AN/ Here we go, another one for this story. I keep loosing track of which one I am updating. I think that it was FMM last time. Oh, well. Whatever. Just one note, I did get one review that gave me a heads up on a spelling error in the earlier chapters, which I appreciate, but I don't appreciate being called a moron. Especially as it was a mistake that I had fixed in later chapters just hadn't finished reworking the earlier ones. I do want you to point out mistakes, but there is no need to be rude.
To everyone else, thank you for your reviews, if I didn't get to you personally and I hope you enjoy.
Disclaimer: Harry Potter belongs to JKRowling and always will.
Chapter 13: Memorial Demons
Harry wasn't too sure how to react. His older soul had taken in the picture that had been presented to them and the Headmaster and had suddenly slammed up walls between their minds and the section that he had come to know as 'other' went blank. He knew from flashes that had come up in his nightmares that the carved lightning bold was something significant and not all together pleasant, as the other had always attempted to keep much of his more disturbing memories locked down. He also recognised the dead man as the Professor his older self had warned him about. The one that had been carrying the spirit form of Voldemort.
The problem now, being, that the Headmaster had taken note of his reaction to the photo but as his other soul seemed to have gone into meltdown, he was left to handle the situation.
Rubbing his hand across his forehead in an effort to stave off the headache that was building, Harry sighed and cast a look over at Remus, who was alternating his concerned gaze from Sirius, who was slowly coming around, and himself.
Coming to a decision, he hoped the other could pull them out if he bollixed everything up, he drew a deep breath, before turning back to the Headmaster, "Professor Dumbledore sir, I was wondering if I could make an appointment to discuss something with you once school sets in. I know that there are a lot of things that you have to take care of, not only in regards to Sirius's case but in light of that," he pointed at the photo that the nervous aid was still holding out, clearly not knowing what he was supposed to do. Dumbledore raised an eyebrow at him and Harry rubbed at his scar as he thought, 'I hope I am doing the right thing. You did say we were not going to keep this from him.'
The other presence didn't answer him so he drew himself up and locked eyes with the old wizard, "There are a few things that have come to light in the last few months that I think you should be made aware of. I believe that you have already realised that something odd has been going on and I think that it will be a good idea to discuss this matter as soon as possible."
The Headmaster studied him for a moment, a thoughtful look in his bright blue eyes before he nodded once, "Very well, Mr Potter." He answered softly, "The first day of school is on Friday so I think that I can fit you in Saturday morning seeing as classes won't start until after the weekend. Is that sufficient?" at Harry's nod he smiled, "Then I will see you Friday Mr Potter. Until then, I think it might be prudent to get your Godfather home. It looks as though he could use some rest. Good day to you."
As the man swept from the room, Harry turned his attention back to the other two men, completely ignoring the aide who, after a moment of confusion, scuttled after the Headmaster. He could tell by the questioning look in Remus's eyes that he could tell which of them was in control though he was unsure what had just happened. Harry gave a slight smile, "I'll explain once we get home." He offered and the werewolf nodded as they both turned to Sirius. The man was looking dazedly back and forth between the two of them. "Moony?" he whispered hoarsely, "Prongs?" he reached a hand up to Harry's face then blinked as if trying to bring his eyes into focus, "No, that's not right. James is gone. Harry?"
The almost painful hope in his voice had Remus clutching at his hand and Harry smiling widely, "That's right, Padfoot." He answered softly, watching the man's eyes widen at the nickname, "We are here to take you home."
The two of them managed to haul the ragged man to his feet and with him leaning heavily on their arms, led him out of the courtroom.
As they made their way back up to the upper levels, Harry turned him mind inwards, trying to get his older self to talk to him but to no avail. Giving up on the spirit for the moment he turned his concentration to getting them out of there in one piece. He knew from what the other had shown him that anything to do with him, and to Sirius in a lessor extent, tended to end up a media cercus. His other souls instincts in regards to reporters seemed to have passed on to him as well along with his jumpy nature, so he kept a sharp eye out as they stepped out into the Atrium.
"Are we going straight to the manor?" Remus asked him and Harry gave a short nod. He had caught sight of a knot of people off to one side that he was rather suspicious of, suspicions that were confirmed when one of them shifted to the side revealing a familiar face out of the others memories, one that he had hoped to avoid.
"Through the floo, Remus. Fast." He muttered, steering them over to the large fireplaces just as Skeeter spotted them. Thankfully the fireplace was large enough for Remus to take the still staggering Sirius with him as he stepped into the green flames and as soon as they spun away, Harry took their place. He turned to face the room as he threw down the handful of powder at his feet. He smirked a the frustrated look on the horrible reporters face as he muttered the password and spun away just as the woman had reached out to snatch him from the fireplace.
He stumbled as he reached the other end, almost falling on his face as he stepped out into the welcoming atmosphere of his own floo room. He had been surprised when he had been shown this room but his older self had explained about the floo system and it had seemed perfectly reasonable to have a separate room for this particular fireplace. After all, he didn't really like the idea that people could floo directly into his bedroom.
Dusting the soot from his clothes he stepped over to where Remus was standing with Sirius draped over his shoulder and taking up the mans other arm gestured that they should take him to the study. As they were easing the man down into one of the stuffed armchairs under the concerned gaze of Harold's portrait, Tupik appeared with a faint pop. Without even looking up, Harry directed him to bring them some light broth, tea and some sandwiches for Remus and himself. The businesslike elf gave a brief nod and vanished again and Harry settled himself in one of the other chair as Remus did the same. By now, Sirius had come around enough that he was staring up at the painting above the fireplace in surprise, finally he blinked then rasped out, "Harold? What in Merlins name are you doing here old man?" his voice was rough with disuse and weary beyond belief but the old humour was still there in a faint glimmer and Harry laughed along with Remus, hearing the relief in the werewolf's voice.
"Paddy old friend, Harold's painting hasn't left that wall in over five decades at least." Remus teased and Sirius turned his confused gaze to him then to Harry.
"It wasn't a dream then?" he almost whispered, "I'm free? We are back at James's place?"
Remus reached out to grab his hand and Harry smiled gently at him, "No Paddy, it wasn't a dream." Remus answered softly, "And it's Harry's place now."
Sirius blinked at him for a moment then a look of great pain came over his face, turning to Harry a single tear traced down his face and his voice was barely a whisper as he asked, "How?"
Harry shook his head, the man was in no shape to follow the full story, he needed to recover a little first, just then Tupik popped into the room with a tray containing their lunch and with a bow popped out again and Harry pointed to the bowl of broth, "Eat something first Sirius." He advised softly, "That story is going to take a while and you are going to need to be more alert for it. Once you finished eating I have some Healing potions for you to take and then I will explain to you what is going on. Or at least as much of it as I can." He caught the pointed look that Remus shot at him and he nodded once in acknowledgment, knowing that he was going to have to explain what had happened in the court room as well.
The three of them ate in silence and once they were finished, Remus helped Sirius up to the room that had always been prepared for the man in order for him to bathe and change clothes, while they were gone, Harry spoke quietly to the painting of his ancestor, the man's face growing graver as he revealed what was going on.
By the time the others re-entered the room, Sirius was looking much better. He was still gaunt and tired looking but his long hair had been washed and combed out and now lay down his back in a neat tail. He was also dressed in a set of blue robes that Harry had laid out for him in the hope that they would be bringing him home today.
He waited until the two of them were seated then sighed before taking his own seat once again. Nodding once to Remus he turned his eyes to his godfather and smiled nervously, "What I am going to tell you is going to be hard to believe," he started and snorted softly at the raised eyebrow aimed at him in reply, "Just listen please, then you can ask questions." He admonished then without waiting for a reply he launched into the tale that his older self had already told Remus. He was able to explain much of it, but where the other had spoken in terms of "I did", he spoke in terms of "I would have", something he knew Remus would pick up on, confirming his suspicions on who was actually in residence in Harry's head a the moment.
At any other time Harry would have been amused at the expression on Sirius's face. He looked downright shocked, the disbelief he had been showing at the start of the tale was slowly disappearing as Harry revealed more and more details of things that he could not possibly know of. By the time he finished the man was nearly catatonic and Remus had to hand him a cup of hot tea and help him to drink it before any sign of consciousness entered the mans eyes once more.
Once he snapped out of his shock, Sirius shook his head sharply the focused his gaze back on Harry's face "Holy shit." He almost whispered.
smiled at him then chuckled as Remus cuffed the man for his language,
"I know." He chucked, "That was pretty much my reaction when my
older self dumped all this in my mind."
Here Remus interrupted, "Speaking of, where is Harry Senior. I take it we are talking to the Junior version at the moment. You normally do not separate unless there is a very good reason, what has happened?"
Harry grimaced and sent an enquiring tap at the wall in his mind as he answered, "As to that, I think that we might have a problem." He explained about the Photograph, who it was and what the knew about the man. He was about the explain about the sign cut into the body when his mind gave that familiar lurch and the projection of his older self appeared, looking even more haggard then normal.
Remus didn't respond other then to look even more concerned as he took in the older Harry's appearance, Sirius on the other hand drew back in shock and swore loudly. The spirit smirked at him and Harry could feel the amusement from the other leaking through the barrier that he was still holding in his mind and he chuckled softly.
The spirit sent him a mental wink as he teased his godfather, the enjoyment in his face belied by the pain and grief that was plainly visible in his eyes, "Oh come on Sirius. You look like you have seen a ghost." He said cheerfully, making Remus almost spit his tea all over the table.
Sirius blinked at him for a moment then let out a bark of laughter, "Holy shit is that ever a shock." He exclaimed, "I had half convinced myself that Harry was mistaken and all that detail he gave he had gotten from Remus or something."
The spirit shook his head and sighed "I'm afraid not. And as Harry said, we have a problem. That particular calling card is one that Lord Voldy started using after he had taken out Hogwarts." Both Remus and Sirius gasped at those words and Harry felt the wave of pure grief from his other soul, almost making him cry. As it was he huddled down in his chair and his older self gave him a smile of apology, "I told you the general outline of what had happened but there is much that you have to understand. At the end of my sixth year, Headmaster Dumbledore was killed," the gasp this time was louder and filled with shock and the spirit grimaced, "There is a longer story behind that as well," he muttered, "But We'll get to that another time, the thing is, the Headmasters death threw everything into chaos. The Order all but fell apart the ministry had already gone to hell after the cock up that Fudge made of things then Scrimgour making things worse by being more interesting in the reputation of the ministry then actually getting anything done." The spirit tapped Harry mentally and he sent his permission sensing the other's need to move. The projection shimmered out and Remus turned his attention directly to Harry, well used to this by now but he had to nudge Sirius who was still staring at the spot where the image had disappeared in confusion. Not saying anything Remus nodded to where Harry stood up from his seat and began to pace, noting the look of uneasy surprise on the others face at the change that he knew had come over his features once he took control. The younger Harry sent a wave of reassurance and he almost smiled, even through the surge of memories he would rather keep locked away if he could help it.
"What you have to understand," he continued softly, pacing back and forth before the fire, "By this stage there had been so many mistakes made that the public didn't know what to believe anymore. The Order had kept hidden all that they were doing but had sent reports to the ministry which were immediately dismissed. The minister had denied Voldemorts return so often that when the news abruptly changed when he was replaced had everyone confused. Then there were the arrests of innocent people being accused of being in league with the Death Easters, no one knew who to trust." Here he snorted in disgust, "Then the idiot put out a warrant for my arrest along with my two friends. We were on a mission for Dumbledore, something that the Headmaster left for me to do, vital to taking out Voldemort. The idiot of a minister knew that I was working under orders but he was so infuriated that I wouldn't tell him what the Headmaster had been up to before he died that he decided to brand us all traitors." He shook his head in frustration, not even noticing the reactions of the other two in the room now, the only presence that he even could even sense was that of his younger self hovering in the back of his mind, supporting him with his innocent understanding.
With a sigh of frustration he ran his hand through his already ruffled hair and stared into the fire, "After we managed to track down most of the objects that Dumbledore had us searching for, we returned to the school, figuring that at least one of the missing pieces had to be there considering the interest that the Dark Idiot had in the school. Problem is, he had found out what we had been after and had made his own move, attacking the school directly." He shook his head again and turned his attention back to the room where he was, shaking off the flood of painful memories that came with digging up this story. The faces of both Remus and Sirius were strained and he took heart in their presence. "The school was overrun." He continued softly, "McGonagall was unable to hold the wards against them. Many of the teachers were killed that night along with a good majority of the upper level students." He gulped as he pushed back the memories of his friends, people he knew, had gone to school with, had argued with, so many of them, standing beside him to defend their school. So many of them falling when they failed. "The fall of Hogwarts changed everything." He said softly, "There was no help from the ministry anymore as they had all lost hope at the loss. A few of us managed to band together with the last of the order and continued to fight, but we had missed something. No matter what we did I was unable to kill the monster. There was always one piece of the puzzle missing." He frowned in frustration, "As a matter of fact I am going to have to speak to the Headmaster about that one, hopefully he has already started his investigations at this point and knows what I am talking about otherwise we are still going to be stuck in the same position as before. If I cannot figure out where the last piece is then there is no way to kill the bastard."
He was snapped out of his musings by Sirius clearing his throat carefully, "Um, I don't have much of an idea of what you are talking about," he began, "But you were going to tell us what it was that had you so rattled. All of this will need to be discussed with the Headmaster from what you have said, but you did mention that it looked as though we had a problem."
Harry grimaced in apology, "You're right, sorry, I got caught up there. The thing is, once the fight got down to hit and run missions and trying to keep one step ahead of the Death Eaters, Voldemort thought up a little calling card to remind me of when I failed. He would carve a lightning bolt into the foreheads of those he killed. Not only did this serve to remind me of those I failed to protect but it through fire onto the rumors that I was as dark as he was as people associated that sign with me," he pointed to his own scar, "I ended being blamed for those deaths, meaning not only was I dodging Death Eaters but Aurors as well."
He fell silent and watched as the other two went over the implications of what he had told them. As they thought, he felt a gently nudge in his mind and turned his attention inwards, "If Voldemort came back the same as you did, then he is going to go after those Horcrux things isn't he? I mean he knows that you found most of them so that means he has to hide them all again."
"I know, which is a worry. There are two that he cannot get his hands on easily, the locket and the Diadem. But as for the diary, cup, ring, Nagini and whatever else it is that we missed, they are out of our reach. At least for now anyway, Lucius Malfoy has the diary, the ring is too dangerous to go after is he did come back with me, as it is almost a guarantee that he is going to hole up in Riddle Manor again, and the old house is within the wards of the property. The cup we may be able to get, but it is going to take some doing and maybe the help of Sirius, we will have to see."
"That points towards your Voldemort being brought back with you," Remus said finally and Harry nodded in agreement.
"There are a few other clues as well," he said gravely, "The fact that it was Quirill that turned up dead for starters as he knew that I was aware that he was his vessel for my first year. Also, I have been getting twinges in my scar and that only happened when I was close to him until he learned of the connection and used it to bother me. At first I thought that the merge might have had something to do with me being able to sense him more easily, but now I am not so sure."
Sirius leant forward in his chair, his face grave, "I Think that the first thing that we need to do is speak with the Headmaster." He advised.
Harry nodded, "I know, I already set up a meeting with him for on the first day back to school. There is not much that I can do before then as I think that I am going to need some of his resources." Here he grinned ruefully, "After all, is this timeline, all of my contacts have never met me yet."
He gave a slight shift in his mind and merged once more with his younger self, having managed to put his demons to rest for the moment. With his merged personality he was unable to suppress a laugh at the bemused look on Sirius's face as he noticed the change, "Never mind Padfoot, you'll get used to it eventually. You just have to remember that there is essentially three of me. The young me, the old me and, well me which is a mix of both." He explained lightly.
Sirius just shook his head and sighed, "Give me Dementors any day, "He said mournfully, "At least with them I could hold the madness off for a little while. You my boy, are going to send me nutters."
Harry just laughed and suggested that he get some sleep. After all, they had a lot coming up and Sirius had only been released from prison that very day. He needed some time to recover. And Harry himself needed some time to prepare. He had a meeting with the headmaster in a couple of days and he needed to work out exactly what he was going to tell him. And what he needed to say to get the information out of him that he needed.
Along the coast a dark figure wrapped in a ripped back cloak battled with the wind for the material as he dragged a smaller figure after him into the relative shelter of a cave in the cliff face. Once inside, he pushed the sacrifice to the ground then walked over to the damp back wall of the cave. Using a sharp knife he drew from his belt , he slashed his palm and drew the bloody hand across the stone, breaking the seals that held the door. As soon as he had all of the pieces back in his position he could make his plans on getting back his own form once again. At this moment however he as too vulnerable with the pieces scattered in places that were compromised. Once he had hold of the locket, he would go after the ring next. The wards around the property would need to be changed and strengthened, after all, the brat was well aware of where the Manor was.
But first…. Turning his head slightly he pointed his wand at the prone form on the floor and the cloaked figure staggered to its feet, the movements jerky as one who moved under a power not their own. First he needed that locket.
Harry had managed to clamp down on his memories for the rest of the day but unfortunately once he went to sleep, they resurfaced in all their gory detail. He watched as people he knew were torn apart in front of his eyes, watched the smoke and flames roaring up through the great stone towers of the school. Watched again as the Headmaster fell from sight over the tower ledge.
His mind shifted to another scene of him forcing ht Headmaster to drink the poison that hid the fake locket form their reach. Listened as the old man pleaded with him to stop. And just as he reached out to lift the chain from the basin, he was slammed by a wall of pure rage.
"Where is it you insolent whelp?" Harry felt his body arch under the pressure of the pain the intrusion caused and he slapped up every mental shield he had, knowing that it wouldn't stop the pain but at least the monster couldn't do too much damage to him, "What's the matter, Tom old boy. You loose something?" he taunted back, knowing that he was fairly safe at the moment as the other was too weak in his current form to do much damaged. Voldemort snarled and tried to rip through his shields and Harry shoved him back, "Get the hell out of my head." He snarled, both mentally and physically.
What he didn't realize was that his screams had awakened both Remus and Sirius and both of them had come running. As soon as he threw Voldemort from his mind, Remus grabbed at his shoulder, thinking to shake him awake. It was a bad move on his part. On top of his nightmares, the visitation from Voldemort had thrown Harry into combat mode. His younger self was hidden down low in his mind to protect him and as soon as he felt hands on him he threw up his strongest shield and blasted the intruder across the room with a wave of pure magic. As the hands left his body he rolled out of bed and landed in a fighting crouch, his hands bewilderingly empty of the knife and wand that should have been beneath his pillow.
He stared at his empty hands blankly for a moment until his mind finally caught up with him and he gasped in shock. Letting his shield drop he looked frantically around and found Remus crumpled on the floor against the wall, Sirius crouched beside him, his own wand drawn in defense.
"Remus." He exclaimed in shock and horror, before rushing over to the fallen Werewolf, "Oh please don't let me have hurt him." He pleaded with himself.
AN/ Heheh, cliff hanger. Of a sort. And Voldy has found the fake locket.
Just a note I am going to use some info from the last two books but it will be reworked a lot. Just how much of it remains to be seen, depending on where this goes.