Chapter 22 : The Bond of the Dead
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Remus stood there, absorbing the information. It was as if he was thinking hard about what was said. Then slowly, very slowly, Remus nodded as if he knew the answer. As if he knew all along. Sirius narrowed his eyes but didn’t say anything.
“It was Snape.” Sirius said in a soft voice said several seconds later.
“I know.” Remus looked down at the ground.
“You knew?” Sirius asked in disbelief.
“It was right after the Diggorys were attacked. I had gone to Hogwarts to tell Dumbledore what we found... then he told me. Said that Snape went to him and told him... said it was the only way to keep up his spying. He didn’t want to, mind you, but it was what had to be done.”
Sirius stood there, his mouth slightly hanging open at the news. He closed it quickly, nodded his head while jaw tightened. It seemed as though he wanted to say something, a lot of things to be specific. It was as though he couldn’t find the right words or how to put them together. After what seemed like forever, Sirius found his voice, “You knew.”
“I think we already established that.” Remus replied, looking at his friend.
“You bloody well knew and you never told me.” Sirius let out a burst of air.
“I was asked not to... because of your history.”
“My history? Please, tell me my history.” Sirius pushed, anger flashing in his eyes.
“When Peter betrayed Lily and James what did you do? You overreacted. You tried to kill a man...”
“Overreacted? Is that what it’s called nowadays?” Sirius shouted, no longer caring how loud he yelled.
“You were convicted for murder and thrown into Azkaban... now tell me if that was overreacting.” Remus was slowly losing his composure.
“I had to get revenge-”
“For who?” Remus shouted.
“Wouldn’t have wanted revenge! He would have wanted you to care for his son!” Remus’s eyes flashed dangerously. “I’m leaving.”
Remus brushed past his friend and into the other room, slamming the kitchen door on his way out. Sirius stood there, anger bottling up inside of him. He let out a shaky breath and turned towards the door, a lump forming in his throat. He then made his way out and into the living room, to see a very confused Harry sitting on the couch.
“What’s wrong with Moony?” Harry asked softly.
“It’s that time of the month.” Sirius composure softened slightly as he rested his eyes on his godson.
“You mean a full moon?” Harry asked, cocking his head to the right side.
“If that’s what you call it.” Sirius smiled slightly, wriggling his eyebrows.
“Are you and Moony fighting?” the boy questioned, a tone of forbidding in his voice.
“No... we are... disagreeing.”
“Isn’t that the same thing?”
“You did excellent, Molly!”
Arthur, Molly, and the Weasley children had just arrived home via portkey from Hogwarts. The children where already running wild around the house, shouting at the top of their lungs. Percy, on the other hand, sat down quietly on the couch and picked up a book from the floor and started to read it. The two tired parents down sat in separate chairs, sighing out of exhaustion.
“I did what excellent, Arthur?” Molly asked, closing her eyes and listening to the shouting coming from upstairs.
“You didn’t criticize Sirius once! I was so proud of you.”
“I barely talked to him, Arthur, and just because I didn’t say anything negative about him doesn’t mean that I am on good terms with him.” Molly told him, sternly.
“But you two didn’t get into your normal row!” Arthur exclaimed.
“MUM! DAD!” Ginny’s voice rang throughout the house, her tone full of emotion.
“Oh, Merlin, what now?” Molly rolled her eyes before shouting for her daughter. “WHAT IS IT, GINNY?”
“GEORGE KILLED BELINDA!”
“Who’s Belinda?” Arthur whispered.
“NAH-UH! THAT WAS FRED!” one of the twin’s shouted.
“Ginny’s doll. I swear, I’m sick of this.”
Ginny ran down the stairs, a redheaded doll’s head in one hand and the body in the other. Both twins quickly followed her. Ginny jumped onto her mother’s lap, tears freely running down her cheeks.
“It wasn’t me!” George exclaimed.
“It wasn’t me either!” Fred added.
“They killed another one.” The doll’s body kicked its legs at Ginny’s hands as she spoke.
“Honestly...” Molly trailed off, shaking her head in defeat.
“Childish act if you ask me, Mother.” Percy puffed out his chest slightly as he continued to read.
“But she didn’t ask you, Perc.” Fred said in a disgusted tone.
“Yeah, Perc, she didn’t bother to ask your opinion.” George added, crossing his arms over his chest.
“Enough! Haven’t you two done enough already?” Molly asked, trying to smooth her daughter.
Sirius sat on the couch in the living room writing a letter. Harry sat next to him, leaning up against his left arm watching the muggle television. Sirius dipped his quill into the inkbottle, only to find that he was slowly running out of ink. He looked to his left and gazed down at his godson. He moved his arm slightly and the boy looked up at his godfather.
“Can you run upstairs and grab me an inkbottle out of my night table drawer?” Sirius asked gently, as Harry nodded his head.
Harry slid off of the couch and made his way obediently upstairs. He walked down the hallway, a small smile on his face. It was about time Harry got asked to do something... he always thought it was slightly weird that Sirius or Remus never asked for help from him. Harry reached his godfather’s bedroom door. He reached out a small hand and grasped the doorknob, turned it, and pushing in.
His godfather’s room was small and decorated in scarlet and gold, much like his room. Harry’s bare feet made a soft thumping noise on the hardwood floors as he walked. Next to the four-poster bed was a cherry nightstand with a lamp, clock, and several pieces of paper on the top with his godfather’s writing on them. He grasped the tiny handle to the top drawer and slowly pulled it open, as it squeaked.
There were several things lying in the small drawer. There were several quills, both broken and some fully in tack. A couple small candies were littered at the bottom. There were more pieces of paper with his godfather’s defined print. There was also a pair of black socks, a few rubber bands, and a flashlight. Last but not least, there was two inks bottles and a pair of mirrors, both were exactly the same.
Harry, who’s curiosity was getting the best of him, picked up the mirror with interest. He looked at his reflection, which looked different then he remembered. For one, his black glasses were no longer taped in the middle. His hair, however, was still as unruly as ever, but it was longer, hanging over into his eyes. His face was now fuller, not its usual thin, skeleton self. His emerald eyes were sparkling something that you wouldn’t have seen several months ago. His lips were tugging up at the corners, which would normally be turned into a frown.
It was as if Harry couldn’t take his eyes off of the mirror. There was something about it that made Harry want to stare at it forever. Then that’s when it happened. The mirror started to ripple, just like when someone drops a stone into water. A new face started to appear in the mirror... it was him? It couldn't be... the person looked older. He had hazel eyes instead of his bright green ones... and there was no scar on the forehead. The man in the mirror waved, a smile on his face. Then it struck Harry... how many times had he seen his picture?
“Dad?” Harry whispered, his throat suddenly tight.
The man just smiled brightly, his eyes lighting up. Then slowly, very slowly, the man nodded his head to confirm the boy’s suspicions. Harry’s eyes widened, a small gasp escaping his lips. The mirror slipped out of the boy’s hand, crashing down to the floor. It broke into hundreds pieces, a couple pieces falling onto Harry’s bare feet.
“Harry?” Sirius voice rang throughout the house.
“Fi-fi-fine.” Harry whispered softly, his mouth slightly hanging open, as footsteps pounded up the stairs.
Soon Sirius appeared in the bedroom door, staring at the scene in front of him. After a couple seconds of registering what he saw, he rushed over to his godson, knelt down, and pulled him back into a small hug. Harry, who still looked shock, willingly slid back into his godfather’s embrace.
“What happened?” Sirius asked, after seeing Harry’s feet bleeding.
“Mirror- mirror broke.” Harry let out softly.
“I should have done this myself... damn, I’m so stupid.” Sirius cursed under his breath as he gently picked out some of the glass in Harry’s feet.
“I- I- I’m sorry...” Harry trailed off petrified.
“It’s not your fault.” Sirius said softly, trying to sound as reassuring as he could.
“Dad...” Harry trailed off, tears burning his eyes.
“Shhh... it’s okay. I’m right here. Let’s get you taken care of.”
Either Sirius didn’t fully understand what Harry had said, or he totally ignored it, either way Sirius didn’t care. He picked the small boy up in his arms and carried him out of the bedroom and into the bathroom. Once inside the tiny, white bathroom, Sirius sat his godson down onto the sink so that his feet were dangling off the side. He then took some bandages and wrapped them around the boy’s feet.
“I’m absolutely dreadful at healing spells... I would probably just hurt you more then you already are. Once Remus gets home he can fix you up quickly and it won’t even hurt.”
“I- I was just- just looking.” Harry’s voice was shaky and weary.
“Hey... hey... I don’t care. I can fix it with a matter of one spell and it will be as good as new. Do you understand me?” Sirius cupped the boy’s face with his hands. “No harm was done.”
“I- I- saw- saw things...” Harry trailed off, trying to find his voice.
“What did you see?” Sirius asked gently as the small boy shook his head fiercely.
“It wasn’t real!” Harry shouted.
“What wasn’t?” Sirius asked, moving his face closer so that it was directly in front of Harry’s.
“The mirror...” Harry sniffed, “What- what is it?”
“The mirror?” Sirius asked in confusion, but then a look of realization came over his face. “Oh! The mirror! There are two of them. One was mine and one was your dad’s when we were in school. When we were in separate detentions, or even classes for that matter, we always talked to each other.”
“Could... what if the other person didn’t- didn’t have the mirror?” Harry asked, cocking his head to the side.
“Then we couldn’t talk. You need to say the person’s name into the mirror and they say yours and you could see each other and talk.” Sirius explained.
“Can I- can I go to bed?” Harry asked, adverting his gaze away from his godfather’s.
“At-” Sirius looked down at his wristwatch, “seven o’clock? Yeah... sure... you want me to come up with you?”
“N-no, that’s okay... I just want to rest a little...” Harry tried off, squirming uncomfortably under his godfather’s worried glares.
“Sure... Remus will fix the cuts tomorrow then.”
“Sirius knows you did it.”
Remus stood in the doorway of Snape’s classroom, who was correcting papers. The man looked up, his hair falling into his eyes. The man’s jaw tightened at the sight of his old school rival, a look of pure loathing crossed his face. In one swift movement, Snape brushed a greasy piece of hair out of his eyes and laid down his quill onto the desk.
“I haven’t the faintest idea of what you’re talking about.” The little colour Snape had in his face totally disappeared.
“You... Arabella...” Remus snapped the dungeon door closed.
“Lemme guess, Dumbledore told you?” Snape tried to keep his cool.
“Yes... he did as a matter of fact.” Remus placed his hands into his pocket, leaning against the door.
“I’m guessing he told Black as well?”
“No, he didn’t. I don’t know how Sirius found out.”
“Then why are you here?” Snape turned back to the papers on his desk.
Remus stood straight up and walked over to the desk, his eyes glued on Snape. He stopped in front of his desk and took his hands out of his pockets. With his right hand, he smacked it down onto the desk, right on top of Bill Weasley’s potions essay. Snape looked up, his eyes shooting daggers at the fellow wizard.
“I want to know the truth... who are you working for?”
“Dumbledore.” Snape hissed under his breathe.
“Don’t lie to me, Snivellus.”
Remus’s demeanor suddenly changed, not being his normal kind, cheerful self. He was dark and cold. He didn’t want to deal with the doubt and guilt that was slowly forming over him. He wanted a straight answer... he wanted the truth and he wanted to know now.
“Listen, Lupin, I think I am a hell of a lot more loyal then you, you werewolf.” Snape said in the nastiest tone possible as he stood up, “A tame wolf, like that is ever to happen.”
“Who has the Dark Mark on their arm?” Remus shot back, the colour draining from his face as well.
“Who’s in love with Arabella Figg and now is too upset until he finds out exactly who killed the stupid Mudblood squib?”
Remus’s fist came out of nowhere and collided with the side of Snape’s cheek. The man stumbled back, grabbing his cheek as he did so. Snape looked up at the fuming Remus in utter shock. Remus, on the other hand, was holding his fist in his hand, a pained expression on his face.
“You idiot!” Snape gasped, moving his jaw around a little, wincing in pain.
“You bastard.” Remus hissed, shaking his hand to get the feeling back into it.
“Get out...” Snape said softly, rubbing his cheek.
“What?” Remus panted lightly.
“GET OUT!” Snape roared.
Sirius lay on the couch in the living room staring at the ceiling. Harry was up in bed sleeping soundly. He had just come from checking up on him. Something perturbed Sirius about his godson’s behavior. He had stared at the mirror for a good twenty minutes and saw nothing there expect a healthier looking him. The mirror rested on the coffee table, fully restored.
Sirius turned his head to see Remus standing in the doorway of the cozy living room. His arms were crossed over his chest and he was leaning on the doorframe. Sirius snorted slightly and turned his attention back to the ceiling. After a couple of minutes Sirius spoke, “What?”
“That’s a new one... I don’t think anyone’s said sorry to me before.” Sirius closed his eyes, his voice etched with an irritated tone.
“Listen, Sirius, we’ve been friends for too long-”
“You don’t even have to say it, Remus.” Sirius raised a hand up to silence the wizard, “I understand. When you get angry, you get angry. That’s not something that happens very often either.”
“What’s going on? I mean... around here?”
“Harry needs some healing charms put on him.” Sirius said in a soft tone.
“What? What happened?” Remus asked, moving towards his friend.
“I don’t know exactly... one minute he was here watching the telly as I wrote a letter and the next I asked him to fetch me some more ink and I hear a crash from upstairs. I ran into my room to find him shaking like mad with James’s mirror on the floor in a thousand pieces. It was as if he saw a ghost... well... you know what I mean. He was absolutely petrified. There were pieces of glass embedded into his feet... that’s what he needs healed. You know how dreadful I am at healing, so I thought you were more likely to heal him without hurting him even more.” Sirius explained.
“Where is he now?” Remus asked nervously.
“Upstairs sleeping... he was pretty shook up after what happened.”
“What do you think he saw in the mirror?”
“I don’t know...” Sirius looked thoughtfully over at his friend, “I stared at it for about twenty minutes trying to solve the mystery. He was very intent on learning about the mirror, too.”
“You told him about it then?”
“Somewhat... yeah... told him all about James and I having those mirrors, about the detentions. He looked ghastly, Remus, extremely ghastly. I never saw him look so sick since he lived with the Dursleys.”
“I think the only way we are going to know what happened is if we ask him... or whether you ask him.” Remus pointed out.
“Why me?” Sirius sat up, his hair a complete mess.
“He trusts you a lot more then he trusts me. You’re his godfather.” Remus stressed the last word, “You took him away from the Dursleys and gave him a loving home. He’s never had someone who had loved him unconditionally until you came along. You changed his whole world around... he trusts you with his life. You’re the only one who can completely and utterly get through to him. You’re his Padfoot, Mate.”
“Yeah... I’m his lovable dog.” Sirius tried to joke to lighten the mood.
“No, I am.”
“That is so old... that is so first year.” Remus grinned.
“First year? My arse, Moony.” Sirius jumped off the couch and tried to tackle Remus in the chair.
“Geoff!” Remus laughed.
“Awe, come on, Moony, you know you love me.” Sirius smiled and ruffled his friend’s hair.
“Sirius!” Remus tried to push Sirius off of him with one hand and with the other tried to protect his hair.
“Come on! Its just hair!” Sirius protested as he fell off of the small chair.
“Yeah, and when I do it to you and remember its just hair!” Remus tried to smooth his hair down flat.
“Don’t whine, Sirius, you are too old.”
“I’m not old!” Sirius looked appalled by the very thought.
Sirius whipped around and saw his godson standing timidly at the bottom of the stairs, watching the scene unfold before his eyes. He nervously tugged at his checkered, green pajama top and swayed to one side. His hair was sticking straight up, as if it were spiked. His face was deathly pale, as if he just he had just been from hell and back.
“Harry, what’s wrong?” Sirius asked, quickly crawling over towards his godson with a worried expression on his face.
“Padfoot... where do you go when you die?”
Sirius stopped right in front of the boy, paling as he heard the question. He turned his head around and looked at his best friend for some head, but Remus just shook his head as if to say that it was his responsibility to tell the small boy. Sirius turned back to his godson, gulping some excess saliva that had found its way into his mouth.
“I- well- you don’t- I don’t know... nobody does.” Sirius whispered, pulling Harry into a loose hug.
“Then how do you know they’re dead?” Harry asked, wrapping an arm around his godfather’s neck.
“Because they’re gone... they aren’t here anymore... they aren’t breathing.” Sirius shifted his weight uncomfortably as he pulled Harry so that he was sitting in his lap.
“What about ghosts?” Harry asked
“Not everyone becomes ghosts, Harry.” Sirius seemed uncomfortable to talk about such a subject, but tried not to show it.
“Will you ever?” Harry rested his head against Sirius’s chest.
“Because those who become ghosts don’t want to die... or are afraid of it.”
“So you want to die?” Harry questioned, a pained expression on his face.
“Not right now... but some day I would... I mean... we all die at some point, Harry. You know, Moony and you are going to die – not anytime soon mind you – but some day you will. And I don’t want to be left alone while the two of you move on...” Sirius bent down and kissed the top of Harry’s unruly head of hair.
“Are my parents ghosts?”
“No... they moved on. They are watching you though, Harry, you can’t see them but they are here.”
“I love you, Padfoot.” Harry tightly embraced his godfather.
“Not as much as how I love you.” Sirius whispered into the boy’s ear as he fiercely hugged the boy back.
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