Shadow of a Doubt

Chapter One: Fly Away

by Capella

A/N: YES!! Renovation! This chapter is OFFICIALLY re-done as of 1/29. Enjoy. I am so glad that I did this, you've no idea. I hope you like it better.

Oh, and no, you probably don't know what Harry and Ron are fighting about, and you probably won't find out until the sequel, Black Eyes. Sorry.


"Then must you speak

Of One that lov'd not wisely but too well."

-- Shakespeare, "Othello" (V, ii)


Harry snuggled even deeper into the warm, fuzzy blankets that wrapped him and sighed contentedly. He breathed slowly into his pillow, ready to go back into sleep, when suddenly something landed on his stomach. It felt like a body.

"Harry! Wake up! It's Christmas!"

Wheezing, Harry looked up through bleary eyes at the red-headed blur on his bed. "Bloody hell, Ron. What time is it?" he whispered tiredly, shifting slightly under the heavy weight on his stomach. He couldn't help but smile when Ron pressed a kiss to his lips. He pushed on Ron's shoulders gently when Ron lingered, and Ron pulled away reluctantly, still beaming down at him like seven o'clock in the morning was God's gift to mankind.

"It's already past six and you've got a huge pile of presents waiting to be unwrapped. Now wake up before I wake you up myself." Harry could almost hear the grin in Ron's voice.

Ron rolled off and Harry sighed, already missing his warmth. Pulling on a pair of jeans and his glasses, and sticking his wand in his pocket, he padded over to the end of his bed. A pile of presents sat at the end of it; all but one he could easily guess who they were from. He sat down on the end of his bed and Ron managed to squeeze in next to him, wrapping an arm about his waist and placing a gentle kiss on the side of his neck.

"Where is Seamus?" he asked absently, picking up the first present, more absorbed in the feel of Ron's lips on his skin than what was inside the wrapping.

"I kicked them out a half hour ago," Ron said, and smiled against Harry's neck. "I told them we needed privacy. Are you going to open that, or what?"

Harry shrugged and tore off the brown paper that smelled both pleasantly like a pine tree forest, and a bit unpleasantly like slug repellent. He took out a small wooden carving of a dragon. A note fluttered onto the floor, and Harry picked it up and read: "Norbert came to visit. Wants to see ya right away, he says. Come down to the cabin later with Ron and Hermione. -Hagrid." Harry grinned, and Ron peered over his shoulder.

"C'mon, Harry, open your next one. That one, it's from Hermione."

The one from Hermione turned out to be a rather large package that was wrapped precisely and with almost no tape at all. He took out a mug of butter beer, which he noted was good cold, and predictably, a book.

"Hope you have a good holiday - I'm sure you'll love the present. Don't forget to do your homework! Love, Hermione"

Resisting the urge to bury his face in his hands, Harry unwrapped all the rest of his presents but two. He received five boxes of Bernie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, another broomstick care kit -- obviously Sirius had noticed that he'd lost his old one -- a new cage for Hedwig, and another sweater from Mrs. Weasley. He grinned when Ron groaned.

"I thought she'd forgot this year!" Ron eyed his lumpy present from his mother nervously.

It was as he was reaching for his last present that he noticed the small object next to the piles of wrapping paper on the floor. Curious, he reached down and picked it up, nearly dropping it when he found that the glass it was made of was as slick as if it were wet.

It was a tiny, clear ball. Harry shrugged and was about to set it aside, figuring that it was maybe a Remembrall, but suddenly it grew icy cold in his hands. He held it up to his face. He could see glimpses of -- things in it.

A mirage of images was trapped in that glass, and Harry was certain it was nothing in the wizard or muggle world had ever seen. There were too many images to pick apart, but the ones that stuck were a thick gold ring and a small person with bright blue eyes and curly hair; it looked like a little child. Harry gasped as the images disappeared suddenly.

He slipped it into his pants pocket, resolving to work out the thing later, and picked up the last present, which fit into his palm. It was from Ron.

Ron was near bouncing with excitement from beside him, nibbling on Harry's ear in the way he did when he got especially nervous and wanted to be distracted. Harry slowly peeled off the wrapping, pausing for a moment when he saw the dark velvet of a jewler's box underneath.

Harry opened the box and gritted his teeth when he saw the glittering gold band inside and the note that simply said, "I love you. Please, marry me."

"Well?" Ron said, his eyes glittering with excitement. His arm around Harry's waist tightened convulsively. "It's our seventh year, and I just thought -- I mean, I know you want to be an Auror, so we could get a flat somewhere in London after school is out, I've saved up a little money and Mum promised to help me out, you know she loves you and --"

"Ron." Harry couldn't seem to work himself up to looking into Ron's eyes. "I don't --"

"What?" Ron asked nervously. "What?"

"I can't, Ron. I mean, I hope I didn't...give you false hopes. I just can't. Not so soon after -- what happened." The arm around his waist was gone lightning-quick and Ron was on his feet, standing in front of the bed and looking down at Harry with a thunderous expression.

"It's him, isn't it?" Ron hissed venomously, and Harry didn't have to ask who he meant. "That rat bastard. I thought you got over him by now -- I mean, I assumed you had, but you've always had something for him, haven't you?"

Harry narrowed his eyes. "Ron, I don't think you understand."

"I don't understand?" Ron laughed incredulously, running his hands through his hair. "I can't believe you still care for that -- that murderer."

"He -- he didn't kill anyone." His voice sounded defensive, even in his own ears.

"He did, and it was your fault," Ron growled, stabbing a finger at Harry. "You even gave him the password to our dorm, so you two could fuck. God, and you didn't even tell me. And Dean died because of it."

Harry sighed. It wasn't as if they'd never had this conversation a hundred times before, and the outcome was always the same. But he wouldn't apologize this time for something he did not do.

"Fine," he said, suddenly exhausted. "Fine. I'm leaving. Have a nice Christmas, Ron."

The ring and note went into his pocket as well as Harry got to his feet. He walked out the door of their dormitory and out into the halls, ignoring Ron's calls. He had to get away to think. He headed towards the dungeons almost automatically, his safe haven until not that long ago, and he had to force himself to turn around. God, he couldn't run into Draco now.

Wishing he had the Marauder's Map at that moment, Harry ran deeper into the Hogwarts castle, down many halls and passages until even he didn't know where he was. Ducking into an empty space in the wall that looked to have held a statue at sometime, Harry sat down in the hall and sighed.

His hands clenched into fists until his knuckles went white. Harry was reaching into his pocket to get the ring again when the glass ball fell out onto the floor. It glowed faintly green, almost mesmerizing. He stared into the light, fascinated despite himself.

"What are you?" he whispered, rubbing his thumb up against the side of the glass.

In a burst of green and gold light, Harry was gone and all that was left was a broken glass orb, laying shattered on the floor.