Please READ Author's Note at the bottom!

A/N: Hey everyone!

I went to the Harry Potter Exhibition at the end of the summer. It was fantastic! There were so many props from the movies and a few visitors were sorted. I didn't get sorted (sad face), but I would have wanted Hufflepuff or maybe Ravenclaw. You have to get there really early because the line is verrry long!

I'm back in school now so I have been busy. There was also a hurricane and that knocked out my internet for a bit. I'm very very very sorry I kept you waiting. Please forgive me!

I will update whenever I can, but since I'm in school, expect slow updates. (Sorry again!) To my old readers, thank you for sticking with me. To new readers, welcome aboard! :{D


Chapter 9: Harry's Lullaby

Albus Dumbledore looked tired.

Remus honestly couldn't blame him. In the Order everyone, even the intractable man, was thrown. Even the way Albus carried himself seemed heavier. His ultramarine robes seemed to drag on the floor and his white beard was wispy. His knobby hands, which were neatly clasped together, were half concealed behind it. And his great head was bowed, as if in a permanent state of contemplation.

The Order had been disturbed at Remus and Tonks's accounts of their mission. Lawrence was missing, and being held hostage by Voldemort. Ophelia had been imperiused for Merlin knows how long. After the Order visit, it was very likely that Voldemort had locked her up as well. One of the most frustrating things was finding out if the Baldwins were alive. It seemed highly unlikely. The Order was trying to investigate but it was tricky since they couldn't go into the home and the couple had barely left the home before. The Order's best hope was Severus who was sent in immediately to do some spying. They all hoped for answers. Remus did to, however, a part, just a tiny part of him wanted to drop the case. He knew that even if they found the Baldwins alive, they were wasting too much time. That would put them behind in the war. Voldemort knew this and Albus did too.

In one of the many bedrooms in the Black home, Remus sat back in a brown armchair. He was wide awake but he was not making any effort to fall asleep. He had a good book by his side, but he didn't feel like reading like he normally he did. His mind was bloated with the business of the Order. Things were happening fast and soon an all-out war would be upon them. He was worried about Harry and Sirius. Sirius was in the house indefinitely under Albus's orders and Remus would see him often, but when Harry went to school he would barely see the boy.

Remus smiled. Right about now James would give him a good smack for worrying too much. And Sirius would give him two smacks. If Sirius wasn't in his room asleep, he would talk to him. He couldn't remember the last time he had held a real conversation with Sirius, one that consisted of more than a couple of sentences. Remus stared straight in front of him, studying the impurities in the walls.

He was getting bored and becoming no sleepier than he was before. It was quite late, though, and he supposed staying up another night wouldn't help anything. He had had too many sleepless nights lately, but he could not fall asleep. Staring at dirt and cracks running down the wall was losing its excitement. The yellow light from the chandelier illuminated the leather jacket of his book, making novel more appealing. He was just about to surrender to his bookish persona when he a heard muffled cry coming from a few rooms down from him. He jumped from his seat and wrenched open his bedroom door.

If the wards have been broken I would know, he reminded himself.

Logically he knew that no one was in danger. But the wild thumping in his chest would see no logic.

He fumbled with the knob on Harry's door. When he finally opened the door, he saw a boy who was not being tortured, attacked or kidnapped. No one was in the room except for Harry and himself.

But the teen was not sleeping peacefully. He was encased in a nightmare. Sirius and Remus had witnessed a few of them this summer. It was not hard to figure out that Harry was dreaming of the night when Cedric was killed and Voldemort returned. Sirius and Remus had been reluctant to push Harry to talk about the nightmares since it was such a tender subject. Remus had a feeling Sirius wanted to pass the baton to him because Remus was "better" at "parenting". Remus had snorted, saying that teaching and parenting were two separate worlds. And that he was not much better than Sirius.

Harry's tightened fists twisted the sheets, "CEDRIC! Please...don't kill him." Harry kicked and Remus barely dodged it,

"Harry, wake up! It's not real," Remus held Harry by his shaking shoulders. It was only when small tears fell down his cub's face that Remus relaxed. That meant the nightmare was nearly over.

"Harry?" Remus said in a soft voice.

Harry's eyes opened and Remus stepped back to give him room. After bad nightmares, Harry's face was pallid and his black hair stuck to his face. A bit disoriented, Harry wiped the sweat and tears from his face. Sitting up, he realized his door was open; and he had to turn away from the light. Instead, he focused on Remus's blurry figure a foot away from him.

"Remus?" Harry asked, embarrassedly. He knew why the man was here.

"Are you all right?" Remus asked, his voice laced with concern. He reached for Harry's glasses on the bedside table and handed them over.

"I'm fine," Harry grumbled as he put them on, "Just a dream."

More than a dream. Remus thought, but he didn't voice it. Remus sat down on the foot of bed as Harry sat up, "We can talk about it."

Harry shook his head.

Remus shifted to look at Harry properly, "You'll have to talk about this sometime, Harry. Wouldn't you like to get this off your chest before school starts?"

Harry shrugged at Remus but he didn't answer. The silent responses made Remus feel like he was talking to himself. He knew Harry wasn't going to talk so, after deliberating for a moment, he stood up.

"Where are you going?" Harry asked Remus, trying to mask the disappointment in his voice. Normally after a nightmare Remus or Sirius would stay with him for awhile and then leave him to "sleep". Harry never really slept after dreaming about the graveyard.

"We're going to take a walk." Remus said, amused when Harry's expression turned to bewilderment.

"What, why?" Harry was thrown by the change of his carerer, "It's the middle of the night."

Harry wasn't allowed to wander the halls at night. Sirius would, possibly, let Harry walk about. But it was very out-of-Remus's-character to allow such activities.

"Yes it is," Remus agreed, "But I know that you won't sleep now. You never can after a nightmare."

(How would Remus know?) Harry wondered.

"You forget to snore," Remus replied to Harry's unspoken question.

Harry turned as red as Ron's hair although Remus couldn't see due to the darkness in Harry's room.

Remus laughed quietly and strode to the door. He looked over his shoulder to see if Harry was following, "Come on, then."

It was only after Remus left the room that Harry followed. Werewolf and cub walked quietly down the corridor, so as not to disturb Sirius. Though it was unlikely that Sirius would hear anything; he was such a heavy sleeper. They followed the long hallway, past all the bedrooms. They were careful not to touch the Black Family tapestries that clung to the wall. Harry and Remus watched the torchlight dance across the ceiling.

"Where are we going?" Harry asked, his annoyance bleeding away.

Remus did not answer him immediately, "I'm going to give you a little lesson." He laughed at Harry's miserable expression.

"I'd rather not-"

"I think you will find this one enjoyable." Remus assured, putting an arm around the young man.

Harry frowned, grumbling.

Their destination left them standing before a mahogany door. Harry blinked; surprised they had come to this room. He had barely been in the room since the day it had been revealed to him. Remus barely turned the door knob, but the door swung open wide.

They walked with hollow footsteps inside the Music Room. They saw the band of string instruments first. There were cases of instruments, paper, metronomes and music stands. But Remus had other intentions as he led Harry to the small piano room.

Remus magically lit the chandelier that hovered over the grand piano. The polished surface of the piano reflected the light like a mirror, making the space cozier. The former professor instructed Harry to take a seat at the bench before sitting beside him.

"A piano lesson?" Harry asked dryly.

"Yes," said Remus. Harry shot a look of diluted annoyance at his teacher which Remus ignored.

Remus dusted off the key board with a simple spell and stretched out his fingers dramatically, for Harry's benefit.

"I'm going to play the first measures of a song. Watch first, and then you try." There was no sheet music. Harry raised an eyebrow but nevertheless nodded at the absurd instruction.

Remus turned his attention away from Harry and placed his hands on the keys; his whole body relaxed.

Remus played slowly. The music was light, like the gentle fingers that skipped across the keys. There was something hauntingly beautiful about piano in the dimness of the night.

He repeated the simple tune over and over until Harry had it memorized.

When it was Harry's turn, his hands kept fumbling and he miscounted the beats. Remus spotted the problem,

"You're trying too hard. You need to relax, cub, and feel the music."

"Feel the music?" Harry asked, with a laugh.

"Do you remember the first song you played for Sirius and me?" Remus asked patiently. "Moonlight Sonata. You were playing more than notes, cub. Relax for a second and try again with the same feeling you had when you played that song."

Harry was skeptical but he closed his eyes and played through the measures. It was tender and not as raw as before.

"Excellent job, Harry." Remus was beaming at him just like he had when Harry was thirteen and had conjured his first patronus.

"Thanks, Remus." Harry said shyly, but he was beaming from Remus's praise.

"Do you want to learn more?" Remus asked Harry. When Harry nodded, it was Remus's turn to laugh,

"I don't believe it! Harry Potter is accepting extra lessons, willingly!"

"Oi! I like some of my classes; I just don't like the teachers," Harry defended. "Snape's scary, McGonagall's too strict, Binns is boring..." Harry trailed off, looking embarrassed and a bit scared that he was talking ill of his teachers to Remus. But Remus didn't seem to mind.

"But you liked Defense Against the Dark Arts in third year. Does that mean I'm your favorite, Harry?" Remus grinned teasingly.

Harry nodded and Remus puffed out his chest in a Percy-like manner.

"Don't let it go to your head, professor."

"No, I mustn't," Remus agreed, grinning as he idly played the piano keys. He produced a constant flow of music, weaving together different songs. Harry heard samples of muggle songs he knew as well as beautiful songs he had never heard of. When the same song Remus was teaching Harry came into the mix, Harry spoke again,

"What song is that?"

All the other songs were written by famous muggle and wizard composers. Not this one. It was special, however, and it was part of the reason Remus dragged Harry to the Music Room at such a late hour.

Remus had an unfathomable expression on his face which Harry couldn't read. The man wordlessly summoned a sheet of music. It was yellower than butter and peppered with dirt, but it clearly meant a lot to Remus. The werewolf smoothed out the paper, looking older than usual, and placed it on the music shelf.

"It is called, Harry's Lullaby." Remus said carefully as he monitored his cub's face.

Harry looked at him in confusion, "What do you mean?"

Remus sighed, "Your mum played the piano. You had a hard time getting to sleep as a baby so she and I would have a bit of a competition for writing the best lullabies."

Harry turned red at the mention of being a restless baby. But he did not look down at his hands like he normally would. Harry's brow scrunched up and Remus could imagine Harry's brain flying, trying to work out the implications. The teen's breathing quickened and Remus felt sorry for him. Harry shouldn't have to go through this; he shouldn't have to find out through his father's old friend. But at least he'll know.

Harry's eyes flickered over to the parchment. It was crinkled and the edges were feathered with tears, but it could still be read. He pulled the music off of the piano and studied it closely, hungrily. Remus put a hand on Harry's back as Harry's breath quickened still.

"A-aand this?" Harry asked, clutching the music in both hands; his voice was a strained whisper.


Harry nodded and tears fell into his lap. He put the music back in its place before succumbing to his grief. Sobs shook his body and Remus pulled him into a tight embrace. Harry didn't try to pull away but he let Remus hold him. Remus didn't try to quiet Harry, but he let Harry release his emotions. He knew the boy suppressed them.

"You never cared for my lullabies much," Remus said when Harry had quieted after a while, "James thought that was funny."

Harry looked up at the mention of his father.

"Why didn't I like them?" Harry asked curiously.

"I don't know," Remus said, thoughtfully, "But James said they were too complicated."

He played one of his songs for Harry. And Harry listened, very respectfully, until Remus finished, "My dad was right. I like Mum's better." Harry said cheekily.

Remus laughed.

"This song was your favorite," Remus informed Harry, playing Lily's tune again, "It didn't matter how many times your mum played it, you would always go right to sleep."

"I saw my mum and dad in the graveyard," Harry spoke suddenly. A man with average hearing would miss Harry's whispered confession. But Remus's werewolf hearing picked up the sound easily.

"They helped me get away," Harry continued.

"Yes, I believe your parents will always try to protect you, regardless of their form," Remus said, confidently.

"I saw Cedric too," said Harry tiredly. His eyes were red and he was congested from crying. "I killed him," Harry whispered.

That's what his nightmares are about. Remus though sagely. He was surprised that Harry was opening up about this, but he was pleased.

"Do you really believe that, Harry?" Remus asked.

Harry didn't answer but looked uncomfortably into Remus's eyes. He seemed unsure of Remus's reaction. And something else... was that fear in his eyes? The possibility that Harry had a reason to fear adults was disconcerting to Remus.

"It is alright if you do. You are safe here, Harry." Remus assured quietly.

Harry barely nodded.

"Do you think you killed Cedric?"

Harry nodded again.

"It is not uncommon to feel that way after what you've been through. But you did not cast the killing spell, Harry. Wormtail did and there was nothing you could do to stop it. The spell is called an Unforgivable because the victim has no way of defending himself, no control at all."

Harry looked pained and did not meet Remus's eye.

"When Cedric came out of the wand," Remus continued, "Did he blame you for causing his death?"

Harry brushed fresh tears from his face, "He told me to bring his body back to his parents."

Remus nodded, as if this confirmed his point.

Harry looked at him, "What?"

"Harry, Cedric would not have let his murderer handle his body, much less ask him to deliver it." Remus said.

"But I told Cedric to take the Cup with me. If I hadn't, he'd never have been in the graveyard!" Harry said, his voice shaking.

"You didn't know that it would happen, Harry. Cedric didn't, no one did. You had some terrible luck that night, but Cedric's death wasn't because of something you did or failed to do."

Harry stood up abruptly, ripping himself out of Remus's arms. Remus let him, watching as the young man paced with pain and anger. There was a twinge in Remus's heart. Harry was too young for experiences like this. To see his friend die and to carry the burden of thinking he had somehow caused it. He had to help the young man through this.

"Cedric is dead because of me! It's no one's fault but my own." Harry insisted, "Don't tell me it's not my fault! Everyone tells me it's not my fault. They don't understand!"

"What don't they understand, Harry?" Remus asked, quietly.

"They've never seen a friend die. They don't know what it's like after. What I'm supposed to feel...guilt-"

"Is the easiest emotion," Remus supplied.

"I killed Cedric," Harry said adamantly.

There was a moment of silence before Remus spoke, "You know you're not a murderer, Harry. You're hurt and you don't know how to feel. You think that experiencing any emotion other than guilt is an insult to Cedric's memory." Remus said firmly. Harry didn't refute this, but he did stop pacing.

"Guilt gives Cedric, honor, power. It takes away from you and gives attention to him. It is okay to mourn for Cedric, Harry, but you must mourn for yourself."

Harry came over to Remus with a haunted expression. He looked so broken that Remus had to resist throwing his arms over Harry. Harry needed to make the jump.

"When I came out of the maze, it seemed like everything was my fault," Harry whispered, "Getting captured by Voldemort was intended for me, not Cedric. Cedric was just caught in the middle."

Remus got the message, Harry feared of losing another friend to Voldemort.

It wasn't long before the tears began to fall again. This time Remus opened his arms and Harry fell into them, very willingly.

"I'm proud of you tonight." Remus said and he meant it. Harry opened up and that hadn't happened before.

Remus kissed Harry lightly on the forehead, "Do you blame yourself?" He had shown Harry logic, but that didn't make it an automatic fix.

"I'm not sure, Remus."

"That's better than saying 'yes', cub." The werewolf said approvingly. Harry wiped the tears from his face once more. Although he looked like he had been through Hell and back, he looked more content than he had all night.

"Play it again, Remus." Harry said. He didn't specify which song, but Remus didn't need to ask.

The man acquiesced, playing the tune that had become familiar that night. It filled the chamber with comforting warmth and calmed Harry like it had all those years ago. The sky outside was getting lighter, but Remus played on until the teenager was snoring at his side.



(1.) To get a sense of what Harry's Lullaby should sound like please listen to the first minute of Return to the Heart by David Lanz if you can find it. It's a beautiful song. It's not hard to imagine Lily playing it for baby Harry. :)

In the last chapter I forgot to mention that I chose the mockingbird for Remus's patronus because it symbolizes intelligence and is quick to defend when its family is threatened.

P.S. The chocolate bet will come back later in the story.

If you have time please leave a review. I want to hear your opinion!