Title: Harry Potter and the Keeper of the Phoenix
Author: Elizabeth Kelly
Rating: PG-13 (T)
Disclaimer: Harry Potter, its plot and characters, belong to J.K. Rowling.
Summary: HPGW, RWHG, RLNT & JPLE The one thing he needs, is the one thing he could never have… until now. (Post HBP – Contains Spoilers) WIP
A/N: There are probably thousands of these, so I'm just going to toss mine onto the pile. This is my first Harry Potter Fic, and only my second WIP so any constructive criticism is welcome. May be a little OOC, but I try very hard not to!
The sun had once again set over the perfectly normal houses of Privet Drive, yet the sweltering heat lingered in the air. An unusual hush seemed to have descended over the street. Residents mostly stayed inside, more often than not in a hopeless attempt to avoid the stifling heat. The residents of Number Four Privet Drive, were no different. They were sitting in the lounge room watching television and squished onto one sofa in order to feel some relief from the solitary fan that occasionally sent a warm breeze their way.
There was one occupant of Number Four, however, that was not downstairs. Instead he lay, sleeping on the bed, stripped down to a light t-shirt and a pair of oversized boxer shorts. Glasses hanging off one ear, the deep bags under his eyes indicating a severe lack of sleep. In fact he had very little in the month and a half since school ended. Books littered the floor of the small bedroom. 'Advance Incantations for Defensive Measures', 'Self Trained, Self Taught, Self-Defence', 'Curses: Casting and Blocking', 'Horrible Hexes', 'Mind for Meditation' and 'Animagi for Beginners' were just a few of the titles that lay amongst his school books.
Soft snores were the only sound that could be heard in the usually quiet room. The windows had been left open, partly to let in the odd cool breeze, but mostly for the benefit of the only other occupant in the room. She sat quietly as her master slept, keeping a watchful eye over everything.
The doorbell sounded downstairs, and the muffled sound of a frustrated cry wafted through the gap under the door. The occupant of the bed didn't stir. More voices this time, and then…
"BOY! Get down here this instant!" Still the boy on the bed did not stir. After a minute, heavy footsteps sounded on the stairs, then the turning ofa handle.
The door swung open to reveal three figures, the largest one barring the other two, a middle aged man and woman, entrance to the room. Seeing that the boy sill hadn't moved, the larger man let out a frustrated sigh.
"He's your problem now," he hissed, turning and heading back down the stairs. The other man raced forward.
"Harry," he called softly, reaching out and gently shaking the boy's shoulder. Still the boy didn't move.
"Remus, is he ok?" the woman began, her voice shaky. "Is he alive?" Remus bent down, to look at the boy.
"He's still breathing, but he's as frail as I've ever seen him." The woman cast an eye around the room.
"It looks about the same as it was the last time I was here," she observed. Remus too looked down at the books that covered the floor.
"Oh, Harry," he muttered. "We need to wake him, come on help me sit him up."
Together they helped him sit up, and he immediately fell sideways so that his head was resting on Remus's chest.
"Harry," Remus called softly, lightly tapping his cheeks. "Come on Harry, don't make me wake you with cold water." The threat seemed to have some sort of an effect, as Harry began to stir in his pseudo-uncle's arms.
"P-p-professor?" he asked, his voice hushed with sleep.
"Yes, Harry, but I thought we agreed you would call me Remus or Lupin?" Remus smiled softly, but Harry's lips didn't even twitch. His eyes opened slowly, blinking, trying to focus. Remus helped him put his glasses on, and Harry's gaze fell on the middle aged woman standing on the other side of him. Something about her seemed familiar, yet he couldn't seem to place her.
"Wotcher, Harry," she said with a wink, as he looked at her with dawning recognition.
"Hey Tonks," he replied, sleepily. With her shoulder length dark brown hair, mature features, hazel eyes and conservative dress, there was very little that resembled the typically extroverted, fluorescent pink haired witch. All except the mischievous grin that she unsuccessfully tried to hold in.
"What are you doing here?" Harry asked, his already overworked brain, trying to understand why they were standing in his room.
"We've come to take you home, Harry," Remus replied.
"But my birthday's not for another two days," he said "I have to stay here for my protection." he replied, not sure if he wanted to know what home Remus was referring to.
"We know, but the Order believes that you are in more danger here, so we have to move you," Tonks explained, packing his books into his trunk.
"But Dum…" a lump caught in his throat, it was too soon after his mentor's death.
"We know what he said Harry, but if he were here now, he would be doing what we are doing." Harry numbly nodded, and stared off into the distance.
"Done!" Tonks said, and Harry jumped as though he only just realised she was there.
"Sorry, Tonks I should've helped," Harry realised that she had done all of his packing for him.
"Nah, Harry it's ok. To be honest you look kind of dead on your feet," she joked, then upon realising what she said she covered her mouth. Remus's eyes were wide, and Harry looked as though he was fighting back tears.
"Oh, Harry, I'm sorry. I-I-I didn't know what I was saying. You know me, always putting my foot in it…"
"Don't worry about it," Harry cut her off. She was about to continue, when a look from Remus stopped her.
"Come on, Harry, we've already stayed here too long."
Harry moved to stand on his feet but swayed and fell back onto the bed. Remus placed an arm around Harry's waist and pulled him up, letting Harry lean on him. Lupin was shocked at just how skinny the boy wizard was. He could feel Harry's ribs through the thin t-shirt he wore. Tonks handed Remus a pair of trousers that she had kept out of the trunk, and took a hold of a barely conscious Harry as Remus helped him into them.
"There you go Harry, couldn't have you walking around in your underwear," Remus said lightly. He took Harry back from Tonks and helped him walk out of the room. Tonks watched them leave, then walked over to the desk.
"Hey, Hedwig," she said softly, stroking the birds feathers. "Can you go to 'The Burrow'? Harry will be there as soon as it is safe enough. We'll look after him I promise." Hedwig nipped her finger affectionately as if to say she understood, and took off out the window. Pointing her wand at Harry's trunk and Hedwig's empty cage, Tonks shrunk them and placed them in her pocket. She took one more sweeping glance around the room to see if anything was left behind, and then turned leaving the small bedroom and followed Remus and Harry.
They landed on the ground out the front of a large manor. Harry didn't recognise the building in front of him, but at least it wasn't Grimmuld Place, that was a start.
"Sorry, about that Harry, but apparation was quicker and faster and safer then any of the other methods of travel." Harry nodded in understanding, and allowed himself to be led into the unfamiliar house.
The manor was dark and silent when they entered. Lupin lit the torches lining the walls, and Harry closed his eyes at the sudden brightness.
"Would you like something to eat?" Lupin asked him, as Tonks returned the trunk and bird cage to their normal size. Harry shook his head, as his eyes drooped closed. Tonks glanced at Lupin and saw the worry in his eyes as he looked at her.
"Come on, Harry, you need to eat something. When was the last time you ate?" Tonks asked. Harry shrugged his shoulders, not even bothering to open his eyes. "Right, Lupin you take him to bed. I'll go make him some soup." Lupin nodded relieved that she was taking charge, he was finding it hard to see Harry in his current state, and his loathing for the muggles that were Harry's so-called relatives, deepened.
Half carrying, half dragging Harry, Lupin somehow managed to get him up the stairs and into bed. Tonks came in not long after, and set a bowl of soup on the bedside table. Harry was propped up against some pillows, and struggling to keep his eyes open.
"Harry... how often have you been sleeping?" Tonks asked. Harry shrugged his shoulders, and Lupin glared at him.
"Less than an hour a night," he admitted, sleepily. Tonks made a noise that sounded a bit like a strangled cat. Lupin patted her shoulder gently.
"Well, Harry, eat up, then sleep as long as you like." Lupin smiled at Harry, then led Tonks out of the room.
Harry picked up the spoon and forced himself to eat most of the soup. 'Hopefully that will satisfy Lupin,' he thought. Lying down, he lost the ability to keep his eyes open and soon enough he dropped into a deep sleep.
"I don't think he will sleep long. I think he's having nightmares again," Lupin said, collapsing into the hard wooden kitchen chairs.
"I think he will sleep for a while," Tonks replied, her mischievous smile spreading across her face.
"What did you do?" Lupin asked, his curiosity, peaking.
"I slipped in some of the dreamless sleep potion Severus made for me last year. I figured that he needed a decent sleep." Lupin smiled softly.
"I dare say he did."
"You know he blames himself for Dumbledore's death?" Lupin nodded.
"I know, I just don't know what to tell him. The only people who were there were Harry, Dumbledore, Severus and several death eaters. No one else knows what went on, and Harry's not going to want to talk about it," Lupin paused. "He's so much like James in that way. James used to keep everything that hurt him bottled up and then he would explode. Not literally of course," he added seeing the worried look on Tonks face. "He would just yell and yell and yell. Sirius, Peter and I usually copped the full brunt of his anger, even if it wasn't directed at us."
"You can't blame Harry for what he is doing, I mean everyone that gets close to him dies, first his parents, then Sirius, then Dumbledore. It's no wonder he broke up with Ginny."
"He broke up with Ginny?" Lupin asked.
"Yep," Tonks nodded. "She's locked herself in her room for most of the summer. She barely eats, rarely comes downstairs and when she does it's obvious she's been crying. I tried to talk to her, but it didn't work. From the little that I did get out of her, I think Harry told her it was too dangerous for her to be with him. The poor kid thinks he can't get close to anyone."
"Maybe he can't," Lupin whispered.
"What kind of life is that? He's just a boy, he should be dating a new girl every month, he should be playing pranks on people, he should be free to do whatever he likes. I couldn't image being seventeen and having the weight of the world on my shoulders. When I was his age my biggest concern was passing my Transfiguration N.E.W.T. and deciding what colour my hair should be." Tonks started to cry. Lupin pulled her into a hug, and she buried her face into his neck. "It's not fair on him. He's just a kid. He shouldn't have to deal with this burden." Lupin rubbed his hand over her back, in a gentle, soothing motion.
"I know, Tonks, I know. But unfortunately that was the destiny Harry was dealt, and the best thing you and I can do is help him as much as we can, and try to ease some of his burden." Tonks sniffled, and nodded, slowly.
"You're right, as always," she whispered.
"Come on, I think we both need some rest. It's time for bed." Carefully he stood up and carried her up the stairs to her room. Placing her gently back down on the ground, she turned to face him.
"Thanks," she smiled shyly.
"Your welcome," he replied gently. Then, whilst she still had the courage, Tonks quickly lent in and kissed him softly on the lips.
"Goodnight, Remus," she said, as she turned and entered her room, quickly closing the door behind her. Lupin touched his lips, his mind, completely blank. After a minute or two, he regained his senses.
"Goodnight, Nymphadora," he whispered to the closed door, before turning and heading to his own room for the night.
A/N: Next chapter may be a little while with exams coming up. But I promise I will not abandon this fic.