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It had been a few days since Snape's outburst at Harry in his class, and Harry was no longer worried about any type of consequences that may develop due to the fact that Snape knew about his and Lupin's friendship. However, Hermione thought it would be a good idea for Harry to tell Lupin about what Snape had said to him, and after protests of not wanting to sound like he was completely incapable of taking any type of criticism and looking weak, Harry finally agreed to talk to Lupin about it, just to make Hermione stop talking about it. But there was something that was bothering him still. Sirius Black. Sirius Black and why Dumbledore had failed to tell him about him.
"Did you talk to Lupin yet?" Hermione asked as Harry entered the common room and sat next to her and Ron on the couch.
Harry shrugged. "About what?" Of course he knew what Hermione was referring to, but he decided to pretend he didn't.
Hermione stared at him and Ron chuckled. "What do you mean? Snape of course. Snape and how mean he is to you!"
"Oh right that." Harry said looking at Ron and smiling at him. "Well Lupin's been really busy." Harry tried to explain. "I didn't want to bother him. He must have a lot going on and stuff."
Hermione sighed. "Harry. He cares about you. He really, really, really cares about you. Believe me, it's obvious that he wouldn't mind talking to you. He would probably love it. I mean, you guys haven't really talked since you found out he was your parents' friend, right?"
Harry nodded. That was true. He and Lupin had talked in class obviously, and they had said their good mornings and good nights to one another at breakfast and dinner when they saw each other, but Harry had not yet had another private conversation with him. Harry really wanted to, he did, but he didn't want Lupin to get in trouble, and he didn't want to burden him when it seemed as if he had a lot going on. The last few days Lupin had been looking even sicker than usual, and the dark circles under his eyes were becoming yet darker. Harry thought there was also some more gray in his hair. But then Harry thought about how Lupin said he would love for him to come visit and talk with him, and he decided he'd visit him later that night.
"Your right. I think I'll go see him this evening." Harry said with a grin. "He just seems so tired all the time."
"Well, I'm sure a visit from you would really make him happy, Harry." Hermione said. "And, you can talk to him about Snape and how rude he is to you. Maybe he can do something about it."
Harry smirked. "That's not his problem, Hermione. And besides. If I go to Lupin and complain about Snape, then that only proves Snape's point, doesn't it. I don't want to give him that satisfaction."
Ron nodded. "Makes sense to me." Hermione just glared at him as if he had said something gross.
"And besides," Harry said, "I learned a while ago that Snape's rude and to not expect anything less than abuse from him. It really doesn't bother me that much anymore."
Ron nodded. "I agree." He said with a smirk. "Snape's terrible to everyone. Trying to fix it would only make it worse."
Hermione sighed in reluctance but finally said. "Alright."
Harry thought for a moment about how he had been thinking about Sirius Black and why Dumbledore had not told him about the motives behind his escape. Ron, sensing that Harry was definitely thinking about something else said, "What are you thinking?"
Harry looked up quickly. He shouldn't have been surprised by Ron's ability to know when something was bothering him. After all they had been friends for two years and Ron had become pretty good at that sort of stuff.
"I just . . ." Harry paused for a second, and then decided to tell them. They were his best friends. "I was just thinking about Sirius and Dumbledore, and why he didn't tell me."
Ron pursed his lips together and Hermione frowned. "Harry, we've already been over this" she said softly.
Harry shook his head. "I know. But, it still . . .I just feel . . .there's something that he isn't telling me. There's something that he doesn't want me to know."
"Maybe he didn't tell you that Black escaped for you, because he didn't want you to know. He didn't want you to worry." Ron shrugged.
Harry shook his head. "I don't think so. I mean, maybe, but, I still think there's something else." For some reason Harry felt like Dumbledore was hiding something from him. He couldn't explain it, but he felt as if Dumbledore wasn't telling him everything he should know.
Hermione nodded. "Well, if you feel like that then maybe you should talk to Dumbledore."
Harry cocked his head. "Yea, maybe." He looked to Ron and Hermione quickly. "I'm going to go then. Talk to Dumbledore" He had an idea. He definitely wanted to talk to someone. But he wasn't going to go to Dumbledore's.
"Alright, Harry." Hermione smiled. "I think that's a good idea."
Ron didn't say anything but the little smile and the look he gave Harry told him that Ron knew he was going to go see Lupin. With a nod and a smile to Ron, Harry left the common room.
Last year he definitely would have gone to Dumbledore's. Dumbledore was always willing to listen to Harry, no matter how outlandish and obscene the things Harry went to talk to him about, and for a while he had been the only one that Harry could talk to about that stuff. Dumbledore was the only one who had genuinely cared for Harry, but now there was someone else too. Someone who Harry craved to know more about and develop a closer friendship. Someone who had known him since he was a baby. Someone that had known his parents. So, Harry set off for Lupin's.
He walked the flights of stairs and arrived at Lupin's room in a few minutes. He walked in and across the room and up the stairs to Lupin's office. Harry knocked a few times and waited for a response.
"Come in" Came the hoarse and calm voice of Lupin's that seemed to soothe Harry, and with a smile, Harry walked in.
"Harry," Lupin said, his eyes widening and starting to smile. He stood up from his desk and motioned toward the chairs in front of it. "How are you? Are you alright?" He asked, a sense of concern clearly present in his voice. He cocked his head to look at Harry and studied the boy with his kind and compassionate eyes.
Harry simply smiled. "Yea, I'm good. I just wanted to stop by. I hope that's alright." A few days ago Harry would have felt slightly shy dropping by and talking with Lupin. But now he felt comfortable. He felt like it was normal, and he really liked it.
"Of course" Lupin smiled and Harry sat down in the chair opposite him. Lupin sat back down and simply looked at Harry.
"Anything you want to talk about?" Lupin asked after a few seconds. Harry shrugged and bent his head, avoiding eye contact, and Lupin seemed to pick up on the idea that he was nervous and reluctant with whatever it was that he wanted to talk about.
"You can tell me anything, Harry." Lupin said in a soft and sincere voice, and the look in his eyes told Harry that he could believe him. Harry nodded.
"I know. Thank you . . .I . . .Something's been bothering me for a little while now." Harry explained and Lupin watched him.
"Since the day that Dumbledore talked with you." Harry said.
Lupin looked at him quizzically. "Okay, what about?"
"Sirius Black." Harry said softly, and Harry thought that he may have saw Lupin's eyes flicker something he had not seen in them before before he closed them tightly for a few seconds.
"What about him?" Lupin asked, his voice slightly low. He cleared his throat and Harry thought he saw whatever it was that flickered over his eyes do so again. What was it? Anger? Frustration? Sadness? Harry couldn't quite tell.
"I was just wondering . . .why . . .well," Harry thought for a second, " why did no one tell me that Sirius Black escaped from Azkaban to kill me."
Lupin's eyes widened again. "How do you know that, Harry?" Lupin asked, his voice restored to normal, the usual concern and compassionateness within his speaking. Dumbledore was right, Harry did know that Black had escaped to try to murder Harry.
Harry half smirked half sighed. "It's true isn't it?" Harry was sure that Lupin, of all people, would tell him the truth.
"Harry . . .Sirius Black is . . ." Lupin stopped, and it looked to Harry that he was trying to regain himself before continuing, and when he did, his voice was much harsher than before. "Sirius Black is a horrible, selfish, deceiving, crazy, man."
"But . . .he's after me, isn't he?" Harry asked.
Lupin sighed. "That is one of Dumbledore's theories, yes. It's no use keeping it from you now. You clearly already know, but how?"
Harry half smiled. "I well, kind of overheard Mr. and Mrs. Weasley talking about it." Harry was surprised and slightly relieved that Lupin didn't look mad that Harry had been eavesdropping on Ron's parents.
Lupin smiled and nodded a few times. "You're remarkably like your father, Harry. Sneaking around and eavesdropping" Lupin chuckled at some memory and looked back to Harry with some sort of longing and sadness. "Just like James" And Harry wasn't exactly sure who Lupin was seeing right then, thirteen year old Harry or his thirteen year old best friend James. Harry smiled anyway. He took it as a compliment.
"Thanks." Harry said softly. A new curiosity and want to ask Lupin about his parents was coming over him again. But he still wanted to know about Sirius Black and why Dumbledore hadn't told him about him.
Lupin looked to him for a few more seconds before finally breaking eyes contact. He sighed and his smile faded.
"But, the question I really wanted to ask you . . ." Harry started, "why is Sirius Black coming after me?"
Lupin looked at Harry for a few seconds. "I don't think I'm the right person to tell you that, Harry. I'm sorry." And the look on Harry's face told him that he was. Lupin thought of what Dumbledore had said and had to bite his tongue to not tell Harry the truth.
"But," Harry said suddenly feeling a little disappointed that the only person he thought would tell him the truth was not giving him any more information than he already knew, "you're the only one I can talk to. I can't even ask Dumbledore. He probably wouldn't tell me anyway." Harry muttered to himself.
"What makes you think that?" Lupin asked calmly.
"He didn't tell me about Sirius Black in the first place!" Harry explained. "Dumbledore obviously didn't think I deserved to know."
"I'm sure Dumbledore had his reasons, Harry. And they are not that you didn't deserve to know." Lupin said. Lupin looked at Harry and saw the hurt in his face. Lupin wanted to tell him the truth, he wanted to explain to Harry why everyone was keeping Sirius Black such a secret from him, but he knew that Harry would only get himself in trouble if he did. So, biting his tongue, Lupin swallowed hard.
Harry thought for a second about asking Lupin to tell him again, but thought that he might sound desperate. Lupin must have realized what Harry was thinking because he said, "Believe me Harry, I really would like to tell you. But I can promise you that when Dumbledore thinks it is right, you will know"
Harry tried to smile. "I know. But it just feels like . . .like my whole life has been nothing but a secret." Harry glanced at Lupin and saw an apologetic look in his eyes. "A secret that everyone knows but me. First, I was lied to about how and why my parents were killed. Then, I don't even know I'm a wizard. And now some murderous killer is after me, and nobody will tell me why." Harry's voice broke and he looked quickly away from Lupin.
Lupin saw tears welling in Harry's eyes but he knew Harry would be embarrassed if he did, so he pretended he didn't. Lupin watched Harry wipe his eyes quickly and then said softly. "I know you are frustrated, Harry. Believe me I know." The tone of Lupin's voice told Harry that he was speaking from experience. Harry was interested in what Lupin was about to say and looked at him.
"When your parents….." Lupin started and then cleared his throat. Lupin made himself look right into Harry's eyes and when he did it made him feel slightly better. "When your parents were killed, I had a lot of questions."
Harry didn't say anything but continued to look at Lupin, waiting for him to explain. Noticing this Lupin took a deep breath, shrugged, and said, "Nobody would tell me either. I felt like everyone was keeping secrets from me. Nobody would tell me the truth, nobody would tell me what was going on. It makes you feel so..."
"Lonely. Desperate. Deceived." Harry said quietly.
Lupin looked to Harry. "Exactly. You see, I know how your feeling, Harry. I know it sucks."
Harry smirked. "It does, doesn't it."
Lupin nodded. "Yea. I still don't know all the details of what happened to your parents and why they were killed. Nobody ever really told me. I suppose they didn't think I deserved to know." Lupin sighed and shrugged sadly. "Of course I figured a lot of it out, but it still hurts when people don't tell you things that you have a right to know."
Harry nodded. Lupin did understand him. Harry felt better about his while situation know. Maybe he didn't know about Black, but he knew he was not the only person feeling that way. Lupin was opening up to him and connecting to him. Lupin was trying to bond with him, and Harry found the idea really moving. He decided not to bother Lupin anymore with his complaints about Dumbledore and Black and instead decided to focus on his parents. He thought Lupin would like that too. But he was curious as to why nobody told Lupin why his parents were killed. Lupin was their best friend, wasn't he? Why did Lupin think that people thought he didn't deserve to know?
"But you do know some details?" Harry asked hopefully. Lupin seemed to know what Harry was thinking and smiled at him.
"Yes, Harry. And if you would like to know them, I can tell you." Lupin said.
Harry nodded. "Can you? Please."
Lupin smiled and came around from the front of his desk to sit next to Harry in the chair next to him.
"Of course, Harry." Lupin said.
Harry didn't know what to expect. He knew that his parents had been killed by Voldemort, but that was about all he knew. Nobody ever told him why. He also knew that his mother had died for him.
"I know that Voldemort killed them, but I don't know why." Harry said. Lupin placed a hand on Harry's shoulder.
"I don't know either, Harry. But I have a pretty good idea. Like you, nobody ever really tiold me. But I kind of figured it out." Lupin said. Harry nodded.
"Voldemort was trying to collect followers, Harry. And your parents, Lily and James, were some of the best witches and wizards. So, Voldemort was threatened by them."
Harry frowned. "So he killed them"
"Yea" Lupin said quickly. "But your parents fought, Harry."
Harry smiled. "My mom died for me"
Lupin smiled. "Yes, Lily sacrificed herself for you, Harry. She loved you so much. So did your dad of course, James. They both loved you so much Harry. I remember when you were a baby you're parents would rarely ever let anyone baby sit you. They were very protective of you. They only let myself and –" Lupin stopped short, his eyes turning angry.
Harry looked to Lupin slightly confused. Lupin had definitely been about to say something. Lupin cleared his throat and his face turned slightly red.
"You and who?" Harry asked.
"No one." Lupin said quickly. "It doesn't matter. An old friend of your parent's." Lupin said quickly, his cheeks still flushing.
Harry knew that Lupin did not want to talk about the subject anymore and Harry found it slightly odd, but he didn't want to anger Lupin so he dropped the subject.
Harry nodded and Lupin after clearing his throat again looked at Harry. "I know that your parents would have never submitted to Voldemort. Your parents were strong, Harry. Even when they were threatened, even when they were in danger, they still stood up for what they believed."
Harry nodded. "I bet they were pretty great people." Harry couldn't help but feel a little sad. Talking about his parents who he could not remember. Harry hoped that Lupin would tell him about them, and maybe then he too would understand.
"Lily and James were two of the most-" Lupin sighed but smiled, "amazing-" Lupin smiled at Harry and Harry knew what he was trying to say.
"Everyone always tells me that." Harry said and he tried not to let his sadness show, so he tried to smile. "It's just, hard, you know? I mean, everyone always says that and I want to be able to say 'Yea I know'. But I don't know. And sometimes" Harry found himself talking and unable to stop. Something about Lupin let Harry know that he could talk to him, that he was one of the only people Harry could talk to, and Harry was eager to do so. "Sometimes I just want to know what its like. To have adults that care about you. To have parents. The Durseleys didn't care at all and they were nothing like parents to me, and maybe it's selfish, but I just want someone that actually resembles what a parent should be, you know? I know the Weasleys like me but, as much as I like them, its just not the same."
Lupin offered Harry a compassionate smile. Harry thought he could see the sadness and pity in Lupin's eyes. "It's hard, Harry. I won't deny it. And I won't pretend to understand because I do know. But I can try to tell you about them. I can try to help you understand. I promised your parents a long time ago that if anything were ever to go wrong, well I would . . . and I know it's not any consolation but I'm here for you. I care about you Harry, I promise I do. And I know that I'm not exactly the ideal- well- I know that I'm not the one you wanted-"
Harry didn't know why, but he found himself hugging Lupin again before he even really knew that he was. Lupin gave a small laugh and hugged Harry back.
"Don't say that." Harry said. "Don't say your no consolation because believe me, you are. I feel like I can talk to you and tell you anything and whatever I want and you won't laugh. I feel like for the first time, something within me is satisfied. Something, some whole, is partially filled now at least. These last few weeks since I've met you I've felt differently. This has been the only time in my life where I've actually felt that I had something like a parent. Someone who actually cares. So, thank you, Remus. Thank you so much."
Lupin didn't know what to say so he smiled. "Harry-" Lupin stopped and thought about what to tell Harry, his smile getting wider and showing more teeth. Harry had just told him that he was the closest thing to a parent he had felt like he had in a long time. Lupin was the person to whom Harry felt safe confiding in and Lupin was the person that made Harry feel as if he were actually and truly and genuinely cared for by someone. And, on top of all that, maybe it was silly, but Harry had used his first name when talking to him. Harry had called him Remus, and Lupin smiled. Harry and Lupin were definitely bonding. Their friendship had developed more and more with that simple conversation, and now, it felt to Remus at least, like the bond they had shared when Harry was an infant. A family bond.
"Harry, I think I should be the one thanking you" Lupin smiled. "I hadn't been happy in such a long time. Or maybe I guess I just never really let myself be happy. But you, your friendship has made me happier that I have been in a long time. When I was younger the happiest I was was when I was with your mom and dad and you and –" Lupin stopped, hesitated, "and you talking to me, me getting to actually have a friendship with you, it's made me feel like I used to. You're a great kid, Harry. Your parents were like family to me. As were you. I feel like I have that connection back. I feel like-" Lupin stopped and tried to think.
"I know" Harry said. Lupin looked at him quizzically. "Because I feel it too."
Lupin smiled and so did Harry. This time it was Lupin who hugged Harry.
"I guess we're good for each other like that." Harry said as Lupin held his arms and looked at his face.
"Yea, I think we are." Lupin smiled.
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