I apologize for not getting this chapter up quicker, especially since I had it done on Wednesday, but I didn’t get the chance to upload it. I’ve been gone since then, and didn’t get home until today (Sunday), since I was at SonShine Festival 2004 from Thursday to Saturday. However, I’m taking comfort in the thought that now the angry mobs that have been plaguing my house the whole time I was gone, will be momentarily stopped while you read this story. However, I’m sure that they’ll be back up at the end of this chapter...*groans*
Harry looked up into the face of the man standing behind him. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Fear gripped every part of him as he looked into those blue eyes, which were cold and icy and showed no happiness whatsoever, something Harry couldn’t ever remember seeing. Or rather, couldn’t remember seeing staring at himself.
“Harry, what do you think you’re doing?” Albus Dumbledore asked him, anger evident in his voice, seeming to tower over Harry like a giant, making him feel small and helpless.
“I was – I was –” he started, but the words seemed to be able to come out in the form of a complete sentence. Dumbledore just gave him a hard look, and appeared as though about to speak, when their was another shriek of laughter, and he, Harry and Remus all looked over to where Bellatrix had been lying on the ground.
She was no longer lying on the ground, however; she was standing upright, and looking practically gleeful that Harry was receiving punishment from Dumbledore for the way he acted. However, as Dumbledore fixed his gaze on her, the laughter died from her face and was replaced by fear. She quickly covered it up, though, by forming her face into a look of anger.
“Mark my words, I will be back,” she said, and then she sharply turned her head to look down at Harry. “My master will be wanting a word with you soon, I’m sure.”
Dumbledore finally came to his senses, and pulled out his wand. He fired off a spell at her, but with a loud crack, Bellatrix was gone, and the spell hit the window behind her and shattered it. He seemed to stare at the spot where she had been standing for a while, before turning back to look at Harry, the angry look still in his eyes.
“Let’s go,” he said, and then grabbed a slip of parchment from the inside of his robes. “Portus,” he muttered, pointing his wand at the paper and making it glow for a few seconds.
“Everyone grab hold,” he said, and Harry and Remus did as they were told. Dumbledore counted to three, and Harry felt the oh-to-familiar jerk behind his navel, and saw the familiar blurs of shapes and colors spinning around him. Within a few seconds, he smacked into the hard, cold floor of the kitchen in Number 12 Grimmauld Place.
“Harry!” Hermione screeched, and she ran over to help him up.
“Easy there, Hermione,” Ron said, and the two grabbed Harry under the arms and hoisted him onto his feet. He diverted his gaze to the floor, and stood in his spot, staring at the gray stones beneath him.
“Harry, what’s wrong?” Hermione asked him. “Are you all right?”
“Did something happen to you, mate?” Ron asked him. Harry just avoided their questions, and continued looking at the floor. He could feel everyone’s eyes burning into him, and, not being able to stand it anymore, turned around to walk out of the kitchen.
“Harry, you are not to leave here until you have given us an explanation of what happened,” Dumbledore said behind him. Harry just kept walking, and said, “Ask Remus. He can tell you.”
“Please Harry,” Remus pleaded with him. “Don’t do this. Please stay here and talk. Tell us what happened.”
Harry let out a sarcastic sigh, and said, “You were there. You saw it all. You can tell them what happened.”
“Harry James Potter,” Dumbledore shouted behind him, and Harry was so surprised at the use of his full name, he hesitated for a moment. However, he realized he didn’t care what Dumbledore had to say, so he started walking again.
“Harry, I don’t care if Remus was there,” Dumbledore said just as his hand grasped the doorknob. “You were the one that cast the Cruciatus Curse, not Remus.”
There were loud gasps behind him, and Harry stopped, his hand midway through turning the knob. Anger rose up inside him again, boiling close to the surface, and threatening to overflow.
“Harry, I want to know why you did that to Bellatrix,” Dumbledore said firmly. “The Ministry could be after you now that you used it, and I have to know what tempted you to do it.”
Suddenly, Harry spun around to face him, his anger having reached a peak and spilling over, taking control of his body. His face was red with rage, his muscles were tense, and he was literally shaking. No one, except for Dumbledore, had ever seen him get this mad. He hadn’t been this mad five minutes ago when he used the Cruciatus Curse the first time on Bellatrix, and he thought that right now, he may have even been more angry than he was in Dumbledore’s office that night in June.
“You want to know why I did that?” he asked them, his voice extremely low and quiet, though it was shaking from his anger as well. “None of you would understand.” His green eyes were also blazing, and one look from them would have anyone thinking they were going to shoot out laser beams or petrify you. Harry took the time to look around at the people in front of him.
No one spoke; Hermione and Ron seemed too afraid to, Lupin seemed too shocked to, and Dumbledore looked just as calm and collected as always, just waiting for a reply. Though, anyone who knew him well would have noticed that the twinkle was absent from his eyes, and that they were still slightly fiery.
Sensing that no one was going to speak, at least until after he did, Harry let out another sarcastic sigh. “Figures,” he muttered heatedly. “I should have guessed that none of you would understand.” He shook his head, and said, “Well, if you don’t understand now, I’m not going to waste my time trying to explain it to you.” He turned around again and grasped the doorknob. Again, he got halfway through turning it when someone spoke up.
“Harry, please,” Ron said, a pleading note to his voice as well. “Please, just tell us what happened. We want to understand, we really do! We just can’t unless you explain it to us.”
Harry just stared at the doorknob, which was still half-turned, and closed his eyes. When he spoke, he was still facing the door, and it was still in the quiet, heated voice he had been using earlier. “Understand?” he asked, and he let out a small snort of angry laughter. “There’s nothing for you to understand. None of you could understand why I did it. None of you feel the anger and the pain that I do. None of you could possibly comprehend the way I feel.”
“Harry, stop being so thick!” Hermione yelled, though Harry noticed her voice was heavy, meaning that she was probably trying to keep herself from crying. “You know, you’re not the only one who lost Sirius here! We all knew him and loved him to!”
Again, Harry spun around angrily to face her. “Yes, but you didn’t know him or love him the way I did!” he yelled. “He was my godfather Hermione! My godfather!”
“And what was he to Lupin, Harry?” Hermione yelled back, her eyes starting to collect water, though she looked as though she was trying to be defiant. “For Merlin’s sake, Harry! He was Professor Lupin’s best friend!”
“You don’t think I know that?” Harry yelled, and Hermione took one step towards him. “No, I don’t think you do, Harry,” she told him, her eyes becoming just as livid as Harry’s. “I don’t think you realize exactly how much that hurt Professor Lupin, either. Yes, he was your godfather, but he was also Lupin’s best friend. And you hadn’t even known him that long; Lupin knew him since their days at school together!”
“It doesn’t matter how long they knew each other!” Harry yelled at him. “I only knew him for two years, and I looked up to him in ways I’ve never looked up to anyone before! He was like my father, Hermione! He was the closest thing to a father that I’ve ever had – that I probably ever will have! There is no one who can replace that!”
“I’m not saying that anyone can replace that, Harry,” she said, her voice calmer now, and her eyes trying to show understanding through the soft tears in them that were running down her cheeks. “All I’m saying is, give us a chance. We didn’t know him like you, but-”
“THAT’S RIGHT!” Harry yelled at her, and she actually jumped at his sudden outburst. “YOU DIDN’T KNOW HIM LIKE ME! NO ONE KNEW HIM LIKE I DID! NO ONE CAN BEGIN TO IMAGINE HOW I FELT ABOUT HIM, HOW MUCH I CARED ABOUT HIM, AND THEN HAVING SOMETHING LIKE THAT ALL TAKEN AWAY FROM ME!”
“Harry, I-” Hermione started, but he cut her off.
“NO,” Harry yelled. “YOU ALL WANT TO KNOW WHY I USED THE CRUCIATUS CURSE ON BELLATRIX? FINE, I’LL TELL YOU! I HATE HER, ALL RIGHT? I HATE HER! I HATE HER WITH SUCH A DEEP, HORRENDOUS, ALL-CONSUMING PASSION THAT I WANT HER TO DIE!
“I CAN’T STAND KNOWING THAT SHE’S LIVING AND IS STILL FREE AFTER WHAT SHE DID TO SIRIUS!” Harry continued, his voice bouncing off the stone walls and making him seem even louder than he actually was. “SHE KILLED HIM, AND I WANT MORE THAN ANYTHING TO KILL HER! BUT BEFORE I DO THAT, I WANT TO SEE HER SUFFER – SUFFER LIKE I’VE BEEN DOING EVER SINCE SHE KILLED SIRIUS AND TOOK HIM AWAY FROM ME!”
“Harry, please don’t do this to yourself,” Remus said, his voice strained. “You’re just hurting yourself more this way. Please, don’t do this.”
“HOW CAN YOU TELL ME NOT TO DO THIS?” Harry yelled. “I THOUGHT THAT YOU, OF ALL PEOPLE, WOULD EVEN SLIGHTLY UNDERSTAND WHY I DID WHAT I DID! I KNEW THAT NO ONE WOULD BE ABLE TO FULLY GET IT, BUT I THOUGHT THAT YOU, HIS ‘BEST FRIEND’, AS HERMIONE POINTED OUT, WOULD UNDERSTAND THAT I HATE HER MORE THAN ANYTHING AND WANT HER TO DIE!”
“Harry, I cannot wish death upon another person just because of something they did to one of my friends,” Remus told him, loosing his composure rapidly.
Harry let out a sigh of disbelief. “I don’t believe you,” he said, and everyone was shocked to hear his voice had gone suddenly soft. He sounded let down, almost betrayed. “I mean, I didn’t expect you to understand, but I thought that you’d get the idea, Remus.”
“Harry, I’m sorry,” Remus told him. “But I can’t wish death upon someone no matter what they did.”
Harry’s face fell, and his mouth was hanging open slightly in a small frown. He let out another sigh of disbelief, and shook his head. “Wow,” he said, his voice quiet and emotionless. “I never thought I’d be hearing you say something like that. I thought you cared enough about Sirius to want to do something about his death.”
“Harry, make no mistake,” Remus said firmly. “I do care about Sirius. But I’m not going to kill another person, just so that I can end up in Azkaban for the rest of my life because that person happened to kill my best friend.”
Harry shook his head again, staring at them all, acting as though he was trying to shake everything away and make everyone agree with him. But that didn’t happen. When he looked at them, he saw the same expressions on their faces, each plainly saying that he shouldn’t have done what he did, and that they didn’t agree in the least with his actions.
Harry took a step back, still shaking his head. He looked at them all, still expecting one of them to yell out, “April Fools!” But, seeing as how none of them plainly agreed with him, and it wasn’t anywhere near April, reality finally sunk in. They didn’t understand, and they didn’t care. He knew they wouldn’t, but he still hoped they would. He was hoping that Remus would at least grab the concept, but he didn’t seem to be able to do that either. He shouldn’t have gotten his hopes up. He should have just walked away at the beginning, and not given anyone else a chance. He knew they wouldn’t understand, but yet he still tried, just because he always gave up so easily.
Well, he wasn’t going to give up that easily this time. He wasn’t going to turn back now. He was just going to go; was just going to leave. He didn’t care anymore. He didn’t care that everyone would have his head when he came back. Of course, that was all assuming that he would come back, which, at the moment, he had no intention of doing.
He kept backing up, finally reaching the door, and he slowly turned the knob. He opened it up, and with one final glance at everyone in the room, turned around and ran up the stairs. He could hear the shouts behind him, calling for him to stop, but he wouldn’t; he couldn’t. He just kept running, until he reached the door and flung it open. He ran outside, and bolted off down the front walk.
He could hear the others running outside after him, but he didn’t turn around to look at them. He just kept going, never looking back. For being a very skinny boy, especially one who had been inside for most of the summer, he could run very fast, and he used that to his advantage.
He ran down the block, and then turned right down another. He ran to the end of that one, still hearing the hurried footsteps behind him, before turning down an alleyway and moving onto another block. He could still faintly hear the footsteps behind him, so he put on a quick burst of speed, and plumped down the block. He saw ahead of him an old park, with a rusty old swing set in it that looked like it hadn’t been used in years, and a small patch of woods behind it.
He jumped onto the curb and ran through the foot long grass of the park, which he supposed hadn’t been cut in quite some time, due to the park’s lack of people. He sprinted through it all, and came to the place where the swing set was. He jumped into the hard, clumped-together sand that it sat in, and ran through it, his sneakers sinking slightly into the brown muck with each step.
He made it to the other side in about twenty long strides, and jumped out back into the grass. He sprinted at top-speed through it, and ran for cover in the trees. He couldn’t hear anyone behind him anymore, and he figured that he had lost everyone quite some time ago. However, he wanted to be certain no one saw him, so he kept running as fast as his legs would carry him. He finally reached the tall trees, and ran through them, zigzagging between each one.
He came to a small clearing in the trees, and allowed a little of the afternoon sun to come in and shine down on him. He saw a long, hollowed out log on the ground, and, panting heavily with sweat rolling down his face, he sat down on top of it.
He sat there for a while, trying to catch his breath and wiping the sweat from his forehead. Eventually, he calmed down enough to think about what he had just done. It was a stupid thing to do, really, running away from Grimmauld Place without anyone with him. He didn’t have the slightest idea of where he was now, and he didn’t think he could find his way back even if he had wanted to.
He closed his eyes and buried his face in his hands. He couldn’t believe he had just thought that; of course he wanted to go back! He hadn’t realized it until now, but he really did love living there. It was the only way to prove to him that Sirius really had lived at one point anymore. It was the only place that showed him he had once existed, and had really cared for Harry.
Thinking of this again, Harry suddenly started to cry. Tears leaked from his eyes, and great sobs seemed to start in his stomach and move all the way up through his throat and out his mouth. His chest was again heaving with emotion, and his body was once again shaking, though this time from sadness and loss instead of anger. He needed to feel something again, something other than the sadness. He needed to prove to himself that he was still alive, that he was still really there.
He glanced around him, and found a long stick lying on the ground. He picked it up and broke off the end, creating a sharp point in the wood. It wasn’t as sharp as glass, but it would have to do. Anything to release the sorrow he was feeling right now.
Slowly, he pulled up the sleeve of his robe, and looked into the deep, crusted scar that was there on his left wrist. Carefully, he took the sharp end of the stick, and pressed it as hard as he could to the skin there, and dragged it across the length of his wrist. It shot pain through his arm, though it didn’t do much. Harry suspected it wouldn’t; after all, no matter how pointy and sharp, it was still only a piece of wood.
He tried again, and was surprised when a small piece of the brownish-layer on his skin opened up and let a small bit of blood seep through it. It must have been easier to open than he thought. Of course, the wound was still recovering, so it should have been no surprise that it opened up that quickly.
Wasting no time, Harry ran the stick over his wrist again, pressing the pointed end into the wound even harder, making his knuckles turn a bright white color. He continued to do that, until blood was freely flowing from his wrist.
He raised his arm to eye level, and looked at the blood that flowed down the side of it, dripping off and coloring the ground below. He marveled at it for a few seconds, before realizing what he had done. He had once again fallen to the temptation of his mind, and had cut himself. He promised himself the last time he had actually done it that he wouldn’t do it anymore, and he had felt pride in telling Bellatrix that he hadn’t done it since then.
But now, less than a week later, he had broken his promise to himself, and had cut his wrist. Anger boiled in him again, and screamed out in fury, before slumping onto the length of the log, while pulling his arm close. He cried great heavy sobs again, until the light settled somewhere beyond the trees, and he slipped into an uneasy sleep.
Well, that's the end of the chapter. I'm not sure if I really like this one, because I'm not sure how to start out what I want to write next. lol. But it's all good. Actually, you might have been feeling a little bit of deja vu around the part where Harry was running if you've read any of my SongFics. ^_^ Anyway, please review, and let me know what you thought!