A short one shot. Not the best, but it helped me overcome writer's block so I thought I would post it. I'm working on the next chapter for Frozen so all those who have been waiting patiently it's coming!
Warnings: I do not own Harry Potter in any way, shape or form. All the characters written here belong to the lovely J. K. Rowling.
This story does touch on abuse of a minor and a suicide attempt if that bothers you please skip to the next story. :)
Remus was walking up to the astronomy tower to get some fresh air. It was a few nights before the full moon and being up high helped him clear his head. It was harder teaching defense against the dark arts, then he had thought it would be.
His lesson on Boggarts had been yesterday and he couldn't help, but worry for one of his students. It had been great to see James son again. That was why he initially accepted the job after all. Although, he would never be able to get over that frightened look that had crossed his face. No one so young should ever have that kind of fear. As soon as he saw that look on Harry's face he had jumped in front of the boggart. He had assumed that it was going to turn into "he-who-must-not-be-named", but before it had turned into a moon it had transformed into someone else. A large man who looked like he barely fit into his clothing with a purple face had stood before him for a mere moment.
Remus had tried to question Harry after class who it was and what had frightened him so, but as soon as he let class out Harry had just about run out of the room. Harry had since avoided him at every turn and he had caught his friends eyeing him worriedly. Something was wrong. He couldn't figure it out though. Nothing made sense. Who was that man and why was Harry so scared of him?
Albus had said that Harry had gone to live with his muggle relatives after that horrible Halloween night. Could it possibly be someone who he had met in the muggle world? If that was true, then what had happened to make Harry so afraid? Remus had tried to keep his thoughts in the best possible scenarios. His mind couldn't help it though and eventually wondered into the worst things that could have happened. By the time he had reached the top of the stairs he had all, but convinced himself that he had to talk to Albus in the morning.
Taking a deep breath he convinced himself that the air up here would be good for him to straighten his frightened thoughts out. Turning he walked in the doorway to the tower. What he saw there would haunt the werewolf for the rest of his life.
A figure was standing in the window sill. A student looked like they were about to give up on life and jump. Taking a closer look at the figure he recognized who it was, the very person he had been worrying about. It seemed that his worry had been justified after all. Panic struck the normally calm Professor, but he knew he had to appear calm to talk Harry down.
There was no noticeable response from Harry except for a slight flinch.
Remus tried to gain the teens attention again. "Harry?"
It seemed this time he had succeeded. Harry turned around to see who had called his name. Remus would never forget the dead look in the child's eyes or the blood that seemed to soak the arms of his robes. Remus knew precious little about hurt children, but he did know that he needed to get Harry away from the ledge as soon as possible.
"Harry, can you please come over here. You're not in trouble. I just want to talk with you." Remus tried to give Harry a reassuring smile, but assumed he failed because Harry just looked at him.
Remus sighed and took a tentative step forward. Harry shook his head adamantly though so Remus stopped and backtracked.
"You don't want me to come any closer?"
Harry nodded his head.
Remus held up his hands in a gesture of surrender."Ok, I won't come any closer. Could you please come down here though so we can talk?"
Harry still looked at him with his dead look. It was killing Remus to see James son hurting so much. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. When he had opened his eyes again he saw Harry was studying him. Remus put his wand on the floor before him, but not before he sent a silent and invisible patronus to Albus. He needed some help.
"See Harry I no longer have my wand. I can't hurt you, I just want to talk with you. Please come down from that ledge."
After Harry had looked at Remus for a long while, he opened his mouth for the first time that night.
"Please...let me end the pain. I just want to see my parents again."
His voice cracked and was raspy when he spoke, as if he had not talked all day. Thinking back to when he had seen the poor child that day (before Harry had spotted him and run) he didn't doubt that Harry had not conversed with anyone.
"Come down here Harry and talk with me. Let me help you."
Remus knew he was merely grasping at straws now and hoped Albus had gotten his patronus. If Albus had gotten it Remus suspected that he and another staff member were waiting below the tower. Waiting there to slow Harry's fall if he was not able to talk Harry down.
The look Harry was giving him now was unbearable. To see Lily's eyes looking at him with such pain it hurt him. Why had no one seen how hurt this child was before now? Before it had escalated this far.
How could he judge others though? He had seen the same thing they had. A happy, well-adjusted boy. Remus had to admit this child was a good actor. Most children are when they want to desperately want to hide something though. He knew that well.
After Remus gave Harry another pleading look, Harry opened his cracked lips again. "Help me how? Why..."
Remus gave Harry a soft look. "I care about you Harry and I want to help you in any way I can. You have such a wonderful life ahead of you and I hate to see that end tonight. Please come down."
Harry looked at Remus, fear still evident in his features, but now confusion was predominate as well. "How...how do I know you're telling the truth?"
"I give you my wizards oath Harry that I will do anything and everything to help you. You can trust me Harry." Harry wobbled a bit on the ledge making Remus more nervous then he had been. "Please Harry. Please come down so we have a proper talk."
Harry looked conflicted and still confused. "I...I just want the pain to stop."
It was taking everything in Remus not to run up to the window, snatch the boy and envelope him into a hug. Instead of following his instincts he simply nodded his head. "I know Harry. I can help the pain go away." At this point he would say just about anything to get the boy away from the ledge.
It seemed that Harry was losing more and more blood from his slit wrists. The blood was now not only soaking his robes, but was dripping to the floor and forming a puddle. Losing so much blood was beginning to affect Harry's balance and sway and wobble more than he had been.
"Come on Harry, come down before you fall." Remus may have sounded calm, but inside he was screaming with fear and worry.
Fortunately the best that could have happened, happened. The blood loss caused Harry to fall forward into the tower. As Remus ran to catch the boy in his arms he thanked everyone he could possibly think of that Harry had not fallen backwards.
After Remus had caught Harry, he had reached for his wand and sent word to Albus that he had Harry. Harry was safe, but needed immediate medical attention. He had sat down on the floor and pulled Harry into his lap. The boy was still semi-conscious and he was looking at Remus with glassy, dead eyes.
Remus slowly ran his fingers through the boys messy black hair and mumbled soothing words as he gently examined the boys wrists. He applied some simple clotting and healing spells to the wounds and hoped they would hold up until Madam Pomfrey got here. Remus's healing skills may be better than most due to his monthly adventures, but they were still nothing compared to a trained healer.
Remus was scared. As soon as he had healed the cuts on Harry's wrists Remus could see him slipping into unconsciousness. Not being a healer he didn't know if it was good or bad so he did the only thing he knew how to. He pleaded with the child to hold on, to stay with him. At least until Poppy or Albus arrived.
Harry would have struggled out of the man's arms, but loosing so much blood had made him too weak. All he could do was look at the man and wonder what he was going to do to a freak like him. He was faintly hearing his soothing words, but how could anyone really care about a freak.
He had been in the bathroom tonight trying to release some of the pain he often felt when that overwhelming feeling overcame him. That feeling that he just wanted his mom and dad. He just wanted to be loved. Growing up at the Dursleys he often had that feeling, but never to this extent. It had made him want to climb to the very top of the astronomy tower and jump. Just to end all the pain and see his parents again.
All he really wanted was to be reunited with his parents. He knew he was a freak here in this world, but maybe his parents would accept him in the next. That was what parents were supposed to do, love their children unconditionally. Maybe they could look past his freakishness and love him.
Harry was now slowly slipping into an unconscious state. He was so tired and the dark felt so comfortable. In the dark there was no pain and he could even see his parents at the end of that long tunnel. They were waving at him, smiling.
He longed for that voice to go away, the one that was keeping him attached to the real world. He just wanted his parents, they were so close yet so far away. The voice was asking him to hold on and having obedience beaten into him all these years he tried to stay even though he wanted nothing more than to reach for his parents. Eventually though, his perseverance failed and he fell unconscious.
Remus had continued to whisper his desperate words to the child in his arms and gently run fingers through Harry's hair even after the child slipped into unconsciousness. The pull had seemed too great to resist. A couple minutes later that was how Albus found the two. He had been outside the tower with Minerva to gently lower Harry to the ground should he jump or fall. When they had received Remus's message Albus had run up to the tower as fast as he could.
Seeing Harry in Remus's arms and Remus almost crying over the child he was by their side in an instant. Albus knelt down by the two and immediately took Harry's pulse and checked is breathing. Albus breathed a sigh of relief when he found a pulse, it was shallow, but there.
Harry was going to be fine, physically that is, with medical treatment. Albus looked at the small face Remus was holding with great care. It was so pale and its features were so full of pain. What could have happened to this child when just yesterday he seemed so happy and full of life?
Albus then took a good look at Remus. To many others he would look calm and collected, but Albus could see through his mask. He could see the fear and worry etched in his eyes. He placed a gentle hand on Remus's arm to gain his attention. Slowly Remus looked up at him.
"He's going to be ok Remus. Let's get him to Poppy so she can heal him fully. Ok?"
Remus just nodded. Albus got off his knees and reached down to scoop the child up into his arms. Gently cradling Harry Albus was surprised to feel how light the boy was and was shocked and saddened when he realized he could feel every bone in his body. Albus's eyes filled with sadness as he looked down at the small child's face. "What have we done to you my child? Will you ever be able to forgive us?"
Albus sighed and shook the thoughts that were forming out of his head. Giving a gentle look at Remus still on the floor he held out a hand to help him up. A grateful Remus accepted it and got off the floor. The three then quickly walked out of the tower and down to the hospital wing wanting Harry to receive treatment as soon as possible.
When the three entered the hospital wing Poppy was already up and gathering things she would need to heal Harry. Remus in his daze had thought he had contacted the nurse, but could not remember if he did or not. So on their way down Albus had cast his patronus letting her know they were on their way, thus insuring that she would be ready when they arrived.
As soon as Poppy saw the trio she ushered Albus to place the child on the nearest bed. As soon as he gently placed Harry on the bed Poppy was running diagnostic scans on him. Knowing Harry was in good hands he guided the weary man beside him to sit on a bed near Harry and sat down next to him. Poppy then pulled the curtains around the bed Harry was on to give them some privacy and so that Remus could tear his eyes away from the small form on the bed.
"Remus, are you alright?" Albus could sense Remus was in a state of shock and knew if he wanted any answers at all he had to pull the man out. When Remus didn't answer him and just continued to stare at the curtain drawn bed Albus tried again. "Remus, look at me."
Remus's head slowly turned so Albus could see the normally calm man's tear stained face. Albus reached over and wrapped his arm around Remus's shoulder in a side long hug. "Are you alright my child?" All Remus could do was shake his head as more tears continued to fall.
Albus's heart broke seeing Remus this way. He had only seen him like this once before, when his best friends had died. Albus turned the side long hug into a full one and rested Remus head on his shoulder. "Shhhh it's going to be ok. Harry will be fine with some help. You saved his life tonight Remus."
Albus let Remus cry himself out on his shoulder. He knew how stressful Remus's position in the tower had been and what a relief it must be for him that it was all over. He had done well though, he really had saved Harry tonight.
When Remus had calmed down Albus pulled him back and looked into his eyes. "Are you feeling better now?" A nod came from Remus while he was wiping his eyes with a handkerchief he had conjured. Albus continued in the same gentle manner. "Can you answer some questions for me?" He was met with another nod. "What were you doing in the astronomy tower in the first place?"
Sighing Remus looked up at his former headmaster. "Yesterday we had a lesson with Boggarts. Harry's was of a fat man with a purple face. Ever since Harry has been avoiding me like the plague. I have always gone up to the tower in the past to think, the fresh air helps clear my head. I couldn't figure out who that man was and why Harry was so afraid. I still don't know for sure who and why, but I now have suspicions." Remus gave Albus a concerned look. "Harry was so light and I could feel his bones. If not from jumping off the tower we could have lost him from blood loss."
Without Remus knowing it a few traitorous tears fell down his cheek. Just thinking of losing James son made him weak with grief. Albus softly patted Remus on the back and let out a sigh. "I think I may know who that man was." Albus closed his eyes and reigned his magic in. If what he was thinking was true, then Harry would never go back to the Dursleys. There was still something Albus wanted to know though. "May I ask something else Remus?"
A shy nod came from Remus. "Anything that could help Harry."
Giving Remus a small smile Albus gave him a searching look. "Will you take care of Harry when school lets out?"
Remus was taken back a little. Was the headmaster really asking him to become Harry's guardian? "Are you asking...?
All Remus received in turn was a small nod.
Without further hesitation Remus looked his headmaster straight in the eye. "Yes. I would do anything for Harry."
Madam Pomfrey finished healing the fragile boy and drew the curtains back. After gently brushing the hair off Harry's face, she walked over where the two were sitting on the bed discussing future arrangements. She gave them both a sad smile and conjured a chair for her to sit in. Sitting across from the two she told them the laundry list of injuries Harry had.
This was not the first time Harry had cut his wrists it seemed. He had scars up and down his arms that had apparently been hidden by a glamor charm all this time until it fell when he became unconscious. There were also multiple scars along his back which she assumed came from a belt. Broken bones had been prevalent in his past as well and he still carried a few that refused to heal properly. A bone in his ankle and one in his right wrist. Unfortunately that was not all. It seemed that Harry was also severely malnourished and was dangerously underweight for a boy of his age.
She could do no more for the poor soul right now. Just watch and wait for him to wake. Harry was in for a long stay in the hospital wing when he woke. Until he gained at least two and a half kilograms (roughly five pounds) Poppy would not allow him to leave. It would give her an excuse to watch his mental state, this latest suicide attempt had opened all their eyes to how hurt he truly was.
When Poppy finished speaking she followed Remus's gaze to Harry's bed. To gain his attention she gently patted him on the knee. When he looked over at her she tried her best to comfort the man. "Remus, with time Harry will heal. He will be ok. You saved his life tonight."
Remus closed his eyes and nodded. "I know. I just wish I could have been there for him sooner."
Albus gave his former student a soft, but stern look. "Remus, you know you were in no shape to take care of yourself let alone a child until a few years ago. What matters is that you are here now and can give him the home and help he deserves."
Remus nodded and gestured to the bed in the distance. "Can I?"
Albus gave him a genuine smile. "Yes Remus." Remus then got up and headed to the bed Harry was in and sat down in a chair by his side. Albus continued to watch the two for a few more seconds and then turned his attention bak to Poppy. "I think those two will be good for each other. Maybe while Remus helps heal Harry, the hole in Remus's heart will finally heal."
Poppy nodded and turned her head so she could see Remus gently stroke his fingers through the boy's hair.