitiful life? It will make our masters job a lot easier, chit."
Mustering the best glare she could, she spluttered. "F-fine, b-basterd."
The grip was suddenly released. Rodolphus sneered at her. "See that you do."
Massaging her neck weakly, Lily barely managed a nod before the large brass bars were speared in front of her again, locking her in. The two Death Eaters cast her a pitiful sneer-worthy glance before wondering down the long corridor to who-knows-where.
"Oh, James … Harry." She whispered, slumping to the ground in a dead faint.
-x-'Tap tap tap!'
Dumbledore let out a loud grunt, blinking rapidly to awake. The loud tapping noise unmistakably an owl, was hammering away at his window like a madman. Groaning, he pulled the piece of parchment that had been stuck to his cheek from falling asleep on his desk, and then he went and opened the window for the persistent bird.
"Ah, and who would mail me this late? Unless…" The aging Headmaster took the letter from the rather irritated bird, and sat back behind his desk with a grim face.
We sincerely regret to inform you that 'To Withdrawal a Secret' by Analyze Grindelwald is not available at our store. Mr. Leepole, the estate manager, has looked into this matter personally, and discovered a very interesting fact indeed. There is a little history behind why this is.
The last recorded book of that title to have been in this store was over 60 years ago. It had been banned 5 years previous in 1936, when the contents were seen being used for Grindelwald's purpose. All of the books had been burned by order of the Ministry.
Only one copy was saved from this disaster by the original owner of this store. He was just starting up then, and thought this a valuable book for the collection.
Then, 10 years later, a young man came about asking to purchase the book – no matter the price. This was very suspicious in his eyes, for their were rumors of a powerful wizard gaining some followers – obviously a sign of no-good – and he wasn't sure if selling that book to a particular stranger intent on it, was such a good idea. He refused the offer out front.
After a while though, (and much persisting on the younger man's part) he finally caved in. Mr. Leepole couldn't find out why in any of the man's journals, or books. The only information he could scrape was that the man's name was Marvolo Vincent Fiddle.
We are sorry for any inconvenience that this may have caused.
Co-owner of Flourish and Blotts
Dumbledore frowned, folding up the letter carefully, and placing it in his highly locked drawer with all the other info about this particular case. He wasn't sure how he felt about that letter.
Or about that Marvolo Vincent Fiddle fellow. He had a bad feeling about him…
"There!" Sirius puffed, plopping down on the overgrown lawn. "Were here."
Harry looked around. They had somehow spent at least two hours running through some dark forest, and the sun was seen to be almost fully out by now. Before he couldn't tell as the dark trees were overshadowing them, now he could see well.
"And why are we in a … abandoned park?" Harry asked, still looking around dubiously.
When his Godfather didn't answer him, he turned around to look at him – and froze.
The young shaggy man he had come to recognize over the couple weeks he had been there was gone – and in it's replacement was a even more familiar shaggy, darker looking one, with such ancient eyes for his age, he could have been mistaken for 40.
"S-Sirius?" He stuttered, wide-eyed. How was this possible…?
His Godfather managed a weak smile at him "Long time no see hey, kiddo?"
"B-but you died!" Harry spluttered. This wasn't happening! It just couldn't be. He had seen him fall – heck; he had nightmares about it almost every night! "You're supposed to be dead!"
A sad look passed over his Godfather's face, and Harry winced, wanting to take the words back. He didn't though – he needed to express this before he burst.
"H-how, why, who, what – argh!" Harry jumbled. It seemed no matter how much he wanted to say, he just couldn't. Instead, he was left to starring at his Godfather in remorse.
"What I meant was… I'm glad your not." He whispered softly.
A true smile broke over the man's face then, making him seem his proper age of 35 instead of 40. He got up and engulfed Harry into a bone-crushing hug. For a man of his weight, it was amazing he could swing a wand, let alone crush somebody. He was practically skin and bones.
Harry pulled back reluctantly, feeling his eyes prickle slightly. "Why? Why did you do it, Sirius?" He demanded furiously "You were supposed to stay in the house – where you would be safe! I wasn't supposed to k-kill you…"
Arms grabbed him and shook him harshly. "Harry!" Sirius growled. Harry blinked. "First of all, I was not going to sit in some house and let my Godson run out to the ministry chasing after some madman! And secondly, you-did-not-kill-me – got it?"
Harry refused to look at him, and he shook him again.
"Harry – look at me."
Finally he lifted his gaze to meet Sirius'.
"You-Did-Not-Kill-Me." He repeated harshly, drawing Harry back into that bone-crushing hug. "If it was anybody to blame, it's Voldemort Harry. It was in not way your fault as much as it was a flobberworms."
Harry had to let out a snort at this. Along with that came the tears, and the laughter. It was like a bloody dream. A miracle. He didn't need to pinch himself to know this was real. Only Sirius would say such things.
Sirius pulled back and looked Harry up and down with a frown "Harry?"
At this, Harry couldn't help it. He laughed. And he kept on laughing, the high-pitched laughter ringing around the park like and echo. A sound of confusion and madness alike, both not knowing where one ended and the other began.
"I-," Hiccup " – Am fine, Sirius." hiccup. Harry laughed at this too. It was all so real. As it turned out – it was too real. The laughing Harry blacked out in a dead faint, landing straight into his confused Godfather's arms.
To Be Continued…
A/N: Well here it is! YES I know it is VERY late, and YES it's not exactly what I said it would be – but it just didn't turn out that way. Anyway, the parts that weren't in this chapter will be in the next one, which hopefully should be coming very soon. I hope you enjoyed this chapter, and please review if you have a moment, thanks!
WARNING: Spoilers for next chapter after this! If not wishing to read, please skip to bottom if you want, thanks.
Chapter Twenty-Four:The truth is slowly coming out, and with that comes the realization of all of this madness – especially who is controlling it. James discovers Harry's disappearance, Dumbledore's livid (at who?) and Voldy has yet another plan up his sleeve, this time one that concerns a certain Lily Evans-Potter. Also, a newspaper that could very well cause the widespread panic only Voldemort seemed to. Most importantly, what will Harry and his newly found Godfather do about it? Read to find out!
- Because-I-Got-High :P