Disclaimer: All characters, names and all else belong to their respective copyright holders, only much of the convoluted plot is mine.
Chapter 1 – Cerebral Activity, Dreams and Realisations
Harry was fuming; quietly, though in the smallest room in Privet Drive, he could hear the TV in Dudley's bedroom blaring something out about the latest gangster shooting, it seemed so normal for a teenager to be hearing about killings overseas, but not actually seeing it.
Except Harry wasn't like normal teens, as his only family left loved reminding him every day, despite what the order in all it's uselessness had said.
Harry looked over at Hedwig's cage, she had gone out hunting again, better than stay in the room with him staring at the ceiling.
Glancing out the window Harry returned to thinking about the end of the previous years school, the events that had shaped his life, the adventure…the danger…
Harry started to drift off into a dreamless sleep like state, except the dreams and mindless wanderings kept coming.
…Dumbledore saying he had to learn Occlumency…
I accepted that as being the truth Harry thought to himself in his lucid state. It seemed like the best course of action…but with Snape?!
Why Snape, surely occlumency isn't a skill that rare in the magical community? 'He had the whole order to choose from and he chooses Snape to teach me….Why…? Harry thought angrily in the white space of his mind.
"Why indeed cub." Harry whipped around to see a black grim bounding out of the void.
"S…" Harry said stunned for a second, the grim changing back into his godfather.
"Hello cub." Sirius said tilting his head as to greet Harry.
"You're not dead?" Harry smiled hopefully.
"No. Bella shot me, you know that, I fell into the Veil, there's no escape from that."
"Then what…" Harry knew he would have had tears in his eyes, but he had cried so many times over the past week that none seemed to want to come.
"I'm an after-image, left in your mind, an impression, from all the times we spent together, something to help you work this through." Sirius walked over to Harry. Two chairs appearing between them, he gestured to Harry taking one for himself.
"So you're not real, and I'm just talking to myself." Harry stared at the chair for a moment before taking it.
"Everyone talks to themselves cub. But this" he gestured the void that had now become a study with a silently crackling fire "is where you can work stuff out, stuff that's been going on this past year, this past years, things you already know yourself, you just need to work it through. Think of me as a foil, bounce ideas off."
Harry thought about this for a moment, he knew that magic was part of him, that it was part of the world, could this be magic? Or was it just his subconscious working the events through.
"You've already started to think about it. See, I'm a bit of both, maybe I'm one or the other, it shouldn't matter, just work the ideas through it'll all work out. So what's troubling you cub?" Sirius, or whatever he was leaned back in his chair and glanced into the fire.
"Was it my fault you died?" Harry said staring with newly formed tears in his eyes, he wanted to be sure.
"You already know the answer to that one, but let me tell you what you've already been thinking. Dumbledore said you should learn occlumency, to protect you from Voldemort." Sirius paused waiting for Harry.
"And he got the one person, the one person who has hated me from the get go, him, Snape to teach me."
"Yes, and whilst you tried with him he pushed and never helped. Dumbledore didn't either, he didn't stop Umbridge or Snape. Why?" Sirius looked into Harry's eyes waiting for him to answer.
"Why indeed." Harry started to ponder this, why didn't Dumbledore help? He was the Supreme Mugwump after all.
"Why didn't he help you initially, Why did Dumbeldore disappear for so much of last year, Why wasn't he there during the Philosopher's Stone incident, why was it me and Ron that went down into the Chamber or Secrets in what was supposedly the safest school in Great Britain." Sirius nodded at Harry. Harry could feel the gears in his head shift into gear, looking back on the events that had shaped that past few years, Dumbledore was always there, never when he needed him most but always to put the right hand on his shoulder, always ready to say the right things to him, to push him to make him put his trust in Dumbeldore.
"I can almost hear the gears in your head shifting." Sirius reached forward to and poked the fire with the metal stake it crackled making noise for the first time.
"Oh my god. Sirius, he was there every way, all the times, guiding me pushing me." Harry felt sick now that he was working it all out.
"he will have power the Dark Lord knows not…and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives…" Harry whispered the prophecy to himself. Thinking back over the trials he had faced, summoning Godric's sword, killing the Basilisk, showing the ultimate mercy to his parent's betrayer, defeating Quirrell;. Even the DA, becoming a leader, believing in people, fighting Voldemort all of the time…
"He's been sculpting me, leading me in the right direction, making sure I was for the light all the way, ready to go just outside the lines when he wanted. He wanted to see how strong he was. He kept you locked up knowing you'd come. I…think…I'm…going…to…bed…sick" Harry said slowly.
"Yes I would too if I were in your position. I guess I am in many ways."
Why would he do this?
"Why…?" Harry whispered into the fire, not trusting his voice,
"You know, you've heard the prophecy. Come on think it through, what does Dumbledore like?" Sirius stood up next to Harry staring at the dancing flames.
"Sweets?" Sirius chuckled.
"Deeper cub, what does he do, both officially and unofficially?"
"He's the headmaster, and he's the head of the Order of the Phoenix." Harry stared back into the fire not thinking.
"And what do those two things give him?"
What, what? What did those two things give him, the ability to be odd, deranged, slightly mad at the best of times. He did defeat Grindelwald…but what…
"You're getting there."
"Why can't you tell me?" Harry looked irritably at Sirius, he looked back arching his eye brow.
"Yes I know, just a foil. What does that give him, he already has a reputation…." Harry stared off thinking about all the events "Control, he has ultimate control, over what we learn, he's also the head of the Order, that means he's got power, power over the school and his own little militia for this war."
But that's not it, why me….
"I'm the power, he wants to control me…"
"But, I'm distressed, I smashed up his office, I'm all alone now, he's been there all along, but right now I'm outside his control. What…he's going to want me in his control…" Harry was getting into the idea, not in a good way.
"So he's going to do something for you, something you wanted from when you learnt about it."
"He's going to offer me something…something prestigious…something he thinks I've wanted all along…" Harry chuckled pulling himself out of the chair. "He's going to induct me into the Order of the Phoenix." It dawned on him, Harry Potter member of the Order of the Phoenix, a sign to all in the wizarding world that Albus Dumbledore had Harry Potter on his side.
"But…" His psyche or Sirius said as he paced around the room.
"But, he doesn't just need me, he needs to know what's going on with Tom… Why did that come into my head?" Harry said looking at Sirius.
"Your's thinking now, pulling all these ideas together like string, you start to make connections. What connects Dumbledore, and Tom, besides your good self." Harry walked back to his chair but continued to stare into the void behind Sirius.
"Snape. Snape taught me occlumency. Snape is Dumbledore's most trusted spy. Snape is obviously good at what he does or Tom would have spotted him ages ago. Snape was asked by Dumbledore to teach me occulmency. Snape told me to clear my mind opening it…." It was like a huge set of doors slammed open as Harry understood it all.
"Oh the shit, the absolute arse whip. Dumbledore wanted some way to see into what Tom is doing, Snape doesn't see everything, he wants a conduit, someone to see through his eyes." Harry was breathing hard. "It wasn't to protect me it was to open me up to whatever he sent down the link, Dumbles would be there to comfort me and I'd feel like a member of the order giving information. I'd be controlled, sculpted by him ready as a final weapon." Harry sat down with a thump. He could hear a tapping, he assumed it was the fire.
"So I worked it out."
"On your own."
"Sirius, you're not really here, you're dead." Harry looked up, sadness in his eyes, but no longer upset or angry with himself.
"Yes you know it. And now you're thinking where do you go now…"
"Yes." There was a tapping again, Harry still ignored it.
"Think about it."
"He's going to give me time, though not too much, he wouldn't want me to figure it out, but I can't do anything."
Yes I can, what did Hermione say 'there's loads of old books that aren't even in the restricted section in the Black library'.
"Funny thing memory, you remember things that you weren't even paying attention to." Sirius got up and started to walk away.
"Where are you going?" Harry ran to catch up with Sirius as they walked further into the void. There was louder tapping.
"I'm always here, I am you, just think about everything that happened, you need to get around the fences that they put up before you can explore the forest."
"And I thought Dumbledore was cryptic, now I'm doing it to myself." .Tap.
"What is that noise?"
"An owl." Sirius said and disappeared into the void.
"An owl, who could…."
Oh so he wants me to come….
Harry nearly fell out of his bed he rose so quickly, all the information he had worked out still in his head. He went to brush tears away as had become the norm after his dreams of Sirius, but found that there were none. But he did remember all that he discovered, maybe it showed in his eyes. Hedwig gave a mournful hoot, and looked to the window.
Harry followed her line of sight and saw a brown school owl frantically tapping on the window.
He pulled off the letter.
While Sirius's death must still lie heavily on you I must ask you to listen.
There are things that you now know that no one should even have the possibility of finding out, as such the Order will be bringing you to Grimmauld Place in 2 weeks. I believe this is the best course of action.
Disregard any mail from anyone besides myself, the owls are not safe, burn any letters your receive.
It is essential you do not communicate with anyone.
Do not leave the house, it is not safe in the current climate.
Harry glared at the letter before opening the window letting the owl out.
Things were going to change, but first Harry needed to work out a plan for himself.
This version of this story is a restoration of the original story here. I made the mistake of removing it in place of a 'new and improved' version. But I found many readers who contacted me had enjoyed the original one, with its flaws and all. That's all I could see. Its flaws.
This version is based on my 2007 edit of the story which was the last proper edit I did of the story. The 'Edit 2.0' removed some of the repetitive elements, fixed a lot (though not all) of the spelling mistakes and removed some of the slashier elements plus a few other things like that which never really worked.
I wouldn't write this story how it is now, but it is what some readers wanted to come back.
Instead I'm thinking of this story as an outdated piece of software, it still works. But I'm not supporting it any more. It's still mine, even if I'm not a fan of it, but I'm not going to spend any more time on this story (I tried with the mostly disliked and now nuked new version). So I won't be fixing any spelling, grammar or other errors in this story. It's a relic from 2006 / 2007.
Thank you for reading.