Sequel to Secrets Untold
Images in Mind
Chapter 1: Back to the Burrow
Remus Lupin sat at the small desk with a book in hand. The werewolf was dressed as he always was in worn clothes and the gray streaks in his hair made him look far older than his thirty-seven years. He glanced up at every turn of the page to look at the skinny boy on the bed.
Harry Potter had lost weight during their month staying with his aunt and uncle and he appeared paler than before. He was nearly sixteen and his black hair was always messy and even though his eyes were closed as he slept, Remus could clearly imagine their deep green even past the wire-rimmed glasses he wore. Stretched out under Harry’s arm was a large black fox with eyes as green as his boy’s. Prongs was a sky fox and was already the size of a midsized dog and would continue to grow until he was the size of a tiger. The two had been inseparable since they met nearly a year ago. Together boy and fox had spent most of the past month sleeping.
Prongs shifted and opened his eyes. He looked at Remus but didn’t move in case he would wake Harry. The night before their move into the Dursley house had been a hard one. Harry’s godfather, a man named Sirius Black, had been killed. There was no one Harry relied on more than Sirius, not even Remus whom he had known longer. It was a devastating loss and the teenager hadn’t taken it well. For a while he had stopped eating and it was only with Remus’ and Prongs’ combined efforts that he started again, though he ate very little and spent his time asleep instead.
At first the werewolf had been worried that Harry’s empathy would be revealed to the world. Harry had an ability to sense and alter emotions of others and when Sirius had died the sorrow that he had felt had affected everyone near by. However, it seemed that once the initial shock of the loss was gone so were the effects.
It seemed to have taken forever, but Remus had gotten word two days ago that the Headmaster of Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry would be picking them up and escorting them to the home of the Weasley family late that night. Remus couldn’t have been more relieved; he wanted nothing more than to get Harry away from his relatives and back to the people who were his real family. Both of them had all of their things packed - though they hadn’t really unpacked to begin with - so all there was to do was wait.
All three Dursleys, Remus, Harry and Prongs were waiting in the living room when eleven o’clock came. The two wizards had their things waiting in the hall and when the bell rang Remus quickly went to answer it and returned only a minute later with Dumbledore.
“Harry,” the man knelt before his charge, “Dumbledore’s here are you ready to go?”
“Before that Remus, there are a few things that should be explained. It was recently discovered that Sirius left a will behind,” at the mention of his godfather Harry cringed, “he left everything to you Harry. All of his gold, as well as number twelve.”
“You can keep using it, I don’t care.”
“Unfortunately, there are enchantments which were set in place so that number twelve could only be owned by someone with Black blood, so we are unsure as to whether or not the charms will allow you to inherit the residence. There is a simple test that will confirm ownership, you see, with number twelve, there is also Kreature.” Dumbledore pulled his wand from his robes and Harry saw that his right hand was blackened as if severely burned by something. A loud crack and the old house elf Kreature stood in the living room and Harry’s aunt cried out at seeing such a filthy thing in her home, it didn’t help that the elf was mumbling to himself like always and cursing everyone in the room. “If Kreature will do as you ask, then you have inherited number twelve, if not, then we must find a place for him since he knows so many of our secrets.”
Harry didn’t even have the time to think of a command to give before the elf stopped his mumblings, grinned, and vanished with another loud pop.
“Dumbledore?” Remus looked at the old wizard with concern.
“His true master must have called for him.”
“So I guess number twelve didn’t transfer as Sirius wanted it to.”
“It would seem not.”
No sooner had the two finished their small conversation than another pop echoed in the room with the return of Kreature. He looked far angrier than he had when he had left and he seemed to be pouting. The elf stepped up to Dumbledore and grudgingly held out a letter, which - once taken - allowed the elf to pout some more.
Dumbledore read the letter quickly and then stored it in the folds of his robe.
“Well?” Remus seemed much more concerned with the situation than Harry was.
“It seems that the situation is under control, Kreature is in good hands, hands we can trust.” Kreature took the opportunity to leave with yet another loud pop.
“Quite sure Remus. Now then, there is someone that I would like you to meet, Harry. Remus, if you would please take yours and Harry’s things to the Burrow, we shall meet you there soon.”
“Dumbledore, I’d rather not leave Harry right now.”
“Don’t you worry, he’ll be with me, and we won’t take long.”
Harry sensed Remus’s reluctance to leave his side but he looked at his guardian and nodded, he would be all right.
“If you’ll be alright Harry, but take your invisibility cloak with you and run at any sign of danger, and always have your wand out.”
“I will Remus, I promise.”
“Very good, now, the last matter to discuss,” Dumbledore said as he turned to the three terrified Dursleys on the couch. “As you know, Harry will be coming of age in a year’s time, he will –”
“No he won’t!” Petunia argued. “Harry doesn’t turn of age until after Dudley and Dudley doesn’t come of age for another year and a half.”
“Ah, but in the Wizarding world we come of age at seventeen, before that time comes, Harry will have to return here one more time, it will only be for a day or so, but it is very important that he returns.”
“And that will be the last of it, just one more day and then he’ll never come back?” Vernon asked.
“That is correct, after Harry comes of age the protection that he has had here will no longer exist and there will be no reason for him to be here. Now, I believe that is all, we’ll be off.”
Dumbledore stood and Remus and Harry followed him out the door, pausing only long enough for Harry to retrieve his father’s cloak and for Remus to shrink his own trunk and pocket it before shouldering Harry’s bag. At the end of the drive they parted ways, Remus apparating to the Burrow fist.
“We’ll be apparating to our destination, so if you would be so kind as to take my left arm, as you can see; my right is a bit fragile at the moment,” Dumbledore said as he held out his left arm for Harry to take.
Harry picked Prongs up and held him with one arm. The fox was as light as a bird but his size made it slightly awkward. Once they were situated he reached out and took a tight hold on the Headmaster’s arm. They didn’t like it, the feeling of being squeezed through a rubber tube was suffocating and when it was over Prongs yowled as though he had been stepped on and Harry quickly released Dumbledore and set the fox down.
I much prefer to Jump.
Harry had always been able to hear the thoughts of the fox and Prongs was capable of hearing Harry’s thoughts as well.
Me too, it’s so much more comfortable.
A year ago Harry had learned how to Jump, it was similar to apparition in that it got him from one place to another in an instant. However Jumping was like opening a door in space it wasn’t at all uncomfortable.
“This way Harry.”
They walked along the street a ways and turned left before making a right soon afterwards. A few houses down they stopped and looked at the broken gate to the yard on the left.
“Oh dear, this is not what I expected. Stay close Harry, and have your wand ready.”
Harry drew his wand and stepped closer to the old man but didn’t worry, there were no ill intentions registering with his empathy and the only emotion he sensed in the house was one of controlled panic and uncertainty. The front door was ripped from the hinges and the entire great room was in shambles. When they moved to the living room they found that it too was in shambles and there was blood spattering the walls and a hole in the ceiling. The emotion was in this room, Harry was sure of it, and after a moment he left Dumbledore’s side and walked over to a purple velvet armchair that was on its side. He looked at it for a moment and then kicked it in the cushion and received an immediate response. The chair yelped and turned into a very round man in a purple velvet robe and a walrus mustache sitting on the floor rubbing his stomach.
“Ah, very impressive Harry, how did you know that the chair was not a chair?”
“I just did.”
“Ah, well then, Harry, meet Horace Slughorn, an old colleague of mine. Horace, this is Harry Potter.”
“Yes, yes, and the answer is no Dumbledore,” the man said as he got to his feet.
“The answer to what?”
“I will not return to your school to teach, and bringing the boy here will not change my mind!”
“Very well, then I shall help you to clean up and then I would like to use your restroom before we go on our way.”
“I know a lost cause when I see one. Stand back now Harry.”
Harry and Prongs retreated and Slughorn and Dumbledore stood back to back and waved their wands simultaneously. The house started to piece itself back together and every broken thing repaired itself, every misplaced or overturned piece righted itself and the blood raced off of the walls and into a vile that Slughorn held in his hand.
“Out of curiosity Horace,” Dumbledore said when the room was at rights, “what type of blood is that?”
“Dragon blood, it’s got a little dust on it, but it should be good for one more use.”
He’s certainly doesn’t seem like someone we’d get along with.
When Dumbledore left for the bathroom down the hall, the man seemed to appraise Harry like a piece of meat.
“Is that a sky fox?” Slughorn’s attention moved to Prongs sitting at Harry’s feet.
“Do you mind?” He stepped closer while holding out a hand and Prongs got to his feet and bared his sharp fangs as he growled from deep in his chest.
Harry knelt down and put a hand on Prongs’ head to calm him, though he didn’t sit back down and he kept his eyes on the man.
“He doesn’t seem to like me… Did you know, I taught your parents when they were in Hogwarts? Your guardians as well. In fact, your mother was one of my favorite students, sharpest there was, at first I thought she could only be a pure blood, I was so surprised to find that she was a muggle born!”
“My best friend is a muggle born and she’s the brightest in our year.”
“Oh don’t misunderstand, I have nothing against muggle borns, its just that usually such talent comes from pure or half blood lines. Like I said, your mother was one of my favorite students. I dare say you remind me more of your father though, the way you look that is, but you have your mother’s eyes, such beautiful eyes, so full of life. I was devastated to learn that she had been killed all those years ago. But you weren’t, you became the boy-who-lived, the only person to ever survive a killing curse.”
Harry didn’t say anything, he was quite sure now that he did not like this man. Horace Slughorn was a fame chaser and it disgusted Harry more than most things.
“I hear they’re calling you the ‘chosen one’ now though, another title for the famous Harry Potter, do you know if it’s true? Are you the ‘chosen one’?”
“Thank you Horace,” Dumbledore said as he reentered the room. “Sorry I took so long, I do so enjoy knitting patterns,” he said as he held up a magazine, “do you mind if I take this?”
“Thank you again, now, we have intruded upon your time enough, I believe it is time Harry and I took our leave, good bye Horace.”
They were by the door when Slughorn shouted after them.
“Oh alright! I’ll come back, but I want a raise and a bigger office!”
“Very well Professor, I’ll see you soon then.”
Dumbledore left with Harry and Prongs at his heels and they returned to the place they had arrived in silence. Harry took Dumbledore’s arm again and felt the suffocating feeling that was apparition. When the feeling stopped and Harry let go of Dumbledore he looked up and saw the Burrow only a little ways from them.
“There are a few more things I wish to discuss with you before we go in Harry. I would like to give you private lessons this year to help prepare you to fight Voldemort, it’s very important. These lessons will not be regular and so I will send word when I have a time. In the mean time, I suggest you tell Ron and Hermione about them, you need your friends now more than ever.”
Harry nodded, Prongs was impatient to get up to the lopsided house but he remained where he was.
“There is also the matter of the prophecy.”
Harry cringed. He had destroyed a prophecy without hesitation because it had been what Voldemort was after. That was the night Sirius had died.
“You destroyed it, but it was not the only record of the prophecy. Professor Trelawney was the one who made the prophecy and I was the one who received it. Would you like to hear it?”
He had been curious, that prophecy was supposed to be the reason his parents had been killed and why Voldemort was after him.
“Yes Professor, I would like to hear it.”
“Very well. The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches ... born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies ... and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not ... and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives ... the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies ...” Dumbledore let it sink in for a minute. “Do you know what the power the prophecy spoke of is?”
He lied through his teeth. “No.”
“It’s love Harry. Your mother’s sacrifice has protected you and will continue to do so.”
Harry thought on it a minute, he doubted that was the truth, but the Headmaster didn’t have to know his theory so he just nodded.
“Very good, now, Remus will be wondering where you are, so let’s not make him worry any longer.”
He looked up at the old man. “I want to take the N.E.W.T. exams this year.” Harry had been thinking it over for a long time, and he didn’t want to go to Hogwarts anymore, he wanted to finish his exams and not go back for his seventh year.
“Harry do you realize what that would mean? You would have to cram two years of study into a single year, in addition to reviewing the past five years. Are you sure?”
“You knew as soon as Prongs found me that I’ve got little need for Hogwarts, and the only reason I’m staying this year is to pass my N.E.W.T.s and graduate.”
“I had suspected.” Dumbledore thought for a moment and nodded. “I’ll see what I can do, but no one has ever graduated from Hogwarts early. Remus will be worried, I suggest we get going.”
Dumbledore led the way up to the Burrow and Harry and Prongs followed behind.
You’re really doing it?
Yes, we’ve talked about it and I think it would be for the best.
Dumbledore knocked and they heard the sound of running footsteps.
“Dumbledore and Harry.”
There were no questions asked, Remus threw open the door and sighed when he saw Harry. He ushered the teenager and fox inside.
“Won’t you come in Dumbledore? Molly has some stew ready.”
“I’m afraid I must be going. Be careful Harry, I’ll see you when school starts.”
The Headmaster turned and walked past the apparition barrier before he was gone.
“Are you hungry Harry?”
He wasn’t, but Harry agreed to eat something before going to bed, he was more tired than anything. They entered the kitchen to find Mrs. Weasley cooking. She left the self-stirring pot to give Harry a big hug and then held him at arm’s length.
“Look at you Harry, you’ve lost weight again, you really should eat more. No worries, I’ll make all of your favorites for you tomorrow, how does that sound?”
“You don’t have to do that Mrs. Weasley.”
“Now, no complaining, just sit down and eat.”
Harry and Remus took seats and bowls of stew were put before them, Prongs got a special bowl of fruit given to him but like Harry, he wasn’t eating as much as he normally did. Neither of them ate more than a few bites before they excused themselves and headed up to the room they would share with Remus. Everyone else was asleep save the two still left in the kitchen and Harry could feel his best friend Ron up on the top floor as well as his other best friend Hermione sharing a room with Ginny, the only girl among Ron’s six siblings. Aside from Mr. Weasley on the second floor it seemed the house was oddly vacant.
Harry didn’t bother changing, he fell into bed and Prongs crawled up beside him.
We haven’t stayed up this long in a while.
No we haven’t.
They were both asleep by the time Remus came up.