Chapter 5 : The Prisoner of Azkaban
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Disclaimer: Harry Potter is copyrighted by JK Rowling. What I'm doing is borrowing, just like so many others.
Author's Note: I know things seem to be happening very fast, but that is all because of Harry's enhanced abilities. He can sense a lot of things because he's a vampire. Also, later in this chapter I imply that Dumbledore tried to give a student alcohol. This student is of-age (18 years old), and is actually repeating his seventh year at the time.
Chapter 5 The Prisoner of Azkaban
The rest of the school year passed uneventfully. Harry took his end-of-year exams, and was quite sure he aced all of them. Lockheart had been taken to St. Mungo's because the debris hitting him on the head had caused amnesia. Ginny seemed to have escaped possession unscathed, but Harry wouldn't bet on it. Even Dumbledore seemed to be keeping to himself mostly, though Harry could still sense mistrust from the Headmaster. Harry ended up freeing Dobby the house-elf from the Malfoys, and even that didn't ease Dumbledore's suspicion.
When Harry got off the train at Platform 9 ¾, the Dursleys were there waiting for him. He got in the car and they drove home. Harry wished he could live with his godfather, but that was impossible. When they arrived, Harry said, “My godfather will be stopping by regularly. I expect you to treat him civilly.”
“You haven't got a godfather, boy,” Vernon sneered. Dudley took that as his cue to try to pound Harry into a submissive pile of pulp. He advanced threateningly, but Harry just glared at him and Dudley immediately ground to a halt and started dripping with cold sweat.
“Yes, I do. In fact, his first visit should be next week.” Harry took his trunk upstairs and unpacked. He could hear Vernon and Petunia talking downstairs, and guessed Vernon was asking if Harry really did have a godfather. This was confirmed when Vernon shouted, “I will not have another one in the house!”
A week later, Sirius came for his first visit. He looked much better than the last time Harry had seen him. He was clean-shaven, he'd gotten a haircut so now his black hair was above his shoulders, and his clothes weren't rags. “Harry, how are doing?” Sirius seemed determined to make up for lost time. “I'm doing fine. I wish I could live with you, but the puppet-master would take offense to that,” Harry replied with a smile. They both went upstairs so they could really get to know each other.
“Sirius, I have something I need to tell you.” Harry was nervous as to how Sirius would react. He didn't want to be abandoned.
“What is it, pup?” Sirius was imaging all the scenarios that could cause fear in a young boy, but what he got wasn't what he was expecting.
“You see, there was an accident in my first year. I had gotten detention for smuggling a dragon out of the castle-”
Sirius barked out a laugh at that. “You smuggled a dragon out of the school?! I'm impressed, your father and me couldn't smuggle one in, let alone outside. And we had full knowledge of the castle secret passage ways.”
“My detention was in the forest. I had to go with Hagrid and find out what had been killing unicorns. It was Voldemort, trying to keep his current host alive long enough for him to get the Sorcerer's Stone, which would return him to full power. On my way back to the castle after discovering that, I was attacked. Because of that attack, I am now a vampire.” Harry removed his ring so Sirius could see for himself. “I have never fed on a human, and never will, unless it's a dire emergency.”
Sirius at first appeared shocked, and then he just looked Harry up and down, and said, “I ran away from home when I was sixteen because my family was too narrow-minded. I'd like to think I'm open-minded. This may not have been what I was expecting, but I trust you. You have too much of your parents in you to be evil. Now, why haven't you bitten Snape?”
“I don't want to be poisoned by all that grease he calls hair. And besides, as a mortal he's creepy enough to scare anyone. If I turned him, I'd have to protect the rest of the castle from him, while I was stopping Dumbledore driving a wooden stake into my chest for what I did to his lapdog.” Harry said that with a long-suffering look that told Sirius he meant what he said.
“Don't worry about Dumbledore. I have a good friend who would be glad to set up a nasty little surprise for that old fool. I'll just say it involves a monster under the bed on the full moon,” Sirius replied with a wicked smile. “Also, I have another friend who would give anything to meet you. His name is Heinrich Weisen, and he's a vampire expert.”
“I've already met him, Dumbledore called him to the castle after I threatened Snape. He said I still have a soul, he said I'm probably viable, and he's under the impression that Dumbledore wants me alive. Also, he thought for a minute when he arrived that Snape was a vampire; called him a low-grade Romanian in front of Dumbledore, and survived.” Sirius seemed pleased that Heinrich had already examined Harry, and he was thrilled about the jibe against Snape.
“He called Snivellous a vampire?! Hahaha! The score is now 4587-0 Marauders!” Sirius started rolling around on the floor laughing.
“So when will I meet your werewolf friend?” Harry asked curiously.
“I never said anything about Remus being a werewolf. How did you figure it out so quickly?” Sirius asked in response.
“You said your friend would be a monster under Dumbledore's bed on a full moon. A werewolf is the only person who turns into a monster on a specific day,” Harry replied simply. “Really, I'm not as stupid as the Dursleys like to think I am. I'm definitely smarter than Dudley.”
After several hours, Sirius left. He had promised to get in touch with his friend, Remus, and warn him about Harry's condition. The next several weeks passed, with the only bright points being Sirius' visits and tentative letters from Remus Lupin. Harry found out that Remus would be teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts, and that he'd be riding up on the Hogwarts Express. When Harry went to Diagon Alley to buy his school supplies, he found out that someone had escaped from the wizard prison, Azkaban. The escapee's name was Peter Pettigrew, notorious Death Eater responsible for the murders of over a dozen muggles and the betrayal of Aurors James and Lily Potter.
A day before Harry was supposed to go back to Hogwarts, Sirius asked him a question. “Hey, Harry, where'd you put your Hogsmeade permission slip? Technically, you're not allowed to visit the village without one, though we did do it plenty of times without permission.”
“What do you mean, 'Hogsmeade permission slip'?” Harry asked, bewildered.
“Third years are allowed to visit the village of Hogsmeade on weekends if their parent or guardian signs the permission slip. The forms are delivered with the usual letter and list of supplies. Where did you put yours, unless you managed to get those Dursleys to sign it for you?” Sirius went on as though Harry was pretending to be dense.
“I didn't get anything like that with my letter; I would have saved it for you to sign if I had.” Now Harry was starting to think who would possibly forget to send one of the standard forms to a third year vampire. “I get it now. Dumbledore's trying to keep me out of the village, doesn't want to risk letting me go to a veritable buffet. Funny thing is that he gives Death Eaters free reign over all those innocent people. I've heard some nasty rumors that Snape has been particularly rude to people.”
“Does this rudeness extend to curses?” Sirius now seemed businesslike.
“I heard that last year someone refused to sell Marcus Flint some Firewhiskey. Snape came, hexed the barkeep, and got turned into a goat until Dumbledore showed up. Snape got turned back, but Flint didn't get the Firewhiskey he wanted,” Harry replied, confused.
“Dumbledore can't do that, that's illegal. I'd better tell the Ministry about that,” Sirius said angrily. “I'll also talk to some people to make sure you get that Hogsmeade form.”
The next day, Harry got on the train and found a compartment with Hermione and Ron. They were talking about the escape of Peter Pettigrew and wondering where the rat went, how he escaped, and what Fudge was doing to find him. The spoke quietly because they didn't want to wake the man sleeping in the corner. When Ron mentioned Hogsmeade, Hermione started going on about the history of the place. They got wrapped up in their own conversation, not realizing they were leaving Harry out. Or rather, Hermione didn't realize; Ron knew what he was doing, because it was part of the plan he'd started the previous year. When it started getting cold, Harry became much more alert. He could sense a sort of emotional void some distance off; there was a whole where there should have been emotion. He didn't know what was happening, but he knew it was bad. He tried to alert Ron and Hermione, but they wouldn't listen. He decided to wake the man, but was afraid to.
Harry managed to conquer his fear of the man, and touched him on the shoulder. The man, who didn't look all that strong or healthy, sprang awake and pointed his wand at Harry's throat. “Don't touch me, creature,” he growled. Harry guessed that this was Sirius' werewolf friend. To try to ward off the danger, Harry made his eyes widen with fear. Usually, a frightened child brought out parental feelings in adults; Harry hoped it worked for this adult. It did. His wide green eyes made Remus Lupin lower his wand.
“I think there's something nasty coming. I don't know what it is,” Harry said softly.
“Oh damn. There're Dementors coming. They're searching the train for Pettigrew,” Remus ground out. He raised his wand again, but this time it wasn't pointed at Harry. He aimed at the door and waited for the Dementors to reach this compartment. The first skeletal hand appeared, creeping around the door frame, and pushed it open. Remus shot gray mist at the thing, and Harry just stood there. The Dementor advanced on him, sensing easy prey. Then it stopped. It couldn't get anything from him. It sucked harder, and still got nothing. Remus looked at Harry in surprise, then remembered what the boy was, and looked away. The Dementor performed its dreaded Kiss on Harry, but the young vampire was unharmed. He got a good look at what was under the fiend's hood, and was thoroughly disgusted. He saw gray, rotted flesh, like the hands. The eyes were sockets with black pits, they were voids. And there were little worm-like things wiggling around beside the sockets. It's nose was crooked and long, almost like Snape's, though more rotted. Harry nearly wanted to vomit.
The Dementors left, taking the bone-chilling cold with them. Hermione and Ron were huddling in a corner, Ron looking like he wanted to pass out. Hermione looked very scared, like she had just relived her worst memory. Harry found himself wondering what her worst memory might be. Was it Ron missing the train before Second year? Was it his own death at the end of First? Was it something he didn't know, wasn't there for? The thought drove home to him that he would never have her, the only girl he could ever want. The only girl who had stood by him, even after his own death. He watched her turn to Ron, and it killed him inside the way a stake never would.
The train stopped, and they all got off. They went up to the castle in carriages drawn by Thestrals. He could see them because he was dead. He was able to see the last year too, but it wasn't a big deal. The huge, black, winged horse-like creatures were beautiful in their own way. Ron and Hermione were in their own little world, and Remus was staring at him with suspicion. They were sharing a carriage with the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher because Dumbledore had told him to stay with Harry. Harry knew that, but it didn't bother him that much. He'd had time to think things through, and he decided that the best way to keep Dumbledore from doing anything really wrong was to earn the loyalty of his pet teachers. All except Snape, of course. He didn't trust the greasy git as far as he could toss Hogwarts.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Just to explain Remus’s reaction to Harry, we are referring to natural animosity between vampires and werewolves. My reasoning as for why is this: werewolves, being very animalistic, hate anything that’s against nature, sort of. Vampires are the walking dead, and thus not the best examples of following the laws of nature. As for vampires, they respect werewolves, and are at least wary of them. In Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Dracula himself says this of wolves (and by extension werewolves) howling: “Listen to them, the children of the night. What music they make!”
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