Chapter 10 : Falling into Memories
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“I’ll go after her,” Ron said, making his way to follow Hermione.
“Wait Ron, I don’t think she wants to see any of us, that’s why she left,” Harry said pointedly, Ron whizzed round to look at Harry.
“You’re a right git you know that? You go behind both mine and Ginny’s back and kiss Hermione and then you have the nerve to act normally like nothing’s happened?” Ron fired at Harry.
“I just don’t think Hermione wants to see you right now,” Harry replied.
“Oh, you don’t do you? Who does she want to see then? You?” Ron spat. He wanted to hit Harry, batter him so he would never move again, but if he wanted to be with Hermione as he so desperately needed to then he’d have to restrain himself.
“No actually, I don’t think she wants to see anyone,” Harry stated, he felt bad, he knew he’d just destroyed his friendship with his best friend and it would never be the same again yet he just couldn’t stop himself biting Ron’s head off whenever he said something.
“Fine, I’m going to find her anyway and don’t come near me ever again or I might do something I’ll regret,” Ron said heatedly before exiting from the room. However instead of the footsteps descending on the stairs they went up, Ron had headed to his room. Now it was just Harry and Ginny left. Ginny was still sobbing; her body rocking back and forth. Harry edged himself slowly towards her.
“Don’t come near me,” Ginny’s voice sounded. Even through the sadness and grief her words were still strong enough to stop Harry edging any closer. Ginny lifted her head to look at him. Her hair hung over most of her face but Harry could still see her brown eyes clearly, they were red, bloodshot and teary, like she’d been crying for weeks.
“My brother died yesterday Harry, Fred died and it has torn me apart, Fred and George were always nice to me, they played pranks on everyone in the house but me, even let me in on a few of them, and now Fred is gone, do you know what losing a brother feels like Harry?” Ginny said.
“No, of course I don’t Ginny, my parents are dead, I don’t have any family, the closest thing I have to a family is you, Ron and Hermione,” Harry replied.
“You imagine if Ron died yesterday then and imagine what that would feel like, it would hurt wouldn’t it?”
“Of course it would, I’d be a mess for weeks,” Harry said timidly, trying to look back into Ginny’s eyes but failing miserably.
“Exactly, then imagine your girlfriend cheats on you with one of your closest friends the day after, I never usually cry Harry but this has all just pushed me over the edge.”
“I’m sorry Ginny, you put it that way and I’ve been a complete arse, I don’t want to lose you.”
“Then why did you kiss Hermione? Do you realise what you’ve done? We’re through Harry, over. I waited on you for six years, six bloody years, and now you do this to me, I don’t think you’re even worth my time,” Ginny stated. Her words cut into Harry like a knife. He didn’t want to lose Ginny over what he’d done, he loved her and only now he truly realised what the consequences of his actions were. It was horrible, like his whole chest was disintegrating inside him. Ginny’s words hung in the air for a few seconds before Harry could bring himself to reply, even then his voice wavered as tears began to spring to his eyes.
“Please don’t do this to me Ginny, I made a mistake and it will never happen again, I promise,” Harry pleaded.
“How am I meant to believe you’d keep that promise? No Harry, we’re done, you can go run off to Hermione now because I’m not interested anymore.”
With that Ginny unfolded herself and stood up, Harry did so too and grabbed her arm before she could leave.
“Please Ginny…” he began, but then words failed him. Ginny’s eyes and his own met once, held each other for a brief moment, then Ginny shrugged his hand away and left the room, her footsteps fading as she went upstairs. Harry felt as though his whole world had exploded. He couldn’t stop the tears from flaring up in his eyes and spilling down his face, he couldn’t explain to feelings that were coursing through him, only that they were incredibly painful. Harry sat back down on the couch and picked up one of Snape’s old photo books, he needed to leave his life and enter someone else’s for a while as his was falling apart around him, so he delved into Snape’s.
Harry flicked over the page and came to a non-moving image; it was another picture of his mother and Snape, they looked around Harry’s age, maybe slightly younger but definitely in their seventh year. It didn’t make sense though; Harry knew his mother and Snape stopped being friends in their fifth year, when Snape had called his mother a Mudblood, so why did they look so friendly here. Harry brushed his fingers over the image and then, quite suddenly, his fingers began to be sucked in. The photograph was a memory and Harry had fallen right into it.
Harry landed painfully on the hard floor of the third floor corridor in Hogwarts. The décor was slightly different, the knights had disappeared and there was one different portrait on the wall to what Harry remembered, but otherwise the corridor was exactly the same as the last time he’d walked down it. He pulled himself up and looked left and right, there was nobody about. Looking out the window Harry could see that it was dark outside but the moon was full and round. Hurried footsteps began to sound from around the corner, getting louder. They were coming Harry’s way. Instinctively he dashed to an alcove in the wall and stood inside, peering round the corner to see who the footsteps belonged to. Shadows fell across the wall and the two bodies from which they formed followed swiftly.
The first was taller than the second with shoulder length black greasy hair and an awkward way of holding himself. The second was shorter and more curvy, definitely a girl. Her ginger hair fell to her chest and in the firelight given off by the wall bracket Harry could make out shining green eyes. It was his mother Lily, and the boy was Severus Snape. They were talking quite loudly and animatedly Harry noticed.
“James doesn’t keep anything from me Severus!” Lily stormed, her arms crossed across her chest holding a stack of books as Hermione so often did.
“Potter keeps more from you than he does from me, why are you even going out with that idiot; he’s a stupid prat that thinks he owns the place!” Snape replied, his black eyes glinting quite menacingly.
“Oh really, what do you know about James that I don’t?” Lily said. She’d stopped now and whirled round to face Snape; her face was contorted into a vision of anger.
“Where does Potter keep his broom?” Snape snapped.
“Under his bed, it’s his most prized possession and he’s scared someone would steal it from the broom cupboards.”
“Okay then, how does Potter know where teachers are every second of every day?”
“James, Sirius, Remus and Peter invented a map which shows where everyone is in Hogwarts in real time, and please do not call my boyfriend Potter.”
“Potter isn’t worthy of being called by his first name in my books Lily. Fine, if you think you know so much about him then tell me this, where do he and his friends go every full moon?” Snape hissed. Harry clenched his fists; he didn’t like somebody talking to his mother like that.
“Nowhere, they’re always in the common room,” Lily frowned.
“Really? Did you see them in there tonight? Come on Lily, tell me truthfully,” Snape said, he looked like he was revelling in some sort of power.
“Well no, I didn’t, I haven’t seen James since lunchtime actually,” Lily faltered; her face softened and became inquisitive.
“Of course you haven’t,” Snape grinned, it was a nasty smile that made Harry’s skin crawl.
“What are you keeping from me Severus?” Lily frowned, looking almost scared. Harry wanted to walk over and give her a hug but he knew that wasn’t possible.
“Have you never wondered why Potter and his friends have the nicknames they have?” Snape snorted, he was really beginning to annoy Harry but Lily was riveted.
“Well no, I always thought they were a bit of fun, you know boys,” Lily gulped; she could tell what Snape was going to tell her was something quite bad.
“I’m a boy and do I have a nickname, no I don’t, you see Lily, their nicknames mean something, I’ll give you a couple of guesses, you are a smart girl after all, go on.”
“I…well I… James is known as Prongs but that doesn’t mean anything to me… I mean, I’ve always thought it referred to a deer or something like that…” Lily muttered.
“A stag actually, a stag,” Snape nodded but Lily took no notice, she carried on with her muttering.
“And Sirius, he’s Padfoot… but that could refer to all sorts of things? I’m presuming it means an animal but there are loads of different animals out there with padded feet… cats, bears, dogs… wait, Sirius likes dogs, he raved about them for ages when we talked about them in Muggle Studies, so his nickname must represent a dog? Am I right Severus?”
“Perfectly correct, your logic astounds me Lily, continue…” Snape smirked; Harry shuddered.
“Well, Peter, they call him Wormtail… that can only represent two animals really, mice and rats, right?”
“Yes, a rat Lily.”
“Okay, so Remus, he…his nickname is Moony? But that doesn’t refer to any animal does it?”
Snape only raised his eyebrow in response. Harry noticed his leg twitching though, like he was thoroughly excited and couldn’t wait for Lily’s reaction when he told her what it meant. Harry knew exactly what he was about to say too and his Mum would freak out, although he wasn’t too worried, his mother and father would get together in the end, this was only a memory after all.
“It does? I don’t understand? All I can think of is the Moon, but that’s not an animal is it?” Lily said. She was reduced to silence for a moment as she looked out the window, thinking. Harry noticed her eyes widen as they focused on the full moon. She spun back to look at Snape who was now wearing an insane grin on his greasy face.
“Remus…is he…is he a werewolf?” Lily asked; her eyes were wide and orb like, they reminded Harry of Dobby’s in fact. Snape only nodded as his eyes seemed to drift to the alcove where Harry was hidden, it was almost as if he knew Harry were there.
“Why did you never tell me this before?” Lily frowned, her jaw clenching. She looked angry, livid almost.
“I…I don’t know?” Snape stammered, seemingly taken aback by Lily’s sudden change in character.
“I give you one chance to redeem yourself, one chance, and all you do is tell me one of my boyfriend’s best friends is a werewolf, more than that, you take pleasure in doing so, just get away from me Severus!” Lily said forcefully and turned to leave. However Snape grabbed her arm before she could and pulled her to face him, much as Harry had done with Ginny only a few minutes earlier, but unlike Harry Snape pressed his lips to Lily’s. Her reaction was almost instantaneous, she pushed Snape over and he landed hard on the cold stone floor. Lily’s green eyes blazed with fury and a hint of sadness Harry was only able to notice because he knew the eyes so well. She then spun and walked off, but before turning the corner she stopped and looked back.
“And you do have a nickname, it’s Snivellus, don’t come near me ever again,” Lily shouted down the corridor, then she left without a backwards glance. Harry noticed a tear run down Snape’s oily skin before he felt the pulling sensation and was jerked back into his present.
Harry slammed the photo book shut and felt tears streaming down his own face. He’d just relived one of Snape’s worst memories; the photo it was hidden in must have been a cover up for the hurtfulness it truly held. Harry’s head felt like it was about to burst open, it was worse pain than his scar had ever given him. Snape had played his cards all wrong, just as Harry had, and just like Snape, Harry had lost the one he loved forever. Escaping into Snape’s life now seemed a hideous idea, yet it seemed to have given the answers Harry needed. He knew what he wanted to do now, it was all laid in front of him like he’d pieced together a jigsaw puzzle and the whole picture had suddenly been revealed to him. He knew what to do.
Before he could put his plan into action there was a timid knock at the door; Harry was jolted from his reverie and didn’t know what to do. The visitor opened the door anyway. It was Hermione, just the person he needed to see.