< >< >The teachers and staff in the room stared at him. He snapped his fingers and he disappeared. "Maybe it would be better to die than to go through this," he said softly before he disappeared out of the room entirely.

< >< >Professor Erwin reappeared in a dark hall and fell into a chair next to the wall, exhausted, emotionally and physically. He set his back against the wall and closed his eyes.

< >< >Maybe they are right, he said to himself miserably. I haven't spoken or written his name in nearly fifteen years, I have forbidden his name spoken in front of me, look what I have done to myself! What would the boy say if saw me? If he learned everything about me? What would he do? He would hate you, that's what, Thomas, he snarled to himself, making himself feel like an entity of failure.

< >< >The professor, the man, the entity - whatever who wish to call him - picked himself up, and, knees shaking, dragged himself to the infirmary, invisible as the air around him on the outside, and on the inside, as well.

< >< >When he reached the infirmary, Madam Pomfrey was guarding the door, barring Dumbledore from passing through it. "This is foolish, professor. He's in here for mild illness - not major heartbreak."

< >< >"Madam Pomfrey, this is important. He will have to find out sooner or later," Dumbledore replied with a sigh. "Madam . . ."

< >< >"Oh, all right," Madam Pomfrey said, moving away from the door and opening it.

< >< >"Give us some privacy, will you?" Dumbledore asked her as he walked through the door, neither one knowing that Professor Erwin had slipped through the door behind Dumbledore.

< >< >Professor Erwin had to sit down on the chair next to the door when he saw Harry. He was laying in bed, rubbing his throat, drinking water. He only looked up when Dumbledore cleared his throat.

< >< >"Professor Dumbledore?" Harry asked, surprised.

< >< >Dumbledore smiled. "Hello, Harry. Not well, are we?"

< >< >Harry coughed loudly. "I'm okay. Madam Pomfrey says I just need rest."

< >< >"Harry, I've come to talk to you about something . . ."

< >< >Professor Erwin suddenly felt a shock of strength, jumped to his feet, and stuck his wand in Dumbledore's back. "Don't you even dare, Dumbledore. If I have to, I will kill you," Professor Erwin whispered into Dumbledore's ear. "Believe me, I will."

< >< >"What is it, sir?" Harry asked, a look of concern on his face.

< >< >Dumbledore hesitated and Professor Erwin dug his wand harder into Dumbledore's back. "Nevermind, Harry. You have your rest." He moved carefully away and Professor Erwin took away his wand.

< >< >"If you dare ever tell him, Albus," Professor Erwin whispered to Dumbledore, "or let anyone else, I'll kill you, and whoever said it, if not you. Do I make myself perfectly clear?"

< >< >Dumbledore walked out the door, leaving it open on purpose, and Professor Erwin heard him whispering to Madam Pomfrey who let out a muffled gasp as Dumbledore advised her not to breathe a word, for her own safety.

< >< >Professor Erwin took one last look at the bewildered boy on the bed and disappeared. He reappeared in the front hall, took his broom, and flew out the front door, bound back to Sharadine.

< >< >When he arrived, the school was empty, or, rather, as quiet as empty. The students had deserted the hallways, meaning they were probably in their group lounges, being talked to by a teacher or whispering amongst themselves about Professor Erwin.

< >< >Professor Erwin walked in the staff room, finding the entire staff in there, looking extremely grave. "Well," he said, raising a sardonic eyebrow. "What brings this warm welcoming?"

< >< >The staff turned their stares to Madam Tatooli.

< >< >"You - you told them?" Professor Erwin sputtered, dropping his broom.

< >< >"No, Thomas, I didn't, but I nearly did," Madam Tatooli said coldly.

< >< >"Well, even if you had, it would probably had been no matter, as Dumbledore took it upon liberty of himself to tell his staff. Gave them quite a nasty shock, I will say, especially Severus," Professor Erwin said, smiling a bit.

< >< >"So, you were at Hogwarts," Madam Tatooli said, folding her arms. "Did you?"

< >< >"No," Professor Erwin snapped. "Of course not, Juane. Not with Dumbledore and Minerva and Severus ramming it down my throat. And personally, Juane, I don't think this is any of your business anymore - not that it ever was."

< >< >Madam Tatooli pressed her lips together, but did not say a word. Professor Erwin nodded at her and left the room, snapping his fingers sharply so his broom would follow him.

< >< >"Professor Erwin," called a desperate voice.

< >< >The professor whirled around in surprise. Anna Winterbourne came running down the corridor toward him. "Ms. Winterbourne?" he asked.

< >< >Anna grabbed the sleeve of his robes, as if to make sure he didn't run. "Professor Erwin, I know something is wrong. I don't deny it. Something has been wrong and I feel as if I've caused some of it."

< >< >"No! No, no, Anna," Professor Erwin said softly. "It's not your fault. It's - it's mine." He sat down on the floor, suddenly tired, and he buried his face in his hands, suddenly overcome with suppressed grief.

< >< >Anna crouched in front of him. "Professor Erwin?"

< >< >"What have I done?" he wailed in anguish, not really talking to Anna. "What will he think when he learns?" Professor Erwin yanked at his hair.

< >< >"What?" Anna asked, her eyes widening. "Who?"

< >< >"Harry!" Professor Erwin yelled mostly to himself. "What will he t - think when he learns that - that his uncle, who he has never known - is a sick, crackpot old fool? That he did not speak his name for years! That he shunned thinking about his brother and sister - in - law, bullied his students, scared his colleagues, terrified any friends he had left all over him?"

< >< >Anna stared at her professor in shock. "Harry Potter?"

< >< >"My half - brother's boy! I never saw him! I never spoke of him as my blood! I always spoke of him as being impotent! Almost as a monster! Oh, what will he think?" Professor Erwin cried in sheer panic.

< >< >"Professor! Professor!" Anna yelled in his face, grabbing his wrists, and shaking him.

< >< >Professor Erwin stared at Anna.

< >< >Anna breathed harshly as she looked at him. "You are telling me that James Potter is your half - brother?" Her professor nodded silently. "And that you have not spoken Harry's name for years? You have been like you are now, because . . . because of some sort of grief?" Again, he nodded, realizing that Anna understood his pain, at least, a small part. "Professor," Anna said softly, "then, I must ask, why? Why have you never spoken his name? I understand that you are angry - perhaps at Voldemort, perhaps at your brother, perhaps yourself - but why you never spoke his name, why you terrorized us, your students - and everyone else - why you shunned him - Harry - out of your life, is a mystery to me."

< >< >Professor Erwin gulped and shut his eyes for a moment, in thought. "You are the only one who understands at least a little of my pain, Anna, and that amazes me," he began. "Not even the wretched person people call Albus Dumbledore knows any of my grief, of why I act the way I do, or of the pain he has caused me.

< >< >"In my younger years, around your age, my dear, my brother - James - and I were at Hogwarts together. I was a year older than him, so I was there first, of course. I knew everyone, but I stuck to my studies a lot, preferring to not speak of my family history. My real mother was dead and when I was old enough, our father told me that she was killed by Voldemort, which caused to me to hate and respect Voldemort maybe more than anyone at the time and at the time, everyone was scared of Voldemort - they didn't hate him or respect him, their fear kept them from any of that!

< >< >"In any case, when James arrived at Hogwarts, I had little time for him, which made us grow apart, as I was driven to my studies, and he to other things, making us have little in common. No one really knew we were related - not even Severus Snape, who we both loathed and feuded with for years. And soon, I was overshadowed by my brother, as he saved Severus's life, then I left Hogwarts, and was soon forgotten there, until I rose in our world as being one of the youngest and best wizards around - and the Ministry itself never connected James and I together! Our father and James' mother were dead, so no one was there to say anything and James and I rarely spoke, so who was there to?

< >< >"The last time I saw James and Lily was when I heard Harry had been born, through an old acquaintance - Dumbledore, of course," Professor Erwin said, clenching his fists. "I went to their home in Godric's Hollow. I was surprised - no, amazed - they were so kind.

< >< >"I have always laid a grudge against James for never setting the record straight about us - although, I should have done it myself - but it was amazing how welcoming they were. Lily was as beautiful as I had remembered her and James happy as ever - the match of a lifetime, they were, those two - and their boy . . . Harry . . . he looked amazingly like James and I, but he did not have James' eyes or my dark bluish green - he had Lily's amazing bright green.

< >< >"When . . . when they died, my heart broke. I felt as if any life I had was crashing down around me. My friends didn't matter, my students, my colleagues, or my magical history. Nothing. I was so angry when Professor McGonagall came two days after they died and told me, especially when I was told where Harry was.

< >< >"I have seen those Muggles! Bloody, ruthless characters, they are, indeed. And then, everyone talking excitedly about Harry, bore into my heart like a nail into wood. These students had no feelings for Lily and James - and they had produced this boy, their savior! They didn't even care about them! Nor did anyone ever at least show the slightest mercy or benevolence for their deaths! No one ever has.

< >< >"Then, a few days after I was told, the letters started. All from Dumbledore, who always knew everything, so of course he knew James had been my brother. There was always the letter on Harry's birthday, or James' or Lily's, and on mine. A fine present for me. I burned them all. They all said Thomas, you must stop this. Tell everyone. Have a good day.

< >< >"Have a good day my foot! Dumbledore has always provoked me since I was at Hogwarts. I don't even care now that he is the best - I hate him. I think I always will. And, of course, letters came when Harry came to Hogwarts."

< >< >Professor Erwin sighed. "It said: Harry has now arrived at Hogwarts, Thomas. It is time. Time? Time? Time for Dumbledore to think he was right again, yes! Well, he was not! He thought I'd come and I didn't, the fool.

< >< >"Then, of course, there was the uproar of Quidditch, then his injuries, then his defeating Voldemort twice, and so much more. And among all that, the rumors of me being connected with Voldemort and hating Harry, which made me nearly die, Anna . . ." he said softly.

< >< >Anna gulped. "Sir, I - I didn't know . . ."

< >< >Professor Erwin shook his head. "No, of course not . . . nobody did. Of course, then, I got sick, I guess, after reading a letter from Dumbledore, saying Harry is doing well. He has many friends, his grades are up, but I will bet he would like to know that his father had a brother . . . And then, everything seemed to hit me and the world spun for days."

< >< >"Then, you came back and had an argument with Professor Dumbledore and then the other teachers . . ." Anna said slowly and carefully.

< >< >Professor Erwin smiled weakly. "I assume you heard it, then?"

< >< >"We all felt it, sir. Every argument is usually felt, and your slamming around, yelling. It's normal to everyone, Professor Erwin. I shan't say you don't know that?" said Anna.

< >< >"Well, of course, I know," Professor Erwin said. "It's normal, eh? That's another thing that got to me and I suddenly raced to Hogwarts the other day, determined to meet Harry face to face.

< >< >"Wasn't McGonagall surprised when I showed up," mused the professor with a small smile. "Severus Snape, too. And I rather surprised them I think when I body bound them and made them float in the air."

< >< >Anna stared at him and Professor Erwin chuckled softly. "I did not injure them, if that's what you're thinking, but they wouldn't let me in the castle and I was determined to get through. I went to the Gryffindor tower to find out where Harry was from the fat lady - a picture that would know. She wasn't much help, though.

< >< >"Suddenly, while I was talking to a student trying to find him, there was a call for all students to return to their common rooms and I knew that Minerva and Severus had been found, so I hurried to the staff room." Professor Erwin sighed. "I know this is a long story, Anna, so I will just say there was a fight and I headed home, or rather, here."

< >< >Anna looked at her professor in astonishment, then chose her words carefully. "Professor Erwin, sir, you can tell me this, but you cannot tell your own flesh and blood?"

* * *

< >< >The next day was a rather quiet one, to the shock of the students. The teachers tried to act normally and pulled it off on the students; Professor Erwin being reserved and silent, though this was a normal behavior of his. Everything seemingly back to normal. Normal, that is, until lunch.

< >< >Professor Erwin was walking to lunch, through the front hall, when the front door opened and a man walked through. The professor stopped dead in his tracks, causing students behind him to crash into one another. Cornelius Fudge and two others.

< >< >"Professor Thomas Patrick Erwin!" Fudge called, spotting the professor, making the students all stare at their professor, including Anna who had no idea what was going on, along with the rest of them. "I have come to put you under arrest for the threat of the murder of Albus Dumbledore." The crowd gasped. "Come quietly and - "

< >< >"Like hell you will arrest me!" Professor Erwin shouted, running back the way he came, shouts of alarm echoing after him. The professor ran to his room, snatched up his broom, and disappeared with a loud crack just as Fudge and his officers scrambled into the room.

< >< >The professor appeared on the far edge of the Sharadine grounds. He mounted his broom and flew away, not even taking a look behind him. Sharadine was suddenly merely a dream to him, a spectacle of his imagination.

< >< >Everything was a dream now, except for Harry Potter, who stuck out in Professor Erwin's mind like a nail stuck in his hand. It hurt and he could not pull it out without leaving some sort of guilt in him, that would injure him more than leaving the nail in it's place. As he flew and flew, he began to cry and feared he'd never stop.

< >< >Professor Thomas Erwin flew to a forest far from anyone's prying eyes and lived there as a hermit for five years until he died of what some people would call heartbreak and misery. It was years and years before someone hunting would find his body and an unnamed gravestone would stay beside the shack he lived in for a while before the forest burned.

< >< >When Harry turned twenty-five, a woman his age with better knowledge would appear at his doorstep, and hand him a letter, then walk away, disappearing at the end of the walk.

< >< >What Harry would find in the letter would make him bury his face in his hands and cry, blurring the ink of the letter, but he would remember the words for the rest of his life, knowing he would never forgive his uncle, but still have a love for him, as he was his flesh and blood.

Author's note: I know this story was a little weird and the characters a little off, but I am a person who likes dramatic sequences in stories. I wrote most of this story in about five days, totaling a little over thirty-four pages in all. It was originally going to be something totally different and unrelated to Harry Potter, but it obviously didn't turn out that way.

< >< >I had always wondered about another relative that Harry might have, just being either hidden or unbeknownst to most. Also, I slipped in slight notes of propriety (suitability) - in my opinion - of how Dumbledore seems to deal with things, like he thinks he is right most of the time or everyone will listen to him. That's something that started bugging me a while ago.

< >< >For a note, I wrote this before I read Prisoner of Azkaban (as of September fourth, I still have not) and this is dated after that book, so if I messed up a little and you think Professor Lupin would have been more into the conversation, well, I didn't know his personality or anything besides his name, Remus, I think (which, by the way, I think is derived from the brothers Romulus and Remus).

Oh, and as of September ninth (AKA 9/9/99) I read Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Hmm. I actually wish Harry had gone to Azkaban. ::sigh:: I didn't like the book too well, to admit to you all who read this.

< >< >Also, the first paragraph of this story was referring to a picture of this very interesting castle. You can visit my site where you can actually see the picture. (A link to my page is in my bio area. Visit it, please!!! ::whines a bit, then shuts up::)

< >< >In any case, I hoped you enjoyed the story; it's my first fan fiction ever.