The Marauder's Heir
Harry laid back on his bed in number 4 Privet Drive with a smile on his face waiting for it to happen. The smile was not one of happiness, or any emotion really. It was a mischievous smile. He had been this way since returning to Privet Drive. Though he was crying himself to sleep almost nightly, Harry had taken on a new approach to things in the past week. Instead of showing his sadness by wallowing in misery, he had taken to the idea of making Sirius proud of him. As a marauder that is. Pranks were seen in the house daily, almost hourly some days. One day he took a page from Fred and George and let a swamp loose in the house. As soon as his aunt, uncle and cousin were knee deep in muck he let the fireworks box Fred gave him do its thing. After about three hours of Harry laughing Professor Dumbledore and Remus Lupin had come to sort this matter out. It was also the first time he had even seen Remus angry. It was a bad conversation all around.
"Harry, why did you do this to those poor people? Did they do something so bad that this was a punishment?" Dumbledore asked, seemingly hoping for a reason behind this.
"Not really. I was bored." Harry said, that devilish grin he had formed this summer grew on his face for the first time in this moment.
"Professor, could I speak with Harry for a minute?" Remus asked. Dumbledore merely nodded and walked out of the room leaving Harry to learn why you never invoke a werewolf's temper.
"WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING!" Remus screamed at Harry shortly after putting a silencing charm on the room.
"C'mon Moony, even you know it was funny! Watching them just squirm around like that. After all don't they deserve a house to look like their attitude?" Harry said, not even phased by the screaming. He started to ruffle his hair as he had seen his father do, still holding that mischievous grin. Remus looked at him shocked.
"Harry this is not you. I know I may not see you that much, but I know you are not like this." Remus started out trying to make the boy talk.
"Moony, you really don't know me then. This is me, and its all just fun. I was bored, they were here and the rest is history!" Harry said laughing.
"Harry, you cannot do this to people just because you are bored! That is no excuse! If they had done something to you I could understand but this, Harry, this is wrong!" Remus said, trying to place the new attitude he saw in this boy. Normally he would be blaming himself for something, and he could see in his eyes that Sirius' death still affected the boy greatly. This new attitude was familiar to him, but where was it from.
"If they did something Remus! IF! They have done nothing but hate and ridicule me all this time! Since I was dropped on their door, I have been a slave or a punching bag for Dudley! What is wrong with doing this now? And how dare you say this is wrong! To not do things like this when bored! This is my birth rite Moony, and you can't take it away from me just because you have a conscience now!" Harry spat all this in Remus' face, and suddenly Remus knew these actions, and realized what was happening.
"Harry, you cannot do this! You are not James! You are not Sirius! You are better than all the things we did-" Remus started and shocked when he was cut off quickly by Harry.
"IF THAT IS HOW YOU FEEL YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO SPEAK OF THEM! SIRIUS WOULD LAUGH AT A JOB WELL DONE AND EVEN MY FATHER WOULD BE PROUD OF THIS ONE! If not as a parent then as a Marauder! How dare you say I am better than them! I am nowhere near what they were! To speak like this they would be ashamed to know you MOONY! Or did you forget you were one and the same as they?" Harry said. Remus couldn't believe this. Harry didn't sound angry about this. He was arrogant about it. This was something Remus could not take.
"I HAVE NO RIGHT! YOU UNCARING PRAT, I HAVE MORE RIGHT THAN YOU WILL EVER HAVE! I KNEW THEM, I KNEW WHY THEY DID WHAT THEY DID! TO SAY THEY WOULD BE PROUD OF YOU FOR A SMALL PRANK LIKE THIS! THEY WOULD HAVE SCOFFED AT THIS AND SAID THEY HAD DONE BETTER ASLEEP! AS MARAUDERS AND PARENTS THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN ASHAMED OF YOU! JUST LIKE I AM! NO HARRY JAMES POTTER, I HAVE THE RIGHT TO TALK OF THEM. IT IS YOU WHO DOES NOT, AND NEVER WILL!" Remus said, and he saw something snap in Harry in that instant. Harry was no longer arrogant or proud. Now he was hurt worse than Remus ever realized.
"Goodbye Professor Lupin, have a nice day. I guess my prank was not up to your standard, so I will not talk of my father and Sirius again until I earn you approval. However I won't talk to you till then either. But know this, I have more right than you know to talk of them." Harry said turning his back. Suddenly his voice became cold. " I didn't hear you leave, was there some reason you haven't."
Remus was shocked. He had never seen such a change in a person. In the short time he had been there he had seen boredom, happiness, arrogance, sadness, and then anger forming on hatred. He could do nothing but walk out of the room. He looked at Albus Dumbledore, and his look of shock said more than his words ever could.
"Albus, we have a problem. I think, with the death of Sirius, Harry has dropped further than we could ever have imagined. Worse, now he feels he has something to prove to me as the marauder's heir. This could be bad Albus, real bad." Remus said. Dumbledore nodded, no longer holding the smile that seemed so normal to him. In its place was a look of concern.
"We should talk to the children, Remus. If anyone can save him those three can." Dumbledore said.
That was only 5 days ago, they didn't know Harry was listening in on their conversation. He was glad however that Remus knew what was in store now. The next day he had mistakenly replaced all the candy in the house with some substitute from Fred and George. In their eagerness to cheer him up, they had given him more of their inventory than any one person should ever have. Even if they are a marauder's heir. He got in trouble for that too, but it was worth it to watch his cousin burst into feathers every time he ate one of the canary crèmes. Today he was particularly proud as he had managed to set about 30 dung bombs to go off in about 2 minutes, which was just when everyone was at the breakfast table. If this doesn't do it, I don't know what will. Maybe I should enlist the help of Fred and George for an idea. Harry thought. Looking at his watch, his grin returned.
"3, 2, 1, boom." Harry said laughing as he heard his family scream.
"POTTER YOU GET DOWN HERE THIS INSTANT!" Uncle Vernon said. Harry was still laughing when he went into the hall to the kitchen.
"I'm not going in there." Harry said plainly. He was still laughing not even trying to fight it back. The sight was hilarious. Aunt Petunia, Uncle Vernon, and Dudley were all trying to run around the kitchen to open windows, then quickly shutting them all again so the neighbors couldn't find out where the smell was coming from. Which led to them all opening windows then running around to close the windows the other two opened. Vernon's face was extremely red when he ran to Harry screaming at him.
"YOU WILL FIX THIS POTTER! I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU DO YOU WILL FIX IT NOW!" He screamed as the sound of three distinct cracks sounded from the living room. Harry watched as Dumbledore, Remus, and to his surprise Tonks popped in only to walk back out. Not even waiting for anything else he walked to his room and closed the door again. He knew what would happen. They would fix the smell, then one of them, Dumbledore or Remus that is, would come to talk to him again. This would lead to a match of who had the strongest will. Harry never thought he would see the day when he saw Dumbledore walk away at a loss, but that was only yesterday. As clockwork the knock came on his door.
"Do I really need to invite you in?" Harry said sounding bored and restless. This was getting to be normal. However this time was different. The door opened and the voice belonged to neither Dumbledore or Remus.
"Wotcher Harry!" Tonks said laughing a bit but trying to hold it back.
"Hi Tonks. Guess you're the next to give me the 'this isn't you Harry' lecture? If that is the case can we just skip it today? I've grown quite bored of hearing it lately." Harry said. He actually liked Tonks. Normally she was fun and easy to talk to, being she wasn't that much older than him. She was one of the easiest to talk to in the Order.
"No Harry, I didn't come to give a lecture. You know I can't do that, unless you call me...well you know what not to call me." Tonks said. She hated her first name, Nymphadora, and let no one forget that. "I actually came to talk to you. Great prank by the way, even Dumbledore can't get that smell completely out yet!" Tonks said. For a minute Harry was worried this was a new way to get him to stop, but looking at Tonks he knew she meant it. He gave a true smile for the first time that day.
"Thanks Tonks. At least someone in the order has a sense of humor. Dumbledore and Remus seem to think it evil to have fun at times. Its almost like Remus forgets that my father and Sirius would do much the same just to relieve some tension. Tonks, does it make me that bad that I just want to forget about the department of mysteries, and watching Sirius fall through the veil?" He began to ask. Tonks would understand him. Probably more than Remus and Dumbledore. Ginny had agreed that it wasn't so bad when she heard the reasons, but he wanted someone who could be considered an adult to confirm it.
"Harry is that what you have been doing? Trying to forget? That's not too bad, Remus seemed to think it was a vendetta to see who the better marauder was. He is worried about you Harry. You know that right?" Tonks said, though she still had a cheerful tone he knew she was serious.
"Well there is that too. Its all I have to remember Sirius by Tonks. My broom is still stuck in Hogwarts, my knife melted. There is nothing left, but by remembering the marauders, and by showing that I'm keeping that tradition alive, it is my way of remembering him. I know you will probably have to tell all this to Remus and Dumbledore, just make sure to tell them that I will be the marauder Sirius would have wanted me to be regardless of whether they approve or not. There is no room for discussion on that. Oh and ask Remus if this prank was up to standards for me, if he doesn't come up himself." Harry said and another knock on the door came. Wiping what tears came to his eyes during his talk with her, Tonks noticed the instant change in him. He's trying to make them angry. she realized all to late as the arrogant look came over his face after one true smile landed at Tonks he whispered "Let the games begin" The remark reminded her much of Sirius and even she smiled.
"Come in Moony, I know you want too." Harry said looking bored, yet still quite smug over his last prank. As Remus entered he knew he had to tread carefully. Harry knew a great many things that couldn't come out just yet.
"Hello, Harry. Same tricks different day. This one was a bit funnier, yet you still have a way to go yet." Remus said. He knew if he could get him off the smugness it would be easier to talk. Tonks quickly looked worried about something. Harry smugness seemed to still be visible, only his smile got more mischievous. Oh dear, I've pushed to hard at the wrong time. was the last thing Remus thought before it happened.
"Really Moony? I heard you laughing when you saw what happened. Even Tonks said it was a great prank. But since pranks don't get me a place in the marauders, how about if I try something new? Tonks" Harry said his smile getting more mischievous as he looked at her. "Did you know that there is a certain werewolf who really fancies you? If only you knew the things I've heard him talking about-"
"HARRY JAMES POTTER YOU SHUT YOUR MOUTH RIGHT NOW! I WILL NOT HAVE YOU TALKING LIKE THAT TO ANYONE! YOU ARE A TRUE MARAUDER, IN THE WAYS OF SIRIUS AND JAMES. BOTH LIVED TO HUMILIATE OTHER PEOPLE WHEN THEY WERE YOUR AGE AND IT SEEMS THAT YOU ARE JUST A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK! HAIL THE WORLD WE HAVE ONE MORE ARROGANT LITTLE BAS-" Remus was interrupted instantly by Harry, Not by magic, or words, or even arrogance. Harry lunged at Remus and forced him to the floor and began punching him. He didn't stop till he heard Tonks gasp in fear.
"Harry, stop. you're going to kill him!" Tonks said, calmly. When Harry got off of Remus, he finished venting his fury with words.
"Remus Lupin, you can no longer be called a friend to my father or Sirius, nor can you be called a friend by me. I hope to never see you again. NOW GET OUT RIGHT NOW OR I WILL USE MAGIC" Harry said, as he screamed a the window in his room exploded with a force never seen before. Suddenly Remus saw what he said, and shock overcame him.
"Harry...I'm sorry...I never meant to insult them, or you. I just want to know what has happened to you Harry. I'm so worried and you seem so like you don't care. Even you friends no longer understand." Remus said, however Harry wasn't listening anymore. He went to his trunk and got the broken mirror that Sirius gave him Christmas of last year and walked to Tonks. "Can you fix this for me please?" Tonks nodded and fixed the mirror. He then whispered a few things to her while Tonks would only nod continuously to his words.
"I'll see what I can do Harry, but I can't promise you yet. I haven't seen her since Sirius died." Tonks said. Harry nodded and gave her a quick hug.
"You really are a lifesaver Tonks. I owe you one." Harry said. Remus saw as he smiled at Tonks that this smile was genuine. Somehow Tonks had done what he and Dumbledore failed to do time after time. She got through to him. She helped Remus up then looked at Harry and spoke quite seriously.
"You know its not your fault right Harry?" Tonks said.
Harry froze and stared at her and shook his head. "It is my fault Tonks. Of all the things that weren't my doing, that was not one of them. But I will always remember him. He was like my father, and so he will be remembered by what I do from the time he fell through the veil till the day I die. I will remain, probably the last true marauder." Then he smiled at her again, that mischievous smile that he loved so much these days. "After all I am the marauders' heir!" He said laughing and Tonks even laughed with him and helped Remus out of the room, then she gave a quick look back. "We'll spring you soon, if I have to do it myself. Muggles are easy to prank, wizards are a whole other game." She said with her own smile to insight mischief. He laughed as she closed the door. Harry knew that she would have to tell Dumbledore everything, but he didn't care. At least one adult understood and what more could he hope for?
In the hallway, Dumbledore looked curiously from Remus to Tonks, his eyes asking the question 'What happened?' He was not disappointed by having to ask.
"Remus, that was indeed the dumbest thing I have ever seen! What did you think that would do to help Harry? Do you even realize why he is doing this? Why he is acting this way? Or are you as thick as he thinks? God, no wonder he doesn't trust adults if you are going to scream and say such things. I'm surprised that he told me what he did if you have been acting like that all this time." Tonks said. Her voice never above a normal speaking voice yet the venom in it was unmistakable.
"I've never talked to him quite like that before. He just pushed a line that I wasn't ready for him to cross yet. I just lost it. I see now that I have done more harm to him than good. Tonks, I think I really have lost him this time. That boy is the only family I have, even he doesn't know that I am his godfather now. What have I done?" Remus said, tears beginning to form in his eyes. "First James and Lily, then Sirius, then Harry. I failed the one thing Sirius made me promise."
"Your problem Remus is that you are trying to force this out of him. From what he told me today, I don't think anyone will, until he is ready. He is doing this for many reasons. The most important is to remember Sirius, and forget what happened to Sirius. Everything that Sirius gave him to remember is gone. His firebolt stolen from him by Umbridge, the knife melted in the department of mysteries. Now you sit here accusing him of things is only making him react worse. He feels he must be like the marauders were so that he doesn't lose Sirius' memory, and honor it in his own way. Why haven't you seen this yourself? Think about it, from all the things you have told me about James and Sirius, don't you see that same action forming in Harry now? The bigger question is, doesn't he deserve a chance to be a little normal in his life? If this makes him feel normal then let him, for god's sake. We all know he has earned it." Tonks said, still quite angry with Remus. "And to think attacking a child for saying that you fancy someone is no reason at all."
"Nymphadora, since Harry has opened up to you, we must trust that you will be his confidant now. He will need one now more than ever. We should go back to Grimmauld Place, I believe I have an idea for a 'prank' of my own. It may help Harry more than we all know." Dumbledore said, the twinkle suddenly returning to his eye.