Thank you so much for all the reviews I've received, they made me really happy: )Things will start to change with this chapter…Mina
Crash and Burn
Halloween was slowly creeping up on the school with most of the students looking forwards to the promised feast.
"I heard they'll have a chocolate fountain and we'll be able to go swimming in it." Peter was telling his Hufflepuff friend excitedly as they were walking in front of Harry and Remus towards the great hall on a Saturday after having been out on the grounds.
Harry mentally sighed, Peter was not what he'd expected. Not only did he hang out with the Hufflepuff's more than the Gryffindor's but he was also very quiet and shy. Most shocking to Harry was the fact that Iggy liked the boy.
Iggy had been quick to defend himself by pointing out that Peter was just an eleven old boy not a Deatheater, and that he might not ever actually become one. It had taken Harry a while but the reality of Iggy's statement was slowly setting in. Things were different. There had not been a Harry Potter, brother of James Potter before. Things were bound to change in other ways as well.
Thinking of things that had changed, Harry glanced at Remus who'd been very quiet ever since Harry had revealed his chosen potion. The other boy had not mentioned Harry's choice at all, he'd not in fact mentioned anything about the whole werewolf situation.
"Remus, do you think we could have a chat later? Alone." Harry whispered making Remus nod slightly whilst pretending great interest in his food. Good Harry thought, now their only problem was where to talk, he did not want the chance of them being overheard.
"What are you two whispering about and can we get in on the secret?" Sirius whispered loudly snickering in James's direction. Remus suddenly looked nervous whilst Harry rolled his eyes.
"Sure, we're going to ask for more homework in all the subjects and then ask if we could take the O.W.L's early with the fifth years." Harry said in a serious voice trying to look excited at the prospect. Remus snorted at Sirius horrified look and gave Harry a relived smile.
"Not really?" Sirius asked having missed the snort and looking at Harry who maintained his serious but excited face.
"Why not? We'll be able to join the sixth year next year and then graduate early, it's clearly the best option for us." Harry said, he couldn't believe Sirius was buying it. James who was seated next to the dark haired boy was shaking with suppressed laughter having heard Remus's snort and grown used to Harry's strange humour during the summer.
"You're not serious are you" The boy asked eyeing Harry strangely, why would anyone want to do the test early? Harry eyed the boy who'd one day turned into his godfather and sighed with satisfaction before grinning broadly.
"Of course not, you are!" Harry said cheerfully, he'd always wanted to say that to his godfather and now he'd been handed the chance on a silver plate.
Remus and James couldn't hold it in any longer it seemed as they both exploded with laughter. Several students seated near the younger boys couldn't help chuckling either having heard the entire conversation. Sirius glared at the smirking Harry before rolling his eyes.
"I knew you weren't serious." He grumbled making James laugh harder. Harry nodded at the boy's words seriously.
"Of course you did." Harry said neutrally taking a sip of his pumpkin juice. Sirius gave him a light shove before finally cracking a smile himself.
Having spent the rest of the lunch alternatively chatting with the others and trying to think of a privet place he and Remus could talk, he now felt like grabbing a plate and smacking himself over the head with it. The room of Requirement, duh…
He felt very nervous leading Remus along the corridor, was the other boy very upset with him? He wondered.
"Er, Harry where are we going?" Remus asked, looking around himself confused.
"Secret place I found on one of my little walks." Harry answered vaguely. They had made it to the right spot but Harry could see some students up ahead and motioned for Remus to wait. Harry leaned against the wall trying to look inconspicuous whilst Remus looked at him in confusion.
"Harry, what…" Remus didn't get the chance to finish his question before Harry shushed him. Really, Remus was usually quicker on the uptake than this. They waited for the small group of Ravenclaw girls to walk past before Harry walked back and forwards three times opposite of the picture of Barnabas the barmy. Remus who had followed close on Harry's heel bumped into the other boy when Harry made his first turn and then stood staring at Harry as if he'd lost his mind. When the door suddenly appeared he gasped in surprise.
"Remus I present to you, the room of requirement!" Harry presented grandly as soon as they'd entered the room fully and closed the door. Remus stared in awe at their dormitory suddenly having appeared out of nothing whilst Harry bounced over to his bed and sat enjoying the look on Remus's face.
"How did you? Where? What?" Harry laughed at the stuttering Remus before the other boy seemed to get a hold of himself and slowly moved towards the bed.
"Is this our dormitory?" Remus finally asked seating himself on Harry's bed as he always did when they sat chatting.
"Nope, just a nice imitation. The room makes itself into whatever we want." Harry answered, smiling when Iggy suddenly flashed in landing on his perch that the room had supplied.
"Wow." Remus said impressed before eyeing Harry nervously and then pulling at the quilt gently with his fingers.
"Are you upset with me?" Harry asked, thinking he was so not good at the whole what-can-I-do-to-make-things-right-again thing. Remus looked up looking confused.
"You? I thought maybe you didn't want to be friends anymore. You know because of…I mean I know you said…but maybe you…" Remus trailed of not meeting Harry's eyes.
"Of course I still want to be your friend! I thought you were angry at me because I mentioned the Wolfsbane potion to Snape?" Harry quickly interjected.
"Are you? Angry that is?" He asked, eyeing Remus nervously. The other boy looked positively elated.
"You do? Really? You really don't mind?" Remus asked looking searchingly at Harry.
"Course not, it's not your fault you turn into a werewolf every full moon." Harry said calmly rolling his eyes. Remus gave a laugh or was it a sob? Harry wasn't quite sure as the other boy was looking down on the bed again.
"I've never had anyone else know. A friend I mean." Remus said not looking up from the quilt which he was smoothing out with his hand.
"I was…the werewolf bit me when I was four." Remus whispered suddenly making Harry gasp quietly.
"It was horrible." Remus continued almost without realising.
"I thought he was going to eat me. Sometimes I wish it had." He whispered.
"I'm glad it didn't! Can you imagine me alone with James and Sirius? I'd probably end up joining them and then we'd be kicked out of school." Harry said lightly wanting to pull Remus away from revealing something he might regret later. Remus looked up and gave Harry a watery smile.
"I didn't think I'd be allowed to come here, but professor Dumbledore said I could." Remus said, it sounded almost as if something had suddenly snapped inside him and the words just came gushing out. Harry sat staring, feeling almost a little guilty to be listening, his Remus had never told him all of this.
"Harry, how did you know? What I am, I mean?" Remus suddenly asked eyeing him questioningly.
"I knew someone who was a werewolf, an adult. He was great!" Harry said with feeling, smiling slightly at the thought of the older man. Remus looked very interested.
"What was he like? Did he have a job?" Remus asked.
"He was a Defence against the dark arts teacher for a while." Harry said making the other boy smile wistfully.
"He worked with other people?" Remus asked as if to confirm that Harry spoke of a real teacher job. Harry nodded making Remus bite his lip in thought.
"My dad's told me I'll never be able to work with people, everyone is afraid of werewolves." Remus said calmly as if already resigned to the idea.
"You can be whatever you want to be Remus! It might be harder but it doesn't mean you have to give up." Harry said leaning forwards.
"One day there will be a cure or people will wake up and realise what fools they are and you'll want to be ready to seize the moment when it happens. So you just make sure to get where you want to go and worry about the rest as it comes." Harry said believing every word.
Hadn't he himself walked towards death so many times already, fought so many battles? And here he was, in the past with his real family. He was normal, everything he'd ever wanted to be. He was Harry. He'd ceased the day, just grabbed it and there was nothing in the world stopping him.
Remus eyed him in awe, making Harry blush. They both looked down on the bed.
"Is there really a potion called Wolfsbane?" Remus suddenly asked looking up from the bed.
"Sure, it's a new potion though. I'm not sure if it's actually been tested on kids yet. But I'm going to find out." Harry said determinately.
"It's not a cure, but it's supposed to make you remember who you are, so you'll be in control." Harry added quickly, wanting to make sure Remus didn't see the potion as an end to being a werewolf.
"I hope I can have that one day." Remus said with a small quiver in his voice.
"You will because I'm going to learn how to brew it, and I don't care how long it takes!" Harry said forcefully smiling at the look on Remus's face.
"I'll help you. No I want to!" Remus said, quickly lifting his hand as if to stop Harry protesting, when Harry opened his mouth.
"Good, I think that would be great." Harry said when Remus finally allowed him speech, making the other boy sob. Harry suddenly found himself in a painfully tight hug.
"You're my best, best friend Harry!" Remus exclaimed before bursting into tears his whole body shaking. Harry was horrified, what on earth was he supposed to do now he wondered. He awkwardly patted Remus on the back.
"You're mine as well." He said finally, not feeling too guilty at the slippery thought of Ron, which he quickly pushed to the back of his mind.
Harry didn't know how long he sat there holding on to the other boy before realising with a start that Remus had fallen asleep. He chuckled slightly and gently lay the other boy down thinking it might do him good to sleep. Iggy flew over and sat with Harry, both of them looking at the tired first year boy. They'd make sure he was safe, Harry thought stroking Iggy softly.
It wasn't until hours later that the boys left the room and headed down for dinner slightly embarrassed but happy.
They were bombarded with questions from a curious Sirius and a slightly put out looking James, both boys managed to avoid having too answer to many questions by saying the word studying.
They all headed outside to hang out by the lake and on their way down there they ran into Peter who looked very upset.
"What's wrong Pete?" James asked curiously making the other boy mumble.
"What?" James asked again.
"I'm fine." Peter said looking everything but fine. But as he quickly headed inside the rest of them just shrugged. Probably homesick or something Harry thought, feeling a small tug of unease at not having asked the boy to stay with them.
"Harry look at me!" James shouted making Harry turn in the direction of his voice. Harry's heart froze, literally froze in fear.
"James get away from it! Get away!" Harry shouted in real fear, James was standing dangerously close to the Whomping willow teasing the branches to come closer. Harry who knew exactly how vicious the tree was knew James was in serious trouble.
"It's just a tree." James said turning towards Harry.
"Move!" Harry and Sirius both shouted making James run towards them. One of the willows branches missed his head by inches and made his hair dance wildly around his head.
"Wow, I didn't know it could do that!" James said looking slightly abashed. Sirius grinned at him and raised his hand for a high five.
"Of all the foolhardy things to do James Potter!" Professor McGonagall screamed as she came racing out towards them.
"Don't you ever do that again…" Harry shouted sounding just as stern as the professor.
"What do you have to say for yourself?" McGonagall snapped.
"…you could have had your head snapped of! That was the most stupid thing you've ever done!" Harry continued, disregarding the professor completely. James stood there mouth agape and stared at them.
"Well!" They both snapped as one. James started laughing at the sight of them, hands on their hips and glares on their faces. Professor McGonagall didn't approve of the reaction however and soon had his ear in a tight grip.
"We are going to have a nice conversation with your mother, she has asked to be informed of anymore foolhardy behaviour and this is the limit!" The professor snapped again as she dragged him towards the castle ignoring all his protestations of just playing about. Sirius and Remus glanced carefully at Harry who stood staring after their head of house and his brother looking slightly pale.
"Why is he doing this to me?" Harry mumbled, rubbing his hand against his chest where his heart slowly started getting back to a more normal rhythm. Sirius and Remus both eyed him worriedly before following as he slowly made it back towards the castle.
It was a more subdued James that made it down to the great hall for breakfast on the Sunday morning. Rumours had it he'd gotten in big trouble with the head of his house who'd fire called his mother about his behaviour.
"I don't know why they planted that tree there anyway." A fifth year Gryffindor said getting several nods in agreement. Remus who was seated next to Harry as usual sank lower in his seat.
"Just ignore them." Harry whispered making both James and Remus nod morosely.
"Mum was really mad, said she might take my broom away if I don't start behaving." James said looking very sad. Sirius looked scandalised.
"But you didn't get hurt!" He gasped as if that made all the difference.
"Mm, but unless I start thinking of the consequences of my behaviour she's going to start confiscating things. The broom is only one thing, she's threatening to take my collection of vintage Zonko products too." James said looking even more downtrodden. Sirius looked awed.
"She's really angry isn't she? I thought your mother didn't punish you." Sirius said finally. Harry felt slightly shocked that James remembered the conversation at all as he usually stopped listening as soon as an adult went into lecturing mode. Having found the right sort of incentive worked, Harry guessed.
Remus moved to leave the table and Harry who guessed that the boy was sad about the tree being his fault followed.
"I'm sorry." Remus said after they'd left the hall.
"What for?" Harry asked.
"They planted the tree for me." He said not looking at Harry.
"Wow that's amazing." Harry said, making Remus's head whip round. He'd clearly not envisioned that reaction.
"Just think, twenty years from now and that tree will still stand tall. You've left a lasting legacy here that says; I will not bow down for anyone, I will fight for my rightful place in the wizarding world. You may be the first, but now you've paved the way for the future." Harry said, feeling proud of his little speech. Remus eyed him in wonder before starting to laugh.
"I really like you Harry, you're a good friend." He said, putting his arm lightly across Harry's shoulder. Harry grinned in triumph.
Neither noticed the aging headmaster that walked behind them with a slightly shocked look on his face.
Harry who'd neglected to finish his history homework made his way towards the library alone. He was trying to find some information on the goblin rebellions, which always seemed to be taught in Binns class. Several hours later and Harry felt as if he'd just had one of the dreaded history lessons after having finally finished his homework.
There was a small tap on his shoulder and Harry turned to see Peter standing behind him.
"Harry can I talk to you?" Peter asked looking uncomfortable. Harry shrugged and motioned for the quiet boy to sit by his table.
"I…I don't think you should play with Sirius anymore." Peter said wringing his hands nervously. Harry stared at the boy.
"What?" He asked, wondering if he'd misunderstood the statement.
"I don't think you should be with Sirius anymore and you should tell James as well." Peter said again finally meeting Harry's eyes. Harry felt the anger building, how dare he?
"What right do you have to tell me who to be friends with?" Harry sneered. This was the man who'd sentenced his best friend to thirteen years in Azkaban. Harry knew he should have trusted his instincts. Once rotten, always rotten.
"Harry I just want what's best for…" Peter trailed off, looking very nervous all of a sudden.
"What's best!" Harry snapped, sneering at the boy. Peter looked as if Harry had physically struck him.
"Get away from me you rat!" Harry screamed before turning and rushing out of the library needing as much space as possible between himself and Pettigrew.
He had just about calmed down when he entered the hall for lunch and sat down with Remus, Alice and Lily.
"Did you finish it?" Remus asked, looking inquiringly at Harry who nodded stiffly.
"Is it true about James getting in trouble with your mom?" Lily asked eyeing Harry speculatively. Harry nodded again and shuffled some potatoes into his mouth as an excuse not to have to talk. He was afraid he'd say something very bad if he opened his mouth.
"Well I think it's good that she disciplines him." Lily said approvingly. Alice rolled her eyes.
"I don't think it was that bad. I mean it was dangerous but I'm sure he didn't mean to get himself hurt or anything. Besides he and Sirius mainly do harmless things now for their jokes. It's actually quite funny sometimes." Alice said ignoring Lily's look of shock.
"I can't believe you said that!" Lily gasped making Alice roll her eyes again.
"Oh please, even you thought the pillow fight was fun!" Alice said eyeing the now blushing Lily as if daring her to disagree.
"Fine! I guess they're getting a little better. But only a little mind." Lily conceded. Harry stared, what? they were getting better? He hadn't noticed, but then again he tried not to get involved with the pranks. He was the good twin after all, he thought with a small grin.
"That's good, mum's threatening to take away his things if he continues to behave badly." Harry said, bad mood forgotten. They spent the rest of the lunch in friendly banter.
Harry and Remus were headed in the direction of the Owlery awhile later, Remus had a letter to post home.
"I'm telling you, our master will be most pleased with us for finding the boy. We have to inform him of the boy being here in the castle as soon as possible. My foolish little Gryffindor cousin refuses to prove his loyalty by spying on the brat and the little lions are proving most loyal." A girls voice said.
Harry and Remus both froze at the sound of voices from the Owlery. They stopped by the side of the doorway and Harry could just about make out that the girl speaking was Bellatrix. She stood with her back against them whilst the boy she was speaking with stood stroking a black, vicious looking bird softly.
"And if you are wrong about the boy? What then? Do you know how he shows his displeasure Bella? I hear he uses the crutiatus on anyone foolish enough to be an annoyance. I will not chance that because you have a feeling about the boy." The boy said looking down at the bird perched on his arm.
"But Rodolphus, the boy simply appeared one day and was taken into the Potter family. He appeared on the same day as the dark lord meet the dark haired, green-eyed boy. It can't be a coincident, besides the boy is strange. He knows things he shouldn't, I have been watching him when he doesn't know it. He's definitely the one our master wants." Bellatrix said earnestly moving towards Rodolphus who looked unconvinced.
"Won't you do it for me, I am your intended after all." She said lightly, stroking his chin suggestively. Rodolphus smiled suddenly and let the glaring bird back up on a perch.
Harry dragged Remus away from the doorway before the two Slytherins started making their way out and spotted them, his heart was pounding. The boys quickly and quietly ran down the corridor and entered an unused classroom.
"What was she talking about?" Remus whispered as soon as the door closed, he stuffed his letter in one of his pockets and stared at Harry.
"Damn, she's a Deatheater. I should have known." Harry muttered furiously to himself.
"Harry what was she talking about" Remus asked again, eyeing Harry who was stalking back and forwards in front of him.
"She was talking about this summer. I meet Voldemort, he and his Deatheaters were attacking some muggles in London. I…my…" Harry found it hard to lie about being in an orphanage to Remus and trailed off.
"My dad was reading about it, how there was this boy that the bad man tried to hurt and that the boy stood up to him. That was you?" Remus asked. Harry eyed him surprised, he hadn't known anything about being in the newspaper. He nodded making Remus's eyes go big.
"Harry, dad said the man used a really bad curse on the boy, you." He gasped looking horrified. Harry shrugged, he'd had worse after all.
"Look we should get back to the common room. I really don't want them to find us." Harry said suddenly feeling a bit strange.
Remus nodded and they carefully made it back to the Gryffindor common room where they were meet by whispers.
James and Sirius waved them over to the corner they sat in. Harry noticed that Professor McGonagall stood talking with the prefects quietly.
"What's happened?" Harry asked, making James glare when Harry eyed him speculatively.
"I didn't do anything!" He snapped defensively. Sirius snorted at his friend.
"We don't know, she just came in and told everyone to stay in the common room." Sirius answered. Harry turned to stare some more at their head of house. It seemed most of the Gryffindor's were in fact in the room at the moment.
"I am sorry to say that I bring some bad news." Professor McGonagall finally said after clapping her hands once to get their attention.
"There has been some attacks on muggleborn families during the night." There were several gasps heard at this and the professor waited patiently for them to go silent again.
"The attack was led by Lord Voldemort..." Here McGonagall looked as if she wanted to call the man anything but Lord. There were whispers breaking out, before once again she held everyone's attention.
"…and his Deatheater's. It is with deepest regret that I have to tell you that our own Miss May has had to leave the school to be with her grandparents as her parents were killed." Several of the fourth year girls burst into tears, as they were her roommates.
"There were also three other families from Hogwarts touched by this despicable act of cruelty, Mr Cornett and Miss Hughes from Hufflepuff and Miss Beech from Ravenclaw." McGonagall said her lips tightly pursed together.
"I will stay here if anyone needs to talk, and I hope that you will all spare a thought for your classmates in this terrible time." Their head of house seated herself with a heavy sigh in one of the armchairs and waved one of the crying girls over, looking as if she wanted to shed a tear herself.
The room felt heavy with the weight of what their professor had told them. The students were all grimfaced, some had left the common room for the dormitories in favour of writing to loved ones. Others gathered together in groups and held quiet discussions.
Harry sat there, feeling as if the rug had been pulled form under his feet. He didn't get it, it was safe here.
Yes he'd seen Voldemort earlier in the summer, right after killing him in fact. But that hadn't felt real. Sure he'd felt the Crutiatus curse when he'd been hit by it, but what followed had felt like a dream come true.
He had all he'd ever wanted. Voldemort didn't know who he was, nobody knew who he was. He was just Harry. Not the boy-who-lived, expected to save the day.
He looked around the common room as if seeing it for the first time. Looked at the scared students seated around him. He didn't really know them. They weren't the ones he'd grown up with.
This wasn't supposed to be happening. It was supposed to be over, he got his family and Voldemort died. No more Prophecy's, no more people dying.
"Harry, are you alright?" Remus asked quietly making Harry turn and stare at him with empty eyes. You're dead, Harry thought suddenly. He shivered violently making Remus eye him worriedly.
"James, I don't think Harry's feeling very good." Remus said, getting James and Sirius attention. They'd been listening to one of the older boys talking about You-Know-Who, Remus's words made them both turn and look at the now violently shaking Harry.
"They're all dead." Harry whispered, making Remus go pale.
"I think we should tell the professor." Remus said sounding scared, he rushed towards McGonagall, leaving Harry with the terrified looking James and Sirius.
Harry couldn't stop shaking, it felt like the ground was moving. He looked around trying to spot Ron or Hermione in the crowded room. He couldn't see anyone he knew.
He pushed himself up from the chair so hard that it tipped backwards with a great bang making the room go quiet as people turned and stared.
He couldn't breath, there was no air going down to his lungs. And why was it so hot, he felt as if the air was scorching him. He could feel hands pushing and pulling and fought to get them off him. He looked around wildly trying to see anyone he knew but the room was spinning and black shadows were dancing in front of his eyes before finally everything went black.
Ohhh… What do you think? Reviews please. Mina