Authors note: This Chapter had been edited to correct mistakes and shorten the paragraphs. Thank you to all my lovely reviewers.
Disclaimer: I own nothing, it all belongs to J K Rowling.
Are You Cross??
Chapter One: Action is taken
The door crashed open so violently that only magic could be responsible. James Potter shot to his feet grabbing his wand out of his trouser pocket and pointing it at the foreboding hole in the wall.
"Its him Lily" he said frantically "take Harry and run, I'll hold him off as long as I can".
A pretty auburn haired woman stumbled from the room as there was a cackle of high-pitched laughter. Harry felt fear bubble up in his stomach as he felt his mother tremble violently. She arrived at the top of the stairs and hurried into the nearest room. Feeling in her pockets desperately she realised in horror that she had not got her wand. With Harry still pressed tightly against her she used her free hand to move as much furniture as possible in front of the ridiculously flimsy door.
She had just shoved the wardrobe against the pile when the whole lot flew across the room as the door was blasted open. Harry let out a terrified squeak as his mother span around and glanced fearfully at the towering shadowy figure blocking the doorway. She turned around so that her son did not see the frightening figure as though just the sight of him would poison his mind. As he advanced she pleaded for her son's life, begging with tears running down her face.
The black figure ordered her to move and to surrender her child. The hysterical mother gave a prompt refusal and so he sent the brave mother to the floor with an almost lazy swish of a wand. Then he turned the instrument against the young child and then there was a flash of green light so bright that it hurt Harry's eyes and there was a massive explosion and pain like never before as Harry's world came crashing down.
Thrashing around frantically Harry pulled himself up wiping the sweat from around his face with his moth eaten blanket. It had happened again, he had dreamed about that night again. It seemed to Harry that every time he shut his eyes it was to become a victim of the dreaded nightmares. To Harry it seemed cruel that not only did he have to witness his parents death but he then had to relive it every single night.
There was the sound of heavy footsteps pounding above his head, it was someone coming down the stairs. Harry pulled the blanket up to his chin and his hands shook slightly as the sound came closer.
"Please god let them not be coming for me, please let them want a drink or something" Harry prayed terrified.
He begged and he bargained but his fears were confirmed when the footsteps stopped outside his cupboard and the door was wrenched open so brutally that a bit of plaster fell from the ceiling.
"What are you playing at boy" the silhouette spat.
"N-n-n-nothing uncle Vernon sir" the young boy stuttered.
He supposed he must have made a noise in the midst of the terror of the dream. Either that or he must have disturbed his uncle by thrashing around. He silently cursed himself for letting himself be in the situation where he was going to get hurt. He always tried so hard to avoid it but rarely succeeded. His uncle pulled him roughly from the cupboard. That beating hurt but was not as bad as other ones that he had experienced. When the domineering man was finished he threw the boy bodily back into the cupboard and muttering death threats proceeded to lock the door.
Harry lay there bleeding quite heavily. He made no attempt to move from the place he had landed for fear that he would make more noise. Closing his eyes tightly he tried to slip away into sleep…It hurt less when he was asleep. Yet he couldn't quite manage it. Angrily Harry wrenched his eyes open wincing slightly at the pain, there was no god Harry decided hotly. If there was he would not have allowed Harry to be beaten so severely and he would have allowed him to escape the pain, to sleep, even if it was only for a few minutes.
Day after day Harry lay there, nursing his wounds and wondering when his uncle would decide he could eat and when he would be allowed freedom. Harry hated that this man had so much power over him. The power of life and death. His uncle loved torturing him seeing just how far he could push his nephew, how long he could manage without food. When he was older Harry thought wistfully, he was going to live by himself and make all his own decisions. He could eat Chinese food every night. Harry had never actually tried Chinese food but the Dursleys had it sometimes and the smell wafted under Harry's door. It seemed so warm, inviting and savoury. One day he would have some to eat and not just to smell.
He would have cool fruit juice as well instead of the small beaker of lukewarm tap water he was given everyday. He would have friends, he would go on holidays. Harry spent a lot of his time just daydreaming and reminiscing of the days when he was loved and wanted. He remembered his parents and how they used to hold him close and he used to feel the love flowing off them. They always treated him like he was really special and his fathers friends always played with him. There was Uncle Moony, Harry remembered thoughtfully. He was always so kind and he used to say nice things to Harry and there was Uncle Padfoot as well, he used to make Harry laugh and he used to mess around with his dad. There was another man as well, Wormtail. Harry had never taken to him. Whenever that person had held him he had felt vibes coming off him. Not nice vibes like when the others held him… much darker.
Uncle Padfoot and Uncle Moony were his godfathers. Harry knew that. Wormtail wasn't because you can only have up to two godfathers. He was something called a secret keeper instead mused Harry. He had thought that his godfathers cared for him. Loved him even, but they obviously hadn't or he wouldn't be here. His parents were dead and they had just left him to this miserable existence. He supposed the Dursleys were right. He was a freak and no one could love a freak. Silent tears slipped down his cheeks as he finally allowed himself to cry.
Meanwhile over at Hogwarts.
Sitting at his overflowing desk, Dumbledore sighed. He seemed to have aged more in the last 10 minutes then he had in 25 years. Mrs Figg had been to see him again with yet more stories of abuse and mistreatment of the small innocent child he had put in his relatives care a few years ago, 3 to be exact. It wasn't that Dumbledore didn't care about the child, he did. He would even go as far as to say that he had a bond with him. But after 3 years of constant harassment from Harry's two godfathers, who had tried everything to get Harry with them, he had finally got them off his back just a month ago by telling them that Harry was settled and happy and would have no wish to leave even if he was asked and they had finally admitted defeat.
Dumbledore knew it was lies, every single one of his statements was completely contradictory to Harry's real feelings and well being but it got them off his back and he needed time to think because even then the stories were coming in thick and fast. Mrs Figg was partially deaf and she managed to hear the 4 year old getting beaten and thrown around, it made Dumbledore's heart hurt to think about other times that she may not have heard. After all she had a full time job so she wasn't even there in the daytime and there yet still reported at least 10 cases of downright abuse every week. Dumbledore knew he had to stop pretending that everything was hunky-dory at number 4, Privet Drive. He had to stop believing that it was just a phase and they would soon settle down and be happy. Yes this women was Lily's sister but she was obviously not remotely like Lily and had no parental instinct towards Harry.
He wondered miserably how to explain to Sirius and Remus that their godson was not fine and happy and settled but was miserable and mistreated. How to explain that yes he had known about the abuse all along and yes he had lied to them last month. It would be easier to put Harry in a different home, people who didn't know him. After all every witch or wizard in the country would give their right arm to raise the legend, the boy who lived. Or there were always children's homes, Dumbledore mused.
Yet in his heart Dumbledore knew that there would be no home as protective and loving as the boy's godfathers and he had made that mistake a long time ago. It was fine to put Harry with his relatives so that he had the blood bond which would protect his life but if his life was endangered just being there then wouldn't he be better in a safe home with people who cared for him? It would be hard to explain to them though after all three years was a long time to not take action. He was a fool and had made a mistake but everyone made mistakes didn't they? Somehow though he thought it would be a long time before Sirius, Remus and possible little Harry forgave him for this particular mistake. Sighing he took a deep breath before throwing a handful of floo powder into the fire.
"Albus Dumbledore requests urgent meeting with Sirius Black and Remus Lupin concerning their 4 year old godson Harry Potter" he added the end bit as that was the one thing that would ensure that they did really hurry.
He got the impression that they would run halfway around the world to Harry if he needed them. Sure enough it was only a few seconds before a tall masculine longhaired wizard landed lightly on the rug followed by a sandy haired figure. It made it a lot easier to contact them when they lived in the same house, Dumbledore thought, and it will make it easier when Harry comes to live with them. If they want him a little voice in the back of his head murmured. He soon shook it off though, the idea that Sirius and Remus would refuse to raise their 4 year old godson was indeed laughable.
"What's the matter with Harry" the dark haired man yelled at exactly the same time as his companion.
Dumbledore laced his fingers together nervously as he wondered where to begin. As he received no reply Sirius said slightly quieter this time
"He is okay, isn't he?" concern edged his voice.
"It is hard to decide where to begin" Dumbledore murmured. "Do take a seat" you will need it he added silently.
The two men dropped into chairs facing the old man without protest.
" It has come to my attention that Harry is being mistreated" he stated simply deciding to get straight to the point so that it was not dragged out further.
He held one hand up to quieten the loud protests and squeaks of horror that his simple statement had created.
" I have made a serious mistake and I beg you not to think less of me because of it, we all only have one ambition and that is to help Harry, we must not waste time quarrelling."
"He's not staying there a second longer!" Sirius announced. "I told you this would happen, I told you they were awful and you didn't listen…and…and…you lied to me!" Realisation painted across his face. " You- you -you said he was okay, you said he was happy and you- you- you lied" pointing a finger accusingly at him.
" I cannot apologise enough and while I realise this is very upsetting for you, we need to make plans concerning Harry's future" Dumbledore said tiredly.
"Plans? Plans? WE DON'T NEED ANY PLANS!! MY GODSON IS COMING HOME WITH ME RIGHT AWAY!!" Sirius shouted causing Fawkes the phoenix to squawk a protest from his cage in the corner of his room. "Well and Remus of course" he added as an afterthought.
" I was hoping you would say that" Dumbledore said smiling for the first time that morning. "Because Harry needs to be moved to a safe loving environment as soon as possible and of course I thought of you two straight away"
The men stared at each other in wonderment before the news finally sunk in and Remus who had stayed silent since stepping into Dumbledore's office having inquired after the well being of his god-son said astonished
"We get Harry, We get Harry!!"
He and Sirius did a kind of victory dance around the cluttered room. Dumbledore wondered how he could have ever thought that the Dursleys were more suitable guardians then the gentlemen in front of him was beyond him. It was obvious that they loved Harry more than any other living person.
" you may go and collect him tomorrow, and Sirius whatever you might find, try not to act rashly. You will be no use to Harry in Azkaban" Dumbledore said with a smile.
Sirius was well known for his hot-headedness and he seemed to base his life on 'act now and think later' he didn't bother warning Remus, he was the exact opposite of Sirius and Dumbledore had never known him to do anything stupid or rash. He also was very gentle and seldom lost his temper.
"We need to go and get ready!!" Sirius exclaimed
He and Remus ran towards the flames and only pausing to offer their former headmaster a hurried thanks they disappeared into the floo network
While these two wizards literally danced at the prospect of their young godson coming to live with them. The said godson had finally silently cried himself to sleep. Totally ignorant of the good fortune and escape that was soon to come his way.