Chapter 1 : Grieving
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The summer had not been kind to young Harry Potter, the death of his godfather left a mark on his face, a dead, hollow look in his eyes and lethargy in his movements. The Dursleys, of course, had rejoiced in his misery. Not even bothering to ask the cause, they taunted and tormented his every action.
However, when he was not forced to be in the company of his hated relatives, he would only lie on his bed and tear through himself mentally.
Why, why, WHY did he not use the mirrors to check with Sirius? Why had he not listened to Hermione when she said it could be a ploy? His arrogance and his hero-streak was what he put the cause down to, in his opinion.
“Not your fault, mate” Ron said, patting his back as they said goodbye at the station.
“How could it not be?” Harry asked caustically.
Ron has just shaken his head and walked away, not able to think of any words to console his guilt-ridden friend. In fact, there was little anyone could say to change Harrys mind. Even Remus had given up after a few tries, settling instead for a fierce hug and a warning to look after himself.
But look after himself Harry didn’t. Instead he allowed his relatives to take advantage of his melancholy. He worked himself to the bone, painting the house, fence and shed in the scorching summer heat. After a time though, not even his family could inflict the punishment on him that he felt he deserved. They stopped torturing him, strangely. Harry briefly wondered if one of the Order had spoken to them or not, he doubted it. He knew he didn’t deserve their concern.
Harry went back to his desk and looked out the window to the bush where he knew an Order member was watching him, hidden from sight by Disillusionment charm.
He waved and got a quick rustle from the bush in reply. Has to be Tonks, he thought, maybe Remus but no way any of the others would wave back.
This only served to deepen his gloom. He didn’t deserve their friendship, not after what he did to Sirius.
Harry grunted to himself and looked back at his Transfiguration homework. He sighed mentally as he tried to work out exactly why it would be useful to know how to turn a rock or blade of grass into a living animal.
He thought for a few moments then closed the book and opened his Charms book… only to meet a similar dead-end. He wished for a moment he was blessed with Hermiones brains and concentration span.
His mind flashed back to the fateful night at the Department of Mysteries… Sirius falling through the Veil, chasing Bellatrix Lestrange, Dumbledores duel with Voldemort. Harry forcibly shook his head in an attempt to clear it.
His concentration again disrupted but by his stomach noisily objecting to being empty for such a long period of time. Three days, he thought, three days since I’ve been back in this pit.
Truth be told he honestly wasn’t hungry and the Dursleys didn’t care to feed him even at the best of times so there was noone noticing his lack of nourishment.
Harry grimaced, predicting Mrs. Weasleys reaction to his appearance in two months time. Cant be helped, he reckoned. They don’t want to eat with me and I don’t want to eat at all.
Harry sighed once more and looked back to his homework, his thoughts occasionally steering back to the Department of Mysteries and Sirius.
= = =
Miles away, Nymphadora Tonks was arguing with Remus, Dumbledore and Snape.
“Maybe it is what the arrogant churl needs,” Snape said viciously. “His ego has always been his downfall, perhaps now he will listen to others who are infinitely wiser.”
Remus glared at him murderously and was about to speak but Tonks was in before he could get a word in.
“How dare you?” She shrieked, “He’s a bigger, better man than you’ll ever be. He wont bow and cower or kiss the robes of a –“
“That is quite enough, Miss Tonks.” Dumbledore said, his eyes piercing her. “I need you and Remus to update me on Mr. Potters health and well-being.”
“He hasn’t left the room when I was watching.” Remus said. “It worries me, Albus. There’s more than one way to kill someone.”
“That was my fear also. I feel his guilt and remorse, however un-based, will be tearing him apart. We need to keep a very close eye on him lest he try to harm himself in some way.”
Tonks paled while Remus nodded his head sadly. He understood all too well how young Harry felt.
Snape suddenly flinched and gripped his arm. “As delightful as this discussion is, the Dark Lord calls.” He sneered.
Dumbledore nodded thoughtfully and Remus glared at Snape, reminded once more about the death of his best friend.
“Go to him,” Dumbledore said, “Find out what you can, see if he is affecting Harry in any way.”
Snape disappeared in answer.
Voldemort looked at his gathered followers and allowed himself a small smile. They had grown since the day of his rebirth.
“Ahh, my friends. The day draws near,” He gloated, “Potters guild is destroying him far better than even the best of you. Now, update me on your progress, Dolohov.”
Dolohov paled and swallowed his throat nervously, “My Lord, the prophecy eludes us still, it seems the old man has not told a single soul its entirety.”
“You disappoint me,” Voldemort said, dangerously. “You have one week to find it for me, my patience wears thin.”
Dolohov knelt forward and kissed the hem of his robes, “Thank you, my lord, I shall use the time wisely.”
“Crucio” Voldemort incanted, “A little something to hurry your efforts, perhaps”
The death eaters laughed uneasily, each knowing who would be the next to feel the curse that evening.
“Now,” Voldemort continued almost cheerfully. “Severus, tell me what Dumbledore is planning.”
Snape shuffled forward, “The fool plans nothing at this time, his effort and concern are spent on the boy and ensuring his continued safety at his relatives home.”
“A worthy endeavor, all know I cannot reach Potter while he stays there.”
“That is most unfortunate, my lord, my only wish is to see him at your mercy.”
“Your only wish? Your only wish should be to see my plans to fruition and endeavor to please me. Soon enough the boy will die, not at my hand, but at his own. He is close to cracking I can tell.” Voldemort sneered, “Foolish boy, false visions will fool him no longer but toying with his emotions is just as easy.”
“A most genius plan, my lord” Snape groveled, hoping to make up for his earlier blunder.
“As are they all, but the boy and the old man have yet managed to foil them, I have reason to believe there is a spy amongst us.”
The assembled death eaters visibly paled, each fearing it would be themselves suspected.
“I’m telling ya Moody, something’s not right tonight.”
“Nonsense, the boy is still grieving, give him some time and he’ll come out of it.” Mad-eye Moody growled.
“No. I’m going up there Moody, I got a feeling he’s gonna snap tonight,” Tonks continued.
“Keep the cloak on, satisfy your suspicions if you must but don’t let him know you’re there” came the gruff reply.
Tonks apparated to an unused corner of Harrys bedroom. Harry looked up at the crack and his tear-filled eyes glanced about his room, making sure it was empty. He didn’t want anyone to see what he was about to do. He just couldn’t take it anymore. First his parents, then Cedric, leading his friends to certain danger and almost death at the Department of Mysteries, Sirius’ death, the Prophecy, the weight of the world on his shoulders.
He couldn’t be the hero everyone needed when he only led his loved ones to death. No more, he thought, I cant and wont do this anymore.
He looked back at the letter on his desk, reading its contents again once more. Its entirety consisted of only one line, but he felt it sufficed to say everything he meant to.
Harry nodded to himself, steeling himself for what he was about to do. He picked up his wand, remembering the laughs he had with his friends as he raised it slowly to his head.
Alastor Moody’s eye widened.
Voldemort started suddenly laughing.
Harry looked abruptly around his room again, thinking himself insane.
“Harry, why?” No explanations were necessary.
Harrys throat closed up and tears filled his eyes again, a sob broke from him as he collapsed onto his bed, sobbing uncontrollably.
Tonks came forward and took her invisibility cloak off. Harry didn’t even look up, so shaken by the emotions in the voice he heard. He leant into the warming embrace, still crying for the godfather he missed.
“I cant do this anymore Tonks, I just cant.” Harry whispered through his weeping.
“Sure you can, kid. You can do anything, I’ll be right beside you.” She whispered back, choking up with unshed tears of sympathy at the depth of sadness in the simple statement.
“I don’t know what I’m doing, I’m only getting people killed and I just cant do it.” He repeated. “I miss them all. What did I do to deserve this? I just want them back!”
“Its ok Harry, I miss them too. Its good to miss them and to let it out.” Tonks said consolingly, her mind racing with ideas to try and help the poor kid currently trying his hardest to stop crying.
“Harry, I have an idea,” She said haltingly, “It does mean that both of us risk a lot and its nothing you can talk about with anyone else. Ever.”
He looked at her curiously through glistening eyes.
“Its old magic, and I would have to disappear after I’ve cast this spell for a while. But I think its just what you need to keep going.”
“I don’t want you going anywhere Tonks.”
“Don’t worry kiddo, I’ll be back before you know it.”
“Alright.” Harry said, too emotionally exhausted to protest much of anything. “Before you go, take this mirror, I’ll get Dobby to get the other one from Grimmauld Place.”
With that he handed her the mirror while she withdrew her wand and made a few complicated movements.
That was the last thing Harry knew for a few hours.
Remus Lupin nodded grimly to himself.
Minerva McGonagall smiled tightly as she prepared her dinner.
Severus Snape looked up from the potion he was brewing.
A/n. First fanfic ever… read n review, lemme know if it’s worth continuing. Please feel free to PM any info, tips, tricks or ideas to pick up this story. It gets cheerful in the next few chapters.
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