Ron jumped out of his chair and started yelling at the screen. Tom, the innkeeper at the Leaky Cauldron, had installed a wizard glass in the pub. It was kind of like a muggle television without electricity. They were the latest craze of the wizarding world. Sirius and Harry had made it a habit to watch the quidditch matches every Saturday while enjoying a drink. Today is was the Chudley Cannons against the Montrose Magpies.
"Did you see that Harry?" That was obvious blatching!" Ron was turning red and nearly jumping up and down.
"It's okay Ron," said Harry. "Look, the referee called it. You can sit now."
"Bloody, dirty cheaters," mumbled Ron.
The Cannons were getting beaten quite badly . . . again. Harry took a sip of his butterbeer as he turned to Sirius.
"Did you go shopping today?"
Sirius took a sip of his drink, acting as though he hadn't heard Harry.
Sirius turned to Harry.
"Did I do what?"
"No, must have totally slipped my mind," said Sirius as he shrugged.
Harry shook his head.
"Fine, we'll to after the match," said Harry.
"You know Harry, I really haven't been feeling well lately. I think I'm coming down with something. I probably should go home and rest."
"You seemed to be fine last night when you were out until the wee hours of the morning."
Sirius scowled at Harry.
"Fine, we'll go after the match," said Sirius as his eyes drifted back up to the screen.
"You'd better get going then," said Ron as he slammed down his glass. "The Magpies got the snitch.
Harry watched Sirius's face slacken into a look of pure distress. Harry stood up and grabbed Sirius's forearm.
"Come on Sirius. Stop acting like a child," said Harry, mocking his Godfather's earlier words. "Wanna come Ron?"
"Nah, I need to get going to the store. I told George I'd be back at four," said Ron as he grabbed his cloak.
"Alright. I'll see you on Monday then."
"Okay. Bye Harry, Sirius."
Ron left out the back, on his way to Diagon Alley. Harry and Sirius went on their way to muggle London.
"I really don't see why you hate shopping so much," said Harry as he and Sirius walked down the sidewalk to the corner store. They were only a couple of blocks from their flat. "You don't seem to have a problem eating all the food."
"Its all this stupid muggle money you insist on using," said Sirius as he stuck his hands in his coat pocket. "We could go to Diagon Alley like normal people and use normal money."
"Do remember that you work at a muggle job and get paid muggle money."
"I know," grumbled Sirius.
"Awe Siri, you sound so unappreciative. I worked hard to find you that job in the trades."
"No Harry, I am appreciative. I'm just frustrated. I want a job where I can use magic, you know, like what I did before I was in Azkaban. I'm not made out for selling books and serving coffee."
"I thought you liked the job at the bookstore?" asked Harry.
"It's not bad but it's definitely not me. Besides, it hardly pays enough for our flat."
"Sirius, I do have money in my vault at Gringotts you know."
"I know Harry but it's your money."
"No, it's my parents money."
"It's for you when you move out and have your own family. Let me be the one to provide for you now. It's what I owe you. Let me really be your Godfather now. Merlin knows I haven't had the chance for the last fifteen years."
Harry knew he would lose this argument. Since Sirius was acquitted the winter of Harry's seventh year at Hogwarts, he's been doing all he could to provide for his godson.
"Sirius, you have been more than a godfather for me the last four years. Really, I could help out more with money."
"At least let me pay you back for the Firebolt you bought me."
Harry rolled his eyes at Sirius and the two continued in silence until they reached the grocery store. Sirius took out a worn leather wallet and pulled out a few bills.
"Here, I'll get the food and you figure out the money this time."
Harry laughed as he accepted the notes and followed Sirius.
They left the store with several bags each and Sirius with a considerably lighter wallet. They made their way back to the third story flat they shared. After they were sure they were out of the vicinity of any muggles, Sirius and Harry both brandished their wands and levitated the heavy bags into the apartment.
"Sirius, I'll put the food away since you wouldn't let me buy," said Harry as he levitated the bags onto the kitchen counter.
"Deal. Hey, would you also do my laundry?" said Sirius with a smile.
"Hey Harry," said Sirius as he grabbed a jacket off the end of the sofa in their small living room. "You want to come with me tonight? Some muggle friends and I are going down to a muggle pub to watch a football match. It's really amazing the kind of sports they make up without magic."
Harry looked up from a book resting on his lap. He was sprawled out on the sofa, which was a little too small for his long frame.
"Um, no thanks. I'm going to hang around here tonight," said Harry as he gave Sirius a small smile and returned to his book.
"Are you sure?"
"Is something wrong?"
Harry suddenly looked up from the book.
"Of-of course not. No, I'm just tired."
Sirius eyed Harry suspiciously before walking in front of him and crossing his arms.
"Come on Harry. I can tell when something is bothering you. Now spill."
"Sirius, go with your friends. I'm fine," said Harry in a very unusual tone of aggravation.
Sirius left the room and walked into the kitchen. He picked up the telephone on the counter and dialed a number.
"Hey, this is Sirius. Is Simon there? Hey, I can't make it tonight. No, sorry. Yeah sure. Yeah, I'll see you on Monday. Yeah, okay. Bye."
Sirius walked back into the living room and sat in a chair next to the sofa.
"So what pub are you going to tonight?" asked Harry, not looking up from his book.
"Because you won't tell me what's bothering you."
Harry slammed his book shut and turned his body towards Sirius.
"Nothing is bothering me. Will you just drop it?"
"Now I definitely know something is wrong. Come on Harry. What is the use of me being here if I can't be someone you can trust and talk to?"
Harry sighed with annoyance and let his head flop into his hands.
"Sirius, I trust you. I've trusted you since you convinced me that you weren't going to kill me."
This comment made Sirius smile.
"Yes, well I am very convincing."
Harry laughed and looked up.
"Just trust me. I really don't want to talk about it, okay?"
Sirius let the smile leave his face.
"Harry, it does no good to just leave what is bothering you unsaid. It'll just eat away at you. Please, tell me."
"It's been eating away at me for six months and I'm perfectly fine."
Sirius thought about this for a moment.
"Is this about last winter Harry?"
Harry made no answer. He looked his Godfather in the eye for a moment and then let his gaze drop.
"Harry, come on. Tell me. I know what you're thinking about and your doing yourself no good by dwelling on it."
"I have no choice but to dwell on it Sirius. I think about it when I'm awake and I dream about it when I sleep. No matter what I do, I can't get it out of my head."
"Have you tried to talk to someone?"
"Of course I have," said Harry. He didn't sound too convincing.
"We all know the story Harry," said Sirius. "Now how do you feel about it? Tell me that."
"I feel about this like I do everything else that has ever happened to me."
Sirius looked puzzled.
"And that would be?" said Sirius, trying to get Harry to continue.
"That it's all my fault."
Sirius was again confused.
"What was all your fault?"
Harry sighed heavily.
"You need to be a bit more specific Harry."
"Everything! What happened last year, and the year before that and the year before that. Hell, everything since I was born."
"What? What are you talking about Harry?"
"See, this is why I don't tell anyone. No one understands."
Sirius was getting really frustrated but he caught himself before he said anything that would make the situation worse.
"Okay, let's start with last year. The only thing that was your fault was the death of Voldemort and I wouldn't exactly call that a fault."
"And what about . . ." Harry stopped. Sirius saw his face slacken with pain and guilt. He hated to see those emotions on Harry's face but he couldn't let Harry stew in his own misery. He reached out and grabbed Harry's hand in his own.
"Come on Harry. You can tell me. You'll feel better," said Sirius in his most caring and compassionate voice.
"Harry, you can't blame yourself . . ."
"Sirius, it was my fault. It's my fault she's dead."
"Harry, it wasn't your fault. It was Voldemort's fault. It was the Ministry's fault. Hell, it was even Dumbledore's fault. Anyone but yours. You didn't do anything."
Harry started to slowly shake is head. He looked down at his own hand encased by both his godfather's.
"It was all my fault. I loved her and Voldemort knew that. He knew he could hurt me through her and he did. I loved her and it killed her," said Harry. He hardly managed to choke out the last few words.
Sirius didn't know what to say to this. He had no comforting thoughts to wipe this from Harry's mind.
"You think about her a lot, don't you?"
"Is that why you don't sleep, why you're always late?"
Harry nodded again. Tears were visibly sliding down his face.
Sirius felt like his heart was being ripped in two. He got up from his own chair and sat next to Harry. He pulled his godson into his arms and held him in a tight embrace. Harry buried his face into Sirius's shoulder and cried. The vivid memory from last year began to wash over him.
Harry was sitting with Ron and Hermione at the Gryffindor house table. It was their seventh year and students were starting to return from the Christmas holiday. Harry was joking around with Ron when they were interrupted by Lupin.
"Harry, Dumbledore wishes to see you in his office immediately," said Lupin in a hurried voice. The look on his face told Harry that he meant "immediately."
Harry cast puzzled looks at both his friends before following his teacher up to Dumbledore's office. They came to the gargoyle and Lupin didn't even bother to be secretive about the password. He just blurted it right out and waited for the statue to move. Harry followed him up the stone stairs to Dumbledore's office.
They both entered the office and Harry was met by a grave looking Dumbledore. He was missing the usual sparkle in his blue eyes and for once was actually looking his age.
"I'm sorry to have pulled you away from anything important Harry," said Dumbledore in a low voice.
"No, it's fine professor. I was just waiting for Summer to get back from the train."
At this, Dumbledore visibly saddened.
"Harry, you may want to sit down for this."
Harry looked at Dumbledore with a confused look on his face. He took a seat in front of Dumbledore's desk.
"I'm sorry to have to tell you this Harry, but Summer did not get on the train."
Harry was becoming more puzzled.
"Did she miss the train or something?"
Dumbledore shook his head.
"There was a woman attacked in Diagon Alley two days ago. She was taken by deatheaters. It was Summer, Harry. They found her in front of the Ministry yesterday. She didn't survive the attack. I'm so sorry Harry. I know how close you were to her."
Harry kept his eyes fixed on the headmaster. He couldn't move. He couldn't think. He couldn't breath. Not possible. It couldn't be. Not his Summer. Not the bright, smart, beautiful girl he had known so well. The one who would try to fix his messy hair with spells of her own invention and laugh when they ended up turning his dark locks bright purple. Not the Summer who would owl him notes in the middle of the night with pictures of moving stick people flying around on little broomsticks. Not the Summer who loved him because he was himself, not the famous Harry Potter. Not the Summer he loved.
Harry tightened his arms around his Godfather as he let all the emotion he had been keeping in out. He didn't allow himself cry at Summer's funeral. He couldn't mourn for her properly if her killer was still roaming around the country, looking for his next victim. He didn't cry as he loomed over Voldemort's expired body. He wouldn't let anyone mistake his tears as joy for himself or his deed. It was for his parents. It was for Summer. It was for everyone who had suffered by the hand of Voldemort.