Disclaimer: all characters belong to J K Rowling and Warner brothers.
a/n: see below
The Persistence of Memory
Chapter ten - persistence of liars
I think that by this century, we have successfully
corrupted the idea of happiness. It's come to be something equivalent to the
possession of material wealth: big house equals happy owner, nice car equals
happy driver, and thus people driving Toyotas are looking at Acuras and people
driving Acuras are looking at Mercedes, and people driving Mercedes are
looking at Rolls Races, and people driving Rolls Races are looking at the
energetic youths jogging in the mornings while worrying about their arthritis.
When you're young and poor, all you want is money, and by the time you earn
all that money, you're old and wish you were young and poor. The idea of what
constitutes happiness keeps evolving, basically ensuring everyone's forever
"Happiness is an imaginary condition, formerly attributed by the living to the dead [and by the dying to the living –James], now usually attributed by adults to children, and by children to adults" [Szasz, 133].
Studies show that the majority of people are fairly satisfied with their lives, approximately 82% in fact, but the percentage of very happy people are significantly lower, a meagerly 21 [Inglehart, 12]. That trend runs consistently through 15 countries, 42 ethnicities, both genders, and all ages between 15 and 65. And contrary to the popular belief that money buys happiness, studies in fact show that the rich, while rather disgustingly loaded, are no happier but actually are more likely to suffer depression and suicide [Myers, 121].
To sum it up, everyone's content but no one is happy. And blahs on you if you're rich.
Sorry. I didn't mean to sound bitter or cynical. But honestly, that was tempting.
The myth of happiness has become a sort of beacon; the promise of it is the driving force to our goals. It does loads in helping boost our economy, and it won't be very surprising if one day, someone uncovered a huge government scheme in advertising, trying to convince us poor, misguided souls that we should all work harder for more money, pay more taxes and thus be happier.
As for happiness, well, in my opinion, it doesn't exist as people expect it to. People experience sudden surges of it (the 'wow, I just achieved something wonderful' stage), followed by an unhealthy peak of personal satisfaction (the 'I'm so wonderful, the air around me is saturated with my wonderfulness ' stage), rapidly followed by tolerance (the 'I'm the king of the world but no one else thinks that, bohoho' stage) and acceptance (the 'I want more, more, more!!!' stage). But to live in a situation of everlasting happiness, well… that only exists with Prozac.
[insert smiley face]
- James [ April 23rd ][ St. MaryAnn's Orphanage ]
Suspicion seized hold of Remus' thoughts unexpectedly. In his consuming preoccupation with everything – Harry's return, Harry's memory loss, and Harry's possible future – he had never once stopped to think. Not until he saw the pale lines patched across Harry's arm. Then Remus knew.
Gods, how could he not have considered it before, how could he have been so blind? Harry could not have moved from Little Hangleton to a London orphanage overnight. There were days unaccounted for, the days Harry could not remember . . .
One of the most dangerous dark lords in history, starved for blood and vengeance, finally captures the fourteen year old boy who had defeated him… it's a miracle that Harry's alive at all.
Harry's face had taken on the flighty look of someone trapped. Remus noted a hint of underlying panic in his eyes and realized with rising nausea that his suspicion was completely true.
"No, I…" Harry swallowed, thickly. "I wasn't, my arm was bitten-"
"That is not an animal bite." He had not meant to sound so agitated but it was becoming a struggle to maintain any semblance of calm. That web of interweaving lines – Remus' breath caught at the memory – had sliced nearly to the bone. It was painfully obvious where Harry had received such scars, and Remus had a terrifying thought that his mangled limb was just a glimpse of the true extent of his injuries. "You were limping…" Remus recalled, suddenly. "What happened to your leg?"
"Nothing happened to it!"
Remus drew a sharp breath in another futile effort to collect himself. Clenching his hands, Remus breathed deeply, trying to will away the knot building in his throat. There was no denying it. Harry was hurt. Remus was not so blind as to not see that. And if Harry's arm was any indication of just how terribly he suffered, then…
Remus closed his eyes, feeling vaguely lightheaded.
"Please," Remus began, softly, "tell me the truth. We're trying to piece together exactly what happened—"
"Why are you so certain that I was hurt?" Harry suddenly asked, sharply. His eyes were narrowed, overshadowing his eyes in a strange, frustrated manner that Remus had never seen on Harry before. "I was only kidnapped, right? Why are you so certain there was violence involved?"
Remus winced. "Harry—"
"Come to think of it, you said you thought I was dead," Harry continued. His hands clenched in tight fists at his sides, his shoulders taunt and shaking. "But why? There obviously wasn't a body, but no one went looking. The hospital I was in—" Harry swallowed his next words; the expression made him seem confused and lost.
Remus was at a loss of what to say, then. In those moments, Harry abruptly twisted his words against him. Remus didn't know how to answer Harry's desperate questions; saying anything would have given too much away and there were things Remus was not ready to tell.
"We were at fault," Remus responded, quietly. "We lost hope too quickly. We should have kept searching for you." That would probably haunt them all forever. Remus held his breath, searching the boy's face again. It was slightly disorienting to see Harry changed so little in the past year—he was slightly taller, painfully thinner, yet still completely the same. But the unnatural pallor to his face made Remus' stomach wrench. "Harry, how long were you forced to stay in the hospital?"
Harry bit his lip until it turned white, while uneasily worrying his sleeve. Somehow, watching Harry's nervous movements, Remus was reminded of his own childhood habit of adjusting his collar and trying to hide that bite scar that stretched from his shoulder to his torso in thick, twisting lines. He understood, then.
His own scars were something he had always guarded closely. It was linked to such a shameful secret… those injuries… they told of all his fears and insecurities, of all the shortcomings he desperately tried to hide, of everything he did not want anyone to know, ever. And Harry was so similar, always conscious of his own weaknesses, desperately trying to hide them. His memory was lost, but Harry had not changed. Remus had stepped too far past what their brittle familiarity allowed… Of course he will not tell. Harry will hide it as long as he could… and have I given any reason for Harry to trust me?
This realization stung.
"I'm sorry," Remus said again. He meant it more than words could express. "It's hard to remember that you don't know me anymore. It must be very uncomfortable to have a stranger intrude like this."
It felt strange saying that. He had never known Harry intimately enough to be prying at all his secrets, but... he cared. How could he just let something like that go?
"Its okay," Harry said quietly. He sagged against the back of a chair, looking oddly weary and not at all like the frustrated boy who had desperately questioned him just moments before. "It must be strange for you too."
Harry watched him with that strange, unreadable expression-so much like Lily-as if he was trying to peel Remus away at the layers and see what was inside. Those eyes were not the eyes Remus remembered of Harry as a child. But he couldn't be child anymore, not after what had happened to him… those scars were deep and painful and… Harry had only been fourteen… Gods… what had Voldemort done to him?
"Umm… is there anything to eat?"
Remus blinked. "Pardon?"
Harry glanced away, sheepishly readjusting his glasses. "I don't mean to be rude or anything, but umm… do you have any food?" Remus stared, completely stunned at the change that came over the Harry's face. He looked so young and so normal with that smile when just minutes ago, the piercing stare Harry had directed at him was close to rivaling Dumbledore's. "I don't mean to be a bother or anything, but I am really hungry."
"Oh, I'm sorry. I completely forgot about breakfast," Remus said, smiling apologetically. That action felt terribly strained. "I'll see if I can prepare something."
Harry blushed. "No, that's all right. Don't go out of your way… just something instant would be fine…"
"It's okay," Remus said, reassuringly. "Sirius will be down in a moment and we should eat."
Harry smiled weakly in response, awkwardly twisting his shirt sleeve.
It hurt to see the boy look like so oblivious and… well, naïve. Just by watching Harry, Remus would have never guessed that there were such scars on him, hidden just beneath his sleeves. And the abrupt manner he switched conversation from the nightmarish truth of himself to something so innocent… Harry just seemed so alive. There was something bolder about him, more curious and more outspoken. And yet… he must have been hurt so terribly.
But Remus wasn't sure if he could ask Harry about his scars again, or if he would even believe Harry if he were to answer. Harry had become so unfamiliar… perhaps another visit to St. MaryAnn's was in order, this time to retrieve Harry's files.
He needed to speak to Albus soon. Though, Remus wondered, did the Headmaster already suspect? There was so much Albus knew but never said, and Remus did not doubt that Harry's sufferings were most likely one of them.
Remus watched as Harry shuffled about in place, gingerly favoring his right leg. So many unexplainable things happened a year ago, unimaginable things … how did Harry even survive?
James desperately wished that there was somewhere he could escape to. Perhaps behind a tapestry or a divan, or maybe in a brightly lit closest-confined—dark places made him jittery, though James resolutely decided he would never tell anyone about that silly and childish phobia—,somewhere, anywhere that would get him far away from Remus Lupin and just hide.
The way that Remus had stared at him, with that intense look of thinly veiled pity, regret, and pain… James just wanted to crumple. None of his professors, the ones he could remember anyway, stared at him like that. There had been many, many times when he had accidentally pulled up a sleeve or tugged back a collar, but no one had ever said anything. There were discrete glances here and there, but nothing like Remus' barely controlled panic, and… those questions…
'What happened to your arm? It wasn't an animal bite!'
…James had never felt so embarrassed.
Remus had stared at those scars with such a horrified look, as though they were sprouting blood and killing him at that instant. And Remus hadn't even seen the area above his right elbow, or his torso, or his back… oh no, I think I'm going to start wearing two shirts…
James made the decision that he was going to avoid Remus Lupin for as long as humanly possible. The likelihood of that didn't seem rather bright, considering he was stuck under the same roof as him—but for how long though? Was this manor his?—for an uncertain amount of time, but James wasn't sure if he could sit in the same room as Remus without that self-conscious itch.
"Here's a set of clothing," Remus' voice came off somewhere to his right, and James had to turn completely to see him—oh no, my blind eye, does he suspect that? But Remus seemed too focus on James' hands as he handed him the folded clothing. "There's a bathroom in your room that you can change in. Breakfast will be ready in a moment."
"Thank you." James tried to ignore the strained smile that Remus gave him as he fled upstairs.
My room? James wondered as he retraced his path through the corridors. Is this going to become my home? He examined the blackened cherry-wood walls-all bare, though there were outlines of removed paintings-as he passed, a far cry from the whitewashed, finger-paint decorated surroundings of St. MaryAnn's. He shuddered. It's such a gloomy place… what's the library like? I'll bet it's huge.
He had reached his room without realizing it—it felt odd, calling it that, when he had lived sharing everything ever since he could remember—and distractedly, James tugged open the door. There was a human shape leaning against the bed. James nearly ducked back into the hallway in surprise. He had completely forgotten about that dark-haired stranger—Sirius, didn't Remus mention someone by the name of Sirius?—beside the four-poster. James stared nervously at the man by the doorway, frightened of making a sound. But Sirius was still lightly dozing and, drawing a deep breath, James quickly darted around him and made a beeline to the bathroom. Clicking the door shut softly behind him, James fell against the wall and melted to the floor.
He did not want another confrontation. That conversation with Remus Lupin had been terribly awkward—a gross understatement, James mused, but Remus was entitled to some uneasiness as he was speaking to an allegedly dead person who somehow reappeared without his memory and his reactions weren't much better—and James had a bad feeling that the a conversation with the volatile stranger was going to be something short of painful.
James was suddenly very reluctant to leave the bathroom at all. But what was the point of running now? He was in someone else's home, St. MaryAnn's was never suppose to be his home, he wasn't suppose to be lost and he wasn't suppose to be James. His name was Harry and he had a defense professor named Remus and he had lived for fourteen years as another person. James couldn't even begin to imagine what he had been like as Harry. It felt too strange to even consider, and he wasn't sure if he wanted to learn more. What if I turn out to be a really awful person? What if Harry's nothing like me at all? What if I stop being me? But he had fallen in the midst of it all and it was impossible to ignore his past now. He was going to get his life back, but James didn't know what to do with it.
James buried his face in his hands and groaned aloud. Why is this happening? How did my life become like this? Everything had been so simple until yesterday morning
Maybe he was in the adjustment period? Looking back, he recalled all too clearly the first few days in the children's home, and how he hated and despised it. He had still been confined to a wheelchair then, and during the mornings when he'd spend nearly an hour just trying to drag himself out of bed, no one would help him. It was like he hadn't existed—everyone walked around him, not meeting his eyes, as if he were some decoration on the wall that was too ugly to look at. He had almost wished he was at the hospital again; anything was better than St. MaryAnn's. Every single day, he wished that someone would come and take him away. But then he met Angela, then Eric, then Will and learned all the quirks to their strange personalities. Gradually, James realized that people didn't watch himself because they feared they would embarrass him, and everyone was really kind and they did like him, St. MaryAnn's became his home. It hadn't happened all at once, but it had happened. And maybe given time, he'd grow to accept everything…
With an inward sigh, James dragged himself to his feet. There was no mirror in the bathroom, just a cream-colored expanse of wall. He realized he was shaking slightly, and in an effort to calm himself, he drew a deep breath and tried to tell himself that everything would be okay if only he would stop panicking.
"I'm just being stubborn," James whispered quietly. "They don't mean me any harm. That kidnapping was just a misunderstanding. They mean to help me. Besides, they knew me before."
But thinking of his past made him think about something else entirely, something important that egged him continuously in the last year that he should have thought to ask Remus…
Who's my family?
He had been so tormented by just that thought those days in the hospital. St. MaryAnn's dispelled any fantasies he held about it, but though James steadily stopped hoping, he still wanted to know…
He must have had family, if there were searches done for him. But oddly enough, Remus never once mentioned anything even hinting at his relatives. And even stranger, when he had awoken, it had not been a relative but a former teacher who had first spoken with him. Maybe he was an orphan, but no… there was that dark-haired fugitive by the name of Sirius…
Sirius Black? a rather sadistic part of his mind piped up. James grimaced, not wanting to be reminded of that disastrous assignment. With only four articles written over a fourteen year period, he had to resort to wild speculation and ended up concluding that Sirius Black did not exist at all and was actually an extraterrestrial entity that crashed into Misgrave Avenue which triggered a government cover-up. Ouch, his poor ninety-six percentile crashed and burned as a result. But Sirius was such a strange name…
James' stomach suddenly gave a nauseating wrench. Gosh, what if he's my dad?
That was an unsettling thought: His dad kidnapped him. His dad chased him down a hallway. And oh no, even worse, he thought his dad was mentally unstable! James buried his face in his hands. This was awful, unspeakably awful…
Well, I wouldn't know if he is my dad or not unless I asked, would I? James reprimanded himself.
Squaring his shoulders determinedly, James switched on the tap and splashed his face with cold water. Changing quickly-thank gods the shirt was black and long sleeved, or Remus would be panicking over the acquired skull tattoo on his back-, James took extra care to button the cuffs of his sleeves over his thumb and attempted to flatten his idiosyncratic hair with water. Then he took two steps to the door when his borrowed pants slipped past his hips and nearly tripped him.
"Oh bugger!" James slammed his hands against the door to keep himself from falling into it.
With a frustrated sigh, James glared at the pair of jeans and wondered whose pants he had borrowed. Lengthwise, they were very long—Remus' perhaps? He is rather tall—and they were about seven inches too wide at the waist and James had to resort to tying it up with a length of twine he dug up in a cupboard. The concluding result still looked rather precarious and, deciding that he'd rather not repeat another display of the earlier episode, James fitted makeshift suspenders.
He was rather glad the bathroom had no mirrors after that. He must have looked rather ridiculous; he definitely felt ridiculous anyway. With a resigned sigh and a shrug, James slowly opened the door and peeked into the room.
He could only see the fugitive's back. He was still leaning against the four-poster, his head slumped against arm and his neck slanted in a very painful angle. It didn't seem as though he had moved. Quietly, James tiptoed into the room-nearly tripping over a rug and falling all over again-and hesitated beside the stranger. He seemed exhausted and James was reluctant to disturb him. Unable to quench his curiosity— is he my dad? Do I look like him? Is that why his face looked familiar?—James leaned over and peeked up at the fugitive's face.
A pair of ghostly blue eyes stared back.
Nearly yelping aloud in surprise, James jumped and backed away. The stranger stood up sharply, grimacing when his back protested. Yet his eyes never strayed from James' face. There was a frozen look of something in them that frightened James with their intensity. All he could do was stare back.
"I… I didn't know you were awake," James stuttered out nervously. Unconsciously, he had gone back to twisting the cuffs of his sleeves. "I'm sorry if I disturbed you."
Sirius wasn't blinking. It was like his words had drifted past him, and Sirius continued staring as if he were the only thing that existed. James was unnerved. There was something truly terrifying about Sirius' eyes. They were pale and empty, as if someone had dug two holes in him and there was nothing left to fill them up. They were the eyes of someone who had lost too much and had been hurt too much, and there wasn't anything left to take away anymore.
James fell still, suddenly feeling very much dwarfed by the stranger.
"I—" James broke off when Sirius took a jerky step forward.
He lifted his hand, slowly, as if it was made of lead and he didn't know how to use it, and pressed his fingers against James' forehead. James stiffened. Sirius opened his mouth but no words came out and, very lightly as if he feared James were only a flimsy image that could shatter, he trailed his fingers over that jagged scar then down the side of his face, lingering over his cheek.
James was almost afraid to move. There was a glazed and pained look in Sirius' face that cut him to the core.
James swallowed, his throat dry. "What…?"
Sirius jerked back as if burned and sank heavily onto the bed. It was like something within him had crumpled, and he suddenly caved in on himself. Sirius turned away and buried his face in his hands, breathing hard. His shoulders were trembling.
As he watched, James suddenly felt very out of place, then. Without any idea of what to say or how to respond, the urge to escape returned twice as strong. He had seen his share of emotional children, but well… Sirius was an adult bordering on a mental breakdown… what could he say?
Cautiously, James took a few steps closer and hovered hesitantly beside Sirius' shoulder. "Umm… are you okay?"
Sirius flinched and, stiffly, he lifted his head and stared at James again. His eyes were filling with an unidentifiable emotion and he awkwardly reached forward. In an instant, James found himself caught in a desperate embrace. James stumbled, completely thrown off balance. The arm around his ribs was suffocatingly tight. A trembling hand was on the back of his head, burying his face against Sirius' shoulder and James could see nothing but the black fabric of Sirius' shirt.
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I should have kept looking but I didn't," Sirius' voice was strained and hoarse, whispering a torrent of words into his hair, "I thought you were dead for so long. I'm so glad you're alive, so glad you're okay. I'm so glad…"
James quickly decided that asking who Sirius was was a bad idea.
Timidly, he gave Sirius' arm a reassuring pat, unsure of what else to do or say. "Everything's okay, don't worry," he told Sirius reassuringly, and wincing when he realized how strange that must have sounded to an adult. "I'm fine."
Gods, he was never ever letting Sirius see those scars. Not when the man seemed so tormented already …
Sirius drew a sharp breath and pulled away, though he never fully released his hold on James' shoulder. "You…" he breathed, searching James' face with something akin to wonder, "changed. You look even more like your father now."
James blinked, completely bewildered as to how he should respond. "Oh," was all he could manage. Sirius is not my dad then, James noted with some confusion. Who is he to me?
His expression faltered slightly as he watched him, and his hand tightened on James' arm. "Do you really… not remember?"
James bit his lip, "No."
Sirius' hand fell from his shoulder and he drew in on himself again, clutching his hands in his lap tightly. They were shaking slightly and James suddenly wished he had lied, just to take some pain off of the stranger's face. Cautiously, he moved to sit beside Sirius, keeping a respectable distance, and mimicked his position with slouched shoulders and folded hands.
"It's alright though," James assured him. "I… have strange dreams that are sort of familiar, like memories…" oh gosh, why am I lying? "Sort of," James added.
James mentally backpedaled after that admission, suddenly wishing he could take those words back. His dreams were rarely anything like memories; they were fantastic scenes from storybooks. But Sirius seemed so defeated, and James felt so guilty that it was because of him… James wished he could take that emptiness out of Sirius' eyes.
"You had to remember something," Sirius said with frightening conviction, "if you named yourself James."
"Was he someone I knew?" James asked, surprised. For a moment, a genuine curiosity flared in his chest. He'd never considered that.
Sirius flinched. "He was your father…" at once, his eyes took on that hollow, distant look again.
Was…? My dad is dead then…
"Oh," James whispered.
What was he suppose to feel from that? James wondered. To feel so detached when suddenly learning that his father was dead should not be normal, but he had never met him, or at least couldn't remember. James had never known what having a father was like, and never really craved it. He had lived in an orphanage for so long…
Perhaps my mom is dead too. That's why Remus never mentioned any family… perhaps I am an orphan.
He scratched at the twine on the pair of borrowed pants listlessly. Ever since he could remember, he had heard all the whispering about 'that boy in room 203' abandoned and unwanted. That stopped bothering him after a while—you live for yourself, forget what everyone else says, Will had always told him, if you can't do that, you must be a very worthless person—, but to know that his parents had died rather than thrown him away… James was so ashamed to realize he actually felt relieved.
James wrung his sleeves until his fingers were white.
"Are we related?" James asked suddenly. "Are you my cousin? Uncle?"
"I'm your… I'm your godfather," Sirius said, hoarsely.
James wasn't quite sure what he felt about that. James had always considered the role of godfather more of an honorary title than actual applied duty, but Sirius seemed too much disturbed by this entire situation to just be an acquaintance. I must have been someone very important to him… James bit his lip, sneaking another peek at the stranger and quickly glanced away. Sirius was watching him fixedly—not like discreet, cautious manner Remus watched at him, but outright staring at James as if he were trying to pierce through him. James squirmed.
"Are you Sirius? Mr. Lupin mentioned…"
Sirius drew back as if slapped and James fell silent, alarmed.
"Yes," Sirius whispered stiffly.
"You have a really neat name," James noted with a nervous smile. That was an idle comment, but he really wanted to fill up the silence. "You know, the Ancient Egyptians considered represented their pharaohs as the star Sirius. When they died, the Egyptians aligned the pyramid to that star so their spirits could fly directly up to the heavens."
Sirius blinked, looking slightly unsure of how to respond. "Oh."
"Both you and Mr. Lupin have such interesting names," James mused. He was feeling very strange rambling like this, but anything was better than just quiet. "And I'm stuck with… Harry. It sounds like a spider. Like a hairy spider."
Sirius was staring at him again, and… was that amusement in his eyes? "You were named after your great grandfather," Sirius whispered.
Oh. Naming children after relatives sounded like a rich family's tradition, though… thinking of great grandfathers made James think of family, and that stirred another question that James had never considered before.
"What's going to happen to me now? I mean, after St. MaryAnn's…" James gestured weakly, then remembered the previous accident with that and quickly tucked his arm against his side again.
"You're staying with me," said Sirius firmly, but his expression fell and he glanced at James with uncharacteristic nervousness. "If you want to. Do you…?" he trailed off into silence.
Do I? James wondered. St. MaryAnn's was his home, the only home that he knew and he was being offered a home by a stranger he hadn't known for more than a day… but how could he refuse? Sirius obviously cared very much for him, and he must have too, before his memory was lost. He couldn't throw that kindness back in Sirius' face like that, not when Sirius looked as though he had nothing good left in his life anymore.
"Okay…" James whispered, edgily. Sirius responded with a brilliant smile that lit up his eyes, but James couldn't quite bring himself to smile back.
Once upon a time, there was a silly girl who decided she should start writing a weird story about a boy losing his memory and while she was writing, she rather inadvertently made some people slightly insane. So when she went off to amend that, she accidentally made them even more insane. As she tried to straighten out the technicalities of insanity, she went off to read her human behavior textbook to figure out how exactly to deal with insane people but then her mind wandered and went off to Candyland and gingerbread men began eating one another and chocolate frogs began breeding and a blood pop grew a mouth and ate the silly girl's brain.
She went back to working on the story without it. But it was long and hard and took her eleven drafts of the first scene to finally give up and stick with a combination of the eleventh and sixth attempt. In the end, it was still unsatisfactory but she was too cheap to go buy another brain. They were too costly to rent out and her krispy kreme donut muse was devoured by the insane people and nothing would go right for the silly girl and she resorted to tearing out her hair and crying bloody murder and venting her anger out on unfortunate people in her rewrite version of Clawtracks of a Star and made it even more bloody and cackled evilly and got arrested for noise pollution and got beat up in jail and other unspeakable misfortunes befell her.
In other words: sorry this took so long. My brain was eaten.
This chapter turned out slightly… ack *beats head* no self bashing bashing, ack ack ack. But anyway, James grows to be more tolerant, Remus makes a frightening discovery, and Sirius… well, he didn't seem as insane as before. Or at least, I tried to make him less insane. I was terrified of the eventual James and Sirius confrontation and wanted to delay it to chapter 12, until I realized that scene was what was holding up the entire story. Well, hope the result was satisfactory.
The last paragraph of James' journal is... weird. I'm sorry. I was trying to have James indirectly, and unknowingly, joke about Voldemort, though it's much too indirect to make much sense. Ack.
Umm… questions in the previous reviews will be answered on ACKisms. Pieces of various stories will be posted there as well.
Christy drew more amazing fanarts! Images from Of Snow, Clawtracks of a Star, Half of Dueling Range… go see! She's a wonderful artist. The links to the pictures are on the profile.