It had been three months since Sirius's death, and nobody in the Order seemed to know how to approach Harry. It was obvious that he was hurting, but he seemed to hide behind this mask. They were all worried of course, but none of them knew what to say to him. Harry had always been one to hide his emotions well, and after leaving the Dursley's at the beginning of August he'd been putting on an "okay" face for the Order to see.
So, about a week after Harry's arrival a group met in the dining room to discuss Harry's emotional state, and what could be done to help him with his grief over Sirius.
Ron had told the group assembled that Harry wasn't exactly sleeping at night, and if he had to guess he'd say Harry was only sleeping about three hours a night.
Hermione said she noticed Harry just blankly staring out into space, without any expression at all on his face.
Tonks mentioned that he seemed quieter than usual during his stay with his relatives.
The twins reported that Harry didn't even laugh when they charmed Ron's prefect badge to say "Snape's New Lover".
Others were saying things along the same lines, that Harry seemed to have lost himself emotionally. Many thought Remus should be the one to approach him, but Remus was in the middle of his own grieving and the full moon was next week.
Molly Weasley was the one who approached the subject of Albus talking to Harry. Albus looked up from the head of the table when he heard the suggestion.
"I am afraid that I may be the last person that Harry wants to talk to at the moment," was all that he said.
Minerva looked around at the people that were seated at the table. These same people who loved Harry so much, were afraid to go to him and ask the question if he was okay or not. She understood Albus's reasons, she had seen what Harry did to his office after that night at the ministry. If these people couldn't gather the courage to go to him, she would.
"I'll talk to him."
A few of the people looked up at Minerva with a questioning glance. Albus nodded silently, agreeing with Minerva. Shaking her head at the group, Minerva got up from her chair and headed up the stairs to Harry's room.
Knocking softly she said, "Harry? Do you have a moment?" As an answer, the door opened reveiling a tired looking Harry.
"You're the one they chose to talk to me?" he asked.
"Actually, I chose to come up here myself. They wanted Albus to come instead, but he feels as though you'd rather not talk with him at the moment."
Harry was silent as he took a seat on the bed. "It's not as though I hate Dumbledore, and I don't blame him."
"What do you mean Harry?" Minerva asked taking a seat beside him.
"Well, I've been thinking a lot since that night, and Dumbledore just did was he thought was best at the time. That's more than what some have done. He really had my best interests in mind, and I can't be angry over that."
Minerva took a moment to feel the pride she held for her cub in front of her. Before she could say anything, Harry spoke up again.
"So, do the people downstairs think I pose a threat to myself and need to be constantly watched or what?"
Slightly startled by the question Minerva answered, "No. Should you be?"
"No. I'm actually pretty okay, I've just been waiting for someone to just ask if I'm okay. Instead they won't talk about it, won't ask about it, basically almost ignore it."
Softly Minerva said, "They haven't been ignoring it Harry, they've just not known how to approach you."
"You approached me without any trouble though, and if Dumbledore didn't think I hated him or something, he'd have talked to me just normally as well."
"Why didn't you go to them though, Harry? I bet you were getting tired of the glances and even maybe some of the talking that followed after you left the room."
"Of course I was getting tired of it," Harry answered. "But, I think I was afraid that they'd not believe me when I said I was fine, or that they'd smother me or something. I think that I just wanted them to come to me."
"Why though Harry?" the professor asked softly.
Harry looked up at his Head of House and said, "So that I could be sure that I was cared about."
"Oh Harry, you are cared and loved by everyone downstairs."
"But they were all unaware of how to talk to me about what has happened! There is no right or wrong way, all they had to do was ask me if I was okay. They didn't. You did. Dumbledore would have if he didn't think I hated him!" he said angerly. "You and Dumbledore have proved to me that you care, I know in my mind that the others care about and love me, but you and Dumbledore have proved it."
"Do you really need the proof Harry?"
"Yes," came the soft reply.
Minerva was slowly seeing more and more into Harry's thought process. "Ah, do you feel the need for this proof because you are not sure of people's intentions? Because you aren't sure who to trust?"
Harry didn't answer at first, but slowly shook his head. "I've known some of them since my enterance back into the Wizarding World, and I do know they are honest and trustworthy. It just seems that the latest events have my head all jumbled up. I understand and accept now that Sirius is dead. This is a war that we are in, and death is part of war. That night, and the events afterwards back at Hogwarts when I trashed the Headmaster's office, have made me feel alone," Harry finished in a low voice.
"But you aren't alone. There's Ron and Hermione, Albus and me, and the rest of the Order," Minerva stated.
"I know, but it's my job to defeat Voldemort. Nobody else can do that, only I can."
Minerva looked at the teen in front of her and wished she could change everything so he could be a normal teen with normal teenaged problems. "Harry, while it may be that only you can vanquish V-Voldemort, that doesn't mean you are alone in the fight. We all have a place in this second war. There are those that gather information, those that teach, those that fight, and those that do other things or combinations of things. No matter what Harry, you will never be alone."
"Thank you, for everything. For standing up for me to Umbridge, for helping me when I needed it, and for proving that you do care. Even though I've figured that you have a bit of a soft spot for me," he said with a slight wink.
Holding back a smirk Minerva replied, "What gives you the idea that I have a soft spot for you?"
"Because you called me Harry, and not Mr. Potter."
a/n: Just a bit of something that was floating around in my head for a bit now.. decided I might as well get it down.. though it didn't turn out like how I had thought of it in my head.. oh well.. that happens often. It seems my head is better than my writing. I'm still ehh on the title, but I can't think of anything better at the moment.. Deal with it.
If you liked it, sweet. If you hated it, well, I don't give a damn.