Chapter 24 : The Bond of Waking Up New
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It had been months since Harry had seen his father in the mirror, and he refused to talk about it. Harry had been very intent on having Remus teach him how to read fluently though, but the two friends didn’t know why there was a sudden burst of interest in it. In reality, Harry had wanted to know how to read so that he could figure out exactly what he saw in that mirror to know what exactly happened.
Harry was never told about the Dursleys death, courtesy of Sirius who thought that the boy didn’t need to know anything about “those bloody relatives” of his. With Remus’s consent, they told Harry that the meeting was just a checkup on the ongoing vendetta. Usually the two had been very open with the small child to form a relationship based on trust and love, nothing else.
Dudley Dursley had been found by the muggle police and was placed in the care his Aunt Marge, who was told that her brother and sister-in-law had fallen victim of a serial killer. The truth about the identities of the killers and exactly what killed them was never released. The truth of the matter was that the muggles couldn’t figure out what had exactly happened to the couple and had labeled it as unsolved.
Harry laid on his stomach on his bed, a huge smile spread on his lips. He turned his head to the right, where a small calendar hung on the wall to count down the days until his birthday. Sirius had bought it for him for Christmas months ago; the pictures in it were of dogs. Harry had named all of them, but what truly excited him was that one of the dogs was a huge black one in which he named Padfoot in honor of his godfather.
Harry slowly rolled off of his bed. He picked up the red marker off of his nightstand and placed an “X” on July 23rd, since he had forgotten to do so the night before. He capped the marker and placed it back on his nightstand. He then hurried out of the room, his bare feet colliding with the hardwood floors.
The boy had grown three inches without Harry’s acknowledgment. Sirius and Remus, however, noticed the height change and to say the least proud of it. Harry seemed to be growing quickly now, some of his childish features slowly leaving. He, however, could not get rid of his skinny frame. The child wore shorts, which showed his skinny, pale, legs and his knobby knees.
Harry made his way down the stairs and into the kitchen, where he saw his two guardians. Remus sat reading the Daily Prophet and sipping some coffee. Sirius sat across from his, his arms folded upon the table and his head in his arms sleeping. Remus heard Harry’s entrance, his mug in midair, and turned his head. With his free arm, Remus held it out for the small boy. Within seconds, Harry was by the werewolf’s side giving him a good morning hug.
“’Mornin’, Moony...” The older wizard’s robes muffled Harry’s voice.
“’Morning, Harry.” Remus smiled warmly.
The two pulled apart and Harry went to sit in-between the sleeping Sirius and Remus. A plate of eggs and bacon made its way magically in the air and right in front of Harry. A fork, napkin, and a glass of pumpkin juice also found its way over to the growing boy. Picking up the fork, Harry stabbed a piece of egg and plopped it into his mouth, his gaze never leaving Sirius.
“Wha ‘ong wit Pad’foo?” Harry asked as Remus shot the boy a disapproving glance.
“Harry...” Remus raised an eyebrow as Harry swallowed it in one big gulp.
“Sorry...” Harry replied sheepishly, “What’s wrong with Padfoot?”
“He got in really late last night... I heard him stumbling out of the fireplace around four o’clock.” Remus replied, taking a sip of his coffee.
Harry looked over at his godfather guiltily. He knew the reason he was out, it was because of him. He wanted to make Harry’s seventh birthday memorable. Remus noticed Harry’s guilt and kicked Sirius underneath the table. With a grunt and a muffled ouch, Sirius’s head snapped up and looked sleepily around the table. He was about to say something in protest, but then caught Remus’s eyes.
“’Morning, Padfoot.” Sirius snapped his head to the side and saw his godson munching on his breakfast.
“’Morn’ Harry.” Sirius replied, rubbing his eyes with his hand trying to wake himself up.
“You feel asleep.” Remus commented, glaring slightly at his friend.
“Wha? Huh? Oh, yeah. Sorry, Mate.” Sirius took out his wand and flicked it lazily, food drifting over to him magically.
Harry bit down on his lip, his fork halfway to his mouth. He suddenly realized something that he didn’t before. He turned his head towards Remus and then to Sirius, who didn’t seem to be paying attention to anything in particular. After last month’s werewolf transformation, Dumbledore had offered Remus a potion called Wolfsbane that would help him keep his mind while transforming. Harry looked at Remus, a small smile creeping on his face.
“Full moon’s tomorrow.” He announced as Remus and Sirius turned their attention to the small boy.
“Yes... it is.” Remus eyes him suspiciously.
“Isn’t that good? You can try that new potion! Then if it does work, I can keep you company with Padfoot!” Harry exclaimed happily, plopping a piece of bacon into his mouth.
“Harry...” Sirius trailed off, his mouth hanging open slightly.
“No.” Remus said immediately, Harry’s smile fell.
“Why?” Harry asked, setting his fork down onto the plate.
“You could get hurt-”
“But if you keep your mind then it’s no big deal!” Harry protested, his eyes wide.
“What if something went wrong? You could end up dead!” Remus raised his voice slightly, Sirius gaping at them.
“The answer is no.” Remus got up, taking the Daily Prophet with him, and walked out of the room.
Harry looked down at his plate, a saddened expression playing on his features. Sirius reached over and grasped Harry’s hand into his, giving him a small squeeze of reassurance. The boy looked up at his godfather, a heart wrenching expression on his face. Sirius forced a small smile, locking Harry’s gaze.
“Moony just doesn’t want you to get hurt.” Sirius broke the silence.
“I just want to help him...”
“I know that... he knows that. Sometimes- sometimes you just aren’t capable of helping people.”
“You help Moony... you keep him company as a dog.” Harry challenged.
“I’m an Animagus... you aren’t. You can’t help him without getting hurt.” Sirius tried to reason.
“Teach me?” Harry pleaded.
“When you’re a little older.” Sirius replied.
“Why not now?” Harry protested.
Sirius reached over in his seat and grabbed Harry around the waist. He then pulled Harry up out of his seat and sat the small child into his own lap. The boy immediately buried his face into the folds of his godfather’s robes, hiding slightly. Sirius rubbed the boy’s back, to sooth him.
“Because you could get hurt.” That was all Sirius had said, in a low whisper full of meaning.
Harry looked up at his godfather, looking into his pale eyes. He knew that his godfather cared for him more then anybody else in the whole world... Sirius wanted the best for him. There was, however, a constant nagging in the back of the boy’s mind that told him there was something more to it. There was something more then just love, affection. Something that Harry couldn’t recognize...
The day passed by quickly. Remus had locked himself up in his study all day as Sirius and Harry sat down in the living room. Sirius taught him how to play Wizarding Chess, and that’s all the two did all day. Harry, who was horrible at the game, won seven out of the ten times. He knew, however, that his godfather had let him win, despite the fact that Sirius said it had been a long time since he last played.
At around ten o’clock at night, Harry had officially started to fall asleep on the couch with Sirius. They had been watching a muggle movie on the television, Sirius didn’t know the name of it but it made him laugh several times. Sirius had gathered Harry up in his arms and took him upstairs. Once upstairs, Sirius tried his hardest to get Harry changed into his pajamas without waking him up, but failed miserably.
Sirius went downstairs only to see Remus pacing the living room with the Daily Prophet under his arm. He stopped and turned his attention to Sirius, who stood by the steps with his arms crossed. Remus took the Daily Prophet and held it out so that Sirius could see the front page and the heading.
‘Crouch Residence In Ruins
Underneath the heading, there was a long article and a picture of Bartemius Crouch standing in front of a huge pile of rubble and the Dark Mark lingering above it. Sirius’s face darkened just by looking at the man, he loathed him just as much as he loathes Voldemort.
“So?” Sirius asked lazily.
“So? So?” Remus asked in shock as he tried to emphasize his point, “Why would they attack Crouch’s house?”
“Because he put a lot of Death Eaters into Azkaban. In case you are forgetting, which I don’t think you are, Crouch was the one who ordered me to go to Azkaban without a trial.” Sirius said bitterly.
“Voldemort isn’t focusing on who put his men away, it doesn’t matter to him. He wants Harry.” Remus stressed Harry’s name.
“Why did they go after the Diggorys? Why did they go after Arabella? Why did they go after anyone who wasn’t connected to Harry?”
“Isn’t it obvious?” Remus made it seem like it was something everyone should know.
“No, it’s not. I don’t understand, Remus.” Sirius said slowly to prove his point as Remus’s brow furrowed.
“Amos Diggory is the head of the Department of Magical Transportation at the Ministry of Magic. Therefore, he might have known our address based on the transportation laws. They went after Arabella, because she was Harry’s godmother and most likely knew where we were. Then they went after the Dursleys, Harry’s only living relatives. Everyone they attacked has been linked to each other, even the muggles. They worked for muggle police stations and transportation departments. They are trying to figure out where we are! Then there’s Crouch. He works for the International Magical Co-operation at the Ministry of Magic... that’s what doesn’t make that much since. I suppose he could know our destination based on magical relations. That’s why I’ve locked myself up in the study today. I was trying to figure out the connection between Harry and Crouch... but there really isn’t one.” Remus finished his tale, the paper still clenched in his hands.
“They attacked Longbottoms... they barely got out. Why?” Sirius asked, everything dawning on him.
“Neville Longbottom was the only other person, besides Harry, that the prophecy could have applied to.” Remus explained off handedly, “It’s all connected except Crouch.”
“Crouch’s son... he was in Azkaban. Died in there.” Sirius commented.
“Yes, he was convicted for torturing the Longbottoms into insanity with the Lestranges.”
“Crouch is connected to the Dark Arts-”
“That’s why Cornelius Fudge got the Minister job, because Crouch’s reputation was destroyed. His wife died also, I heard she wasted away into nothingness.” Remus cut in.
“Unless the Death Eaters acted on their own accord. Unless the Lestranges wanted revenge for Crouch sentencing them to Azkaban...” Sirius trailed off.
“Voldemort wouldn’t have that... Voldemort would want his work done first before anyone else’s.” Remus sank down into the couch and buried his head in his hand.
“Why did you snap at Harry today?” Sirius sat down next to him, changing the subject.
“What? Oh, because there are some things he needs to understand. He could get hurt or worse... die. I don’t want him to be the reason he ends up in a hospital or six feet under.” Remus explained, looking at his friend, “Make sure he’s safe tomorrow night. I don’t want him wandering down to the basement.”
It was now the next day. Harry got up and marked the 24th off of the calendar. Sirius was gone most of the day that day, probably getting more things ready for Harry’s birthday. In Sirius’s mind, this birthday was going to be the best day of Harry’s life. Christmas wasn’t taken as an overly extravagant event. Remus stayed home with Harry, but locked himself up in the study the whole day. Harry spent his whole day reading several books up in his room that he had borrowed from the study.
It was around seven o’clock when Sirius got back with several bags. After storing them in his closet in his bedroom, he made his way over to Harry’s room. With a knock on the door, he heard Harry scrambling inside and then heard him say a high “come in!” Sirius opened the door and saw Harry sitting on his bed, trying to look as innocent as possible.
“Harry...” Sirius greeted.
“Hey, Padfoot, you’re back!” Harry said a little too loud.
“What you doing?” Sirius asked, making his way over to the bed and sitting down on the edge of the bed.
“Just... thinking.” Harry replied.
“Thinking about what?” Sirius smiled softly.
“Things...” Harry replied, glancing onto the floor quickly and then back at his godfather.
Sirius looked over to where Harry had just looked, there were two books on the floor. He bent down and picked them up, only to notice there was another one under his bed. Setting the three books onto the bed, which were quite thick, he looked at the titles and raised an eyebrow.
“‘Traveling Through Time’. ‘Portals to Unworldly Places’. ‘Astral Projection: The Guide for Being Two’. Harry, why do you have these books?” Sirius asked, flipping through the astral projection book.
“Astral projection wasn’t what I thought it was...” Harry trailed off, refusing to meet his godfather’s eyes.
“Why would you have books like these? This isn’t exactly light reading...” Sirius trailed off as he flipping through ‘Portals to Unworldly Places’, “Are these from the study?”
“Yes... Padfoot... it’s... I’m sorry!” Harry started to panic; he didn’t want his godfather to get angry.
“It’s okay... I just want to know why you have them.” Sirius moved the books aside and stared pointedly at his godson.
“I was trying to figure something out...” Harry squirmed under the gaze, refusing to look at Sirius.
“What? Are you trying to find out how to travel back in time? To- to stop your parents’ deaths or to... to convince me never to go after Peter?” Sirius lowered his head slightly, trying to get a glance of Harry’s face.
“You can do that?” Harry looked up.
“Yes... but it’s illegal.” Sirius added quickly.
“Your enchanted motorbike is illegal.” The boy pointed out.
“Don’t take lessons of right and wrong from me... go to Moony for that.” Sirius looked guiltily away.
“If we could go back in time, then I wouldn’t have to look up all this stuff about the mirror! I’m not finding anything!” Harry’s face then froze, noticing what he had said.
“So this has to do about seeing your father in that mirror I have in my drawer?” Sirius raised his eyebrows slightly as Harry hesitated.
“Yes...” finding no other way to get out of the hole he dug himself.
“What happened that day, Harry?”
Harry hesitated, squirming under the gaze again. He looked down at his sheets and concentrated on them, and then launched into his story in a soft, weary voice. Sirius watched his godson intently, not taking his eyes off of him, but, nevertheless, hanging onto his every word. When the boy had finished his tale, they sat in silence. Sirius didn’t know exactly what to say. With one look outside, Sirius saw that the full moon was already setting as a pang of guilt washed over him.
“Harry... if you’re thinking James is still alive... he’s not. He just can’t be. I- I held his dead body in my arms.” Sirius’s voice was breaking slightly.
“Then why was he in the mirror?” Harry asked, looking up at his godfather.
“I don’t have the answer to that...” that was all Sirius said, “Go to bed. You look tired.”
“Moony...” Harry’s sleepy voice whispered.
“No, you get dressed and get into bed. Moony is going to be fine, I’m going down right now to keep him company.”
Sirius leaned forward and kissed the boy onto of the head and left the room, closing the door behind him. Harry sat there, thinking quickly. He got up out of bed and changed his clothes. He was now in his pajamas and he got back in bed. He laid on his back, as if waiting for the right time.
It was midnight when Harry crept out of his bed and grabbed a blanket off of his bed. He slowly made his way downstairs and down into the basement. While descending the stairs, he saw Padfoot the dog sleepy peacefully next to a wide-awake wolf. Moony raised his head in the air, whined slightly, and watched as the small boy made his way down the stairs. Once Harry was there, he bent down and gave the wolf a small pat on the head.
“I’m sorry, Moony, I had to.” the boy whispered as Moony sat there shocked.
Harry made his way in-between the dog and the wolf. He took the blanket and covered the two animals and himself. The boy then grabbed Moony around the neck, as if giving him a hug while pulled him down so that he was lying completely flat onto the floor. He laid his head onto the wolf’s back and instantly fell asleep. Within seconds, Moony was fast asleep also.
The next morning, Padfoot stirred in his sleep only to find that a small boy was practically lying on top of him. The dog turned his head around to see that it was Harry; the small boy was still sleeping soundly. He drew his attention away from his godson and looked around for Remus. Padfoot spotted him immediately. There lay a naked man sleeping in a rough sleep, with a small scarlet blanket covering parts of him.
The dog then transformed into a man, waking Harry up in the process. The boy’s head slid off of the dog’s back and collided with the floor. Harry looked up confused, rubbing his head. Sirius stood up and picked the small boy up in his arms in the process. They made their way out of the basement and upstairs to Harry’s room.
“I’m not tired...” Harry yawned, rubbing his eyes with the back of his hand.
“Sure you are.” Sirius replied, an odd expression on his face.
Once setting Harry down into bed, Sirius watched as he turned to his side and fell instantly back to sleep. Sirius then made his way out of the room and downstairs to the basement where he found Remus stirring in his sleep. The man looked up at Sirius, blinking his eyes frequently. Sirius grabbed a pair of robes and threw them at his friend.
“Put some clothes on.” Sirius told him as Remus blushed.
“Sorry...” Remus’s voice was hoarse.
“So I wake up this morning and I notice Harry was using me for a pillow.” Sirius started the conversation as Remus stood up, pulling the robes over his head.
“He came down last night after you were fast asleep. I didn’t know what to do... it’s pure murder to try to wake you up.” Remus replied.
“You kept your mind, though, right? You didn’t- didn’t bite him-”
“No! Of course not! I- I was myself!” Remus looked horror stricken and ghastly pale.
“Just checking... I don’t want a mini werewolf running around. One’s enough.” Sirius smiled wickedly.
“That’s not funny.” Remus said grimly as he limped his way over to the stairs.
“It was pretty witty, you must admit, Mr. Moony.”
Sirius walked over towards his friend and grabbed his arm to help him walk. The two made their way upstairs and straight into the kitchen. Sirius helped his friend sit down into a chair and then went over to the refrigerator, digging through it for something to make for breakfast.
“What will it be?”
“Nothing that you cook. I’ll die from food poisoning.” Remus replied, burying his head into his hands.
“How was the potion?” Sirius asked, going into the cupboard and grabbing two muffins.
“It was... weird. It’s like I lost my will to transform, it was as painful as ever, but I kept my mind. I could think clearly and there was no wolf inside of me telling me to attack and to hurt...” Remus trailed off as a muffin was sat in front of the werewolf.
“That’s good... I don’t know what I would have done if something happened to Harry.” Sirius broke off a piece of his muffin and plopped it into his mouth.
“I told you from the start, Sirius, it was a mistake for me to be moving in with you. I’m going to hurt Harry one of these days.”
“Rubbish. You would never hurt him-”
“Unless I wasn’t in my right state. What if we can’t get that Wolfsbane one day and Harry comes down thinking I’ve taken it and I rip his arm off or something like that?” Remus panicked.
“Remus, you know I love you like a brother and I know you better then anyone else alive... even if you were in your wolfish mind, you’re still there. When we were kids, there were times when Remus was in the wolf and the wolf was pushed back...” Sirius stared at his friend with sorrow filling his features.
“Did you get in contact with the Weasleys and the Grangers?” Remus changed the subject.
“Yes and no. I got in contact with the Weasleys, they’re all coming, all nine.”
“They have two more sons who go to Hogwarts. They’re going to come, too.” Sirius clarified.
“What about the Grangers? Well, Hermione?”
“I’ve yet to get into contact with them. I don’t really know how, seeing as they’re muggles. I asked Dumbledore to get into contact with them and he said he would.” Sirius replied.
“Is anyone else coming for Harry’s birthday?” Remus asked.
“Some Order members are going to stop by. Andromeda is coming with her daughter, Nymphadora. Moody is going to pay a visit, said that he needed to talk to me about something. Amos is coming with Cedric. Hagrid said he was going to come, said he missed the little guy. Dumbledore is going to come for a while; I think he said he was going to bring McGonagall. That’s all I need, McGonagall breathing down my neck the whole night.” Sirius said bitterly
“It’s Harry’s day, you have to keep your cool.”
“If McGonagall says one thing... one thing, Remus, I’m kicking her out.” He said seriously.
“Sirius...” Remus raised an eyebrow.
“Just one thing about my parenting skills... oh, if Molly starts on me... I’ll kick her out, too!”
“Sirius, I doubt they will do anything to ruin Harry’s birthday.” Remus said logically.
“That’s what you think, Remus, that’s what you think.”
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