"Harry, wake up…"
"It's me, Harry. Come out from under the covers."
Harry opened his eyes blearily and was met with the sight of covers. His body was covered in sweat for the intense heat that came for sleeping under the blankets, but he didn't care. That didn't matter. What did matter were the burns that stung every time he moved. And that voice that kept talking to him and telling him to wake up. His mind was fuzzy and he couldn't place the voice. This scared him. What if it was Voldemort come to torture him again?
Whoever it was placed a hand on the covers and Harry whimpered when they hit his burns. "Harry, please. I want to talk to you."
Harry shook his head under the blankets. He didn't want to talk to anyone. He hurt all over and just wanted to be alone. "Harry, it's me, Sirius. Come out from under the blankets."
Harry's eyes widened. "Sirius?" he rasped, daring to lift the covers a bit and peek out. He saw his godfather's concerned face and removed his head from under the covers.
"Yes, Harry. Everything's okay now. I'm here to take care of you." Harry nearly cried in happiness. Sirius was here. Sirius would make everything better. He tried to get up using his arms for support but he was too weak. His arms gave out and he landed hard back on the bed, tears springing to his eyes as the pain flared up again. "Just stay still, Harry." Sirius moved to remove the rest of the covers from Harry's body and Harry curled up in a ball, shaking his head violently. He was still naked.
Sirius's eyes looked sad. He reached behind him and grabbed a pair of boxers and pajama bottoms that were on the next bed. He held these out to Harry. "I suppose this is the reason Dumbledore gave me these." He placed these next to Harry on the bed. Harry grabbed the clothes and slowly put them on shakily under the covers. When he was done, he allowed Sirius to pull the covers off of him. Sirius's face went pale. His fingers shakily traced the letters on Harry's stomach.
"Did Voldemort write this?" He asked, his voice scared. Harry nodded. "Oh…" Sirius paused and Harry swore he saw tears in his godfather's eyes. Sirius cleared his throat. "Do you want to talk about it?" Harry shook his head hurriedly. He didn't want to even think about what had happened.
"Alright…" Sirius paused. "I was ordered by Madame Pomfrey to try and heal your injuries when you woke up. She wanted to, of course, but Dumbledore thought it would be better if I was here instead. Just lie still." He grabbed a container from the bedside table with shaking hands. When opened it revealed a smelly gel. Sirius put some of this on his fingers and spread it on Harry's burns. Harry flinched slightly. "Dumbledore told me how Voldemort managed to get into Hogwarts."
This perked Harry's interest. He had been wondering how Voldemort had managed to accomplish that. "How?" he managed to whisper.
Sirius sighed. "It was a flaw in our defenses. The wards prevent those who contain either dark magic or a dark mark from entering the grounds. They scan each person and check them for signs of this. There is one person who has an exception to this, though, because he is continually around Dark Magic. The wards are set to recognize him and let him enter." Sirius placed the container back on the table and grabbed a cloth which he soaked with a bright green potion. He gently turned Harry over and rubbed this on his back. "Voldemort possessed Severus Snape to get into Hogwarts. The wards saw Snape and let him through. Voldemort was able to enter and come to you. Dumbledore never thought this would happen since Snape isn't one to be easily possessed. But Voldemort somehow managed it. Snape wasn't too happy about it. The wards have been fixed, of course. It shouldn't be able to happen again."
Sirius fell silent after that. Even though Sirius said Voldemort wouldn't be able to come back, Harry knew that he would. If the Dark Lord had gotten in once had would get in again. Voldemort had promised. Harry knew that Voldemort was going to keep that promise. "He's…going to…come back." He croaked.
Sirius shook his head. "No, Harry. I'll be here. Voldemort won't be able to get anywhere near you. You'll be safe." He put down the rag. "Come here, Harry." Sirius helped Harry into his lap. Sirius laid Harry's head on his shoulder and wrapped his arms around his godson. The gels and potions had numbed Harry's burns and he happily hugged back. Sirius stroked Harry's hair gently. Harry felt water on his neck and realized Sirius was crying.
"What's…wrong…Sirius?" He tried to look up into his godfather's face but Sirius still held him there.
Sirius hugged Harry even tighter. "I know what I horcrux is, Harry." There was a sadness in his voice that Harry had never heard before from his godfather.
Sirius didn't say anything for a while and just held Harry close to him. "My brother Regulus came to me once, ranting and raving about them. He told me that Voldemort had some and that is what was keeping him alive. I asked what a horcrux was and he told me." A few more tears leaked from the older man's eyes. "Voldemort is trying to keep you alive because…because the truth, Harry, is that you…" But before Sirius could finish the doors to the hospital wing were opened and Dumbledore entered. He looked up as Dumbledore strode towards them, a bright smile on his face.
Sirius unwrapped his arms from around Harry and gently placed him back on the bed, angry at the interruption. "Harry! I see that Sirius has taken good care of you. Excellent. Your friends have been pestering me to no end about seeing you. Shall I let them in?"
Sort of reluctantly Harry nodded. He was annoyed at Dumbledore. He had been mere seconds away from learning about what Voldemort kept calling him. Although, he did want to see his friends. "Great!" Dumbledore clapped his hands together. "They should be arriving any minute. But first, Sirius, may I talk to you out in the hall?"
Sirius glanced at Harry then back at Dumbledore. "Only for a little bit. I don't want to leave Harry alone."
"He won't be alone. Alastor and Kingsley are just outside. Nobody will come in unless I let them in first. There are wards around the door. Let your mind rest, Sirius. Now come." He motioned for Sirius to follow. Grudgingly, Sirius stood and followed Dumbledore. "Oh, and Harry? A few of the students left you some get well presents. You did give them a bit of a fright." Then they left, closing the door behind them.
Harry looked to his other side and saw an enormous amount of Honeydukes candy. He dove into it immediately. Many students left notes, each saying they hoped he got better. Although still a few thought it was all a stunt pulled to get them to believe that the Dark Lord was back and that he was clearly an attention seeking prat. Harry ignored these and just dug in, eating all the candy he could. How long had it been since he had last eaten? Surely forever.
Harry was tearing into his third dark chocolate bar when he felt it. It was like a presence in his mind. Suddenly the chocolate dropped from his hand. "Enjoying yourself, little horcrux?" Harry looked wildly around, trying to see where Voldemort was. Voldemort chuckled. "I'm in your mind, Harry. Dumbledore can't protect you from your own mind."
Harry was now officially freaked. He opened his mouth to yell for help and found he couldn't make a sound. "They don't need to know, Harry. It's just you and me." Harry shuddered as he felt as if hands were touching him. "You're driving me crazy, little horcrux. I can't stop thinking about you. All I want to do is torture you and cut this soft, soft skin." There was a slight burning feeling and red hand marks appeared on his chest. "Your screams keep echoing in my head. I cannot wait till you are with me. I'm so close, Harry. Oh so close. You'll be mine, Harry. All mine." The invisible hands slid down his stomach to his hips. "I'll be free to torture you whenever I please. Doesn't that sound wonderful?"
Harry tried to get up out of bed but some force slammed him back down. "I wasn't done talking." Voldemort growled. A horrible pain attacked Harry's body and he let out a silent scream. "You're so beautiful when you scream, Harry." Voldemort purred while increasing the pain. Harry arched his back clear off the bed, his head thrown back in silent agony. An excruciating pain ran through Harry's body making tears pour down his face. The invisible hands roved over his chest and stomach, occasionally slipping down to his pant-clad legs. "So very beautiful…"
Yelling was heard from outside the hospital wing. His pain filled mind processed that it was Sirius who was yelling. Sirius could help him. He needed his godfather. "Sirius…" he moaned before his voice was again taken away. That one word made Voldemort increase the pain tenfold. "You're so very disobedient." Voldemort hissed. The hurt was so terrible Harry thought he would die. Suddenly, the pain stopped. "I would love to stay longer, Harry, but your friends are coming. You're not going to tell anyone about this, are you?" A lightning bolt of pain shot through Harry's mind as a warning. He quickly shook his head. "Good boy." The invisible hands disappeared. "I believe the next time I visit you it will be to take you away. Dumbledore's been taking good care of my little horcrux I assume. He will keep you safe for me, hmmm?" The shouting became louder and Harry could make out what was being said. "He deserves to know, Dumbledore! How can you keep him in the dark like this?" Sirius yelled.
Voldemort chuckled. "You still don't know what a horcrux is, Harry, do you?" Harry said nothing. "I could tell you, Harry. All you have to do is call me Master. I so loved it the first time you did." Harry shook his head defiantly. No way would he ever call Voldemort Master again. Voldemort sighed. "You will call me Master soon enough, Harry. Willing or not." Footsteps were heard. "I must go. I will be back soon, little horcrux. I promise you."
The presence left as fast as it had come. Just in time too since that was the moment Sirius came in, mumbling obscenities under his breath. Harry quickly pulled the covers up to his chin to hide the handprints on his chest from his godfather. Sirius took his seat again by Harry's side. Harry was hoping Sirius would continue where he left off but Sirius only grumbled and shook his head, taking Harry's hand and squeezing it. Harry wanted to tell Sirius what happened so badly, but he knew Voldemort would punish him if he did. The Dark Lord didn't go back on his promises.
Not long after Ron, Hermione, Fred, George, Ginny, and Neville came in. They circled his bed and all began talking at the same time, asking him if he was alright and what had happened. There wasn't even a chance to talk. So he just laid back and tried to answer all their questions as best he could and, when he couldn't, allowed Sirius to do so. He was so tired but he smiled all the same when Ron humored him with a story of how Dean and Seamus had screwed up so bad on their potion that when Snape came over to check it the potion exploded and made Snape's hair turn purple. And he congratulated Fred and George on the pranks they had managed to pull.
"And Mum's so worried about you." Ginny said. "She couldn't make it but except her soon. She was on the verge of killing Dumbledore for sending you back to your aunt and uncle's. Actually, Dumbledore's getting a lot of heat from everybody, isn't he, Sirius?"
Sirius nodded. "Dumbledore needs to get his priorities straight." He mumbled.
"Sirius!" Hermione exclaimed. "You can't possibly think this was in anyway Dumbledore's fault?"
Sirius's eyes became angry. "If Dumbledore would have let Harry stay with me none of this would have happened! It doesn't matter if I'm on the run or not! I can take ten times better care of Harry then those stupid muggles!"
"Sirius…" Harry squeezed Sirius's hand, trying to calm his godfather. Sirius looked down at him and the anger faded. Sirius remained silent as Harry's friends continued talking. A whole three hours passed filled with laughing and talking. Harry shared his candy with his friends, and Fred and George brought their own weird concoctions everyone tried except for Harry who didn't think he could stomach them at the moment.
Dumbledore came in a bit later and told the students that they needed to get back to class. They all stood and said their goodbyes. Hermione paused before she left. "Are you sure you're alright, Harry?" She asked. No, Harry wasn't alright. He still hurt everywhere and mentally he wasn't doing so well either. But he didn't tell her this. He gave her a fake smile and said he was fine. Hermione gave him a small hug and left with the others.
Dumbledore shot Sirius a look. "Do you want to stay, Sirius?"
"Yes," Sirius growled. "Yes, I do." He scooted closer to Harry.
"You remember our conversation?"
"I won't tell him, okay?" Sirius yelled. "Happy now?" Dumbledore nodded and shut the doors, leaving them alone. Before Harry could protest, Sirius ripped the covers off Harry's chest to reveal the bright red hand marks on his chest. He sighed. "Where you planning to tell me about this, Harry?"
"How…how did you know?" He tried to cover the marks back up again because he hated looking at them but Sirius stopped him.
"I've had to hide enough injuries to know how it's done. Did Voldemort do this?" Sirius searched his eyes. Harry said nothing and looked away. "Harry, tell me what happened."
"I can't. He'll punish me if I do."
"Harry, look at me." Harry did. Sirius looked straight into his eyes. "While I am here no one will ever hurt you. I will protect you. Do you believe me, Harry?"
"Yes…" Harry whispered. "But how can you stop him from getting into my mind? That's how he did this." He pointed to his chest. "He can hurt me in my head."
Sirius reached into his pocket and pulled out a small vial. "Snape gave me this. He said it would prevent Voldemort from being able to enter your mind for a bit. It pains me to say it but I trust him on this one. Do you want it?"
Harry was going to nod that yes he did, but suddenly his whole body seized up. He was instantly doused in fear. It couldn't be Voldemort. Voldemort had already visited him today. But maybe Voldemort had found out that Sirius knew. Maybe he was going to keep his promise.
Sirius must have seen the fear in his eyes. "Harry, what's wrong?" He asked, leaning forward worriedly.
And then the pain hit him. A horribly evil creature was wrapping around him, squeezing the life out of him and spreading pain throughout his very being. Fire was burning him and knifes were stabbing him. But he didn't scream. This was because he was no longer in control of his body. Voldemort was. When he was forced to look up at Sirius his eyes were blood red and he had an evil smirk on his face. He sat up and chuckled. Sirius's eyes went wide and he got out of his seat, dropping Harry's hand. "Don't you want to hug your godson, Black? Don't you want to protect him from me?"
Harry tried to fight Voldemort, but when he did the pain only increased. Tears fell from his eyes. Voldemort lifted his hand and touched the tears. He smiled. "Am I causing you pain, Harry?" He seemed delighted at the very idea of it.
Sirius finally regained himself and growled. "Get out of Harry. You've already hurt him once today."
"But Harry told you about our little encounter earlier today. I told him not to. I told him he would be punished. I don't think you could even imagine the pain he is in right now. It's amazing." The creature wrapped even tighter around Harry and he found he couldn't breathe.
"Stop it now!" Sirius yelled, an angry fire filling his eyes.
Voldemort made Harry shake his head from side to side. "No, Black. I will not stop. Harry is all mine and I will do to him as I please." He used a hand to touch Harry's face. "I will never stop torturing Harry. His pain is much too addictive."
This made Sirius snap. "Leave my godson the hell alone!" Sirius demanded, and then his hand shot out and grabbed Harry's face. Voldemort hissed angrily and grabbed Sirius's arm, trying to push it away. But Sirius was stronger than Harry and he forced his mouth open, pulled the cork out of the vial with his teeth, and poured it down Harry's throat.
Harry instantly felt release from the terrible pain. Voldemort had disappeared. Harry fell down against the bed, shaking and unable to stop. Voldemort had possessed him. Actually possessed him. He hadn't ever really considered the idea. Oh god it had hurt. The pain had been unbearable.
Sirius leaned forward hesitantly. "Is he gone, Harry?" Harry nodded shakily.
Sirius got up and went around to the other side of the bed. He sat down and put his legs up on the bed. Harry crawled over to him and placed his head on Sirius's lap, a few tears leaking from his eyes. Sirius rubbed Harry's back gently. "He won't hurt you again, Harry." Sirius took the covers and placed them on Harry. Harry curled upon himself and hugged Sirius's legs.
He wanted to be strong and show Sirius that he was brave, that he could take all the pain and suck it up. But the reality was that he couldn't take all the pain. The reality was that he couldn't keep Voldemort out of his mind, and he wasn't strong. He was weak and pitiful. He relied on his godfather to protect him. "I'm so stupid…" he muttered, tears falling freely down his face.
"No, Harry." Sirius wiped the tears away. "I've seen braver men than you crack under less. I'm proud of you, Harry. You are still alive, still going. I know I wouldn't have been able to."
These words comforted Harry. He knew he would be fine as long as Sirius wasn't disappointed in him everything would be okay. As long as Sirius was proud of him nothing else mattered. "You want to hear a story, Harry?" This sort of surprised Harry, but he nodded. A story would be nice. "It's a story about how I used to be as brave as you. And what I did can barely add up to what you have done."
"Tell me…" Harry had always wanted to know about Sirius's childhood.
Sirius smiled. "Alright, Harry, alright. I suppose its starts with a harmless game of hide-and-seek."
Harry smiled as well and snuggled in for a good story. He felt so very safe with Sirius. Voldemort couldn't hurt him now. Not while he was here. Not while he was with his godfather. And definitely not when he was about to hear an exciting story. Even Voldemort couldn't be as evil as to ruin this happy, wonderful moment…
Another chapter! Yay! I finally got it done. Sorry if it's taking a while for updates. First, I have to try and update five stories. Second, I have a whole boatload of homework. Anyway, please review. And I'm not going to say any names, but one person's review went something like this, "Nice." If that is all you have to say, don't review. That does not help me in the slightest. Hope you enjoy the chapter. Not as much torture as the pervious two but the next chapter will have more. Also, chapter 10 in my story Snakelike Evil will have some torture in it. I know, I know, I horribly evil. Whatever:) Again, review!