Now that the EDITING is finally done, here's the first knew chapter. If you don't get anything, then you clearly didn't read the edited chapters and i suggest you do so before reading this.
Chapter 18: The Truth
“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.
Dumbledore looked up and stood when Harry entered the sitting room, he was concerned, but Harry didn’t really care what the old man felt. The teen plopped down onto the sofa and Prongs settled into his lap as they waited for the old man to speak, which he waited until Sirius and Remus had walked in to do.
“Harry, this dream has brought to my attention to connection that your mind shares with Voldemort’s.”
“You could have asked, I would have told you my mind and his were connected months ago if you had,” Harry replied, he didn’t have the patience for this right now.
“I want you to learn occlumency Harry, it’s –”
"The protection of the mind from an outside source, usually requiring eye contact but my case is special because of our connection. I know occlumency Dumbledore; I don’t need to learn it.”
“If you are so confident then allow Professor Snape to test you.”
“He can do what he wants, just hurry up, I’m tired and I would much rather be sleeping.”
Dumbledore nodded to the greasy haired professor and Snape moved to sit opposite Harry and the two locked eyes as Snape drew his wand.
Harry felt the familiar prodding and retreated back behind his wall of fire and into the deepest parts of his mind. Several minutes must have passed before the prodding ceased but it felt as though it had lasted a much longer time than that.
“He does know occlumency and he is strong enough to keep me out, but I wonder if this particular bond he shares with the Dark Lord weakens his defenses to let these dreams through,” Snape said.
“I let them through, I want to see what he sees so I don’t use my occlumency against him.”
“Harry, that’s a dangerous line of thinking, I’m quite certain that Voldemort doesn’t yet know of the connection his mind has with yours but if he should learn then he will be able to show you what he wants you to see. I strongly suggest that you start blocking these dreams, in the future they may not be true.”
“I’ll decide that when it happens. If that’s all, please leave me alone.”
Harry stood and walked away as Prongs climbed to his shoulder, returning to his room with Sirius trailing after him in his animagus form.
“You don’t have to stay at my side all the time Sirius, I’ll only be sleeping, I don’t need you there.”
Harry’s words didn’t make a difference, Sirius continued to stick to him like glue and when he fell back into bed and pulled the covers up, Sirius was right there, curled on the end of the bed with his head on Harry’s legs. It didn’t take long for Harry to fall asleep, but Sirius stayed awake for a while longer watching his godson sleep. The dog had just dosed off when sudden screaming woke him and he fell off the bed and jumped up in his human form, Harry was screaming in his sleep again and Prongs was going crazy running all over the room.
“Harry!” Sirius pulled him into another strong hug and spoke quietly to him, eventually waking him up, but not before Remus burst in with Mrs. Weasley behind him. “You’re alright Harry, it was just a dream.”
Sirius was surprised further when he was pushed away, despite how thin Harry was he was strong and the boy backed up against the headboard and rested his head in his hands, his breathing calmed quickly but he wouldn’t look at anyone. Prongs whined as he curled up in Harry’s lap.
“Molly,” Remus didn’t let his eyes leave Harry for a second, “perhaps it would be best if you took the children to the Burrow for a few days. I don’t think they should be here for a while.”
“Alright, I’ll take them home as soon as they’ve gathered their things.”
Mrs. Weasley left right away to do as Remus had asked and the werewolf went to the bed and knelt at Harry’s side.
“Harry, this is the second time in only a few hours that you’ve started screaming in your sleep, what has you so upset?”
“It’s nothing Remus.”
“Is it the vision?”
“No, I’m fine, just tired.”
“Harry, it hurts both me and Sirius to see you suffer like this, won’t you tell us what’s troubling you?”
“No, it’s nothing; I just haven’t gotten much sleep lately. Please, I’m tired.”
“Alright, you sleep then.”
Remus dragged Sirius out into the hall and closed the door partway as Harry settled himself back into bed.
“He doesn’t want to be a burden, he’s afraid he’ll be sent back to his aunt and uncle for good.”
“What?” Sirius was struggling to keep his voice down. “Why would he possibly think that?”
“I don’t know, but he was like this for a while when he first came to me, and again when he first found out I was a werewolf, he wouldn’t share anything that was going on in his head and he was withdrawn and had no appetite. I think sending Molly and the children away might help, but this will take a lot of work to undo.”
“I’m going to stay with him when he sleeps; I want to be here if he has another nightmare.”
“I’ll come check on him once the others have all gone.”
Sirius nodded and returned to his former position on the bed with his head on Harry’s legs and Remus helped their guests get ready to leave. A portkey was provided for Mrs. Weasley and her four youngest children and they were all gone in seconds, though with worried looks on their faces.
Remus let a heavy sigh escape him and he started back up towards the third floor where Harry’s room was, both occupants were asleep and he left the door open and went to make himself some tea, he was too old for this sort of thing. There were no more screams for a few hours and eventually he went back to check on Harry and found the boy fast asleep with Prongs curled between his arm and his body and Sirius laying alert at the end of the bed, just in case.
At Remus’s urging Sirius slipped off the bed and sauntered out the door, even when he returned to his human form he made sure he could see his godson through the crack in the door.
“They left a while ago, Harry will probably sleep for a while, why don’t you come down and eat something.”
“No, I want to be here when he wakes up, I want him to know that I’m not leaving his side.”
“Then I’ll bring you up something in a while, we both know how you get when you’re hungry.”
Sirius put a hand on Remus’s shoulder and returned to lying on the end of Harry’s bed.
Remus was in the kitchen for a while longer before he decided to start making breakfast, he admitted that Harry could still cook better than he could, but he could make a decent breakfast at least. He had just filled a plate to take to Sirius when he turned around to find Harry and Prongs wandering in, they both looked tired but made their way to the table and while Harry slumped into a chair, Prongs leapt to the table and stretched out.
“Is Sirius still asleep?”
“Are you hungry? I was going to take this to Sirius but since he’s asleep why don’t you and I enjoy our own breakfast first.”
Remus set the plate in front of Harry. “I know there’s a lot there but I was taking it to Sirius so eat what you can.” The werewolf loaded a plate for himself and sat across from Harry.
It didn’t take more than a few seconds for Remus to realize that Harry wasn’t going to eat, and that he was just picking at his food, pushing it across his plate and stabbing at it with his fork.
“You know that if you want to talk, I am here to listen.”
Harry nodded and Prongs looked up at him, there was a moment where they just stared at each other and Remus could have sworn they shared thoughts. After a heavy sigh Harry got up and fished through the refrigerator for a bowl of fruits that he brought to the table for Prongs to dive into. Remus laughed at the fox, who disappeared into the bowl but appeared soon after as he devoured the fruit in the bowl while Harry just watched quietly.
“At least one of you has an appetite,” Remus muttered.
“Prongs eats over three times his body weight over the course of one day, but he’s barely grown six inches since he came to me almost four months ago.”
“I looked into sky foxes when I first heard about your little friend; they don’t get to be more than five feet long and three feet tall.”
Prongs made it to the bottom of the bowl and let out a deep burp before curling up in the empty bowl.
“He’s happy to be here with you and Sirius.”
“I’m glad to hear that, but I’m more interested in if you’re happy to be with us.”
Harry wouldn’t look at Remus, he reached into the bowl and pulled Prongs out to sit him in his lap and he set to scratching behind the fox’s ears.
“Harry, you do know that you’re safe with us and that we will never send you back to your aunt and uncle don’t you?”
Harry flinched at the sound of it, confirming his own fears for Remus.
“I don’t know why you feel that we’ll send you back, but Sirius and I could never send you away. Please Harry; tell me what’s bothering you so much, I can’t help you if I don’t.”
“I don’t think you’ll understand.”
“You’ll never know unless you tell me.”
Remus waited patiently in silence as Harry found comfort in Prongs, there was another moment where the werewolf could have sworn the two shared the very same thoughts. It took a while, but Harry finally looked up.
“I’ve been having a very long disagreement with Umbridge. She’s been trying to break me, trying to tell me that I’m lying about Voldemort’s return.” Harry stretched out his right hand and slid up the sleeve a little so that Remus could see the scars that clearly wrote out I must not tell lies. “It started after the first Hogsmeade weekend, I completed McGonagall’s challenge and imitated Umbridge, she found out and gave me detention, and after that she didn’t seem to need a reason, anything would do, I wasn’t paying attention in her class – I wrote that we were only reading – I wasn’t on my way to the common room when I was, I wasn’t abiding her dress code, I was out after hours – half an hour before curfew – I was conspiring against her, although I guess that one was true, though she had no proof of it. Her detentions were for useless things and that I didn’t mind so much, but for everything I did I earned a week of detentions and each detention lasted at least five hours. After the first two weeks she started spending the first hour telling me how much of a burden I am, how no one wants to deal with me, how people only pretend to be my friends. Now at first I didn’t believe a word of it, how could I when I have people like you and Sirius and all of my friends. But if you hear something often enough you start to believe it, and what she said seemed so much like what my uncle always said. I know I should have told someone, but it was like a battle between me and her, and I wasn’t going to lose, no matter what. I guess in the end I did, I started to believe her and I started to lose trust in myself and the people around me. I wanted so hard to be strong that I failed to be.”
“Harry, you never have to prove how strong you are, not to me, not to Sirius, not to the Weasleys or Hermione, and not to any of your friends. I’ve got to tell you Harry, you attract more people than James and Lily combined, people just have a need to be around you, it makes them feel better. Maybe it’s because you’re an empath, but just being around you makes someone feel safe and loved, I don’t know for sure if Lily was an empath or not, but people got the same feeling around her. And you’ve got that devilish look about you, like you’re about to do something stupid and reckless and come out completely unscathed, just like your dad. That confidence you have, it’s inspiring.”
“Except I’ve been pushing people away and I avoid trouble as much as I can.”
“It doesn’t matter, it’s that feel about you. When you open up again and return to the you I met before you headed to Hogwarts this year, then maybe you’ll see it too. I sent the Weasleys to the Burrow after your second nightmare, when you’re ready, I can send them word and they can come back, maybe for Christmas if you feel up to it.”
A loud crash from upstairs broke off the conversation and the two waited as the thunder traveled and Sirius burst into the kitchen a record one minute later.
“Harry! Don’t scare me like that!”
“Sorry,” Harry said quietly.
Sirius took a deep breath and went to Harry, pulling him into a hug before sitting beside him and stealing a bit of food off his plate.
“Every time I wake up and you’re not there I keep thinking you were taken again and I worry that you won’t come back!”
“I’m sorry Sirius, I didn’t mean to scare you, but you seemed like you could use the sleep.”
“It’s alright kiddo, just don’t do it again, wake me up, I won’t mind and I can always go back to sleep.”
Harry took a bite of food and chewed it slowly as Sirius got up to get a plate of his own. Prongs climbed back onto the table and stretched out once more but kept his eyes on the three wizards around him.