AN: This story used to be a one-shot but I decided to expand it. If you read the one shot thank you for reading! There are more details and lots more dialog in this fic. I've actually already finished this story so I'm just revising it. I'll probably post a chapter every day.
There are Mentions of Sirius/Remus pairing in this story. There is also abuse of a minor (Harry,) and a scene of Corporal Punishment. I use that term loosely because in this story that scene is one of abuse. Harry will eventually be in Snape's care but that will be a while yet, just an FYI. This fic explores what would happen if Sirius was Lupin's mate and how he would react to Harry being placed with him after Sirius dies.
In this story, the meeting in the Headmaster's office did not happen. Harry defeats Voldemort during the possession at the ministry and is transported to the hospital wing where he is given dreamless sleep. This isn't mentioned in the story but is probably helpful to know so the beginning makes a little more sense. Thanks for reading!
Beware the Wolf
Chapter One - The Infirmary and Talks with Old Men
Harry Potter slowly drifted back into consciousness. His head hurt fiercely, but he had dealt with pain his whole life and pushed it aside as he tried in vain to open his eyes. His eyelids felt unusually heavy, and he soon gave up the struggle. He slowly became aware of voices speaking nearby, and although he wasn't completely alert he stilled his mind in an attempt to hear what was being said. His habit of eavesdropping had saved his skin in the past, both at Hogwarts and at the Dursleys, and was too well developed to allow him to do anything else. Unfortunately, he was only getting snippets of the conversation and he was having trouble making sense of what was being said.
"…ministry…Fudge finally…Voldemort…" Harry recognized Professor Dumbledore's voice immediately.
"Can't believe…really gone?" A dark voice answered uncharacteristically soft. Professor Snape.
"Yes…love…unable to withstand…Sirius." The last word effectively stopped Harry's curiosity in the softly spoken conversation.
Sirius. He remembered now. Oh, how he remembered! He had stupidly led his friends to the Ministry to save Sirius, but it had all been a horrible trap. He had been so foolish and now Sirius was dead.
It felt almost as if his chest was going to explode with the amount of pain he was feeling. His throat felt as if it were swollen and he could feel the beginnings of tears prickling behind his closed eyes. He honestly didn't think he could bear these feelings. Even the cruciatus curse was less painful than the all-encompassing agony of Sirius' loss. He was so overwhelmed that it took him a few seconds to realize that he was having difficulty breathing through the pain, and he struggled unsuccessfully to catch his breath. Finally, his lungs could take no more and he made a desperate noise as his back arched slightly off the bed.
Silence descended for only a second before chaos seemed to explode from all around him. Frantic voices yelled his name, spells were whispered, and hands touched his chest and throat. The boy barely noticed in his haze of grief as he swiftly and silently passed back into the realm of unconsciousness.
Harry was sitting in the silence of the infirmary, fully dressed on his bed eating his supper alone. It was Sunday evening and apparently, the only reason he hadn't been allowed to leave as soon as he had woken up was Professor Dumbledore's wish to speak with him.
To say he was annoyed would be an understatement. Didn't the man have an office to conduct meetings in?
He hated the Hospital Wing.
Harry was really in no mood to talk, but he knew he wouldn't be able to get out of this discussion. Dumbledore had this odd notion that horrible happenings needed to be talked about as soon as humanly possible.
Harry hated that too.
He decided almost immediately, in a fit of teenage rebellion, that he would sit silently when the Headmaster showed up. He wouldn't speak to him at all. The man had been ignoring him since the summer, and maybe this would show him how it felt. Harry knew it was a juvenile plan but he was fifteen, and after everything he had been through over the years he reckoned he could afford to be a little immature. Truthfully, it had hurt more than he was willing to admit that the Headmaster had treated him so coldly all year and as ridiculous as it may be, he was determined to return the favor.
Harry was just finishing his supper when the Headmaster finally showed up. He heaved a quiet sigh before laying his utensils down and folding his hands in his lap.
The Professor didn't hesitate as he conjured his signature squashy purple chair, quickly sank down into it, and peered at Harry over his half-moon spectacles. Harry found he had no desire to look at the man, so he looked down and watched his fingers twisting in the sheets instead. For the first time in months he was able to look into his mentor's eyes, but he just couldn't bring himself to do so. It would almost be like granting forgiveness, and he just wasn't ready to do that yet.
"How are you feeling, my boy? You've had us all quite worried." Dumbledore sounded no different than he ever did. Harry merely made a vague shrugging motion with one shoulder
Out the corner of his eye, he saw the headmaster clasp his hands softly in his lap before he started speaking again.
"I'm sure you'll be pleased to hear neither your friends nor any of the order members sustained any permanent injuries stemming from the fight at the ministry." The, except for Sirius, was understood.
Harry clasped his hands tightly together at the reminder of what had been lost and what could have gone wrong. Tears threatened to well up in his eyes as he thought of his friends and what could have happened to them. Sirius' death needn't have been the only one that night. They had been so extremely lucky.
He pulled himself together and nodded tightly, still looking down at his fingers. There was a moment of silence that may have been awkward had Harry cared at all.
"I suppose you are wondering about the prophecy you found yourself fighting for last night?"
And so the Headmaster explained as Harry sat in an increasingly incredulous silence.
Harry closed his eyes tightly and took a deep breath. He had been prophesied to defeat a Dark Lord. He rubbed at his scar in agitation.
That wasn't even the most shocking thing, though. After all the odd things that had happened to him in the past, a prophecy dictating his destiny seemed par for the course. The thing that he just couldn't reconcile was that the two most powerful wizards in the world actually believed it and took it to heart as absolute truth.
Obviously, common sense wasn't all that common in the wizarding world.
Harry knew he wasn't the smartest or the most powerful. He may be oblivious to many things, but he was at least self-aware. His connection with the mad man was the only thing that enabled him to defeat Voldemort; otherwise, Harry was sure he would have been the loser in the whole "either must die" contest. That is, if you believed in prophecy, which Harry didn't. Especially when that stupid bint Trelawney was the one who gave the ridiculous thing. Of course, since Voldemort believed in it, then it was guaranteed to be 'fulfilled.'
Stupid Dark Lord.
He just couldn't understand why two ridiculously powerful men believed that he, a child, would ever stand a chance against a 70-year-old magical prodigy. They had, though. They had truly believed it.
And now the Headmaster had started prattling on about how exactly he believed Harry had defeated Voldemort. If he noticed that the boy in front of him had stayed silent while his face cycled through anger and incredulity he steadfastly ignored it.
"When he possessed you that evening, he was unable to sustain contact. Even with your blood in his veins, your mother's love still protected you. When he made mental contact with you, that protection, along with the love you feel for those around you, was too much for him. Much like you did physically in your first year, you clung to his consciousness inside of you mentally, and Voldemort, body and soul, was destroyed." Dumbledore paused and smiled a grand smile at the boy.
Harry wasn't so sure it was as impressive a feat as the Headmaster was suggesting. He thought that his mind just went into survival mode and instinctually tried to protect itself from the threat it was presented with.
"Many Aurors, ministry workers, and the Former Minister of Magic witnessed this." The man continued, either oblivious or simply ignoring the blatant skepticism Harry was sure was written all over his face. "You have been cleared in the press and given the Order of Merlin first class. I am very proud of you, my boy. Perhaps, when you feel up to it, you can join the celebrations."
Did he really just…? Harry thought, shooting the man an incredulous look.
"Headmaster, I didn't mean to kill Voldemort so I don't really think I deserve the Order of Merlin. And celebrating is the very last thing I want to do right now. Sirius is dead." His voice cracked at the beloved name. "I won't disrespect him by acting like everything is okay just because Voldemort is finally gone. I'm glad he's gone, don't misunderstand. I just don't think his death is more important than my godfathers, and I won't treat it like it is."
Dumbledore seemed surprised for a moment. Harry couldn't be sure, if it was because of what he said or because he had actually spoken.
"My dear boy, you must not wallow in your grief. It will do little good for anyone. Sirius died the way he would have wanted. You must trust me on that."
"Died the way he wanted did he?" Harry asked, starting to get genuinely angry. Dumbledore nodded his head with a sympathetic look.
"By his bitch of a cousin's spell pushing him through the veil? You really think that would have been his preferred method?"
Again, Dumbledore looked taken aback. He ignored the profanity, however. "Fighting, Harry. He died fighting."
"Well, personally I don't think he wanted to die at all. He spent 12 years in Azkaban and when he finally got out he was still locked up and miserable. I think he wanted to live! He never really got the chance to and I can't even explain to you how painful that is for me to think about." Harry stopped and took a fortifying breath. It was hard to talk about his godfather, but he needed Dumbledore to understand. "It would be an insult to him if I immediately forgot him and started to party like all the other inconsiderate arses out there. The same ones who vilified him and called me a liar for months. So please forgive me if I stay right here and grieve like any sane person would."
Dumbledore had the bullocks to actually look disappointed. "I know you are upset Harry. That is completely understandable, but you have a responsibility to show the people that the worst is over now. You will join a celebration or, if you prefer, you can wait until tomorrow night when we will go to the ministry to receive your Order of Merlin to make your first foray into the public eye once more. I won't allow you to hole yourself away. The sooner you get out the better you will be." The man sounded a bit sterner at the end. He obviously expected to be obeyed, but his softly worded reprimand had done nothing but cause Harry to finally lose the hold he was trying desperately to keep on his always-volatile temper.
"If you think I'm going to celebrate any time soon you have lost your mind!" He spat angrily. "I don't care for the public's opinion or piece of mind. I haven't for a while. They had a grand old time crucifying me in the paper this year and I'm not prepared to just forgive and forget! And the ministry?" Harry let out a derisive laugh. "They can go fuck themselves."
"Harry!" Dumbledore admonished, looking quite scandalized, but Harry just continued.
"I won't have anything to do with the ministry, sir. I wouldn't accept an award from them even if came with all the gold in Gringotts! How could you come in here and tell me to act as if the past year didn't happen?"
"I know what's best, Mr. Potter." The man stated, looking steadily over his glasses and ignoring Harry's last question. "You will be going to the Ministry party tomorrow night." There was steel behind the man's voice and there was no longer a twinkle in his eyes, but Harry couldn't care less.
"The hell I will!" He spat and in his anger, his magic lashed out and Dumbledore's beard burst into flames.
Dumbledore quickly jumped out of his seat, and though he panicked for a moment, quite quickly used an aguamenti to put out the fire. As Dumbledore looked back at Harry, the boy could see that his beard was now slightly charred and the man's robes and beard were dripping water all over the infirmary floor. Later, Harry would laugh at the way the headmaster looked at that moment, but he was too busy being both horrified at his accidental magic and angry at the man's gall to notice the hilarity of the situation.
Harry figured he had already screwed himself by using magic against the Headmaster so he may as well continue. "I'm not going to the Ministry, and you'll have to drag me kicking and screaming if you're convinced I have to be there. I'll tell every reporter I see exactly what I think of the ministry, the general public, and the goings on at this school this year. I am not in the mood to pander to the masses and I'll probably be quite harsh."
Dumbledore looked warily at the boy breathing deeply in the hospital bed and conceded defeat gracefully. Well, as gracefully as someone who had almost had his beard burned off and was currently dripping wet could be.
"All right Harry. No need to get so worked up. You don't have to go. You are right. It is much too soon. I will just let the relevant parties know that you can not attend." Dumbledore then quickly fled…er…hastened out of the infirmary to do just that. As he left, Dumbledore couldn't help but be a little impressed despite himself. Harry was no push over, and he definitely had his mother's temper.
Harry laid back and tried to steady his breathing as the Headmaster left the infirmary. He hoped against hope that he wasn't expelled for what he had just done. It had been an accident after all. He suddenly chuckled as he remembered the look on the old man's face as he tried to stop his beard from burning. His chuckles soon turned to sobs as he tried not to think of how funny Sirius would have found it, but he didn't succeed.
In the end, Harry succumbed to his emotions and the memories that were overwhelming him, hugged his pillow tight to his chest, and wept.