Summary: Post HBP Harry talks to Remus after Dumbledore's death. Things have changed. --To Forgive, or let Live? Oneshot
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
Forgive, or Let Live?
Two men sat in the dim light of a dying fire, both lost in thought. Occasionally they would cast glances at the other with thoughtful, concerned and above all, sadness glowing in their eyes. It was a comforatable silence.
"I'm to be married tomorrow, Harry, and I'm not sure if I'm entirely happy about it." The older of the two said, breaking the silence.
The younger, Harry, at these words was thoughtful. He cast an unreadable look at the man and shook his head and stood from his moth-eaten seat. "Do you want a drink, Remus?"
Remus hesitated for a moment before sighing and nodding his head in assent. When Harry returned, he accepted the small glass and sank back into the decaying sofa. After a sip of the, mead is it, he continued. "What were Tonks and I thinking, marrying during a war? Not even a full month after a good friend's death? It just seems so callous, and selfish." He confided. The idea in itself was strange, there hadn't been many through the years he trusted to speak freely with, but even when he noticed the unwavering indifferent expression on his confident's face he knew he could trust this man.
"It does, but I'm sure the headmaster never wanted you to hesitate to marry for his sake." Harry had also relaxed further into the furniture, but his attention never wavered from the flickering flames.
Remus stared at James' son for a moment before agreeing with a soft chuckle. "I could imagine him scolding us with one of those looks of his and shooing us on our way with a lemon drop as his blessings."
Harry just muttered an almost inaudible 'hm', but otherwise staying silent.
The silence was tense, and all around uncomfortable to the point where Remus said the first thing that came to his lips. "Harry, what caused you to change so much?"
Harry actually seemed to startle at the question, obviously not expecting something so blunt from his former professor, but was quick to recover. With his answer his eyes grew slightly colder, but his tone was as indifferent as his face just moments ago. "Circumstance. Responsibility, and the realization that, no matter how much I wanted to be normal, or to hide behind a parent, it was not possible. I had to grow up Remus. These last few weeks at the Dursley's were spent in thought, as up to this point, I was sorely lacking of any large amount of it." With another unreadable glance at his companion, Harry continued.
"Dumbledore was killed by one he insisted we trust, by someone who had saved my life more than once. Sirius was killed by his cousin, his blood, and was ultimately betrayed in the highest sense. And my parents were killed all those years ago by the man who ordered the murders, thus responsible. I've lost all my protectors Remus. I have no one left to turn to. What other choice did I have?" Harry finished, taking another sip of his drink.
His words struck a cord. It was a painful one. "What about me?" It sounded like a selfish question, and perhaps it was, but Remus couldn't find another way to phrase it.
"Yes, what about you?" For the first time during the entire length of the conversation, Harry Potter's emerald eyes met the amber of his own. The eyes were a harsher and colder than any other he had gained from the boy before. Not even in the Shrieking Shack when he failed to turn his wand against the escaped convict, Sirius Black, before the whole mess of betrayal and innocence was revealed. "I have one question that has been bothering me since I had learned you were one of my father's best friends." He felt the coils of unease tighten in his stomach.
"What is it?"
"Why had you never attempted to contact me before you took up your teaching post at Hogwarts? Hadn't you been curious in the slightest as to how your best friend's son was doing?" The young man's eyes seemed to darken more as he took in his companions 'deer-in-headlights' look. Harry knew he shouldn't have asked, maybe for once he would have rather lived on in ignorance. Still, the question was asked, and so far, it didn't look like there was any hope of the situation turning for the better.
Harry reached over and refilled his drink shortly after.
Remus, for his part, was in emotional turmoil. How could he express the guilt he felt at assuming Harry was better off at the Dursleys? How could Harry understand the pain he went through even thinking about James? He had opened his mouth several times now to speak, but nothing came out. He knew Harry would ask eventually, but he also could have never prepared himself fully for it. He had no excuse.
"I..Harry, the truth is, I have no excuse." He turned his eyes downward, focusing on the half-empty glass before him. "I never knew. I would have checked up on you if I was given any indication of something being wrong. I should have checked, but I didn't. I didn't want to face my best friend's son. I didn't want the pain that had long been swimming under the surface to emerge. I was afraid." The silence after his words stretched on. For Remus, he was trapped in memories of the past, occasionally taking large sips of the mead.
Harry, however, had his brow wrinkled in thought. Going over Remus' words, but not answering with anything other than a 'hm.' It wasn't until Harry spoke up again, a long ten minutes later, that the conversation continued. This time it was different. There seemed like there was a bit of the old Harry shining back through his weary eyes.
"You know, I never got over my anger at Dumbledore for not telling me the prophecy." Harry muttered while staring down at his drink. It was the same type Dumbledore liked so much. "There were so many times that I wanted nothing more than to punch him in the face." He chuckled humorlessly, not even bothering to register Remus' astonished and confused face, and continued.
"It just seems so horrible of me to want to harm a dead man. A man who gave me so much, but I still can't help but remember how he had lied to me all those years ago in the Hospital wing. I can't help but wonder if the various challenges I've uncovered these last few years... if they were all his way to test me..." Harry looked up from his empty glass into Remus' eyes. They were pained eyes. "And yet, I don't feel anger towards him, just hurt, so much that I can't tell where one set of hurt ends and another begins." He turned away then, and set his gaze on the flames merrily eating away at the wood.
"...But I forgave him Remus. Even when I wanted nothing more than to curse him to oblivion, I forgave him. That, really, is the only thing that I feel sorry about doing because without my forgiveness, I can't help but feel he wouldn't have let himself die." Harry laughed, but this time with humor.
"It really is so twisted I can't even conceive it." On the way out Harry patted the still shocked Remus Lupin on the shoulder. "And I had forgiven you, too."
As the door closed behind the tall teen his expression turned cold. Harry whispered to the air, "Its too bad I can't forgive you, Tom. Maybe you would let yourself die also."
Draw your own conclusions as to what Harry meant. I thought I was glaringly obvious, but I'm the best judge of these things.
So, was it good?
I'd be overjoyed just to receive a 'no' Just as long as I have an idea. It did seem to flow oddly, or rather, not well at all. Oh well. Please point out any errors, I'd like to fix them if they are there.