Authors note: I do not own Harry Potter or any of it's characters.
Warnings: This is a sad story and had mentions of abuse in it so if that bothers you please skip to the next story! :)
Harry was lying on his bed at Privet Drive, in pain and near death. He had just finished writing a letter to anyone who was left at number 12 Grimmauld Place and sent Hedwig with it. It was his last effort to keep living. If the letter did not make it in time, then his death was meant to be. He was not meant to defeat Voldemort, the wizarding world had chosen the wrong boy for the task.
Harry could feel his life slowly slipping away. His Uncle had done all this before the family had left the house for good. They had left Harry for dead locked in his room. Even if he could get out did they really think he could have escaped? Not in the condition he was left in, he could barely walk to the window.
Maybe it wouldn't be so bad being dead, he would get to see his parents again after all, Sirius and Dumbledore. Cedric would be there too, he wondered if Cedric was happy wherever he was. Where his parents happy? Was Sirius, Dumbledore? Harry pondered that thought for a few moments and then decided that they were indeed happy wherever they were for there was no pain. No pain. That would be amazing. No more physical or emotional pain.
Death was seeming more and more inviting by the minute. The sweet darkness of unconsciousness was creeping up and Harry could not fight it any longer.
Even though death sounded so wonderful right now he did hope someone would receive his letter. At least so they could carry out his last wishes.
It was a dreary day in London, rain had been threatening to fall all day. You would think that a dungeon bat would love this kind of weather, but in fact he hated it. It made his bones ache. He hated being cooped up in this house with none other than the wolf. Why couldn't the wolf go find somewhere else to stay while he was here? He was always so cheery and that annoyed Severus to no end. He could be as grumpy or mean to the wolf as he wanted and all he would receive in return was that damn cheery smile of his. One of these days he was going to punch that idiot.
Still grumpily muttering to himself Severus opened the window for the mail to come in. Severus was expecting some things he had ordered from a shop in Diagon Alley so he was not surprised when several owls came in to drop packages. What Severus was not expecting was Potter's owl frantically flying into him with a letter clutched in his beak. "Calm down you mangy animal I'll get the letter to the wolf." The owl did not calm down though she only became more frantic. Severus sighed in defeat "Wolf, you have mail from the brat!" he yelled up the stairs.
Remus calmly came down the stars and entered the kitchen. "I have mail from Harry? He hasn't sent anything all summer. I thought he was upset at me." Then he saw the frantic Hedwig.
"Please kindly take this message before she does any more damage to the kitchen." Severus half snapped half growled.
"She does not normally act like this Severus. Something must be amiss." Remus then turned to Hedwig. "Hedwig what is the matter? Come now let me see the letter. What a good owl you are. That's a girl." Hedwig did not fly off after delivering the message like she normally would have done, she had to make sure that these two would save her master. She could sense how near death he truly was.
Remus read the first sentence of the letter and then almost yelled at Severus. "We need to go now! We need to go to Privet Drive now!"
"What melodramatics has the boy made up now? Surly he just wants more attention?"
Remus had dropped the letter on the table. "No time to explain now, grab as many healing potions as you can and please meet me at Privet Drive. Please Severus, please."
Remus then apparited out of the kitchen. Severus wanted to know what got the wolf so riled up, it was not like him to get so upset even if the situation was direr. So Severus picked up the letter, but only made it past the first few words before he was grabbing healing potions and leaving the letter forgotten again on the table.
To whom it may concern,
By the time you read this letter I will probably no longer be a part of this world. My Uncle gave me my last beating and left me for dead in my room at Privet Drive. I know this might be a shock to whom ever is reading this, but it is true. Do not feel sorry for me because I deserve it. I am the reason so many people have died, just for existing. I am of no great loss.
Whoever reads this letter I do have a couple of things to ask of you. Could you please tell everyone that I'm sorry? Tell Remus that I held on as long as I could for him and that this is not his fault. Please tell Snape that I never did approve of what I saw in his pensive, I was rather repulsed to be honest. I don't really know what to say to the Weasleys so can you thank them for all the love they have shown me throughout the years and I am sorry for any pain I might cause them. Also, could you please make sure I'm buried next to my parents and make sure I have a nice funeral with only my close friends. I really don't want the press ruining my last moment here on earth like everything else in my life. I am truly sorry if I am causing anyone any pain that was not my intentions, but I never once in my life did I intend to cause pain it just follows me wherever I go. Again, I am sorry.
Please don't be sad for me I will finally be at peace when I die. I will have my parents, Sirius, Cedric and Dumbledore to keep me company. Maybe I can finally be happy in death, something I never before achieved in life. I tried to be the savior of the wizarding world, but I failed. Come to find out I am not "The Chosen One", I mean how could "The Chosen One" be so weak where his own muggle Uncle beat him up. I am sorry for everyone who depended on me, find someone who is stronger to help you. Not some weak little boy who hurts all the time.
Goodbye for good,
When Remus had gotten to number 4 Privet Drive he ran inside unlocking all doors with magic as he went. He couldn't care less about muggles seeing him at this moment. He had to save Harry, he had to save his cub. As fast as he could he ran upstairs to where he knew the boys bedroom had to be. Not pausing to be shocked at all the locks on the door or the cat flap he used magic to open every lock and rushed inside. He saw Harry on the bed and went immediately to his side checking his pause and breathing.
He let out a breath he didn't realize he had been holding. It was there, but just slightly, either could stop at any moment. Remus had never been so scared in all his life, even when he had been hunted by death eaters. His cub could die at any moment, but he was not going to think of that. He was going to heal as much as he could on Harry and wait for Severus to come. While he was using a mild healing spell on Harry's cut up chest the worst that could have happened, happened. Harry's heart had stopped.
Remus frantically did the only thing he could think of in his muddled mind, CPR. It was a muggle method, but he did not know any spells that would start a heart. Two minutes into preforming CPR Remus was exhausted, luckily Severus had come at that moment. Through Remus's rapid breathing he managed to gasp out "Severus, help...his heart has stopped."
It was really lucky that Severus had gone through training to become a healer, it was necessary with his work in potions being so volatile. "Stand back Remus" When Remus did as he was told Severus yelled "pectus pectoris incohare " pointing his wand straight at Harry's chest. Harry's whole body jumped and Severus quickly checked for his pause. When he found none he shouted the same spell, this time he found the heartbeat he was looking for.
Severus glared at the wolf, he couldn't believe that he could be so stupid. "If you would have waited for me I could have told you that with someone so injured it is unwise to use magic for fear of stopping the heart."
Shame and guilt along with an abundance of other emotions rose to Remus's face. "Severus I'm sorry I just wanted to heal him, I just want my cub to be alright."
Sighing Severus shook his head. "Winky!"
A pop could be heard and then a small creature with huge ears appeared before Severus. "Yes master what can Winky be doing for you sir?"
"I need bandages lots of them, gauze, cotton balls, every antiseptic potion I have in my stores and more healing potions. Thank you."
The little creature popped out with the snap of a finger and was back an instance later with all Severus had asked for. "Wolf I am in need of your assistance if you want me to heal this boy."
Remus perked up and looked at Severus with wide eyes. "What can I do?"
"I need to give Harry some potions. Can you hold him in a sitting position for me? While pointing our wands at Harry is too risky we can still use potions."
Remus quickly jumped to do as Severus had bid. Slowly and gently he eased the young man into a sitting position and then sat behind him to keep him in the position. All the while Severus had started speaking to the boy, telling him what he was going to do before he did it. He didn't know if Harry could hear him or not, but just in case he wanted Harry to know he was safe.
"Harry I'm going to give you some potions now. These are going to help you heal alright? This first one I'm going to give you is a pain potion that will slowly spread throughout your body. I'm going to help you swallow it now, ok?" Gently Severus poured the first potion down the boys throat and massaged his neck muscles to allow it to go down. After a few moments the results could be seen, Harry's tense body relaxed somewhat. "That's a good boy. You are doing so well. Now I have a few more potions for you to take alright?" Slowly Severus repeated this procedure for several more potions. A potion that would heal any internal injures, a blood replenisher, another pain potion and a very mild sleeping drought just enough so that Harry would not wake for the next hour.
When Severus had finished giving Harry the potions he was in a somewhat stable condition. Not enough to be moved from the house, but enough to where they did not have to fear he would die at any moment.
"Remus I need you to gently lower Harry so that he is flat on his back. I need to heal as many wounds as I can see now."
Remus nodded and gently lowed his precious boy down on the bed. He didn't even notice that Severus had called him by his first name. "Is there anything else I can do Severus?"
"Actually there is. Since we have to do things the muggle way can you see if there is a bed in this damn house made up of clean linens and if not can you find some clean linens. This dirty bed he is lying on is not helping keep his wounds clean."
Remus simply nodded and left the room in search of what Severus had asked.
After Remus had left the room, Severus gently brushed the hair out of the child's face. "Why does so much drama have to follow you?" Severus snorted somewhat amused with himself. "Who am I kidding you're a Potter, you're naturally attracted to it." Severus sighed and grabbed the warm washcloth Winky had brought him and gently started to wash the boy's face.
When Remus returned he stood for a minute in the doorway watching Severus clean Harry up. He could not believe that Severus was being so gentle, but then this was Lily's child. Remus knew of the relationship those two had at one time, Lily had confided in Remus, and could see how much Severus truly cared for her. It was for that reason that he could never be mean to Severus, he knew that the potion master was only releasing his hurt to the world.
"Severus I found a bedroom down the hall that has adequate bedding, it looks like it was used as a guest room." Remus then gently asked "Do you want me to carry Harry?" even though he already knew the answer.
"I am perfectly able to carry a boy, just lead me if you insist on helping." Remus slightly smirked behind his hand as Severus gently lifted Harry into his arms. "Which way?" Remus then led the potion master and his cub down the hall to where he had seen the overly sterile room.
When they reached the room Remus went to the bed and pulled down the covers so that Severus could place the child in bed. Severus slowly lowered the boy on the bed. He then started to gently remove his clothing, all but his pants to preserve his privacy. Both of them had known how close to death the boy had been, for goodness sake they even started hie heart! To see what the boy had become though still was a shock that neither could quite get over.
Harry was skin and bones, completely starved. There were deep welts all over his body where his Uncles belt had hit him. Burn makes in a lattice pattern resided on his back where they had assumed that he had been beaten with a hot poker. Words had been carved into his legs by what looked like a knife "freak" "burden" and "worthless". The worst injury though was Harry's left arm, it was broken in four places and would probably be crooked for the rest of his life. They had not spotted his arm before. They had been too concerned with saving Harry's life, but now that they did see it they were concerned about Harry's quality of life.
"Severus can I do anything else?" Remus almost pleaded with the Potions Master.
Severus looked down at the boy and grimaced. "Just hold his hand while I clean his wounds and set the bones in his arm. Setting the bones in his arm will likely hurt him so it would be best if we did this while he is still sleeping."
Remus nodded and sat down in the chair next to Harry's right side. He gently grabbed Harry's limp hand in both of his. "You'll be ok Harry. Were here."
All the while Severus was examining Harry's arm as gently as he could. "Remus you're probably going to have to hold him down while I splint this arm. I have given him all the pain potions I can right now without overdosing him and I fear the numbing cream will be of little use. This is going to hurt him more than I thought."
Remus nodded and stood up from his chair. "There is nothing more we can do to help with the pain?" Remus asked Severus in a shaky voice.
Slowly shaking his head Severus got all the supplies necessary to splint Harry's arm. "Are you ready Remus?"
Remus got into position. Gently grabbing Harry's shoulders, holding them in place. He then nodded his head at Severus that he was ready. Even though Remus was not sure Harry could hear him that did not stop him from whispering conforming words to Harry. "We are here for you Harry. You are no longer alone my cub. It will be ok, just bare with the pain for a little while."
Severus had stated to try to set the bone's in Harry's arm when Harry screamed out in pain and his body arched up. Remus was holding him down though so his injuries were not jostled too much. "Harry listen to my voice. It's Remus I'm here for you. You are being such a good boy only a bit longer." Remus continued to try and soothe the boy, but it seemed to have little effect. The pain seemed to be too great.
Hesitantly at first and then more sternly as Harry's cries grew louder Severus even tried to soothe the boy. "It's almost over Harry I only have to set this last part. You will be ok. Almost over." By the end both Severus and Remus were greatly distressed at how much pain the boy seemed to be in. When Severus had finished setting his arm he had sat on the edge of the bed and not caring that Remus saw he grabbed Harry's hand like his life depended on it. "All over now Harry. All over."
Composing himself slightly Severus took back his hand and almost snapped at Remus. "Thank you for holding him down. Continue to hold his hand, if you will. He needs as much support as he can get right now."
Remus saw through his mask, and saw how relieved Severus was that setting his arm was over. He always seemed to somehow see the truth. Maybe it was because he too knew all the tricks associated with holding pain inside. Being a werewolf had its advantages and disadvantages. One of the advantages was that he had learned how to cope with pain early on. Channeling his inner pain into something positive, focusing all that negative energy into something good. At one time though Remus had been like Severus, lashing out when he was hurt. So when Severus snapped at him he simply gave a weak smile and did what Severus told him to do. Hold Harry's hand.
Remus had never seen Severus touch anyone in such a gentle manner. He had used the charmed warm washcloth to clean every inch of the boy. Remus guessed that Severus had finally seen past James when he saw the boy so beat up. Sometimes tragedy brings out something great. This was something great indeed, Harry would never be alone again.
If Remus could have helped it Harry would not have been alone at all, but with his "problem" he was not allowed to take care of a child. Thus, even though he was named godfather after James and Lily's death he had been bared all contact until Harry turned thirteen. He could never forgive the Ministry for that.
While Remus had been musing to himself Severus had finished washing all the dirt and blood of the child. "An hour has passed since his last pain potion, I would like to give him another. Can you help me like before?"
Remus nodded and gave Harry's hand one final gentle squeeze. He got up and sat behind the young man, much like before. This time though he took great care not to jostle Harry's injured arm. With Harry sitting up ready to take his potion Severus sat on the side of the bed. "Harry I'm going to give you another pain reliever now, ok?"
Both of the men saw Harry tense up at the sound of his voice. "Harry are you awake? If you are its ok to open your eyes. No one here will hurt you."
Harry slowly and hesitantly open his frightened green eyes. "P...p...p...professor?"
"Yes Harry its Professor Snape and Remus Lupin is helping you sit up. We received your letter Harry, were here to help you. Are you in any pain?"
"I...I...I'm f...f...fine. S...s...sorry."
Hearing Harry utter those few words hurt both Remus and Severus. Remus had begun to rub soothing circles on Harry's back avoiding injuries. "Oh Harry, there is no need to be sorry. When we received your letter we both came willingly to help you." Emotion was taking over Remus though, and not wanting to upset Harry further by trying to talk through tears he shot Severus a pleading look.
Ever since Harry had caught sight of the black figure he knew to be Severus he had been intently studying the blurry walls. "Harry, all three of us know you are not fine. Please tell us where it hurts. You are not in any trouble for asking for help."
Harry was having an internal struggle. He wanted to please his professor and tell him what he wanted to know, but doing so would break the number one rule.
When Severus saw Harry was just starring into space deep in thought he knew he had to snap Harry out of it. Gently, but firmly he called out the boy's name. When he received no response he shot a concerned glance at Remus. "Harry, please child look at me. Please look at me." Severus was almost begging now, but he didn't care. He needed to snap the child out of this. So he slowly reached out and gently grabbed Harry's chin and forced Harry to look at him.
When he saw that he had finally gained Harry's attention he tried yet again to get the boy to talk. "Harry, I need to know if you are hurting so I can give you the proper dose potion." That might not have been entirely true, but Severus had to do something to get Harry to admit he was hurt. "Harry please answer me."
"I d...don't...w...want...t...to...b...break...th...the...ru...rules...sir" Harry's stuttering seemed to get worse as he became more frightened.
Severus reached for the bedside table grabbing a glass of water. "Please drink Harry. Nice and slowly, that's it. Not to fast now. Good boy." When Harry had finished his greedy little sips of water he had seemed to calm a little so Severus tried to continue the conversation very gently. "Which rule Harry?"
As Harry trailed off Severus sighed and gently cupped the boy's cheek in his hand. Surprisingly Harry lent into the touch and closed his eyes. Then, it hit Severus, Harry was falling asleep again. Grudgingly Severus admitted that this was probably for the best. Neither one of the men could believe how hurt Harry was, physically or mentally. They both wondered how long it would really take for Harry to heal, perhaps years.
"Remus I'm going to give him the potion now, it was obvious he was hurting."
"I thought you said that you had to know how much to give him?" Remus asked genuinely confused.
"I lied. When Harry is hurt he has to admit to. Its that is the first step to recovery." Severus said sadly resizing that Harry never did admit to his hurt.
Remus gave Severus a look of understanding and warmth. "Severus he will admit to it in time. Don't worry. Let's finish healing Harry, ok?"
Nodding Severus uncorked the potion and tipped Harry's head back rubbing his neck as it went down. When the whole potion was down Harry's throat Severus inspected all the wounds on Harry's body.
"Remus can you continue to hold Harry upright for me? I want to apply an antiseptic to these wounds before bandaging them."
Remus nodded and Severus got to work applying cream and bandages to Harry's front. When he was finished Remus gently laid him back down onto the bed. Severus gently flipped Harry onto his front so he could heal his back. How anyone could be so cruel to a child he couldn't fathom.
Just as Severus was finishing patching up Harry's wounds both wizards shared a frightened glance. It was finally Severus who spoke. "The wards are beginning to fall. We have to get Harry out of here quick and back to Grimmauld. Harry is still too fragile to apparited and I don't dare try the floo. It looks like we are going to have to take the knight bus."
Remus closed his eyes, damn. Couldn't the wards have lasted just a couple more hours until Harry was more stable? "I'll gather Harry's things and be back momentarily."
Severus nodded. "See if you can find his invisibility cloak, we can drape it over him so no one will see I am caring him. I can deal with looking strange, people already think I'm a git."
Remus left the room and quickly did a point me spell for Harry's trunk. His wand quickly went into action, leading Remus to the cupboard under the stars. Unlocking the multitude of locks on the door Remus peered inside. There indeed was the trunk he was looking for, but there were other things in there as well. A small mattress was laying in the corner and a sign written in children's handwriting that said "Harry's room". Closing his eyes Remus got his emotions under control and garbed the trunk unlocking it in a swift wand movement. Remus found the cloak he was looking for and a set of pajamas for Harry to wear. He then summoned all of Harry's things to put in his trunk. Only a few pieces of ratty clothing and a set of broken glasses floated from upstairs. Again, he had to close his eyes and control his emotions. Damn those muggles.
After shrinking Harry's trunk and putting it in his pocket and repairing the glasses Remus headed back to the room he knew Severus and Harry to be in. They quickly dressed Harry into his night clothes and gave him a dreamless sleep for the ride. They did not want Harry waking up and panicking while on the bus. Severus then gathered him up in the cloak and set off to Grimmauld Place.
When the knight bus arrived Stan asked them where they need to go and they told him their destination, number 13 Grimmauld Place. They very well couldn't give an address that was under a fidelius charm or they would never be let off. When Severus and Remus sat down it seemed Severus was right about the strange looks he was getting. He honestly did not care, Harry was his main concern at the moment.
Miraculously the trio arrived at Grimmauld Place without incident. Severus for once was glad that Harry had inherited the invisibility cloak. Paying Stan for the ride they got off the bus and went inside. Harry was safe, finally.
As soon as they entered the house Severus took the cloak off Harry and handed it to Remus. "Remus I'm going to go put Harry to bed, could you make some tea and bring it up? It appears we have things to...discuss."
Remus nodded and set off for the kitchen. Leaving Severus to put Harry to bed. When Severus had reached the room that had been designated for Harry he stepped inside. Then, gently placed Harry on the bed, tucked the covers around him and made sure he was comfortable. He then summoned a table and two chairs, one on either side and sat down.
It was funny. When Severus had sat down in the chair, it was in close proximity to the table. Somehow though his chair had inched closer and closer to the child on the bed and eventually Severus was sitting right next to Harry's head. Stroking Harry's soft hair with his fingers and couldn't help, but be amazed at all the hurt this child had been through. Far too much for Severus's taste.
Then and there Severus made a vow to do whatever he could to help Harry to heal. To help Lily's child. Being a death eater was no longer a concern, he had been found out as a spy last month. Severus shivered momentarily flashing back to when Voldemort had been "punishing" him. Thank goodness Albus had given him that portkey. If not he would not be alive.
At the thought of Albus tears formed in the potion master's eyes. He hated that he had been forced to kill his mentor and could never forgive the old man. "Save the soul of your godson Severus." That is what he had been told to do and he did it, but Severus still felt pain in his heart when thinking of the old coot. Severus wiped the tears from his eyes none too gently. He had to focus on the boy in front of him, help him heal. Not on his own soul that would never heal, it was too damaged.
Again Remus found himself standing in the doorway just watching Severus. He had seen Severus running his fingers through Harry's hair and saw the tears that fell. Remus had never seen Severus act this way. This caring side of Severus was nice to see instead of the crabby, grumpy side they normally saw. Remus didn't want to startle the dour man so he gently knocked on the door frame and then came in to set the tea down.
"Come have some tea Severus, it will do you good." Gently coaxed Remus.
Severus nodded and moved his chair closer to the table, but still kept a close eye on Harry in case he woke.
"Severus, how are you doing?" Remus asked genuinely concerned for Severus's eyes still looked like they were holding back tears.
Without warning Severus whispered, "I failed Lily."
"You could not have seen this, no one could. He was too good at hiding." Remus gently scolded.
Severus sighed defeated. He knew that Remus was right. He only had to look back at the length he had gone to keep his own abuse secret. "That's still does not give an excuse for how I have treated him these past years. Maybe if I hadn't been so harsh he would have come to someone for help."
This time it was Remus's turn to sigh. "You know that is not true as well as I do. Did you ever tell?"
Severus looked up at Remus in surprise. How did he know? Only Lily knew. "How?"
Quietly Remus admitted what Lily had told him the day before that horrible Halloween. "Before Lily died she told me everything and asked me a favor. Make sure that you coped after she died."
"Then...then it was you!" Severus had always wondered how he had ended up in bed after he had tried to end his life. The Headmaster had always denied having anything to do with it, but always said so with a sad look.
"How did you know?" Severus asked, it was something he had always wanted to know. He had hidden himself in a place he thought no one had known about.
"You know that locket Lily gave you? Before she gave it to you she charmed it's twin to know if you were mortally hurt. If you were the twin would burn the holder and lead them to you." Remus paused so Severus could absorb this new information and then quietly continued. "She cared for you even after your falling out. That is why she gave me the locket, she knew I would help you."
"Why would you help me? Why would you save my life?" Severus was on the verge of a breakdown. All the emotions he had refused to show throughout the years were begging to come out.
"A few reasons. Lily said you might try something after her death and asked me to save you." Remus then reached out and put his hand on Severus's. "Also, an innocent life is something that should never be lost."
Without Severus realizing it tears were spilling from his eyes. "I'm not innocent though, I have done horrible things."
Sometime throughout Remus's confession his chair had moved so that is was next to Severus's and when Remus saw that first tear trickle down he put his arm around Severus' shoulder in a side long hug.
Remus gave Severus a sad look. "Your heart was never in it though. Your hand was forced each and every time."
Severus was now aware of the tears streaming down his face and was trying to hide them. Remus saw the attempt and turned the side long hug into a full one. "Let it out Severus. Let out all your pain." and Severus did, he sobbed onto Remus's shoulder for a little over a half hour all the while Remus muttered soothing words. When Remus felt the last of the tears fall he attempted to get Severus to bed for he was emotionally exhausted .
"Come Severus lets get you to bed. It's late and I can watch over Harry." He then led Severus to his room and helped him into bed fully clothed. Remus didn't think the potion master would appreciate help into his pajamas.
Remus was relieved that Harry had slept through Severus inevitable breakdown. That poor man had so much pain. Now he had two injured souls to take care of. How he wished his Headmaster was still alive, he always knew what to do.
Remus's musings were cut short though when he heard a slight moan come from the bed. Remus grabbed the now fixed glasses and rushed to Harry's side. When he got closer he saw Harry's body stiffen. "Harry, you're safe. It's Remus and I want to help. Can you open your eyes for me? I have your glasses for you." Harry's eyes did open, but slowly and they still held fear. Remus told Harry his every action as he rested his glasses on Harry's nose so he could see.
Remus smiled a reassuring smile. "Harry, your at Grimmauld Place. Severus and I brought you here after we received your letter." Harry's eyes became wide with fear.
"Y...y...you...go...got...m...m...my...l...le...letter?" Harry asked, fear evident in his face and voice.
"Yes Harry and you will never go back to your relatives, so don't worry about any rules they have given you. You can tell me whatever you want and I will never send you back." Remus then slowly reached out and places his hand on Harry's cheek, cupping it gently. Unconsciously Harry lent into the touch absorbing the comfort.
"Can you tell me Harry, if you hurt anywhere?"
Harry vaguely remembered someone else asking that question. He couldn't remember who, but it was sometime recent. Should he tell Remus that his back hurt? Giving into the temptation of maybe relieving that pain he nodded.
"What hurts Harry?"
Closing his eyes, Harry couldn't believe he was admitting this, he told Remus. "M...m...my...b..b...b...back"
"Thank you for telling me Harry." Remus then uncorked the potion that Severus had left by Harry's bedside. "Do you want me to help you to sit up?"
Harry weakly nodded, he knew he could not on his own. Remus then gently helped Harry sit and stuffed pillows behind him to keep him that way. "Be careful of your left arm Harry. It was badly injured and will likely hurt the more you move it."
The gravity of the situation then came down on Harry and he tried to mutter an excuse. "I...I...f...fe...fell"
"You might have fallen, but I know that is not how you broke your arm in four places. If you are not ready to talk that is ok, but please don't lie to me."
Harry nodded looking slightly ashamed.
"Ok here you go Harry. It will taste awful, but it will make the pain go away." Again Harry nodded and took the potion. After the potion went down, he grimaced and Remus handed him a glass of water.
"Slow sips now. If you gulp down too much it will come right back up. You have been deprived of water and food for too long. Do you think you could manage a little food now?"
"A...as...l...long...a...as...it's...n...not...to...rich." Remus nodded, pleased Harry's stuttering was getting better.
"I'll be right back then. How about some chicken broth hmm?"
Harry nodded looking a bit better at the mention of food.
Harry managed to eat half the bowl of soup and felt much better after. "Th...thank...y..you...R...Remus"
"There is no need to thank me Harry, I am pleased just be seeing that slight smile you gave me." Remus took the tray and put it on the desk across the room and then came back and sat on the side of the bed. "Harry, how much do you remember about waking up back at your Aunt and Uncles?"
Harry answered as honestly as he could. "Not much, just a black figure and something warm against my back."
Remus nodded, maybe this was for the best. "Harry Severus is also here in this house, he is the one who healed you."
Harry looked at Remus shock evident in his eyes. "but...but...he...he...ha...hates...m...m...me..."
Remus shook his head and let out a soft sigh. "He never hated you Harry. As you know he was a spy for the order so he had to play the part of a Death Eater. A Death Eater can't be chummy with "The Harry Potter" can he?"
Harry nodded his head finally understanding why his professor had been so cold to him. "He really does care for you Harry and only want to protect you. When we found you in your room Severus was so upset that he had tears in his eyes." Not entirely true, but Severus had cried for Harry today.
Harry's eyes got wide. "H...he...d...did?"
Remus nodded. "I think that is enough for now Harry. Why don't you rest some, sleep is good for you."
Remus then pulled the pillows away from behind Harry's back and gently lowered him on the bed. "There we go. Such a good boy." Harry closed his eyes and mumbled something. Remus would not have caught what he said, but being a werewolf had advantages. "You can thank Severus yourself tomorrow. Ok Harry?" Harry nodded and fell into a deep sleep.
After Harry fell asleep, Remus let his composure drop and flopped down into the chair next to the bed. When Severus had broken down it had left him to be the strong one. The one who knew how to help Harry, but the facts were he had no idea what he was doing. Severus was the one who knew how to handle a fragile child not him. He had even almost killed the child trying to heal him! Remus put his head in his hands and heaved a deep sigh that quickly turned into a sob. More sobs followed the first and before he knew it he was having a full blown crying fit.
This time it was Severus who had stood in the door frame watching Remus interact with the child. It brought a small smile to his face when Harry's eyes had gotten wide, but he had understood. He had played his part well all these years, a little too well for his taste. Then, he saw Remus slump down into the chair and heard the sobs come fourth. Closing his eyes for a moment, Severus gathered himself and went into the room to comfort the werewolf.
Never before in his wildest dreams had Severus thought he would be sitting next to the wolf hugging him as he cried. If you would have told him just a month ago about these past two days he would have snorted and called you a dunderhead. So much had changed since receiving that letter on that rainy day in the middle of the summer.