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Chapter 6 : The Sum of all Fears
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Disclaimer: Harry Potter copyrighted by JK Rowling. No money is being made off this.
Author's Note: Harry is certainly a plucky boy, isn't he? Daring the wrath of a werewolf to warn him of danger, offering himself to a Dementor to keep it from his friends. Now we'll see more Remus/Harry interaction. And a reminder, werewolves hate vampires, but vampires respect werewolves. And even I hate what I'm doing to Remus.
Chapter 6: The Sum of all Fears
It was the Thursday after arriving at Hogwarts, and Harry was pretending to eat breakfast. He could still feel the Dementors around the castle, could feel the emotional void they took with them wherever they went. He checked his schedule again before getting up, he'd had dinner the night before, so he wasn't hungry enough to even pretend to eat any more. “Ron, Hermione, are you coming? We've got Defense Against the Dark Arts now,” Harry called to his friends. They didn't answer, so Harry shrugged and left.
When he arrived at the classroom, Harry chose a seat at the front. He put his bag down and waited patiently for everyone else to come in. He had an uneasy suspicion that the first lesson would be on vampires, but when Remus announced to the class what they'd be doing, Harry was relieved. They were going to be studying boggarts. They went to the staff room and Remus explained how best to deal with a boggart. When they were given time to think about what scared them most, Harry thought of the Dementors. Remus called them forward one at a time, and they all faced their fears. Finally, he called, “Harry!”
Harry stepped forward and the boggart turned into a Dementor, which advanced on him. He raised his wand and yelled, “Riddikulus!” The boggart/Dementor developed a wheezing, hacking cough. It fell down from the sudden asthma attack, and the next student stepped forward. Harry was surprised to see that Pansy Parkinson's boggart was Dracula. It advanced on her, clearly intent on seducing her before eating her. She fainted and Harry conjured a wooden stake and threw it. The boggart turned to dust, leaving the whole class speechless. Remus finally stammered, “Well, that's how you deal with boggarts and vampires. Good work, Harry, an extra five points to Gryffindor.” The class filed out, talking excitedly about the lesson and the teacher.
Later that day, Remus waylaid Harry coming out of the bathroom. “Harry, I know what you are. Sirius told me. I must say, I never thought I'd see one of your kind defending a human.” Harry quickly covered up the hurt that would have showed on his face, and replied, “One of my kind. I knew you'd be like this. You don't trust me, and you believe I'm evil. I'll bet you think I've bitten everyone in the castle by now, maybe turned some people into vampires like me.”
“Well, that wouldn't be impossible, would it? I know vampires need blood to sustain themselves, and this is a castle full of people. I don't know why Dumbledore lets you stay in this buffet,” Remus replied coldly. The hate in his voice sent Harry back a step, it was almost tangible.
“I know you're reporting to him. You can go right ahead, and tell him if I wanted to eat him, he'd be looking like a raisin by now.” Then Harry ran off, after confronting his godfather's friend. He knew Remus was following him, he had known it the moment the Professor had taken a step.
Remus followed Harry to stop him attacking anyone in his rage. He didn't know that Harry wasn't in a rage, but was in pain instead. He watched him run into the forest, and stopped pursuing him. He went to go find Dumbledore, to tell him of Harry's reaction. He found him in his office, eating lemon drops. “Headmaster, I confronted Harry about his... condition... and he ran into the forest.” Dumbledore nodded, and replied, “I will warn Hagrid to be doubly vigilant. I don't want him hurting anyone.” Remus turned to leave, but when he reached the door he turned back. “Headmaster, he knows what I'm doing. He knows I'm reporting to you, and he gave me a message for you. He said if he wanted to eat you, then you'd look like a raisin by now.” Remus left, not knowing why his heart felt heavy.
Harry stayed in the forest for several hours. It was past nightfall when he returned to the castle. When he returned to the Common Room, Hermione glanced at him for a second and was at his side the next. “Harry, what happened? You look like your dog died,” she asked anxiously.
“Professor Lupin confronted me about my... death... and said he doesn't know why Dumbledore is letting an evil creature like me stay in a castle full of people,” Harry answered in a monotone. He sounded miserable, and Hermione felt a flash of anger against her Professor for doing this to Harry. She didn't know Harry could feel other peoples' emotions, or she'd be even angrier. Even so, she still decided to pay her teacher a little visit and tell him just what she thought of him for doing that.
She arrived at Remus' office, and knocked politely, even though she didn't feel like being polite inside. “Come in,” he called. She opened the door and entered. “Ah, Miss Granger, how can I help you?” She took a deep breath and said, “You can help me by apologizing to Harry for what you said to him. I thought Dumbledore was cruel for openly mistrusting him, but you take the cake.”
“I take it you know what he is?” Remus replied, trying to regain his composure.
“Of course I know! He's a human being, even though he has a little problem. He still has feelings, even though he has no soul. And you, you ripped those feelings out and stomped on them. He may be dead, but he's still my friend.” She said the last few words slowly and very clearly, intending to use them to get her point across.
“He's a bloodthirsty vampire who will eat you if he gets half a chance. In fact, I'm surprised he hasn't done so already.” Then Dumbledore appeared behind Hermione. She hadn't heard the door open, but she definitely heard him speak.
“I trust there's no problem, Remus.” Dumbledore looked Hermione up and down, and she saw his eyes linger on her neck. She knew he was checking for a bite. “There's no problem, Headmaster. Miss Granger was just leaving.” Hermione scowled and ground out, “I'm sure Voldemort sends his congratulations. You're destroying Harry for him. And I'm sure he'd welcome you both with open arms if you made your allegiance to him official by taking his Mark, if you don't already have it.” And she stormed out of the room.
The weeks passed. Remus kept watch on Harry, making sure he didn't bite anyone, and he still reported to Dumbledore. Harry's mood deteriorated rapidly, as McGonagall watched in silent horror. Of the very few teachers who knew what Harry was, McGonagall alone trusted him. And she also had a suspicion that there was more to Harry then he let on...
The day before Halloween, McGonagall was in the library reading up on vampires. She found a book called The Power of the Vampire, by Heinrich Weisen. She had heard what breed Harry was, a Black Forest, so she looked that up in the book. When she found the chapter on the Black Forest vampires, she read it through several times to make sure her eyes weren't playing tricks on her. They weren't. One excerpt that turned on the light bulb for her was this:
The Black Forest vampire is very rare, and very territorial. The mainly live in the Black forest of Germany and Bavaria, and rarely venture out. The Black Forest vampire is characterized by its height, weight, and the length of its claws and fangs. The average height may be between 5'55'' (1.68 meters) and 6'3'' (1.9 meters). The weight is all muscle, and they always have broad shoulders and a lean frame. They are faster than other breeds, and have much finer reflexes, and are more intelligent. Their senses of smell and hearing are about 12 times that of humans, and the Black forest vampires tend to have extraordinary gifts, such as Empathy (which while the rarest, can be dangerous). A sign that a Black Forest is empathic is a deteriorating mood, especially around humans who distrust them. They will seek solitude frequently, as they believe, sometimes correctly, that steadfast friends are secretly expecting to be attacked. Other gifts include increased mental powers (Legilimency and Occlumency), traveling by shadow, multiple animagus forms, traveling in the form of mist or fog, and apparating in a puff of black smoke (this is sometimes called “poofing”). All of these other gifts are very common, and another rare gift is the ability to become part of someone else's dream.
McGonagall was horrified. She was now sure that Harry was Empathic, which meant all of Dumbledore's, Remus', and Snape's distrust and were killing him inside. She decided that she was going to make more of an effort to comfort Harry. She left the library in a hurry, to try to find her dead student. She finally saw him from a window, heading to the forest. They will frequently seek solitude... kept running through her mind as she hurried after him. She entered the Forbidden Forest cautiously. She guessed he'd hide up a tree, and started scanning the treetops. She finally saw a dark shape huddled on a branch ahead of her. She called out to him, announcing her presence. “Harry... please come down, I want to talk to you.”
He answered in a monotone, “Why are you here? Aren't you afraid I'll eat you? Aren't you worried about me turning you?”
“I'm not afraid of you, Harry. I trust you, and I know you're an Empath. You know I trust you,” she answered softly. And she was right. He could read her emotions, and he found no fear or distrust. He jumped down from the branch and replied in a voice filled with misery, “Could you keep this secret from Dumbledore. I plan on showing him how wrong he is at the end of my Seventh Year, if he hasn't staked me by then.”
“Of course I won't tell him. Now come on, I'll take you back to the castle and I'll Floo Sirius. I'm sure he can set Remus straight.” They returned to the castle, and along the way McGonagall asked, “I'm just curious, doesn't the sun hurt you? I thought vampires couldn't stand sunlight.” Harry, surprised and somehow comforted by the question, admitted, “It stings a little bit, but not much. You're right that sunlight kills us, but I think it's because usually vampires have no soul. I, however, do have one, somehow.”
They went to McGonagall's office, where she Flooed Sirius. Sirius stepped through, looking furious. “What has he been doing?! I trusted him to look after Harry and be his friend, and he betrayed us! Where is that dirty, rotten turncoat?”
“He's with Dumbledore,” Harry replied. “They're in Dumbledore's office.”
“Then that's where I'm going. And thank you for calling, Minerva.” Sirius swept out of the room, his Auror robes billowing. He hurried to Dumbledore's office, fuming, and stormed in ready to start screaming. “Remus, you traitor! How could you jump into Dumbledore's pocket?! And you Dumbledore! What in Merlin's name are you playing at?!” Sirius faced the two men, and forced them both back a few steps. They both sat down, as Dumbledore snapped, “Do you know what that... boy... is? Do you know he's bloodthirsty? Do you know-” Sirius stopped him there with another tirade.
“YOU GODDAMN DEATH EATER! YOU SHUT YOUR TRAITOROUS MOUTH NOW! DUMBLEDORE, IF YOU DIED RIGHT NOW, SATAN WOULD KICK YOU OUT OF HELL FOR TRYING TO TAKE OVER FOR HIM! AND REMUS, HOW COULD YOU BE SO DISCRIMINATING?! HE'S JUST A KID, FOR MERLIN'S SAKE! YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN A BETTER SON TO MY MOTHER THAN REGULUS!” Sirius ran out of breath after that rant, and waited for their reactions. Remus looked shell-shocked, while Dumbledore looked livid. His face was contorted grotesquely and the twinkle was gone from his eyes. It was the second time he'd been called a Death Eater, but it was the first time he'd been accused of trying to replace the Devil.
“Get out,” Dumbledore snarled. “You are no longer welcome in my castle.”
Sirius left, and ran into Snape. “Snivellous, if you lay a finger on Harry, I'll kill you where you stand. And tell Dumbledore and my old friend Lupin, the same goes for them.” And he swept past Snape, muttering imprecations, and returned to McGonagall's office. Once there, he told her that a certain demon-birthed Headmaster had conveniently forgotten to issue Harry a permission slip for Hogsmeade. McGonagall looked angry and immediately pulled one out and handed it to Sirius. Sirius promptly signed it and handed it back. “I'll file this with the Governors. Dumbledore would have to overthrow the Ministry to get it, but then he'd be declared a traitor and be barred from the Ministry building.”
“There you go, Harry. You can go to Hogsmeade with everyone else, tomorrow,” Sirius said happily.
The next day, the students were getting in line to go to Hogsmeade. Harry joined the line and trooped out with the rest. When he got to the village, he looked for a good shop to visit first. He decided to visit Honeydukes first. He saw Ron and Hermione there looking at a display of weird candies. “Look at the Blood Pops, Hermione. I reckon they're for vampires.”
“Honestly, don't you two read? Vampires can't eat people food, they eat people,” Harry snorted.
Hermione jumped when she heard his voice. “Harry, I thought you didn't have permission. You should head back to the castle before you're caught.” Harry started shaking his head slowly, trying to control chuckles. “I got permission. Dumbledore somehow forgot I was in Third Year and didn't send me a form, but Sirius brought it up with McGonagall and she coughed up a form. Sirius signed it yesterday.” Ron whooped and ran down the street, calling for Harry to follow him. “Hermione, you'd better be careful. Dumbledore probably thinks you're like me and will try to do you in. And he's mad enough to do some damage. I don't fancy my chances of staying as alive as I am if he finds out he can't bar someone from the castle, and he can't kick me out,” Harry muttered to Hermione under his breath. And he walked away to find Ron, leaving Hermione calling after him, “What do you mean...”
That evening, they returned to the castle for the Halloween Feast. Ron couldn't wait, he said he was starving. Harry rolled his eyes and muttered, “You're gonna eat the rest of us out of house and home.” Hermione chuckled as Ron complained loudly that they don't have enough big Feasts at the castle. Harry whispered to Hermione, “I think that's why the Weasleys are so poor, it's not that Arthur doesn't make enough to feed them all, it's because he doesn't make enough to feed all the starving children in the wizarding world.” Hermione agreed.
“What food is Mr. Weasley hungry for? Your food or our food?” Dumbledore stepped out of a shadow behind them, causing Hermione to jump, but not startling Harry. “You don't really think I'd eat my friends, do you? Isn't that what you do? Oh wait, you don't eat your friends, you betray them.” Harry was scowling and giving Dumbledore such a dark look, the aged Headmaster stepped back a bit. Harry and Hermione continued into the Great Hall, Dumbledore muttering about a certain black-haired, green-eyed student's parentage. Harry spun around, he'd heard every word. “That's it! You can insult me all you want, and you haven't insulted my friends, for which I'm grateful, but you DO NOT INSULT MY PARENTS!” Harry's voice thundered throughout the Great Hall. Every person in the Hall gasped and stared at Dumbledore in shock.
“Get. Out. Of. My. Castle. This. Instant.” Dumbledore ground out through gritted teeth. Then he looked expectantly at Harry, as though expecting him to be ejected from the castle forthwith. Nothing happened, except the Hall going completely silent. Nothing stirred, except a rat. No one saw the rat scurrying out of the Great Hall.
“You'll have to try better than that, Headmaster,” Harry sneered. He grinned wickedly, and if one looked close enough, his fangs would be barely visible extending slightly past the edge of his lower lip.
“As the Heir of Gryffindor, I demand that you leave my castle,” Dumbledore snarled.
“How about a history lesson, Dumbledore?” Harry mocked. “Eight hundred years ago, the Heir of Gryffindor was a girl. She married a man named Charlus Potter, thereby joining the Houses Gryffindor and Potter. As far as I have been able to figure, no Potter or Gryffindor has ever married a Dumbledore. And don't bother asking Binns to confirm or deny this, I doubt he's ever taught about anything except the goblin wars since he died, which could have been during the goblin wars.” Then Harry stormed out of the Hall without even pretending to eat.
That night, after everyone had gone to bed, there was a slight rustling sound. Harry heard it, even asleep as he was, and waited for it to repeat. It was his bed hangings rustling as someone opened them. He lay there with his eyes open and just turned his head when the intruder looked down at him. “Big mistake, Pettigrew.” Harry moved fast, but Pettigrew was close to the open window. Harry dodged a curse and watched as Pettigrew was already going out the window. Harry dashed over and looked out, just in time to see his parents' betrayer turn into a bat. He could see a dark figure on the ground with a wand guiding the bat. He turned back to his room, and saw that everyone else was still sound asleep.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Nothing much to say. Thanks for reading, please review.
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