Title: The Advice of Lilith Adler.
Warnings: harsh language, homophobic language, slash (Sirius/Remus) and other teenage stuff.
Summary: Harry Potter is a pretty easy going guy, but yeah, he has a temper and quite a lot of hidden angst and now he's living in Lima, Ohio with his gay guardians and he's joining glee. Should be fun.
'By Definition, Glee Is About Opening Yourself Up To Joy.' Lilith Adler, Glee Advisor.
Harry stood in the shower. The cold water trailing icy fingers down his skin, but still he felt like he was on fire. Every nerve supercharged with lightning and all he could hear in his ears was the thunder of his own screams. His pathetic whimpering for help.
Harry lifted his head to the spray. Opening his mouth he tried to drown himself in the freezing water. But Sirius waited outside, pretending to need to use the bathroom but actually making sure Harry was okay. He turned off the water, slowly letting the water dawdle to a trickle of icy on his bowed head. Then stepped out and toiled himself dry. The towel was soft against his skin. He knew it was for all of them. Sirius loved soft things after twelve years in Azkaban, it gave him, with every gentle touch and supple stroke, the reassurance that he was free of the dreadful place that haunted him. Remus's skin was sensitive before and especially after a full moon, every inch of him aching, the feel of fabric caused him pain occasionally if it was too rough. For Harry they were a form of repression on some of his self harm tendencies. They were like padded handcuffs for the suicidal, only Harry's self harm was subconscious. He usually just towelled himself dry after a nightmare so viciously that his skin went raw and red. Most of the time Harry didn't realise he was doing it until after it was already done, and his skin ached to the touch.
Harry wrapped another towel around his waist, letting icy cold water drip from the wet locks of his hair onto his shoulders, chest and back like frozen particles of snow. He didn't know how to explain it. He could tell today was not going to be a good day – everything felt white.
He left the bathroom, got ready and let Remus drive him to school.
Tina was a Goth. She wore black she was quiet and she had once been called a worshipper of he devil by one of the preachers at the mall. Sure, there were sometimes a lot of different colours in her hair and she did sometimes wear some of that weird Lolita stuff, but most of the time she was her quiet, moody and actually quite angry self. When she got into one of her rants about feminism or vampirism or her rights she was actually quite terrifying. Which was why everyone in Glee Club seemed surprised to see Tina in such a good mood, not unhappy at the turn of events, but very much surprised.
Artie was among them.
He had been hoping to be the one to put a smile like that onto Tina's face. His blue eyes narrowed behind his black, thick framed glasses. He was not jealous, per say, just cautious. He knew that that Harry kid had no business messing with Tina's feelings! He might break her heart! Tina would only be safe with him!
Sure, Harry seemed nice but he was a Cheerio – he could be spy for Coach Sylvester! Even if he was not the Cheerios were not known for being kind and considerate, he would probably have no problem hurting Tina for kicks! Plus, as a Cheerio he was part of the 'cool' crowd, and, even if he and Tina were a brand of awesome so tasty that it was a shock the Cheerios and footballs players didn't recognise them, they didn't recognise them. Why would a Cheerio talk to a Glee Club loser like Tina?
He was not immune to the coolness that was Harry Potter. He had the cool British accent, the messy black hair (which managed to be sexy and look like somebody had run their hands through it whilst lip locked, whilst Artie's hair just looked like he'd run his hands through it whilst trying to get through a particularly hard part of World of War Craft) and he had that intense, angsty stare that girl's just seemed to faint at the sight of.
Maybe he would attract Tina if he was broody and uncommunicative! He immediately brightened, then realising his mistake, set his face in to a mask of grumpy anger, trying to give his eyes that deep stare that Harry's got when he had finished all of his work in class and was staring into space. Unfortunately, Brittany's boobs were almost perfectly centred in his eye line and he sunk once more into his Tina fuelled fantasies. There was one involving a Cheerios costume, a silver lexis, a sponge and bucket full of soapy water that was of great interest to him at the moment.
There was a large chance Harry didn't care about this concert. He was mostly annoyed that it meant that he wouldn't be able to talk to some of the glee girls during meetings. Tina was turning out to be a great friend, Brittany was adorable and, contrary to his earlier beliefs that she was actually the devil in disguise, Santana was causing some annoying yet pleasant ... stirrings in the southern hemisphere of Potter. He liked how she didn't take anything from anyone, she stood up for herself.
She was strong.
Plus, Harry was pretty sure she wouldn't care about the whole 'I have to go to Peru to find the collar of a stray dog that may be possessed with a sixth of the soul of the most evil wizard of the century' thing that Harry had to do sometimes. He liked her, he was sure of it, he got that weird feeling he got around girls and guys that he liked whenever she smirked her snarky little smile – even when it was not at him! The fact he had seen her do the splits multiple times with ease also helped with that kind of thinking.
He stood with the other boys whilst Kurt was directed to their group from his preferred team of the girls. He came unwillingly and whilst the other boys grumbled a bit at his reluctance – or just stood there looking a little confused like Finn, Harry was checking his watch. Remus said he was nearing finding the location of another horcrux and that he would call with news after class. It was almost ten minutes after school had ended and he still had not called.
Harry pulled his phone out again and checked the screen. No missed calls, no messages, nothing. He stuffed it back into his pocket and followed the others out of the room. He would call once the guys were further into their music discussion.
However, he didn't need to wait. The others broke off into groups of one and two; Finn sitting down in a chair and Mike and Matt going off into a corner chatting. Puck was, once again, admiring his upper arms and Kurt tried, loudly and several times, to suggest the use of the feathers of birds much too expensive for them to be able to buy and also maybe just a little too camp for most of the people in the room, including Harry.
He strode to the door, quickly murmuring that he would be back in a minute. He walked down the hall until he reached a quiet corner and pulled out his mobile. It was easy enough to find their home number, as it was first in his speed dial. Sirius's mobile, Remus's mobile and Sirius's work phone were next on that list. He would need those numbers, he thought, as the phone continued to ring. The answer phone picked up but Harry didn't bother leaving a message. He hastily hung up and rang Remus's mobile instead. He could feel the worry begin to grow. It caused his fingers to fumble slightly. Remus, Sirius and he had always promised to answer their phones unless they were physically unable too. They had spells to enable them to know they were ringing even if they were in a different house, Sirius had once run out of the shower, stark naked, shower foam only half covering his unmentionables and wet footsteps showing his long strides on the laminated floor, to grab the phone when Remus called, not realising Harry was sitting on the sofa across the room. The system had some difficulties but it was followed for a reason. They all knew this mission they had taken upon themselves was dangerous and they all expected to be hurt and they all knew there was a chance of death doing something like this. But Harry had not expected Remus to be the one in trouble. He had always thought it would be him leaving Remus and Sirius for Heaven or the afterlife or bloody nothingness. He would have preferred it to be him. Remus couldn't be dead.
He called Sirius. He knew that if something had happened to Remus, by some weird mating bond or Sirius's sheer love for Remus, he would know if something had happening.
There was half a minutes of silence, where the only sound Harry could here was the sound of the ring tone, carefully bringing with the sound of Harry's heart then less so, as the panic took over and Harry's heart sped up so fast it was a constant angry thrum in the back of his head.
Finally the phone was picked up. In a sudden, vicious cut off of the dial tone Sirius finally answered. His voice was laboured like he had picked up the phone in the middle of running or some sort of exercise. Knowing Sirius it was probably the first. He hated sports of any kind and, with his penchant for trouble, running away from the scene of a crime was a daily occurrence.
"I'm kind of in the middle of something, Kiddo," he said, wheezing down the phone line, "You want to hurry it up?"
"Remus isn't picking up," he said shortly, knowing his fear and worry was perceptible in every syllable.
"Yeah," said Sirius guiltily, "He's a little busy right now. He's fine though,"
Harry heard Remus huffing beside Sirius and his fear melted away, "What's going on?" he demanded.
Sirius said hastily, "Just wait a second!"
Through the mobile phone Harry could hear a series of bangs and scuffles. A loud groan echoed down the line. It sounded like Sirius and Harry's worry peeked its head up like a dog hearing the first shuffles of its owner entering the house.
"Alright," Sirius breathed with a voice so quiet Harry could barely hear it, "We're both fine, Remus just needs to buy a new phone. His old one broke an hour or so ago. At least he didn't sit on it like last time!"
"What are you doing?!" asked Harry, knowing his voice was getting to that shrill stage Remus liked to call very 'Lily' but not feeling the urge to stop it from doing so. He had been terrified for Remus and Sirius was making jokes. Sometimes his godfather could be a real bloody dick.
"We just made a quick trip to Venice," Sirius said, and murmured to Remus to hail a cab, "there's a man here who's a genius when it comes to blood curses. He's the world's foremost creator, studier and cataloguer of them. He even wrote a couple of spells in the books my dear cousin, her husband and their spawn took from the Black vaults."
An idea struck Harry, "You think they're going to use it against you don't you?"
Sirius didn't reply, the silence buzzed with the faint sound of static through the mobile.
"You wouldn't be going to this much trouble personally if you didn't. You would have informed someone – Dumbledore, the Order of the Phoenix if you didn't."
Sirius, again, didn't speak. The silence was charged with more than static this time. Tension grew like vines though the phone line and burrowed into Harry's brain. He had the childish urge to stamp his foot or hang up. Instead he murmured, "You didn't tell me."
"I was going to but-"
"I had a nightmare again," Harry finished. He knew both Sirius and Remus thought he was too burdened and hated to put more on him, especially when it led to the horrific results of his nightmares. But this was his war. It was started by him, when Voldemort and Pettigrew physically stole his blood for their ritual and it would end at his hand. Most, specifically, his hands around Voldemort's throat or one hand clenched into a fist whilst the other was wrapped tight around his wand as green light sprung like salvation from the end of it.
He needed to know things like Sirius's life being in danger.
"You should have told me." He said quickly and lowly, speaking over Sirius, "I hope you get home safe. I'll talk to you then."
Harry hung up the phone with a sad push of the button. He hoped this tangle or weariness, anger, sadness and betrayal was unravelled soon. He really didn't need it on top of all of his other problems.
Harry trundled back to the Glee rehearsal room, hoping the boys were just having a quiet meeting. Although knowing the New Directions kids as he did, he doubted that could ever happen. However, the Gleeks are thankfully quiet, just goofing around amongst themselves, not needing Harry to join in. Finn had disappeared somewhere, but the others were chatting to each other and laughing at funny videos they had brought up on their mobile phones. Puck made a crude joke and they all laughed.
He felt the bone deep weariness settle over him again. Just seeing these boys – his age but so carefree, made him feel a million years old. He just wanted to sleep. But he knew he needed to be awake and alert. He needed to defeat Voldemort. He needed to save the world.
But if he just closed his eyes for a second...
Maybe he wouldn't dream this time...
Finn almost skipped back to the music room. He didn't know what that crazy nurse who was also Mr Schue's crazy wife gave him but it was awesome! As he was too manly to skip instead he just speed walked, occasionally trying those dance moves that made Mike look so cool but only made him trip.
His heart bumped in his chest to a new, happier rhythm. He jumped into the room, flinging the door open. He caught sight of Harry Potter slumped over three chairs, just as fast asleep as he had been before had been given the awesome pills.
He jerked when Finn flung the door open, flailing an arm out and almost falling off of his bed constructed out of chairs. He managed to catch himself at the last minute though and rather gracefully sat up, squinting questioningly at Finn. Finn wished he was that graceful and less clumsy.
It would help him a lot with the glee club dance routines.
He ended up with a nose bleed last time because he got tangled up in his own feet whilst trying out one of the more difficult moves in their routine and banged his face on the corner of the piano. He didn't think Brad ever forgave him for getting blood on its shiny, shiny varnish. He had glared daggers at Finn for weeks after. Finn was a little scared of Brad to be completely honest. He had the feeling everyone in Glee club was. Except, maybe for Rachel, who just treated him like her personal piano player. Brad didn't seem to like that. He didn't complain though, so, he couldn't think it was so bad!
Finn attention was jerked back to Harry as he bolted up in his chair. He spun round to sit, feet firmly planted on the ground and head bowed low to stare at them. He rubbed his face with his hand and when he lifted his head up Finn noticed that he had bags under his eyes. He looked even more tired than Finn felt before he took Mrs Schue's cool pills.
And Finn had been so tired he began to suck at 'Call of Duty' and we are talking dying ten minutes in and that just was not normal for him. He rocked at 'Call of Duty'. His dad was a soldier when he was alive. 'Call of Duty' was pretty much in his blood!
He jiggled his leg absent-mindedly, feeling the packet of pills in his pocket jumping against his thigh to the rhythm of his leg. Inspiration struck him like a snake. Maybe he should give Harry one of the tablets!
Finn bounded over to Harry, who looked up at him blearily. Finn noticed that he had stubble, a much more mature and 'designer' stubble over his cheeks and chin than Finn was ever able to accomplish.
"Heya, Harry, Mrs Schue, Mr Schue's wife, who's now the school nurse gave me these awesome pills that make you really energetic!" he chirped, as the others in the room wandered over, "Do you want some?"
Energy buzzed through his system. It was like there was lightning trapped under his skin. He could take anything. He grinned at Finn as the boys of the Glee Club streamed onto stage, each one of them was as excited and hyper as the next.
The performance was kind of a blur. He remembered singing, and maybe some dancing, and the strange, unfamiliar ache of his cheeks hurting because he had been grinning too hard for too long. The clapping of the girls, Mr Schue and Miss Pillsbury sounded like thunder to his ears. He revelled in it. He hadn't felt this free since Hogwarts, with the wind rushing past him and tangling in his hair, on a broom with a glint of gold in the corner of his eye, playing Quidditch. He accepted a hug of off Tina, who was grinning a little nervously, before bounding off, his bag jumping behind him jerkily. He had so many ideas!
They had been hypothesizing on what exactly had been chosen by Voldemort to hold the section of his soul and they knew he had used the artefacts that had belonged to the founders of Hogwarts and spread those across the world but what if he kept one close? What if he always wanted one near so he could keep it safe?
Harry made a mental note to look up whether living beings could be used as horcruxes, or at least ask Remus. He remembered being in Voldemort's head, the fondness with which he had regarded it. And Harry remembered the snake itself. The way it was so intelligent, even with his own parseltongue abilities, he had never met a snake that was so smart, so sly.
Remus was picking him up after school and he bounced to the car. He was still so angry but even so, his face stretched into a grin. His cheeks were burning at this point and it felt like the muscles on his face were made out of steel. He was so happy to see Remus and Sirius, especially after hearing that they had almost died. Remus's red car was parked near the entrance, and Harry could see him through the windshield. He looked wan, tired and grey.
It pulled the energy right out of him.
The door flew open when he pulled it. He tried to just calmly sit down but he couldn't help but bound across the car to wrap his arms around Remus. He pulled back after a second, not able to stay in the same place for long. But Remus looked softer after, calmer and happier. Satisfaction coursed through Harry. His leg bounced in place.
"What's up with you?" Remus asked
He knew there was nothing to be ashamed of with the vitamins, but he knew Remus wouldn't see it that way. There wasn't something wrong with it but adults didn't understand things like that much.
"Nothing, just in a weird mood," his voice sounded unnaturally buoyant, even to his ears. He didn't think he'd ever been as ecstatic as this. His upbringing with the Dursleys didn't leave him with much of a character for casual glee.
Remus gave a soft chuff. Sirius had a barking laugh, like his animagus form was peeking through, but Remus, when he was fondly amused, let out these little huffs of laughter, almost soundless. It was a nice sound. It was a nice day. Harry told Remus and Sirius about his suspicions, and they thought they were good. Even the suggestions of the difficulties that Nagini introduced wasn't enough to ruin the mood. They watched muggle films and Sirius taught Harry a completely useless spell that stretched out the eyelashes of people into butterfly wings. If they left them long enough, the butterflies fluttered off their faces to flap around the room. They lasted longer than Harry expected and the dozens of brightly coloured insects fluttered around the room for hours until quivering into showers of sparks that matched the colours of their wings.
It was only when Harry threw up his dinner all over the coffee table in the living room that things turned bad. The silence rung as his vomit dripped on to the carpet.
Harry missed the girl's performance and almost missed the aftermath of Mr Schuester finding out about the 'vitamins', which seemed even less of a good idea walking into the sad music room then it had whilst he was coming down from them, sweating, anxious and unable to sleep, with writhing, screaming nightmares when he did. As it was he walked in late to the meeting, getting an eyeball from Mr Schue and a sympathising smile from Tina. He stood by her, and felt her fidget beside him as she waited for Mr Schue to finish talking before interrogating him.
Then Sue came in. She said something about putting on a ritz, then glared at Harry. He missed a rehearsal last night, and he knew there was going to be consequences. The thing was he felt even more exhausted now than he did before and he just didn't want to deal with her. She was crazy and he can feel the familiar stir of anger inside of him. He glared back. She seemed to take that as a challenge.
"You don't miss one more of my rehearsals, okay, young chimney sweep Dick Van Dyke?"
Who the hell was Dick Van Dyke?
"Sorry, Coach," he said, feeling like he was talking to Snape again, the disgust and rage rolled in his stomach again. "Next time I go crazy from the side effects of the drugs the school nurse lied to us about, I'll be sure to come in and throw up over you instead of my living room floor."
Mr Schue winced.
"You better." Sylvester said, he zoned out when she went on to give another ridiculous and impossible anecdote that she had probably made up.
When she left Tina turned to him, "So Remus kept you home then?"
"He wanted to, but it was Sirius that demanded it. At first he thought the affects were funny but then he got worried-"
"Wait? Your dads are gay?!" Rachel said spinning round, her hair flared out around her. "But-"
"They're my guardians actually." Harry said, a little uncomfortable with the fire in her eyes.
"Does that mean you're adopted?" She asked, Harry went to answer but she just carried on, "I was planned, my dad's picked the prettiest, most talented woman they could find and they impregnated her with both of their semen because they didn't want to know which one of them was my biological father. It's a mystery!"
She sounded really proud of her story, which was great, but a little smug about it too. Tina nudged his side and Harry realised he hadn't said anything.
"Yeah, I'm adopted." He realised he sounded a little short, "My parents died when I was a baby."
"Oh," Rachel said, her face twisted sympathetically, "I'm sorry,"
The other's in the music room had paused and turned to look too. He shifted in his seat.
"It's fine, I don't really remember them."
"Right!" Said Mr Schuster loudly, "Well obviously we can't use those two performances for Sectionals. I'm so disappointed guys, but really I think we should all just go home and get a new start tomorrow."
The others moved out, the shame and sadness melting away into laughter and smiles.
"Harry? Can I talk to you just for a second?" Mr Schue said, and Harry paused on the way to the door. Remus was waiting for him in the car. He hadn't wanted to leave.
"I'm sorry about your parents, Harry, I didn't know."
"It's fine," he said. He didn't really want to talk about this parents.
"Well, I'm here if you need to talk about it or anything at all. I know it can be hard to lose a parent."
"Like I said, it's fine. My guardian's waiting for me."
Without waiting for a response, he turned and walked off.
Of course, there was Coach Sylvester again. She was standing in the shadows but when she saw Harry she stepped out into the light dramatically.
"Potter. You really had that bad of a reaction to the pills Schuester's crazy wife gave you?"
Harry shrugged, "They just exasperated some things already going on."
She frowned, "You alright?"
"No coach, I beat up a hockey player three times bigger than me because I'm well-adjusted and issue free."
"Well," she reached out to clasp his shoulder for a second. The anger drained out of him. Maybe she was more a Mcgonagoll type teacher, with the kindness just further down. "You miss one more Cheerios practice and I'll rain terror down on you like it was monsoon season in the Phillipines and the water had been turned to pure fear."
Or maybe not.
Remus was waiting in the car like he said he would be. There was an open book leant against the steering wheel, which had a cracked and dusty leather cover. It was a copy of one of the books that had been taken from the Black vault by the Malfoys and Remus had been pouring over it whenever he wasn't taking care of Harry. When Harry opened the door he closed the book and carefully slid it into the pocket on his door. He hadn't let him see it, neither him nor Sirius were letting Harry know anything about this. It was like, after the vitamin incident, they didn't trust him at all anymore.
Remus turned on the ignition and carefully drove the car out. He hadn't said a word to Harry since he had woken up. The car drive was silent, apart from the occasional sighs from Remus. Harry noticed he kept on opening his mouth as if to say something before giving up, exhaling, and shutting his mouth.
He broke the silence now.
"I'm just concerned, Harry," he said, his voice was so soft, Harry couldn't help but feel guilty, "We know you have to deal with a lot but to turn to drugs instead of us?"
"I didn't turn to drugs!" he said, indignantly, "Finn said they were vitamins!"
Remus's eyes were shrewd, "And you had no clue they were anything else?"
Harry shrugged, it wasn't that he didn't have suspicions but he was just so tired. And if the others were doing it, and Finn got them from the nurse, it didn't seem like a good idea.
Remus sighed at the non-answer. Sirius was silent beside him, with his face red and strained. Harry wouldn't have been surprised if he desperately wanted to say something but that he and Remus had agreed that Remus would do all the talking. Sirius was charismatic but Remus was definitely the logical one, he was better with arguments, making them and winning them.
"Harry," he started weakly, "We just want to know why you'd choose to take them at all. To the other kids in your club the pills were just a way to give a good performance, but it's different for you. You used them for a different reason, right?"
"Do you think I wanted to be sick like I was yesterday? That's ridiculous!"
"I think you're in pain, Harry, and you wanted to do anything to feel something different."
Harry folded his feelings in himself. It was humiliating. He didn't want anything more than for Remus and Sirius to stop looking at him like they were. He didn't want to feel the way he did, it was true, but nobody would. The nightmares, the constant panic, he couldn't breathe over what could happen to the people he loved, whether they be right in front of him or completely out of view in Scotland. He felt sick all the time.
The drugs had helped. For that short amount of time from when they boosted him up before they dragged him down again he felt like he could breathe. Everything was easier. The world didn't feel as heavy anymore.
"Maybe," he said quietly, "I've just been so tired. And I know this isn't what anyone wants."
He couldn't help but dart a look at Sirius, who looked like he had been physically hit.
"What do you mean?"
"I just-" he stopped, he didn't want to talk about this, as much as he hated thinking about it, he knew that Sirius was only in this mess, almost dying, because of him. He would've preferred it if Harry had died instead of James. Losing the closest thing to family he had had broken Sirius just as much as Azkaban did. He finally managed to say something, "My dad, I mean…"
Sirius sat down beside him and folded him into his arm. He was warm against Harry's cheek and he couldn't help but relax a little. "Harry, I know I was reckless as a kid, and I know I pushed you to be reckless too, to be more like your dad but I want you to be safe more, and that means you have to be more careful! We just love you so much, Prongslet, you mean so much to us and there's already so much that could happen with this war."
Harry couldn't help but close his eyes. Remus's hand landed on his head gently, ruffling his hair. He didn't mind Sirius wanting him to be like his dad. He knew it made him happy and he wanted to make Sirius happy. But it was a relief to hear Sirius say he didn't want Harry just because of his dad.
"We know you're not him," said Remus, perceptively "and we don't want you to be. We love you for you."
"Of course," added Sirius.
For once, the darkness behind his eyelids was comforting, and the bone deep ache all over his body didn't fill him with trepidation. Hopefully, when sleep eventually came, it could be one without nightmares.