So clearly editing durring July and writing again by August didn't work out, but this is the last of the edits and so hopefully i'll have new chapters up soon. Sorry about that.
Chapter 17: Nightmares
Prongs was the only one left awake when Harry walked in late from another detention, they had been talking for the past few hours about Harry’s other classes while he was writing in his own blood, it was Prongs’ attempt at distracting him from Umbridge’s words, though some things still got through.
Everything will be okay Harry, I’m here, the vulnerability in Prongs’ voice was all Harry needed to know that he was scared, scared of losing what he valued most, which was Harry himself.
I’m here too Prongs, I won’t leave you.
Harry pulled the little fox into his arms as he fell into bed and both were asleep in seconds.
Sirius was shouting again, he was shouting about being nothing but trouble, he was shouting at Harry and Remus was at his side giving Harry a look that told the teen he was disappointed and angry. What had he done? He couldn’t remember doing anything wrong, but he must have done something terrible, Sirius wouldn’t have been shouting at him if he hadn’t.
“Sirius, stop shouting,” Remus commanded and for once the animagus complied and Harry let out the breath he had been holding. “We’ll just send him back to the Dursleys, they seemed to have him under control and he clearly won’t listen to us.”
Harry could feel the blood drain from his face, they weren’t serious, they couldn’t send him back to his aunt and uncle, they would go with him, they would only stay for one day and then they would go home, home to Grimauld place. But they weren’t talking about this; they were really going to send him back there to that place.
A needle like pain shot through Harry’s hand and he sat up at once. The cold sweat that coated Harry’s body told him that he had been dreaming, but it had seemed so real to him. Prongs whined softly and crawled into Harry’s lap, he had bitten Harry’s hand to wake him and the marks were there to prove it.
It was only a dream.
“I know, I know.” He stroked his familiar until he was calm again and Prongs purred in his lap.
With a glance at his clock Harry realized that it was still only two thirty in the morning, it was early, even for him, but the more he thought about it the more he didn’t want to go back to bed. As quietly as possible Harry cleaned up and changed into fresh clothes and he took his bag and waited for Prongs before heading down to the Great Hall.
The earliest morning hours were the slowest in Harry’s opinion, but they gave him the time he needed to finish his homework while Prongs dozed on the table, he had given up trying to keep Harry company. When at last he had caught up and all of his homework had been finished, Harry found it hard to believe it was still only five in the morning, he pulled out some parchment and wrote a letter to Sirius and Remus, it was vague and didn’t say much, but he told them that he was alright and that things were well, he let them know that he had caught up with his homework and that he was doing well in class. He told them how Quidditch was going and that Prongs was doing fine and when he could think of nothing else to tell them he set the letter aside and wrote to Sky. Sky’s letter was different, he told her about his nightmares and everything that had gone wrong, for some reason, he felt that he could let her know what he wouldn’t tell anyone else. The first early risers were entering the Hall when Harry finished and he packed up his books and sealed both letters, he nudged Prongs awake and the sky fox leapt his shoulder before they headed to the owlery in search of Hedwig.
To say that the owls were unhappy with Prongs so close was a bit of an understatement, they either vacated or attacked and Prongs was happy to keep them away from Harry as he leapt at them and ran around the large room. Hedwig was more accepting but she had refused to come down until Prongs had left Harry’s side.
“You be careful with these, I don’t want you to get hurt,” he told her as he attached the two letters and set a protection spell on her. He wished her a happy flight and then made his way to the door, waiting for Prongs yet again before he headed down to the Great Hall once more.
“Where have you been?” Ron asked, more out of curiosity than anything, though his voice sounded a bit angry.
“I was sending a letter to Remus and Sirius, and don’t sound so upset about it.”
Prongs happily dove into a large bowl of fruits once Harry sat down and even though the fox still had a big appetite, Harry only picked at his own food.
“You really should eat more Harry,” Hermione said, it was concern that flooded her voice.
“I’ll be fine Hermione.”
“You were out pretty late last night.”
“Yeah, Umbridge lost track of time again,” he said, using his usual excuse for his late detentions.
“I still think you should go to Dumbledore, even if these detentions weren’t so long, you get so many of them, and they’re for such useless reasons.”
“Hermione, it’s not as bad as you think, I just write lines, and I’ve told you this before. I’d much rather write lines that clean trophies or look after Hagrid’s pets.”
Hermione let the subject drop; she knew a lost cause when she saw one.
Classes went too fast, Harry’s last detention before the holidays arrived sooner than he wanted them too.
Let’s get it over with, I want you here with me, Prongs complained.
For four hours Umbridge drilled into Harry how much of a burden he was and how much trouble he caused everyone around him and then she let him write in silence for another two hours before letting him go. Prongs was the only one left up again and again Harry just fell into bed and drifted asleep.
The hall was long and dark with doors lining the walls but no windows and every muscle in his body was working to send him gliding along the floor on his stomach. There was someone up ahead, they were sitting on the floor and they were covered in a cloak, they were sleeping. His tongue went out to taste the scent of the person, they seemed familiar to Harry, but he couldn’t place where from. Then the person started to move, they were waking up. All of a sudden they jumped to their feet and pointed their wand at him, it was Mr. Weasley. He had to attack, he had no choice, no one could see him there, this person had to be killed. Harry reared up and lunged forward, sinking his teeth into Mr. Weasley’s side before drawing back and striking again and again and again.
The shout and the sharp pain that consumed his left hand was enough to wake Harry and he saw Ron standing at the side of his bed with the others a little further away, they were all concerned.
It was another dream Harry, Prongs said, he licked at Harry’s hand and he found it covered in bite marks, as though the sky fox had bitten him repeatedly without him feeling it.
No, it wasn’t just a dream. A sudden wave of nausea washed over Harry and he rolled over and puked over the side of his bed, Ron jumping out of the way just in time. When he was done Harry sat up and took several deep breaths with Prongs taking up his perch across his shoulders. Harry jumped out of bed, avoiding his mess, and made a dash for the door, but Ron grabbed his arm and held him back.
“Harry where are you going?”
“Your dad was attacked; Dumbledore has to know!”
“What?” Ron was too shocked to keep Harry from pulling away and running off to the Headmaster’s office. He didn’t want to see the ond man, but there was very little choice at this point, he was the only one who could do something about this.
The gargoyle jumped out of the way before Harry even reached it and he sprinted up the moving stairs and barged into the office to find that the headmaster was sitting at his desk over some papers. Dumbledore looked up quickly but then averted his eyes when he realized that it was Harry who had charged in.
“What can I do for you at such an hour Harry?”
“Mr. Weasley was just attacked, you have to do something now or he’ll die!”
Dumbledore stood and started talking to the portraits around the room, several of them left their frames at once to deliver messages and the others started whispering to themselves. McGonagall ran in with Ron at her heels and everything was a blur of motions and emotions and Harry‘s head was spinning and his stomach threatened to give up whatever was left in it and it was just too much.
“Stop!” Harry shouted, and surprisingly, everything did.
There was a long pause before Dumbledore spoke. “Minerva, I think Harry is overwhelmed by all of this, take him to Madam Pomfrey and have her give him a calming drought, this had obviously shaken him.”
“I’m not shaken, I don’t need a calming drought,” Harry argued. “How could you possibly know what I’m feeling when you don’t look at me! I’m not the same weak little kid that came back from the tournament!”
Dumbledore, McGonagall and Ron were staring at Harry as if he had grown an extra head.
“Phineus,” Dumbledore said quietly, his eyes never leaving Harry’s, “please inform Sirius and Remus that they will be having guests momentarily, the Weasley children and Harry will be arriving through portkey.” When the man left his frame Dumbledore finally turned away to return to his desk. “Harry I have never doubted that you are strong, but this vision that you have just seen would shake anyone, I think it is your best interest to go home and get some rest and be with your guardians. I will be by tomorrow to ask you about your dream.”
Harry clenched his jaw until it hurt; he knew he was in no state to argue with the man.
It will be good to be with Sirius and Remus, Prongs said quietly. And we’re tired, we could use the sleep. Let’s go home Harry, let’s go home.
McGonagall went to get the other Weasleys and when they were all there a portkey was made and the five were sent home. Harry was the only one to land on his feet and he caught Ginny and kept her up as well.
“Harry!” Sirius pulled him into a bone crushing hug but Harry didn’t return it, he could barely look at the man, though Prongs started to purr. “Are you alright kiddo, do you need anything, anything at all? How about some water?”
“I’m fine Sirius, I don’t need anything. I just want to go to bed.”
“Alright, and don’t you worry about breakfast, we’ll make some for you.”
Sirius’s efforts were wasted on the teen who was already walking away, though he saw the pleading look in Prongs’ eyes before the two disappeared upstairs.
“Don’t take offense Sirius,” Ginny said, “he’s been like that for a while now. He just withdrew more and more over the past months, it wasn’t bad at first, but now he barely talks to anyone and he’s defensive about everything.”
“Just let him sleep for now,” Remus ordered. “All of you come down to the kitchen, we’ll get you some hot chocolate, your mother will be here soon.”
“Was dad really attacked?” Ron asked.
“I’m afraid so, and by the sound of it, Harry saw the whole thing. Your father is at Saint Mungo’s, he’s in bad shape and I’m afraid we haven’t gotten any word other than that.”
“Remus, I’m going to go and keep an eye on Harry, you watch the kids,” the dark man said quietly to his friend and he got a nod in reply.
Molly Weasley arrived an hour later and set her children’s minds to rest that their father would be alright, after that they were all ushered up to rooms that they would use for their stay at the house.
“Dumbledore,” Remus let the man come into the house, though he didn’t seem especially happy about him being there.
“How is Harry doing?”
“He’s still asleep, perhaps now isn’t the best time for this.”
“I wish it could wait as well Remus, but if things are as bad as I think they are, then it cannot wait. That’s why I brought Severus with me,” he said in reference to the man that had followed him in.
“You can wait in the sitting room then, I’ll go and see if Harry is up yet,” Remus said.
The two men knew where to go and Remus left them and traveled up the stairs, Harry’s room was as silent as ever when he opened the door, he could just barely hear the boy breathing. Once he had stepped in Sirius lifted his head, he was hard to see in the dark when in his animagi form, but Remus knew where to look for those grey eyes and he was able to see Prongs’ green eyes glowing closer to the middle of the bed.
“Dumbledore has come to see Harry, do you think we should wake him?”
The dog shook its head and carefully got off the bed, making sure not to move it too much, he walked right out the door and Remus closed it most of the way and Sirius returned to his human appearance.
“I don’t care what the old man wants, he only fell asleep a few hours ago, I’m not going to wake him or let anyone else wake him.”
“How is he doing?”
Sirius couldn’t meet the werewolf’s eyes. “I don’t know, but I know that he’s been hurt bad Remus.”
“Did he say anything?”
“It’s more the fact that he didn’t say anything. He’s always talked to me before, but now, he’s just so empty. Dumbledore won’t be talking to him today; I don’t care what the old man has to say.”
“Right, I’ll go –”
Prongs raced out of the room and scrambled all over the two men before disappearing into the room again. A sudden scream made both men’s hearts skip a beat and they ran into Harry’s room, the teen was thrashing and yelling and Sirius grabbed him by the shoulders and pulled him into a hug, though he still struggled.
“Harry wake up, it’s alright, I’m here, wake up!
Harry opened his eyes and took a deep breath, Sirius could feel the boy’s heart pounding in his chest and he held him closer, trying to calm him.
“It’s alright, I’m here Harry, I’m here.”
Prongs climbed into Harry’s lap and curled up into a quivering ball. Harry wiggled out of Sirius’s arms to pick Prongs up and hold him tight, calming him and in turn calming himself enough to take another deep breath.
“Dumbledore’s here,” Harry said when he realized who it was with Snape in the living room, though his vacant eyes showed that he didn’t care.
“That’s right, he wants to talk to you, do you feel up to going downstairs for a little bit?” Remus asked.
“He won’t leave if I don’t.”
Harry let Prongs climb onto his shoulders and he didn’t bother putting anything over his pajamas before he headed downstairs, leaving the two men to follow, they knew they couldn’t hide their worry for the boy, but they didn’t say anything either.