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Inferno by o0o_MoonyGirl_o0o

Format: Novella
Chapters: 21
Word Count: 36,256
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: 12+
Warnings: Mild Violence,

Genres: Action/Adventure, Angst
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Dumbledore, Lupin, Snape, Sirius, Fred/George, Ginny
Pairings:

First Published: 10/13/2004
Last Chapter: 01/21/2007
Last Updated: 01/21/2007

Summary:
Due to certain occurrances, Harry Potter hasn't practiced Occlumency in a long time, and we all know what happened to Mr. Weasley last time that happened. One night Harry has a dream about that mournful day he attended Remus' funeral, but there's only one problem. When Harry went to bed, Remus Lupin was alive...



EPILOGUE  ADDED! This comes after When All is Lost... but can be read on it's own!!!!!!!!! Thanks to mellihobbit for the awesome bann


Chapter 1: Three's Company
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Hey everyone! Just so you know this is the third part of a trilogy, but thi story can be read on it's own. If you want to check out the stories that came before they are A Cry for Help and When All is Lost... I'm sorry to those of you who have read them if some of this becomes repeatitive but by the end of this chapter everyone will be on the same page, so... without further a do, here's inferno! Oh and by the way I don't own any of the characters or anything they all belong to the amazing JK Rowling (like you didn't already know that!)




Inferno


Three's Company



Harry stood alone in the kitchen of Grimmauld place making tea. Smiling as he listened to the hollers coming from the living room beside him. To the untrained ear it would have sounded like Harry's god father's were having a severe argument, but Harry knew better. Lately arguments frequently erupted over who was the most heroic during their little adventure in the underworld.

"You fought all of the Death Eaters off!?!" Remus shouted incredulously, "As I recall it was me who blew that one off your back before he obliterated you!"

Sirius scowled, "Well at least I didn't fight on my back!" he teased.

"That happens to be how I fight." Remus said reproachfully. Sirius chuckled.

"Are you guys done?" Harry said as he had been attempting to offer them tea but they were to busy rowing.

"Yes, I think it’s clear who the real hero was." Remus said taking up a sip of his tea.

"Yeah, me" Sirius said in an undertone as he sipped his own. Remus only smiled. He was clearly only in this to annoy Sirius. Ever since the Weasleys had gone back to the burrow and Hermione had returned home life had been spectacular for Harry. Having Sirius back seemed to cheer Lupin up beyond measure, which in turn cheered Harry up as well. Sirius and Remus had invited Harry to stay with them until the end of the summer and the Weasley's would be returning for the last week holidays, which was quickly approaching.

Harry laughed at his god fathers as he sat down on the couch beside Sirius. Looking down Harry saw Remus' disused cane lying on the floor beside his feet. Remus seemed to know he was looking at it.

"I hate that thing" he said from behind his cup of tea.

"I don't see why" Sirius said from beside Harry. "It saved your leg."

"Yes but Molly seems to think I still need it." he said dully, resting his still scarred face in his hand.
"Did it ever occur to you that maybe you do need it?" Sirius said with a smile.

"Of course not" Remus said looking taken aback. "You don't think I need it do you Harry.

Harry smiled, if Remus was trying to get him on his side of an argument with Sirius that could only mean one thing, he's desperate.

"Your leg was pretty bad" Harry said carefully. Remus gave up and walked back into the kitchen for more tea.

Later at dinner Harry found his two god father's once again in a heated discussion, this time over drinking.

"I don't like getting drunk" Sirius said in an amused tone. "Well...I like getting drunk, I don't like being drunk." Remus laughed out loud, like Harry hadn't heard him laugh since the night before he left to go through the veil. Harry had trouble swallowing his meal as Remus and Sirius argued and laughed.

Harry went up to bed without a care in the world. Now that he had Sirius and Remus, everything seemed so perfect. It didn't seem like anything could ever go wrong.

Harry's eyes drooped as he stared up at the ceiling where the dark green paint was chipped and cracked. Harry closed his eyes and the last thing he remembered thinking was hat he was the luckiest person in the world.

* * *


Harry found himself standing in a field where the grass was sprinkled with large flakes of snow. Harry blinked to try and adjust his eyes to the brightness of his surroundings. Suddenly, as the light flooded into him, so did the realization, he was in a graveyard.

Harry walked up to the group of people to see that they were all people he knew.

Hermione and her family stood all in black in the back of the crowd. Eight heads covered with fiery red hair blocked Harry's vision. Harry saw that Sirius was no where to be seen and upon further inspection of the crowd of people Harry noticed that he himself was among them. Tonks stood sobbing between Charlie and Mrs. Weasly, her hair as black as her dress. Harry saw that both Ginny and Hermione were weeping as well. Even the weather seemed down hearted, the dull cloudy sky continue to sprinkle heavy flakes of snow on the group of people.

Harry looked at the grave and read.

In loving memory of Remus John Lupin


Harry sat bolt upright in his bed. His head swam and he faintly heard echoing footsteps coming up the stairs. Suddenly the door to Harry's room swung violently open and the gaunt face and shoulder length flowing black hair of Sirius were visible in the doorway, a worried expression showing on his face. Harry could still here thuds and bangs as Remus came up the stairs with his cane.

"Harry what's wrong? I heard you yelling!" Sirius said loudly, still sounding worried.

"It was so real" Harry said to himself.

"What was so real?" Remus asked, slightly out of breath as he entered the dimly lit room.

"Your...your-" Harry just couldn't bring himself to say funeral.

"Harry calm down" Sirius said sitting on the huge bed, Remus did the same. Sirius put a
hand on Harry's shoulder for support. "What's wrong?" he asked again.

Harry barely heard the question, his vision teased him by jumping in and out of focus and everything he heard seemed to be coming from somewhere distant.

"Harry?" Lupin said, now worried as well.

"Your funeral" Harry blurted out. Lupin went silent, Sirius looked over at him.

"Do you think it meant something?" Sirius asked in a hoarse voice, fiddling with the gold comforters with his long fingers.

"Yes" Harry said, much to the surprise of both Sirius and Remus. Remus went pale.

"I think we should go see Dumbledore" Sirius said after a short stressful silence.

"Yes" Harry repeated in a whisper. The three of them walked downstairs and with floo powder in hand departed for Dumbledore's office.

Harry looked around the office and spotted the majestic figure of Dumbledore stroking Fawkes the phoenix.

"Ah, sit down." he said kindly to them as they stepped inside, waving them into three arm chairs that had appeared in front of his desk. "What may I assist you with?"

"Harry had a suspicious dream." Sirius said, getting straight to the point.

"I see" Dumbledore said thoughtfully.

"It was real..." Harry started, "but it can't be." Harry was surprised to see that Dumbledore seemed to understand what he had just said, he continued to look thoughtful.

"And what was this dream about Harry?" he asked.

"A funeral" Harry said shortly.

"Who's?"

Harry couldn't bring himself to speak, he didn't trust his voice, he simply pointed in Lupin's direction, Remus bowed his head.

"I see" Dumbledore said softly. Harry felt bad for having to put everyone through more trouble, but he didn't want to do nothing either. "Harry" Dumbledore said softly after a moment, Harry looked up into his voluminous light blue eyes. "Do you remember this dream?" he asked. Harry nodded.

Suddenly Dumbledore got up and swept over to a small cabinet with a clawed foot at the bottom of each leg. He opened it but Harry couldn't see what he pulled out because Dumbledore had his back to him. Harry sighed as Dumbledore returned to his desk holding a heavy stone basin. He put it down heavily and beckoned Harry towards him.

"Do you know what this is?" he asked. Harry nodded. "Have you ever put a memory into a penseive?"

This time Harry shook his head.

"Harry I want you to concentrate very hard on the dream you had." Dumbledore whispered to him. Harry closed his eyes tight and pictured everything he remembered. The snow, the crowd, the sadness, all of it was held in Harry's memory as he concentrated as hard as he could. Suddenly he felt the coolness of Dumbledore's wand tip on his temple and the details began to slip away. Harry tried to keep remembering but it was like holding water in your hands, soon nothing remained.

Harry then looked down into the roughly carved stone basin and saw the graveyard once more. The four of them leaned in over the penseive and before Harry knew it they were standing in the now familiar grave yard. Harry followed as Dumbledore led the way to the crowd gathered around the burial spot.

Harry watched them all explore the surrounding Harry wished he had never seen before himself. Sirius quietly asked Remus where he was, it appeared that Remus had no answer.

"I should think that you are here Sirius" Dumbledore said calmly, reading the markings on the grave stone. "But you are probably under the invisibility cloak so you are not seen." Sirius nodded in agreement.

Suddenly Dumbledore looked rushed, Harry watched as he pulled out his wand and suddenly they were back in his huge glimmering office.

Harry saw Sirius and Remus go pale as they read the inscription on the grave stone. Sirius turned to Remus and the two engaged in a brotherly hug. "Don't worry Moony" Sirius said in a hoarse voice. "I won't let this happen."

"Then you are going to have to take some action immediately," Dumbledore cut in. "Because according to that grave stone Remus Lupin died three days from now."



Chapter 2: Moony vs. Padfoot
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Moony vs. Padfoot



Harry sat, stunned. Remus... dead, in three days!?!

Harry thought Remus' legs might give out, it certainly looked like it. Sirius got up and paced the room a few times, his face gaunt and expressionless.

Harry's mind exploded with questions just dying to be asked.

"We have to do something." Sirius finally said. All of them looked to Remus to see what he had to say, but he couldn't bring himself to speak.

"I agree with Sirius" Harry finally said in a choked voice.

"Well..." Dumbledore started, "we can't do much until we know what is to happen three days from now that will lead to his death." Dumbledore said sadly.

"But we can't find out how he dies until it actually happens!" Sirius said in a whiny but voice, which much reinded Harry of Padfoot.

Remus just stared at the floor, to panicked and confused to speak properly.

"Remus?" Sirius said in a tender tone as he sat down beside him, "you ok?"

Remus nodded numbly. He had so much he had hoped to accomplish before it was all over, he wanted to be there for Harry, with Sirius, and the Weasleys, and Ginny.
Remus' mind flickered back to when Ginny had gone back in time and saved his life, hooking up with him in the process. Remus sighed maybe he would be seeing Lily and James soon.

Suddenly Remus was jerked out of his thoughts when he felt a hand on his shoulder, he looked up into Sirius' onyx eyes. He was aware of them boring into him searching for any sign of emotion Remus tried so hard to keep inside, and he was succeeding, Sirius found Remus' thoughts to be as inscrutable as always. The glossy sheild of those amber pools hid every thought so convincingly that Sirius never tried to predict what dear old Moony was thinking out of fear of offending him without meaning to.

Yet somehow this time Sirius managed to see, concealed in the depths of his glowing eyes, a sadness that not even he could hide.

"It's ok Moony" Sirius said in attempt to cheer Remus (and probably himself) up. Remus got up, taking Sirius by surprise.

"I don't think there's anything to be done Padfoot" he said sadly, these words made Harry and Sirius stare at him.

"You don't think we're going to just sit around and watch do you!?!" Harry said incredulously.

"Harry" said Remus in a tender tone as he walked over to him placing his hands on Harry's shoulders, "like I said...there's nothing to be done, maybe it was meant to be and we just found that out by accident."

"No" Harry said fiercely. "I Lost my parents" Remus hung his head, "I lost Sirius" Sirius looked over, "And I even lost you for a while.... never again!" Harry finished in a shout.

"I know Harry" Remus said tiredly.

"He's right you know" Sirius said in a low voice, Remus was silenced.

"The question is not if we should do anything then" Dumbledore cut in, making them all jump as he had not spoken for a long time and they had forgotten he was even there. "But what to do."

"There's nothing we can do Albus!" Remus said, trying to sound convincing, and failing.

"We shall see about that" he said shortly, and with a swish of his robe he was gone.

"That man sure knows how to make an exit" Sirius said in awe, completely forgetting the severity of the situation at hand.

"We should go" Harry said.

"And tell the others" Sirius concluded.

"No" Remus said fiercely, "there's no need to worry the others."

"Remus!" Sirius finally lost it. "If we don't do something within the next three days I am going to be the last Marauder! I refuse to let that happen!" he yelled.

Unfortunately something happened then that hadn't happened for years, Remus lost it too.

"Oh really!?!" Remus shouted in reply. "I can't imagine what that must be like! Oh wait...yes I can, because for a few months I was the last Marauder!"

"Oh and that's my fault!" Sirius retorted loudly. Harry was speechless he had never seen his god fathers actually fight before.

"Actually it is your fault if you haven't noticed!" Remus full out yelled.

"Oh and how is that!"

"Maybe if you would have just listened to Dumbledore and stayed at Grimmauld place like you were told!"

"Oh so it's my fault I was worried about Harry!" Sirius snarled, Harry flinched when his own name was dragged into the row.

"None of this would have happened if you weren't so arogant!"

"WELL EXCUSE ME FOR NOT WANTING TO BE CAGED UP LIKE AN ANIMAL!!!"

Now it was Remus' turn to explode. "You have no idea what it's like to be caged up like an animal Sirius! All of my pathetic life I've been afraid that people would see me for what I really am.... I AM AN ANIMAL!" and with that Remus stormed out of the office leaving both Sirius and Harry to cower in his wake.

Harry sat back down in one of the chairs conjured beside Dumbledore's desk.
"Ugh! That man!" Sirius yelled in frustration.

"Sirius" Harry said weakly, Sirius looked down at him. "I think that if Remus only has three days..." Harry finally gave into his overpowering emotions as tears rolled down his slightly flushed cheeks. "He doesn't want to spend them fighting with the one person he enjoys being with."

Sirius looked down at Harry and put a shaking hand on his shoulder. "That's not true Harry..." he said, Harry looked up at him questioningly."There are two thing wrong with what you just said, one, we will under no circumstances let our Moony leave us, and two..." Sirius paused, "He loves having you around too."

Harry smiled sadly, he was still worried about Lupin, nothing Sirius could say would change that, but he did feel a bit better.

"Let's go" Sirius said leading the way to the fireplace before disappearing to the kitchen of number twelve Grimmauld place.

Harry stepped out of the fireplace and brushed off his robes. Harry saw the end of Sirius' robes swish around the corner in pursuit of Remus.

Harry went in the living room to find Remus sitting on the couch and Sirius standing at his side.

"Please Remus..." Sirius pleaded, "they have to know...you're like family to them, to all of us."

Remus remained silent for a moment before speaking at last. "They would only worry."

"Sirius is right" Harry said, the two of them looked at Harry, Remus fell silent and hung his head, finally accepting defeat.

"I'll call the Weasley's" Sirius said quickly leaving the room.

Harry sat down beside Remus. "I'm sorry" Harry whispered.

"It's not your fault Harry" he said softly, "It's no ones fault. I shouldn't have yelled at Sirius."

They both waited a few minutes for Sirius, he was taking longer than either of them had expected.

A Burst of flame and a feminine shriek announced the arrival of Molly Weasly, accompanied closely by her family, Hermione, and Tonks.

"Molly" Remus said standing up as she hugged him tightly. Before long, Remus had been hugged by Molly, Hermione, Ginny, Tonks, and Molly came back for a second, trying to hold back sobs. "I'm so sorry Remus" she cried.

"It's ok Molly" he comforted her, she pulled away wiping her eyes and hastily muttering something about having something in her eye. They all headed into the kitchen.
"Hi Harry" Hermione said hugging him. Ron walked over and said hello as well. The three sat down at the table and were almost instantly provided with tea.

"This isn't good" Hermione said before taking a long calming sip of her tea.

"Definately not good" Ron agreed, "poor Lupin" he said, looking over at him on the other side of the table.

"Yeah" Harry sighed.

After a while of talking worriedly about the fate of Lupin Sirius stood up and spoke to Remus. "Come on Moony" he said, Remus got up. Sirius lead the still down hearted Remus out of the kitchen and into the living room. "I think we should talk."


Hey people! You guys are so great! Please continue to review and I will continue to update! Tell me what you think!

Chapter 3: Of Memories and Arrivals
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Ok guys, here it is...chapter three. Just a little moment I thought was needed as a way to break all the tension building(or maybe add to it I don't know). As always I own nothing but the plot...you know the drill. And I would like to point out that this is NOT SLASH! Lol ok there I said it. So please enjoy...


Of Memories and Arrivals



Sirius slowly led Moony upstairs into a spare room, not speaking at all. The stairs creaked as the pair ascended them and Sirius jumped the last one out of habit. Remus sat on the bed and Sirius took a chair beside it. Sirius watched as Remus laid his lined face in his tender hands, and sighed.

"Moony" he said hoarsely, trying to keep his voice under control.

Remus said nothing but looked up at Sirius' gaunt face, onyx eyes ablaze with concern. "I'm fine Padfoot." he finally said.

"No, you aren't" Sirius said finally, "I'd consider you a fool if you were fine, and you Moony, are no fool."

Remus said nothing and continued to stare at his concerned friend. The thoughts and memories that were brought by his handsome face were too much for Remus too bare, his emotions finally got the better of him.

Sirius heart throbbed as Remus once again lay his face in his hands and began to sob quietly. Sirius quickly moved over to the bed and Remus felt the bed creak and bend as it adjusted to Sirius' weight.

"Don't worry Moony" Sirius said, still rather unaccustomed to the idea of sympathy, as his family had been so cruel, but Remus had managed to bring out a sympathetic side of him, something he admired him for. "I won't let anything happen to you."

"I hope so" Remus said so quietly that Sirius almost didn't hear. Sirius saw the transparent tears rolling along the thin lines permanently carved into his face. "I don't want to die Sirius."

"We won't let you Moony" Sirius choked, pulling a shaking Remus into a tight hug. Remus inhaled deeply as the familiar and welcome scent of dust and Hippogriff washed over him. His senses slowly returned to him and he realized just how lucky he was to have Sirius Black as a friend. They slowly pulled apart, both staring into the other's eyes.

Remus felt awkward, his tears had never been a public affair when he was younger, and in those years when he had remained alone, friendless, hopeless and empty. To think that now that he had finally attained something a normal person would call happiness, and that in three days it would end forever, was heart breaking. Remus' thoughts drifted aimlessly, taunting him with brief glimpses of heart wrenching memories.

Sirius could only watch as Remus fought an internal battle.

Remus remembered the day James and Lily got married, Remus had never seen Prongs wear such a glowing grin, so unlike the one he put on to charm the girls. He wore a smile gleaming of pride and happiness, something Remus only wish he knew more of.

Remus swiftly wiped his face of any remaining tears, his eyes still red and agitated. Why now could he not control his emotions? Remus felt Sirius' hand slip soundlessly onto his shoulder offering a silent support. This simple touch sparked a fire in Remus' heart, it pounded against his rib cage creating a deafening roar that his mind couldn't seem to escape, when suddenly Sirius' hoarse voice brought everything back to a painful silence.

"Moony?" he asked cautiously, still alert from the rare outburst from Remus in Dumbledore's office.

"It's ok Sirius" Remus said in a raspy voice, he quickly cleared his throat. "I feel better."

"Are you sure Remus?" Sirius asked, abandoning the old school nickname that Remus was baffled they still used.

"Yes" Remus said. "If these are to be my final days, I won't spend them being miserable and snappy."

Sirius smiled a little, "That's what Harry said to me."

"Did he" Remus said, "He's a very intelligent fifteen year old."

"He is" Sirius agreed, "That's James' boy for you."

"Yes" Remus said sadly. Clenching his jaw shut at the pain of remembering Prongs.

"Moony?" Sirius asked cautiously.

"What is it Padfoot?" Remus said looking sideways at his friend. Sirius adjusted his weight on the bed to better face Remus. His expression was troubled and his face was contracted in a way that defined the smooth lines spanning under his eyes and across his cheeks. His silky hair hung loosely to a point just below his ears, gleaming a brilliant black that even a moonless night cannot attain. The thing that held Remus' gaze though was Sirius' eyes. There normal grayish color now brought into sharp relief by the look of worry and sadness reflected by the rest of his handsome face. Like a cloudy sky holding and delaying inevitable rain.

"Where were you the night..." Sirius' words were choked off by the clenching of his throat. For a moment the words simply refused to leave his mouth, something inside Sirius knew Moony didn't deserve to have stupid accusations thrown at him, but something burning inside him needed to know the truth, something Moony had become very good at hiding even if it was for appropriate reasons.

"The night Lily and James died..." Remus replied in a soft tone full of the pain of remembrance. Sirius' voice failed him and he simply nodded in response. "I was working for the Order" Remus said miserably, temporarily forgetting the present situation. Remus' breath hitched in his throat, memories so strong they seemed to burn his throat, yet somehow his voice managed to come through for him. "I was the first one to reach the house after you did" Remus choked. Sirius' steely eyes focusing in on Remus and the story he was telling. Remus struggled to speak, but continued. "If I would have come minutes before I would have been able to stop you." Remus held back sobs that seemed to be cracking his ribs.

"I understand" Sirius said gently. He sighed, "I miss Prongs and Lily" he said.

"We all do" Remus said softly, bowing his head. But he quickly jerked it back up as the door practically flew open.

Remus saw a bewildered Harry standing in the doorway looking as if he might levitate out of excitement. Harry stood for a moment and just stared at the two men in front of him.

Harry inhaled deeply as if his words took a tremendous amount of air to speak, he looked at Remus in particular, "Dumbledore's here."


Chapter 4: Past Altered...Future Terminated
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A/N: Ok, if you are waiting for me to update, I think you would benefit from reading the stories that came before this, A Cry for Help and When All is Lost..., this chapter is centered around events from A Cry for Help so if you are interested please read. But for those of you who don't want to, or time does not allow for you to read it, please keep reading infreno, because the rest of the story will center around a new plot, not an old one. So I hope you enjoy, if you have any questions, just leave them in a review and I will respod. Enjoy :) ...





Past Altered...Future Terminated



Sirius shot up from the bed, a cloud of dust rising with him. He heard the creak of the bed springs and a groan from Remus as he attempted to get up but put too much pressure on his bad leg. Sirius walked over and offered a hand which Remus modestly accepted.

The three of them walked silently downstairs, an unspoken tension burning within all of them.

Harry was the first to reach the landing and walk down the dimly lit corridor towards the kitchen where Dumbledore stood beside Molly Weasley, towering over her by at least ten inches. Remus sat stiffly down at the table and most of the others did the same, but some were too anxious to sit. Dumbledore walked around to the edge of the table and looked around them all.

"Over the past hours..." Dumbledore began, "several things have come to my attention." The pause created so much tension Harry wanted to shout out for Dumbledore to get to the point, but not even the boy who lived dared interrupt an old mans ramblings. "First" he said warily, "is that when Ginny traveled back in time, something was altered." Ginny's face flushed at the mention of her name. "Second" he continued, "is that in order to help, we must know what is to take place in two and a half days time."

"But how?" Sirius asked, stealing an occasional worried glance at Remus.

"This" Dumbledore said, holding out his hand. All eyes were on his long fingers. He momentarily let his grip slacken and a tiny golden hour glass suspended on a fine gold chain fell from his hand and dangled on the chain. Harry distinctly heard Ginny's breath hitch in her throat.

"No" Mrs. Weasley said in a pleading voice, "now who will go?"

"That decision remains before us" Dumbledore said in a grave tone. Everyone looked around the room as if weighing the candidates.

"We should send an adult" Mr. Weasley said.

"We should send someone with experience." Sirius said.

"I'll go"

The room went silent. Everyone's head turned to the owner of the voice that had just spoken up, it was Hermione. "I- I'll go" she said quietly and hopefully, "I used a time-turner in my third year all term, I can handle it." Harry looked at her, she did not look like she was about to give up. Harry then remembered that he had gone back in time with her.

"I'll go too." Harry said. The adults looked at each other, contemplating the thought. Many of them looked satisfied at the thought that Lupin might be able to be saved, Lupin himself looked rather pale.

"No" he said quietly, "please just let me go."

"I'm sorry Remus but sending you is far too risky." Remus seemed to have no fight in him, this made Harry feel bad for him.
Harry held his breath as the adults thought over the situation.

"I think we need a few moments to discuss this." Dumbledore said, Harry and the others took the hint and walked slowly into the living room. Harry sat down on the couch, Hermione sat on one side and Ron on the other. Hermione turned to look at Harry.
"I'm sorry I brought you into this Harry" she said, looking as if she was nearing tears. Harry felt Ron back away from her as if she was a bomb about to explode.

"Don't be" Harry said reassuringly, "I wouldn't have it any other way."

"What about me?" Ron asked, both turned to face him,

"You weren't with us last time Ron" Hermione said plainly, "I'm sorry."

"And besides," Fred cut in, speaking for the first time, "they won't want to send too many people."

"You might be seen" George added.

"Just be careful" Ron said heavily. The two of them nodded in reassurance.

Ginny got up from her seat and tip toed towards the door and soundlessly pressed her flaming red head to the door.

"What are they talking about?" Harry asked quietly. Ginny’s eyes were half closed in concentration. She took a step back from the door.

"They're all arguing with one person." she said, "It doesn't sound like they're winning though."

"Lupin" Fred and George said at the same time. Everyone nodded in agreement. Suddenly the door began to open and Ginny leapt towards the couch, but it was too late. Dumbledore walked in. Ginny looked up at him in horror, but he only winked at her and she smiled, relieved.

"We have made a decision" Dumbledore said calmly. Everyone in the room held their breath. "Harry and Hermione will leave first thing tomorrow morning."

Harry and Hermione tensed up, and everyone looked at them. Lupin walked over to them at the couch and slowly sat down between them. "You don't have to do this." he said in a hopeless tone.

"We're not going to let anything happen to you" Hermione said to him hugging him tightly. Remus' face flushed a little. "Well I suppose there's nothing I can do to stop you." he said in a defeated tone getting up. Most of the adults went into the kitchen for tea and to discuss the events of that night and what was to come. The room slowly emptied out until only Ginny sat deathly still in an overly large armchair and Remus lay sprawled out on the couch with his leg up.

Ginny sat still in her chair, not noticing that the room was now nearly empty. She couldn't help but think it was her fault that Remus' past had been altered. When she looked up she discovered to her horror that Remus was the only one left in the room with her and that he was looking straight at her.

"What's wrong Ginny?" he asked curiously.

"Nothing" Ginny choked.

"Now you know better than to assume I'd believe that" he said in a fatherly way. He shifted his leg off the arm of the couch and sat upright.

"I'm sorry if I altered your future." Ginny said quietly.

"Oh Ginny" Remus said realizing why Ginny looked so down, "This isn't your fault at all."

"I just want all of this to be over." Ginny sobbed.

"Me too" Remus said soothingly. He looked at her and something inside him realized what he had seen in her in his past.

"I only wish I could talk to you about what happened when you went back in time Ginny." Remus sighed.

Ginny looked up at Remus, wondering if he truly meant what he had just said.

"I think I'll turn in for the night" Ginny said, hoping Remus would buy her excuse as it was only eight thirty.

"Ok Ginny." Remus said, "goodnight."

Ginny smiled at him and walked silently up the stairs.

Remus looked around the living room, had he said something wrong to make her leave? He hoped not. For a while he debated if he should go up and check on her. He didn't know what to do. Remus' thoughts drifted and after a while he found himself contemplating the worst ways to die. Remus became jumpy and nervous at the thought. Suddenly a hand on his shoulder made him jump and very nearly yell.

He looked around him to see Ginny, once again eyeing him.

"I'm sorry" she mumbled.

"It's ok Ginny." Remus said still recovering for the shock.

"Can I show you something?" Ginny asked cautiously.

"Of course" Remus said getting up, Ginny gave him a hand. The two of them slowly ascended the stairs. Remus was curious as to where Ginny may be leading him. Ginny then turned into the room she was staying in at Grimmauld place. Remus looked around the relatively well kept room. The royal blue wall paper made Ginny's hair stand out beautifully. Remus' gaze then tuned to a glowing basin on the bed, that's when it hit him. A pensive.

Remus sat on the bed in awe, how Ginny had thought of this and not him was beyond his contemplation.

"Ginny" he attempted to speak his thoughts, but his voice had other ideas.

"It was Dumbledore's idea" she said, almost reading his thoughts.

"I see" was all Remus could say. Suddenly Ginny started to cry. Remus moved closer to her.

"I thought I should show you in case..." Ginny mumbled and sobbed.

"Thank you Ginny" Remus said breathlessly.

Ginny leaned over the basin, removing the lid slowly. Remus leaned over as well, and a glowing light reached his eyes.
Suddenly the bed they were sitting on seemed to vanish and Remus had a sensation that he was falling creep up in the pit of his stomach.

Remus opened his eyes to see a world that only Ginny recognized. Remus and Ginny found themselves standing on the grounds of Hogwarts. A noise caught Remus' attention and he turned around to see something that made his heart skip a beat. James and Sirius sat playing exploding snap and he himself sat beside Ginny. Remus walked over to where Padfoot and Prongs sat goofing off and watched them. He looked back at the Ginny sitting on the ground with-. Remus' heart skipped another beat, it was Lily. He then noticed that the Ginny sitting on the ground was crying. When Lily said something to her she took off up to the castle.

Remus saw the younger version of himself take off after her, so he did the same. He followed them through familiar corridors and turn into an empty classroom.

"What's wrong?" Remus heard himself say softly.

"Nothing" the crying Ginny said, she had now stopped crying. Remus gasped as he saw himself pull her in and embraced her.

Just as the present day Ginny came into the room, the sixteen year old Remus pulled Ginny in and kissed her. Remus didn't know what to say, he was speechless. Poor Ginny, now he understood why she was so emotional about leaving, they had loved each other. Remus' thought were jerked back into motion when he heard himself speak.

"I'm sorry" he said. "I couldn't resist. Ginny, ever since I saw you I've loved you. I'm sorry I did this."

Remus watched himself run his hands through his hair in nervousness, that's when it hit him how much he must have loved Ginny.

"No" Ginny stopped him. "Thank you"

Remus saw himself smile, relieved.

Suddenly a flash blinded Remus and he was standing in another hallway of the castle with Ginny. For a moment he wondered what this had to do with Ginny's memories with him, and was about to ask her just that when the past Ginny darted right past him in a flurry of red hair and black robes. When the sixteen year old Remus followed, so the adult Remus. They reached the two of them to see that they were both having trouble controlling their emotions.

"Remus" the past Ginny said, holding back tears. "I have to leave." the younger Remus looked confused.

"What?" he said.

"I have to go" she repeated.

"No" Remus whispered, "You can't go!"

"I have to" Ginny now felt tears running down her face.

"Please stay" Remus said, pulling her in and kissing her again. But this time Ginny pulled away. "Was it something I did?" Remus asked frantically, trying to figure out why she had to leave and to try and stop her.

"It wasn't you" Ginny said looking as if she was near tears.

"I'm sorry" she said, "but I have to." She looked devastated, they both did. "Goodbye"

"No" Remus said. "Don't leave me."

"Please don't go" he said softly.

"You don't understand" Ginny said, "I have to."

The illusion of Ginny was now crying uncontrollably into Remus' shoulder.

"Remus" she cried. "Remus I'm so sorry!"

"For what?" he said softly.

"I knew right from the beginning that I would have to leave Remus." tears flowed freely down her face as she was powerless to stop them. "I knew I would have to break your heart."

Remus looked deep into Ginny's eyes, he too was struggling to hold back tears. He leaned over until his lips were extremely close to Ginny's ear. He whispered softly.

"I don't care"

"You know why I don't care?" the sixteen year old illusion of Remus said softly and kindly. Ginny could only continue to stare into those pools of glossy amber. "Because the time I spent with you was some of the happiest moments of my life, and even if they won't continue, I'll always remember you." He looked at his feet, and when he looked back up at Ginny a single transparent tear ran down his cheek. "I'll always love you."

Ginny hugged him, she never wanted to let go. Remus kissed her, and took a step back. "Goodbye Ginny" he said softly, "I love you."

"I love you to Remus." Ginny turned and ran. But the present Remus and Ginny did not follow her. They watched as tears rolled silently down Remus' scarred cheeks, he watched her retreating back with sadness. He whispered to himself, "Good bye Ginny."

Suddenly another flash lit Remus' vision and he found himself sitting once again on Ginny's bed. He looked at Ginny who was now crying as well. "Thank you Ginny" he said hugging her. He felt hot tears soak through his robes and held her tighter. For a few precious moments Remus forgot that if time took it's course he may never see Ginny or anyone else again. He lowered his head and whispered into Ginny's ear, "You did the right thing."


Chapter 5: The Woes of Mr. Lupin
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Hey all! I would like to thank my reviewers! You guys are great! Here is the next chapter, happy reading!




The Woes of Mr. Lupin



Remus walked down stairs, followed at a distance by Ginny. He went downstairs to see Harry sitting alone on the couch while the others chatted in the kitchen. Remus saw Ginny go into the kitchen where the rest of her family were.

Harry sat staring at the ground, he didn't trust himself to guide his eyes anywhere else without his mind playing tricks on him. Somehow the realization of what he had offered to do was just now sinking in, and it was sinking in hard. Harry wondered how he and Hermione were going to succeed, if they would succeed, but the most painful thought was that of what would happen if they failed. Suddenly Harry's thoughts were brought back to reality when the couch groaned under the weight of Lupin, who had just come to sit beside him.

"Harry?" he asked uncertainly. Harry looked up to show he was listening. "Are you alright?"

At this Harry felt there was no way to answer this question with an unspoken response, so he forced his voice into speech.

"I'm alright" he said dryly, knowing full well that Remus Lupin did not accept half true responses, maybe that was the teacher in him. Harry's lips twitched with a held back smile.

"I know that a million things must be going through your head right now Harry." Lupin said suggestively. Harry could only sigh in response. "You know Harry.." Lupin said in a far off tone, which was quickly lost, "I think I should be properly thanking you."

Harry looked up at Lupin, his eyes taking in the healed scars and the amber eyes, staring back at him. "Why?" he asked.

Now it was Lupin's turn to sigh. "Harry" he began, "First you helped me through the veil, now you go to ensure my future.." Lupin trailed off.

"You know me and Sirius wouldn't leave you behind." Harry said knowingly, yet Lupin still had doubts. He was about to open his mouth to make some modest remark when the shrill voice of Mrs. Weasley called them both into the kitchen. Harry got up and extended a hand to help Lupin up.

He smiled and accepted it, "You do know that this makes me feel extremely old don't you?" Lupin said.

"Finally your feelings reflect that which is on the outside" Sirius said all knowingly from the doorway, grinning.

"Thank you for that assessment Padfoot" Lupin said distractedly, making his way into the kitchen. Sirius momentarily blocked his way, but was pushed hastily away by a muttering Lupin.

Sirius waited for Harry to pass through the door and ruffled his unruly black hair as he did so. Harry sat between Ron and Sirius at the table. He looked over to see Hermione in much the same train of thought as he was.

Harry looked up to realize that Dumbledore had come to Grimmauld place. It was evident from the start that he was striving to get right to the point.

"Harry, Hermione..." he said in a quiet voice that was so respected that no one dared talk over it. "Please come with me." he said shortly, walking into the hall. Harry and Hermione got unsteadily up and followed him.

Dumbledore turned to them with a grave look on his lined face. "First" he said to begin, "I would like to thank the both of you for what you are about to do."

Harry and Hermione both nodded politely in response. Harry fiddled with the sleeve of his sweater anxiously as Dumbledore paused in his speech.

"I would also like to offer you a most grave and important warning." he said, Harry's attention doubled. "Going back in time is one thing", he said, "but going forward in time is a matter all of it's own."

Harry looked over to see Hermione as attentive as she would be when a professor spoke to her about an exam.

"The rules that apply to the future are very different and extremely important. While in the past you can see your former self and watch the actions that unfold, the future is different." Harry wondered how it could be any different.

"The future is a most fragile and complex thing, for the people in the future will be able to see you, thus giving you hints of what happened involving yourself. You must read your own actions through the reactions of those around you." Dumbledore said in a tone Harry had never heard him use before, almost bordering strict, yet the twinkle in his eye remained as ominous as always.

"How do we know that Lupin's future involves us?" said Hermione attentively.

"You don't I'm afraid." Dumbledore sighed. "That is why it is important that you follow Mr. Lupin's course of actions and not get distracted with your own." Hermione nodded to show she understood, Harry became if possible even more anxious.

"So will we have to change something?" Harry asked, Hermione looked at him worriedly, making Harry realize that she was every bit as nervous as he was.

"No" Dumbledore said forcefully, as if willing them for all of the world not to forget. "In the past you set out to change things, now you are merely there to observe. In this way you will be able to return to the past knowing, thus being able to prevent the cause of Lupin's death."

Harry understood, this was not going to be easy, every minute detail could cost Lupin his life.

"Will we need the invisibility cloak?" Harry asked suddenly.

"No" Dumbledore said shortly, "No one will be able to see or hear you.

Dumbledore clapped his hands together in a business like manner, showing that he had said all there was to say on the matter. He began to walk away when he turned swiftly around in one fluid motion. "Oh and one last thing," he said. "You will be departing very early tomorrow morning." Harry nodded and Dumbledore continued soundlessly into the kitchen where Harry was sure all of the adults were waiting to hear what he had said to them.

Harry and Hermione went into the living room to chat privately.

Hermione took up a seat on the couch and Harry sat in a chair near her. "I'm scared" she said frankly, pulling the inevitable tension of the conversation ahead.

"Me too" Harry confessed. though he knew it was evident enough without him saying so.
"I mean what if we miss a vital piece of information... what if we cost Lupin his life?!?" she in an increasingly loud and incredulous voice.

"Don't think like that" Harry said reassuringly, savoring one of the rare moment where he actually gave Hermione Granger advice.

"I'm sorry" she muttered, "I'm just nervous."

"We all are" Harry replied. "Can you even imagine how Lupin feels?" Hermione shook her head deep in thought with a pained expression on her face at the very thought.

Harry heard the scrape of chair legs on the cold stone floor as someone got up from the table. He watched as Lupin slowly entered the room.

Lupin walked slowly as he took a seat beside Hermione on the couch.

"So" he said with a look on his face that clearly told Harry he was troubled. When his attempt to spark a conversation was met with silence he continued. "You know you don't have to do this... if you don't want to."

'Ah... Harry thought to himself, 'phase one...denial.'

"We're not going to sit here and do nothing" Hermione said amiably.

"But you must know that you have a chance to back out at any time" Lupin went on, "I got myself into this mess, you tow shouldn't have to be the ones to get me out."

'And a very graceful transition into phase two... blame' Harry thought with a smile twitching on his lips.

"Remus..." Hermione said in a motherly tone. "We want to help you, please stop making us feel so bad about it!"

Remus lowered his gaze.

'And last but not least...' Harry thought to himself, feeling very sorry for Lupin. 'Shame mingled with acceptance.'

That night Harry dreamt of nothing but that which was to happen the next day, and naturally, the dreams were not peaceful. He woke to the wonderful smells of Mrs. Weasley's cooking drifting in from the kitchen. Harry got up quietly as to not wake a snoring Ron. He tip toed down the hallway and made his way to the kitchen, where Lupin Mr. Weasley and Sirius sat at the table. When Mrs. Weasley placed a large plate of toast on the table Harry's nerves kicked in and Harry suddenly wasn't hungry at all.

"Eat Harry" Sirius said smiling, "you're going to need it... and Hermione too." Harry turned to see Hermione take a seat beside him.

"So how are you to feeling?" Mr. Weasley asked.

Harry was about to respond when a crashing sound came down the stairs, causing Mrs. Black to awake and begin her ranting and raving. Lupin quickly got up to close the curtains of her portrait. It was Charlie in all his fury. After Lupin went through the door it opened almost immediately after and a distraught Charlie dashed into the kitchen.

"I'm late!" he shrieked over the profanity coming from Mrs. Black, which finally stopped.
"Late for what?" Sirius asked amused by his entrance.

"I had a meeting at Gringott's that was supposed to start half an hour ago!?!" Charlie said, apparently panicking.

"I thought that didn't start until 11 honey" Mrs. Weasley said from the stove.

"I did start at eleven but....it's eleven...thirty" Charlie finished eyeing his mother.

"It's only nine thirty dear" Ms. Weasley said in a perfectly calm voice with a touch of amusement, as Lupin returned through the kitchen door.

"What!?!" Charlie said incredulously. "But the...hall..it- the clock..said eleven thirty" Charlie began in disjointed sentences. "FRED! GEORGE!" he shrieked, running back up the stairs in all his fury, leaving the kitchen in roaring laughter.

A few minutes later Fred and George tumbled through the door breathlessly in fits of hysterical laughter. Breakfast seemed to pass extraordinarily quickly and before Harry knew what was happening Dumbledore was striding into the kitchen to deliver him to his inevitable doom.

"Are you ready?" he asked Harry and Hermione, they both nodded mutely. "Come" he said. Everyone sitting at the table got up and followed Dumbledore into the living room. Several people looked just as nervous as Harry felt. Dumbledore placed the thin chain of the time turner around Harry's and Hermione's heads, fitting over easily.

"Ready?" Hermione whispered to him.

Harry nodded, "Ready if you are."

Dumbledore looked at them wearily, "To return, tap the time turner with your wand." he said, "I hope we will be seeing you soon." With that Dumbledore tapped the time turner which began tinkling and swirling creating a slight breeze that lifted the fringe from Harry's forehead, revealing that infamous scar.

Then it stopped, and the world began to spin, but only for a split second before it stopped. Harry felt Hermione shiver beside him, and could only hope that whatever it was that they were about to do, something good would come from it.

"Harry?" Hermione said shakily, "Where are we?"


Chapter 6: Padfoot...Knight in Shining Armor
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Padfoot...Knight in Shining Armor




Harry stood still, as only his eyes moved in a desperate effort to take in all of his surroundings. Suddenly it hit him, like a rampaging hippogriff the stupid realization of how clear it should have been all along hit him.

"Hermione" he said striding over confidently to a lamp at the corner of the dusty room, and flicking on the light. "How thick can you get?' Harry snickered. The old fashion living room of Grimmauld place came into view, Hermione sighed in relief.
"For once I'm glad to have dumb moments like that" Hermione said in an amused tone.
"I'll have to remember to tell Ron that" Harry chuckled.

Suddenly a loud bang echoing from somewhere upstairs caught both of their attention.

"We should check that out" Hermione said urgently. Harry nodded, the two of them went upstairs and shuddered as they passed the plaques with the heads of all of the previous house elves. Harry's heart pounded as they approached the source of the noise. The tension built with every passing second, every step brought them closer to the source of that huge bang. Harry turned into the corridor that led to all of the bedrooms and slowly looked around the corner one of the largest bedrooms. Sirius sat on the flower in a fit of howling laughter and it appeared that Lupin had just pushed him off the bed.

"What the-" Harry began, but was interrupted by a sharp poke in the ribs by a smiling Hermione.

"I want to hear what they're saying" she said in a whisper with a wide smile still lingering on her face. Harry knew that Sirius and Lupin couldn't actually hear them, but he felt awkward disrupting this rare moment between them.

"Come on Moony let me back on the bed" Sirius pleaded as he was clearly unable to keep a straight face.

"Not if you're going to be like that again you're not" Lupin said, trying very hard to keep a straight face.

"Like what?" Sirius asked incredulously, though Harry had a strong feeling Sirius knew the answer by the guilty look imprinted on his gaunt face.

"I'm sorry Padfoot but I don't enjoy being wrestled off the bed." Lupin said defiantly.

Harry couldn't help but laugh as Sirius made a dive to bring Lupin to the floor with him and accidentally made an oil lamp tumble behind the dresser. Harry winced slightly and Hermione jumped at the sound of it shattering.

"Good job Pads" Remus said getting stiffly up. Harry and Hermione decided it was better to go see what else was happening around them. They went down the stairs into the living room to see Ginny and Ron sitting and chatting, with the rest of their brothers.

"Where are we?" Hermione asked taking one last glance around just to make sure her eyes were working properly. Harry just shrugged and lead the way into the kitchen where Mrs. Weasley and Tonks stood preparing dinner. Harry went to stand by the table where Moody and Kingsley Shacklebolt sat having a heated discussion about what appeared to be Goblin rights, and every so often they would earn a quick glare from Mrs. Weasley when not so polite words were exchanged.

Harry laughed when Mrs. Weasley called the rest in for dinner and Kingsley and Moody finished there conversation and began chatting with others as if nothing had happened. Harry watched as the last remaining Weasleys filled the table and was mildly surprised to see that there were still two vacant chairs and that they were both missing. What was even stranger about that was that the others didn't seem to notice at all. They continued to serve themselves helping after of Mrs. Weasleys delicious cooking and chatting merrily without any comment on the whereabouts of Hermione or Harry.

The hair on the back of Harry's neck suddenly stood up as he felt something brush up against the back of his legs. He looked back to see Crookshanks with some poor creature that had recently met it's end clutched in his jaws and dangling helplessly.

After about an hour of eating and talking Moody excused himself from the table to go upstairs and get a photo he had promised to show Fred and George of the old Order. They heard a dull 'clunk' on every other step as he ascended the stairs. When Moody was gone Harry and Hermione sat at the vacant chairs and listened to the conversation being made.

"So the Ministry is no closer to ever finding Sirius" Kingsly was saying to them in his deep booming voice. "They are presently following up on a tip that he had bee spotted by a muggle in southern Germany. Lupin laughed out loud at this and Sirius' smile became noticeably wider. "So I really don't think we have anything to worry about."

Sirius couldn't help but add his thoughts to the conversation now that he had been brought into it. "I bet they never got a tip that I was in the underworld did they?" he said with a smile. Many people nodded amused, knowing where the conversation was now going.

"I heard you were quite the hero down there" Tonks said with an admiring look on her face.

"Oh no...here we go" Harry heard Lupin mutter in an undertone, and Harry couldn’t help but smile, knowing what was coming next. Sirius' story telling always came in phases. Phase one... the swelling of the chest in pride. This happened (to no one's surprise) as Sirius' lungs took in air to begin a rant of pure and desperate heroism.

"Well one had to be to fight off mass hoards of Demons all on one's own." Sirius said confidently.

"Notice how he speaks of himself in third person perspective as to dramatize the whole thing" Lupin whispered to Ginny as she desperately fought back fits of laughter.

"What were the Demons like?" Kingsley asked. Harry and Hermione both laughed out loud (thankfully no one could hear them) as Lupin put his face in his hands.

Step two... Harry thought grinning, swelling of the head.

"You should have seen the way those Death Eaters ran from me" Sirius was saying, "They clearly saw that I was strong if I could defend myself and Moony when he was laying on his butt the whole ti-" Sirius was suddenly cut off by a loud 'thud' upstairs.
"What was that?" Mr. Weasley asked curiously.

"I know what it was" Hermione said with that all knowing look on her face that Ron despised so much.

"What was it?" Harry asked.

"It was just Crookshanks jumping off a bed or dresser onto the floor." she smiled and rolled her eyes.

"Sounded like something heavy" Bill said looking at the ceiling, Hermione laughed.

Sirius' tale of heroism lasted another twenty minutes before he had finally run out of ideas to captivate his new found audience.

I think it's time for bed. Mrs. Weasley pointed out, and one by one the younger ones slowly drifted up to bed grudgingly.

"Where should we go?" Harry asked, kicking himself for never thinking of this before.

"Are you even tired?" Hermione asked.

Harry shook his head, and it was the truth, time seemed to pass quicker hear.

"Why don't we just use the time turner then?" she said lightly, pulling the gold chain out of her robes. Harry nodded and slipped part of the long chain around his neck. It was cold against his bare skin. He felt a slight breeze as time passed and suddenly they were standing in a much lighter kitchen and Lupin walked in and poured himself tea before sitting down. Harry noticed that he looked paler than usual.

Harry heard Ron come down the stairs talking loudly, when he emerged through the kitchen door. "Morning" Ron said groggily to Lupin, who only nodded in return.

"Something is definitely wrong with him." Hermione said worriedly. Harry had to agree, it was more than obvious. Ron grabbed a cup of tea and left, delaying at the door and holding it open before disappearing behind it. Harry's heart skipped a beat as a chair pulled itself out from under the table.

"Good Morning" Lupin said hoarsely. Harry wondered for a moment if Lupin could see them, and Hermione was obviously thinking the same thing.

A million thoughts were zooming through Harry's head, and he only vaguely felt Hermione poking him on the arm, then shaking it. Was Lupin going insane, was he going insane?"

"Harry" Hermione said with as much force that could possibly be put in a whisper, "Harry...he's talking to us!"



Hi! Sorry this chapter took so long... I've been so so so busy! But here it is! Please review, it means so much to me and it takes so little time. I realy wanna know whatyo guys think of the story, and me! lol And if you are bored you could always go read the two stories that came before this, A Cry for Help and When All is Lost... Happy reading!

Chapter 7: Moony vs. Padfoot… Round Two
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Hey! Here it is (again)... Hope you like it! Hope you like this!



Moony vs. Padfoot… Round Two






Hermione was frozen in her spot on the floor. Harry could hear vague whispers coming from the spot where Lupin was apparently talking to them.

"What are we saying to him?" Harry asked, becoming more and more confused with every second that passed.

"I don't know... but it seems as if we never went to the future in this time, and it's showing us what happened so we can change it. It's like watching a book being written!" she said interstedly.

Harry couldn't help but smile that Hermione could relate anything to a book.

He was about to say this when Hermione put a finger to her lips to silence him. She walked over to where 'they' were standing, and listened with rapt attention. Harry tried as hard as he could to concentrate on hearing what they were saying but it was like counting the stars, it quickly proved impossible.

"I guess we'll have to listen to how Lupin answers us" Hermione shrugged and turned to the conversation again.

"Don't worry about me." Lupin said to the people standing in front of him.

"Great" Hermione sighed, "this is starting to sound like every other conversation he's had for the past three days."

Harry was about to respond to that when he noticed the look on Lupin's face change drastically.

"You two are becoming far too preoccupied with things that don't concern you!" Lupin said fiercely. Both Harry and Hermione took a step back, having never heard such negative or forceful words from the smooth talking Lupin.

"So he is talking to us!" Hermione said excitedly.

"But he doesn't seem to agree with what we're saying to much" Harry commented.

Lupin turned abruptly and leaned on the counter heavily. A perfect picture of having too much to stress over. "I won't be kept in here just because you had some silly dream about me dying!" Lupin said in a rising voice, not daring to turn around. "And even if I do snuff it today I will not spend my last day kept in this god forsaken dump!"

Harry turned to see Hermione's lip trembling, having hear Lupin yell was something completely new for her, and it was easy to see how much it startled her.

"Pleas stop arguing" she whispered desperately, as if willing the future version of herself to obey her. Lupin's shoulders slumped. One ragged sob escaped him before he quickly regained his sober nature, though his eyes showed the strain the rest of his body struggled to contain.

"I think we told him not to go anywhere" Hermione said, leaning back against the wall.

"Why do you think?" Harry wondered aloud.

"My guess is we are probably trying to stop anything from happening to him"

"Making him miserable in the process." Harry cut in. Hermione nodded mutely. They both jumped as Lupin slammed a shaking fist on the counter, making his tea spill onto the counter.

With a low growling sound he took out his wand and cleaned away the mess.

Sirius walked in at the noise. "Moony?" he asked quietly.

"I'm fine Padfoot" Lupin said in a carefully controlled voice.

"I know you aren't fine Remus" Sirius said in a hoarse voice, abandoning the old school nick name.

"I am fine" Lupin said defiantly, "I am not weak."

"Not being fine doesn't make you weak Moony, it makes you human."

"You know just as well as I do that I'm only human to a certain extent."

"Cut the crap Remus!"

Harry hung is head, he had acquired much experience in where an argument can go between these two, having listened to a fare share of them over the last part of the holidays. Harry knew now that all the 'arguments he had heard before weren't actual arguments, more like two cubs fighting over a piece of meat, the meat being the bragging rights as to who was the biggest hero. Harry realized that whatt was playing out before him was a real argument, and he had a feeling that something like this had probably only happened once or twice since these two had known each other.

Lupin had successfully broken the fragile casing of Sirius' temper, and it flowed out freely, damaging all in it's path.

"We're only trying to help!" Sirius seethed. "Why did you always have to be so stuck up?"

"You have no idea what I'm going through Sirius." Lupin said in a calm rage.

"Well maybe I would if you would let anyone come within a hundred feet of you without exploding on them!" Sirius yelled.

"I'd like to see you handle this situation!" Lupin yelled back in challenge.

"Maybe you should try spending the better part of a month beyond the veil!" Sirius' rage turned into aggression. "You weren't there for three days before you had to be carried out!"

For the first time since entering Lupin turned to face Sirius, Harry could see the tears threatening to escape from his amber eyes that now flashed dangerously.

"I don't see why you needed my apparently pathetic help if you were so well of on your own!" Lupin fumed.

Sirius snarled, "Well it's obvious that my coming back hasn't pleased you much!"

"Maybe I only did it for Harry!" Lupin yelled.

"DON'T YOU DARE BRING HARRY INTO THIS!" Sirius roared.

Harry felt his legs get weak at being mentioned in this monstrous row. He had never seen either of them do this. He couldn't help but think that this was his fault. He couldn't help but worry that the whole situation was having a very dangerous affect on Lupin. But just as Harry was preparing for the worst of it (he was vaguely aware of a sobbing Hermione clinging to his shoulder for support) Harry saw something strange pass over Lupin's face. A kind of deadened sorrow, Harry found it too hard to describe, but he knew Hermione had seen it to. She clung even tighter to his shoulder, "What happened?" she asked weakly, wiping tears out of her eyes.

The two men stared at each other in what was the loudest silence Harry had ever experienced.

"Why would they say these things to each other?" Hermione asked, clearly frightened of what might happen if the braw continues.

"I don't know" Harry sighed, determined not to let this happen when they went back to the present.

Sirius hadn't noticed this sudden change in Lupin as he was to busy fuming and stroking his badly bruised ego. Without warning Sirius stomped out of the room, not casting a single backwards glance at Lupin. Harry and Hermione quickly moved to follow when they heard Lupin stagger behind them. The two of them to see Lupin sway on the spot, a single tear blazing a path over the rugged terrain of his scarred face.

"Sirius" was all he managed to say before he fell to the ground in a crumpled heap.






Chapter 8: Wake Up...
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Wake Up...



Sirius turned on his heel, the look of anger from the argument that had just taken place vanished. It was replaced by a look of utter terror.

Harry was dragged by Hermione back into the kitchen, his own legs very near to failing him. Harry watched as Sirius dashed back into the kitchen. In a few swift strides he had reached the kitchen and fallen to his knees. Harry and Hermione dropped to their knees as well.

"Remus! Remus!" Sirius yelled frantically, his onyx eyes ablaze with raw emotion.
"Remus please wake up..." Sirius sobbed. Sirius put both hands on Remus' shoulders and shook him gently, hands trembling in panic. Nothing...

Hermione had streams of silent tears flowing down her flushed cheeks. Harry would have consoled her if he wasn't struggling with tears himself.

"Remus...please" Sirius whispered to the deathly still Remus. Sirius began to shake all over. "HELP!" he yelled, still shaking violently. "HELP!!!"

"Where is everyone?" Hermione sobbed shakily.

"HELP" Sirius yelled once more, "please..." Sirius laid his shaggy head on Remus' still chest. Once the shaking had subsided Sirius raised his head to study his friend.

"I can't take you..." Sirius said to himself.

As his head raised Harry noticed the tears cascading down his gaunt face, something Harry realized he had never seen before. The tears showing on Sirius' face made Harry see the broken prisoner of Azkaban that Sirius always tried so hard to disguise. As Harry stared into those blazing eyes, shining with fresh tears, he was brought back from the black core of the man before him. A fire blazed in his eyes and Harry nearly got up out of fear.

"I'm going to save you" Sirius whispered in a shaky voice Harry had never heard before.

Harry watched in horror as Sirius put a hand under Remus' legs and under his arms and hoisted him up with relative ease. Harry didn't know what to do. He couldn't stop Sirius from doing what he was about to do. He was about to sacrifice his own freedom to try and save Remus.

"No!!!" Hermione screamed helplessly but Sirius couldn't hear.

Harry had no words to speak and no voice to speak them with. He ran to the door shaking. How could he make this decision? Does he let Sirius go? Sacrificing any time they might have together if he leaves? Or does he make him stay... condemning Remus. How could life be as cruel as to make him choose between the two people he loved the most. Harry prayed for some sort of miracle to take this decision out of his hands, and it arrived...just in time.

The flames in the nearby fireplace to which Sirius was heading burst up glowing an emerald green, and Mr. Weasley walked gingerly out followed closely by Bill and Charlie.

"Sirius?" Bill asked, seeing the shaking man before them with a deadened werewolf in his arms.

"I'll save you Remus!!" Sirius sobbed as he tried to brush past the Weasleys.

"SIRIUS!?!" Mr. Weasley said, getting a hold of him by the hem of his shirt. "What happened!?!"

The three of them quickly realized what Sirius was trying to do and quickly made to intervene. It took all three of them to force the delirious man back. Sirius yelled and pleaded for them to let him go but they wouldn't.

They finally got Sirius to lay his friend on the floor.

"Remus?" Charlie asked, his eyes widened in shock as he lay his hand on the mans chest. "He's not breathing!"

Harry felt Hermione begin to shake beside him, and pulled her close for comfort.

"We have to go now!" Mr. Weasley shouted.

"I'm coming" the still shaking Sirius bellowed.

"You can't Sirius!" Bill reasoned with him, "you'll be discovered!"

"I don't care!" Sirius said in a harsh voice before tearing through the front door of Grimmauld place.

"SIRIUS!" Harry yelled and started to go after him but a still sobbing Hermione held him back.

"We can't follow him Harry" she said softly, the silent tears once again flowing down her face. "We didn't come here to follow him."

It took all of Harry's will power to hold him back from chasing his desperate godfather. He turned to face the rest with a throat clenched by the onslaught of merciless tears. The two of them ran back to where the others were leaving for St. Mungo’s and quickly floo'd after them. They reached the hospital in time to see Bill and Mr. Weasley approach the from desk with a limp Lupin being supported between them.

"Help!" Mr. Weasley shouted, turning many heads towards him.

"What is the problem sir?" the female clerk at the front desk asked distractedly, Harry couldn't help but feel strong dislike for her.

"This man isn't breathing!" Charlie said incredulously, knowing that it was pretty easy to guess.

The woman stood up with a bit more energy than she showed before and called a healer to them. A moment later a tall lanky balding man stood before them, a more appropriate look on his face. He flicked his wand and Lupin was levitated onto a stretcher.

"Follow me" he said, swiftly taking off with Lupin's stretcher trailing behind him. They reached the waiting room of the second ward and a girl in a lime green healer's uniform spoke to them.

"I'll have to ask you all to wait here while we try and help Mr..."

"Lupin" Bill put in.

"Thank you" she said as she turned and headed into the room with the other healers.
Bill sank into one of the uncomfortable waiting chairs of the hospital, holding his head in his hands.

"Charlie" Mr. Weasley said gravely.

"Yes dad?"

"Go get your mother and the others and tell them what happened" he said, "And tell them to watch for Sirius." Charlie nodded and dissaparated without a word.

Hermione walked towards the door of the room Lupin had been taken in, Harry quickly noticed this and went and grabbed her arm tp stop her.

"No" Harry said softly, "don't go in there." Harry said, feeling the panic subside to be replaced by sadness. It took all the strength he could muster not to burst into sobs but he managed somehow, he knew Lupin wouldn't want him to worry.

"He's going to be ok" Harry said to Hermione in a soothing voice as he pulled her in and comforted her. He felt her shake with uncontrollable sobs.

"I don't want him to leave..." Hermione sobbed hysterically, "please let him be ok"
"Ssshhhh" Harry soothed, "we won't let anything happen to him Hermione..." she only continued to cry into his robes.

Suddenly Harry saw a black dog bound past him sniffing the ground and heading towards the room where they had taken Lupin.

Harry froze, thankfully Mr. Weasley hadn't. He quickly got up to restrain Sirius. Sirius whined and whimpered as he was pulled back to where they were sitting. Mr. Weasley sat running his hand absent mindedly through the thick fur of Padfoot, who sat whining and nuzzling the others for comfort.

It hurt Harry so much to see Sirius so sad and worried.

Finally after what seemed like an eternity a healer walked towards them.

They immediately rose to meet her, and Sirius began to whine even louder in
anticipation.

"Are you the party who accompanied Mr. Lupin in here earlier?" she asked grimly.

Mr. Weasley nodded. "What can you tell us?" he asked. "Is he..."

"I am afraid that I need some information from you before I can give you any" the woman said firmly, Harry wanted to scream in frustration and impatience.

"What?" Mr. Weasley asked, showing impatience himself.

"It has come to our attention that what you brought in was a registered werewolf." she said.

"You mean who" Mr. Weasley said sharply.

"Excuse me?" she said, looking confused.

"Remus isn't a thing" Mr. Weasley said angrily, "he's a person."

The healer stared at him with growing impatience, she simply continued what she was saying, pretending she hadn't been disrupted. Harry heard a low growl echoing from deep within Sirius' throat.

"Before we can release any information about Mr. Lupin, we need you to get his registration number," she said sternly.

"What!?!" Bill said incredulously, "can't you just tell us what happened?"

"I'm afraid we need it's registration number."

"HIS!!!" Mr. Weasley thundered. Sirius started to snarl at the miserable women.

Bill was about to go to Lupin's room when he felt Sirius tugging at the bottom of his robes. He looked down to see the giant black dog leading back towards the fire places.

"Fine" Bill said angrily. "But when we get back you better have some answers for us!" he said before storming back through the fireplace, followed closely by his father.

Harry and Hermione arrived back at Grimmauld place to see the Padfoot change back into Sirius.

"Where does he leave his registration number?" Bill asked.

"In his wallet "Sirius grumbled as he scanned the area. "He's got to have with him wherever he goes." he explained tonelessly. Mr. Weasley seemed to sense his uneasiness.

"Sirius?" he asked softly. Sirius turned his tear streaked face towards him. "What happened to Remus?"

Sirius bowed his head, knowing the question was unavoidable.

"It's all my fault" Sirius said miserably, Harry wanted desperately to go over to him and tell him it wasn't.

Mr. Weasley and Bill waited for him to continue.

"We fought about something stupid and then... he just... fell..." Sirius struggled to control his sobs.

"It's going to be alright Sirius." Mr. Weasley walked over to Sirius and placed a hand on his back.

"I hope so Arthur" Sirius said softly. "The last times we spent together we spent yelling" he said, a single tear finally spilling down his pail face.

Bill quickly strived to change the subject, "So where does that man leave his wallet?" he said to himself.

"Check his room" Sirius said without looking up.

Bill quickly tore up the stairs in pursuit of this said wallet. Mr. Weasley turned to Sirius once more.

"So why does he have to carry his number with him everywhere?" he asked, trying to relieve some of the fast growing tension by sparking a conversation.

"Because anyone in our society has the right to demand he show it to them." Sirius said gravely, "It's heart breaking... he can be thrown out of stores, restaurants, or any public place just because of what he turns into once a month."

"That's horrible" Mr. Weasley said sadly.

Just then Bill came back down into the kitchen where the sat with a small cream colored card in his hand. "Got it!" he said.

The three of them went back to the fireplace without a word, Sirius changed back into Padfoot and they headed back to the waiting room.

They reached the waiting room to see that the healer had left. Harry and Hermione took seats across from the Weasleys. After a little while Charlie came bounding down the hallway with the rest of his family (and presumably himself and Hermione) behind him.

Molly rushed past him to Arthur before tossing a worried glance at Sirius, too worried to argue.

"What happened Arthur?" she cried.

"We don't know yet dear" he said soothingly. "He'll be ok Molly, he's tough." Molly continued to sob into his robes.

"How was he when you brought him?" Fred asked.

"He wasn't....doing well." Charlie finished.

Harry saw Ginny crying silently into Bill's robes.

"How long have you been here?" George asked.

"A while" Mr. Weasley sighed, "but it's still early."

Suddenly the buzz of chatter was silenced by the sound of echoing footsteps coming towards them down the hall. The healer who had met the at the front desk came towards them, a tired and pained look written on his face. He walked towards them and stopped in front of the crowd of people.

He looked at all of them gravely, and spoke two words they had all dreaded hearing,

"I'm sorry..."


Chapter 9: Of Sorrows and Soup
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Hey guys! Sorry it took so long! This was one of the more difficult ones to write. Hope you enjoy!




Of Sorrows and Soup




Harry felt his stomach drop. He hadn't realized how unprepared he had been for this moment, no matter how much he had thought about it. He felt Hermione hug him tightly and cry freely, Harry had no idea what was holding him back from doing the same. His thoughts were suddenly disrupted when the healer continued to speak.

"I'm sorry..." he repeated, "the healer who spoke to earlier is in training, and doesn't know the regulations of the hospital very well." He looked on at them with a tired expression and waved a hand to Lupin's room. "You can see him now" he said, and everyone breathed an audible sigh of relief.

"So is he going to make it? Is he ok?" Mrs. Weasley said impatiently.

The healer smiled tiredly, "Yes" he sighed, "he is going to be fine."

"So what was wrong?" Bill asked seriously.

"I'm afraid that Mr. Lupin suffered from a stress related break-down. But he will be fine."

Another sigh of relief swept over the crowd gathered in the hospital. Then the next obvious question was brought to the surface by Ginny.

"Can we see him?" she asked. The healer nodded and led them to the hospital room where the name 'Lupin' had magically appeared on the door.

Harry moved ahead of the crowd to enter first while Hermione was stuck behind it. Harry entered to see the wallpaper was a dull grey. It was almost as if the color was sucked out of the room. Remus' sandy blond hair was probably the only distinguished color the room currently held.

Harry was pleased to see that Lupin looked rather healthy. Harry walked to the side of his bed furthest from the door and was startled to see how thin Lupin actually was. Hermione finally came in and stood beside him, while the others filed in and sat in chairs and stood around the bed. Harry could see the pained expression on Hermione's face, he was sure his expression couldn't be much different from hers at the site of Lupin's ribs visible even through the blanket that was covering him. Harry watched Lupin's chest rise and descend in a fluent motion and it calmed him slightly.

Suddenly Harry scooted over as Padfoot came beside the bed where they stood and put his paws on it, nuzzling Lupin's side and whining softly. He could tell even if he was in dog form that Sirius was deeply upset, and couldn't help but feel bad for both of them.

Mrs. Weasley shut the door as the healer left after asking him for privacy, he told her that he would check up within the hour. Mrs. Weasley turned back around and did something none of them could have expected, she spoke to Sirius.

"What happened Sirius?" she asked gently.

Padfoot looked up at her and cocked his head in confusion.

"You can change Sirius" she said in the same kind voice that Harry had never heard her speak to Sirius with.

Padfoot stretched and morphed, and the gaunt figure of Sirius stood in front of them. Harry was curious as to why Molly would suddenly let Sirius take that kind of risk, and realized she must feel as bad as he did for Sirius.

Mrs. Weasley continued to watch Sirius waiting patiently for him to answer.

Sirius inhaled deeply before speaking, "It was all my fault" Sirius said sorrowfully. He sank into a chair closest to the hospital bed where Remus slept on. Harry felt his heart sink with Sirius.

"I'm sure this was no one's fault Sirius" Charlie said softly to him.

"It was" Sirius cut him off.

"So what happened?" Ron asked curiously, careful not to sound accusing.

"We were talking about, about why Remus should take it easy and... you know him" Sirius stuttered, very unlike the way he usually told stories. "He wouldn't hear of it and... and we started to yell and, I stormed off and he just... he just fell" Sirius ended quietly, looking ashamed. He laid his tired face in his hands in his hands and trembling all over. No one had any comforting words they knew could help Sirius, so the silenced lasted for several moments. Suddenly Remus stirred and sighed. Everyone jumped up to his bedside, including Harry and Hermione.

Harry squeezed to the end of the bed and saw Lupin slowly open his eyes. He blinked furiously to adjust to the light of the room and Harry saw Sirius place a still shaking hand on his shoulder. "Remus" he said hoarsely. Harry watched Lupin focus on Sirius' features with an almost painful concentration.

"Sirius" he said sitting up slowly.

"I'm so sorry" Sirius said weakly, he leaned forward and brought Lupin into a tight brotherly embrace. "I thought I had lost you" Sirius said, voice muffled through the white shirt the hospital had provided Lupin.

"I won't be done away with that easily" Lupin said, a weak smile spreading across his lined face.

"I hope not" Harry heard Hermione whisper to herself.

Everyone else in the room couldn't do anything but watch, not willing to ruin the moment these two were sharing. Harry felt Hermione relax beside him, and couldn't help but feel the same.

Suddenly Lupin froze, "Sirius?" he said incredulously, as if just realizing he was there, Sirius pulled back and looked him in the eyes. "Why are you here!?!" he said curiously with a bit of force behind his words. "You could be seen!" he hissed."

Sirius lowered his gaze to the floor and mumbled something. Remus' gaze relaxed and he sighed deeply, "I think Padfoot should join us again just to be safe."

Sirius heaved a great dramatic sigh and took a lingering hand off of Remus' shoulder bending down and sinking to the floor as Padfoot. This it seems was a wise choice as just then the healer reentered, looking a bit frantic.

"Ah good, you are up Mr. Lupin." he said hurriedly. "I am afraid that if you are well enough to maintain yourself at home that you must be asked to leave." he said, a deceiving kind voice covering his seemingly rude words.

"I understand" Lupin said.

"What?" Molly said, outraged, "you can't just kick him out because of-" she hesitated, and started over, "he's your patient!"

"Molly" Remus said softly, but she would hear no protests from Lupin.

"How can a true Healer have so little regard for the well being of his patients!?!" Molly ranted.

"Molly" Remus cut in again.

"This is an outrage!" she seethed.

"Molly!" Lupin said in a louder voice, though it still contained no anger, just the tiredness that was so common now. He finally managing to capture her attention as she turned to face him.

"What is it Remus?" she said impatiently. Lupin couldn't help but smile a little at the way she defended him. "It's a full moon tomorrow."

The healer looked at Molly with a face showing something very close to fear Harry suspected. Molly sighed and turned back to the healer. "I'm sorry" she said warily. "We will take him home."

Half an hour later Harry and Hermione found themselves back at twelve Grimmauld place again. This time with a healthy Lupin. He sat on the couch while Molly fussed over him as she had a tendency to do before a full moon, though this time it was rather relentless. Harry and Hermione took seats across from them.

"Do you need anything Remus?" Molly asked.

"No I'm fine Molly, thank you."

"Do you feel alright?"

"Yes I'm fine."

"You don't feel ill?"

"No"

"Are you sure?"

"Yes."

"Call me if you need anything"

"I will" Remus chuckled as Molly went into the kitchen to make tea.

Sirius sat beside Lupin on the couch and couldn't help but smile as well.

"I'm glad you're back" he said.

"Me too" Lupin sighed.

"Do you think that maybe that is what was supposed to..." Sirius paused.

"To kill me?" Lupin asked, knowing this was the answer.

Sirius nodded mutely. "Maybe you beat it" he said softly.

"I think I have." Lupin agreed, leaning back into the couch.

Suddenly Molly Weasley's shrill voice sounded from the kitchen.

"Would you like a cup of tea Remus?" she said.

"I thought we had already covered this" Lupin said, smiling despite himself.

"Oh stop being so stubborn Remus!" she said.

"I take that's a yes than." Lupin said dryly.

"I'll go get us our tea" Sirius said getting up.

"You're a brave man Padfoot." Lupin said.

"Sometimes" Sirius mumbled as he disappeared into Molly's realm.

A few moments later Sirius reemerged safe and unscathed from the kitchen., a cup of tea in each hand.

"Thank you" Remus said, taking the cup Sirius offered him.

"Just the way you like it" Sirius said proudly, "Milk and salt."

Remus' eyebrows shot up and he stopped himself just in time from drinking.

"I mean sugar" Sirius laughed, catching his mistake.

"Are you sure?" Lupin said warily eyeing his tea.

"Yes."

"So are you in any pain?" Sirius asked.

"It's bearable" Lupin said from behind his cup.

"REMUS JOHN LUPIN" Molly shrieked, making Lupin jump, nearly spilling his tea. He placed it safely on the table.

"Yes Molly?" Lupin said getting up to face her.

Molly strode over to him and Harry couldn't help but notice how tall Lupin was compared to her, seeing as she only came up to his neck.

"WHY WOULD YOU DELIBERATELY LIE TO ME!?!" she yelled, Lupin cringed.

"I'm sorry Molly but I don't want to worry you." he said, a tiny twinge of fear inhis voice.

"IF I CATCH YOU LYING LIKE THAT AGAIN YOU WILL REMAIN IN YOUR BED BEFORE EVERY FULL MOON DO YOU HEAR ME!?!"

"Yes ma'am" he said weakly.

Harry and Hermione were doubled over in laughter at seeing Lupin cower before Mrs. Weasley even when he easily towered over her.

"This is priceless" Harry said breathlessly between fits of laughter. It seemed that once Molly had left Lupin to cower Sirius could only laugh as well.

"You really need to learn to stand up to that women." Sirius said as he laughed himself hoarse, earning him a pillow in the face from a certain werewolf beside him. Sirius only continued to laugh his bark like laugh.

"Why is it always because of you that I end up in trouble?" Remus asked.

Sirius' laughter slowly died and he looked at his friend with an undying smile lingering on his face.

"You know you love me Moony" Sirius sniggered.

"Whatever you say Pads" Lupin said dryly.

Harry couldn't stop laughing. It had happened, Lupin had survived.

"I'm glad he's ok" Harry said.

"Now we only need to stay until after the full moon and we can go home" Hermione said.

"Yah" Harry agreed. "It'll be nice to go back."

Their conversation was interrupted when Molly Weasley made her return with her own tea in hand.

"So" she said, sitting in a worn chair beside the couch. "What are you two up to?" she asked, as if nothing had just happened.

"Oh well..." Sirius said innocently, a grin playing onto his face that Lupin wasn't sure he liked. "Remus was just telling me how much pain he's i-"

"SIRIUS!" Lupin yelled, standing up.

"REMUS!" Molly roared, also standing up.

* * *


A little while later Harry and Hermione tip toed up the stairs to find out what fate had befallen Lupin after Sirius' inhumane trick. They turned into one of the larger bedrooms to see Remus lying in it, hidden under a pile of hot water bottles and bowls of Mrs. Weasley's delicious vegetable soup. The soup sat untouched beside the bed and many empty bowls were there as well. Sirius sat trying and failing to subdue his laughter, while Remus kept shooting him dangerous looks.

"Now I understand what kills me" he said bitterly, "Molly's going to force me to eat myself to death!"

Chapter 10: The Seven Confessions of Remus Lupin
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Ok, I must first of all thank all of you who read and especially those of you who review. It makes me extremely happy to know people are actualy reading (and maybe even enjoying) this story. The 100 review mark is special, and I hope you continue to read and review, thank you all! I had a day off from work today and decided to dedicate it to my readers, you guys are great! So here is the fruit of my efforts, enjoy.




The Seven Confessions of Remus Lupin




Dust could be seen falling through the many rays of light shining through the window into the third guest bedroom of twelve Grimmauld place. The rays of sunlight lit up the normally dark room this late afternoon. The thin white linen of the single bed in the room concealed a thin man who slept soundlessly. Harry watched Lupin toss and turn in his sleep, the remnants of his overly large meal still littering the floor and bed-side table.

Hermione yawned beside him and stretched, Harry had not anticipated such an uneventful day.

"Lupin must feel better." Hermione said after a while. Harry looked over at him, he had his shirtless back to them and Harry could see it slowly rise and fall. It was easy to see that he was becoming more and paler as his skin started to become a closer shade to his sheets.

"Why do you say that?" Harry asked, seeing no reason Hermione might say this.

"Well he has a stomach full of Molly's soup in him, that can't do him any harm." she said, smiling at all of the empty bowls and remembering how much effort, not too mention complaining it had taken Lupin to consume them all. Remus had vowed never do anything for Sirius again, but had withdrawn after Sirius had refused to help him clean up soup he had spilled. Harry guessed it was in fear of Mrs. Weasley thinking he was doing it on purpose to get out of eating it.

"How long has he been asleep?" Harry wondered. Hermione consulted a brown leather strapped watch she always wore and looked up at him again.

"Nearly two hours," she said, "I think Sirius said he'd wake him up after two hours though, so we shouldn't have to sit here much longer." Harry nodded, slightly distracted by the way the sunlight hit her soft brown hair, which lined her face beautifully. Harry snapped back into reality realizing what he had been thinking about. 'Ron would be hysterical' Harry thought inwardly.

Suddenly the door creaked open and in walked Sirius as if on queue. His shoulder length, elegant black hair hung loosely, moving smoothly as he walked towards the bed that held a sleeping Moony. Harry watched Sirius bend down and then get down on his knee's beside the bed, unaware or simply not caring that his grey trousers were most likely getting caked with dust.

"Moony?" he whispered softly, his onyx eyes scanning Remus' face for any sign of consciousness.

"Mmmm?" Remus moaned groggily, not opening his eyes.

"Are you asleep?" Sirius said, watching the lines around Remus' eyes tighten and relax in his sleep.

"Mmhmmm" he mumbled, Sirius' eyes half closed in suspicion, he knew that Remus had a habit of mumbling in his sleep.
Sirius smiled as he remembered the time he'd fallen out of his bed not too long ago mumbling about something quite inappropriate.

"Are you awake?" Sirius asked, trying to confirm his suspicion.

"Mmhmm" Sirius smiled, this opportunity was too good too miss.

"Are you at Hogwarts?" Sirius asked, knowing the answer would confirm everything for sure.

"Mmhmm" Sirius grinned, the evil trademark of a Marauder playing onto his handsome face. Both Harry and Hermione watched as he looked over his shoulder at the door as if to make sure no one was approaching.

Sirius paused for a moment, to make sure Remus wasn't about to spring up and scare him out of his wits. After a few moments of continued silence and soft muffled snores Sirius put forth his plan of action.

"Are you a greasy git Moony?" he asked, the grin on his face never faltering.

"Mmhmm"

"Are you dim witted, big nosed, chocolate loving, lycanthropic wanker?" Sirius asked, the pitch of his voice rising in pure amusement.

"Mmhmm"

Harry watched Sirius fight his internal battle to subdue his shouts of glee and hysterical laughter. It was easy to tell that Sirius didn't often get one up on Lupin, and he would obviously make the best of every chance that arose.

"So childish" Hermione huffed beside him, Harry only smiled. He listened in as Sirius continued his merciless torture of the oblivious Remus.

"Are you in a love affair with Snivelus?" Sirius asked, his ribs threatening to crack under the pressure of holding back his laughter.

"Mmhmm"

"Did you snog that Ravenclaw girl in our seventh year?"

"Mmhmm"

Sirius gasped in all seriousness, "I knew it" he said, bewildered. Harry nearly fell off his chair laughing at how quickly Sirius could go from immature to completely serious, then he heard Hermione giggle as well.

Suddenly Sirius could no longer control his laughter; he fell to the ground laughing like a mad man. This was the first thing Remus saw as he finally opened his eyes.

"What is it?" Remus asked in a hoarse voice, rubbing his eyes and yawning.

Sirius though at the moment was in no fit state to answer that question, for he was busy roaring with laughter, along with Harry and Hermione, no amount of pity for Lupin could stop even Hermione from giggling furiously.

"Sirius?" Lupin asked cautiously, looking at him as if he was insane. Remus saw the tears flowing down his face, and began to become worried, he had seen Sirius behave this way on far too many occasions to be.

"Sirius what in Merlin's name is so funny!?!" Remus asked, checking himself to make sure he hadn't turned his hair pink again. Sirius only continued to roll on the floor in uncontrollable laughter. After checking himself thoroughly and confirming he was all in one normally colored piece, Remus tried once more to ask Sirius what was so bloody hilarious.

"Sirius are you going to tell m-" Remus was cut off as Sirius stood up and abruptly collapsed onto the bed, and on top of Remus.

"Sirius...” Moony growled, though Harry saw he was shaking with laughter as well. "Get up you bloody oaf!" his voice was muffled under Sirius' weight but his words were clear enough to be understood.

Sirius sat up, tears of mirth still streaming down his face, he quickly moved to wipe them away, though the smile still lingered on his face.

"I always knew you snogged that Ravenclaw girl Moony, you were just too shy to admit it." Sirius laughed, Remus just stared at him, looking fearful for his sanity.

"What the bloody hell are you talking about?" he asked incredulously.

"Oh never mind" Sirius said gleefully, getting up and walking to the door, and left, still laughing lightly.

Remus sighed heavily and flopped back down onto the bed. "That bloody man" he said to himself, smiling after a moment.

Harry couldn't help but smile as well, no matter how shy Lupin was, he was happy, and that was what mattered.

Harry and Hermione left after a moment to allow Lupin a moments privacy to dress. Harry stood and looked around for lack of anything better to do, he noticed one door in the whole hallway way closed. He walked over to it and tried to open it, not remembering ever being in it. He was surprised when the door refused to open.

"What are you doing?" Hermione asked, walking towards him.

"This door is locked" Harry shrugged, though his curiosity was growing. He pulled his wand out of his pocket and pointed it towards the door, "Allohomora" he said clearly, but the lock didn't click. Harry stepped aside so that Hermione could try, as it seemed she was now as curious as he was.

"Allohomora" she said, nothing.

At that moment the door opened and Lupin walked slowly down the long carpeted hallway and descended the stairs, so they followed. He sat himself down at the table and so Harry and Hermione did the same. Lupin sat and sighed as he ran a hand through his sandy blond hair, making it stick up at odd angles. Hermione smiled at this. Lupin suddenly looked up as Sirius strode into the room, smiling at the sight of a frazzled Remus.

"Tea?" he asked.

"Sure"

Sirius bustled around for a few minutes and turned to the table with two steaming cups of tea in his hands. He handed one to his friend and he wasted no time before gulping it.

They sat in silence for a while as the two drank their tea, it was common knowledge that Remus like to drink his tea in peace, and not even Sirius dared defy him when he had tea clutched in his hands, well at least not for a while. Harry watched the two of them sip in silence for a bit, before it was finally broken by Sirius, who could never keep quiet for long.


"What is that?" Sirius asked, his eyes not leaving something around the area of Remus' hands. Remus followed his gaze, and it fell onto a ring Remus wore that Harry never remembered noticing before.

"Oh, this?" Remus examined the ring, it was an incredibly black ring with two streaks of silver running along the entire surface, swirling and dancing along the band. A gorgeous sapphire shone in the middle, like one bright star penetrating a moonless night. "My dad gave me this the night my mom died" he said softly, soaking in the images the ring brought to his mind.

"Oh" Sirius said, hoping beyond hope he hadn't hurt Moony.

"Don't worry" Remus muttered, almost reading Sirius' mind, "Sometimes the deepest pains leave the most beautiful scars."

Sirius had no answer to this, he only looked on at his friend, knowing that what Moony had just said was most likely one of the most intelligent things he had ever heard.

"I thought you couldn't touch silver?" Sirius said upon further examining the band.

Remus looked at him questioningly, then as realization hit him he said, "Oh, this isn't silver, it's platinum. This ring is the most expensive and treasured heirlooms of the Lupin line."

"It is beautiful." Sirius remarked, Remus nodded, gently lifting it off his slender finger. Harry, who had come closer with Hermione to see it for himself, saw the name Remus elegantly engraved in the band, and as he turned it the name John came into view too.

"I miss my father." Remus said as he put the ring back on his index finger.

"I only wish I had a father worth missing" Sirius said with a hint of bitterness in his voice, Remus smiled.


"So are you feeling any better?" he asked, placing his empty mug on the table in front of him.

"Mmhmm" Remus said from behind his favorite chipped mug. It seemed that this response had triggered some immature outburst from Sirius, who promptly doubled over in fits of hysterical laughter.

"What is up with you?" Remus asked irritably, putting him mug down to properly scrutinize his very annoying friend.

"It's..." Sirius choked, "it's just" he struggled to breathe, "I love it when you say that!" Sirius finally fell back in his spot on the couch and laughed himself hoarse...again. Remus thought that this situation could not get any worse, that was until the twins made their untimely appearance.

"What's wrong with Sirius?" George asked as he filed into the room with Fred close behind him.

"I think he's having a break down of some sort" Remus said conversationally.

"Really?" George said interestedly.

"Hey Ginny come see this!" Fred called.

"What is it?"

Remus' heart dropped to somewhere around the region of his stomach should have been, should Molly not have forced him to eat until it had exploded in rebellion. The voice that had just spoken, unfortunately, had not belonged to Ginny Weasley, but to her mother.

Harry could only smile as Mrs. Weasley walked into the room to see a now recovering Sirius. He could have sworn he heard Remus' stomach groaned as Molly's gaze transferred to him.

"Oh, Remus dear" she said sweetly, "are you feeling any better?"

"Yes Molly" he said, his voice ridden with modesty.

"Are you hungry?"

"NO!" he said, a little too loudly, Molly only smiled, and Harry heard him breath an audible sigh of relief.

"Alright, you take it easy then, I'll be back to check on you later."

"Thank you Molly" he said softly.

For a while people came and went through the room until Sirius and Remus were the only ones left in the room.

"So how do you feel?" Sirius asked, seeing Remus breathing heavier and struggling to sit still.

"Do you remember what happened last time I answered that question Sirius?"

"Must you always answer a question with another question?"

"You're doing it too you know."

"Stop avoiding my questions Remus."

"I feel fine"

"Liar."

Remus laughed, though the smile on his face brightened by the laugh lines etched permanently into it was short lived. His laughter was cut off as a wave of nausea washed over him, forcing to double over in pain and discomfort. Sirius quickly got up from his seat across from Remus and kneeled down in front of him.

"What's wrong?" he asked, not bothering to hide the worry in his voice.

"I'm fine" Remus said in a low hoarse voice quite unlike his own, Harry felt Hermione becoming uneasy beside him.

"Remus how many times can you say those two bloody words before you realize you don't mean them?" Sirius said, though Harry knew there was only concern in his voice, not anger.

Harry watched as Lupin stood up and stretched, the pained expression not leaving his face. Sirius stood up with him, steadying him as he swayed.

"What hurts?" Sirius asked, his onyx eyes the perfect reflection of the worry portrayed in his voice. Remus looked into those eyes and could almost see the raw emotion blazing through them in varying shades of stormy grays.

"I think I should go back to bed and- ugh" Remus fell to his knees and both Harry and Hermione stood up quickly.

"Remus! Remus what's wrong!?" Sirius was visibly panicking.

Remus groaned loudly, he fought to keep his eyes open and could only mutter two strangled words,

"Something's wrong."



Those of you who have read When All is Lost... will remember the ring Lupin is wearing, if you hadn't then maybe you should read that ;) But it will kill time if you await the next chapter. I hope you enjoyed. I was wondering if maybe you could tell me, for those of you who haven't read the previous stories, if Inferno is fitting together alright. I just wanted to know if it works on its own. Thanks!



Chapter 11: A Man and His Chocolate
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Hey! Sorry this took so long I've been so busy, I can't believe it's almost Christmas! YAY! Merry Christmas all! A review would be more than enough to make my Christmas great! Happy Holidays!



A Man and His Chocolate


Molly Weasley bounded down the stairs just in time to see Remus hit the floor. Harry and Hermione took a few steps back as she rushed passed them to help Sirius lift the unconscious Remus off the hard wood floor.

"What happened?' she asked, extremely worried.

"I...I don't know" Sirius said, panicked.

Remus groaned and Molly nearly dropped him. Harry approached the couch as they successfully lifted Lupin onto the over stuffed sofa.

"Arthur!" Molly called in the direction of the hall, her husband could be heard running down the hall and after a few moments later Arthur Weasley emerged into the room.

"What's wrong?" he asked worriedly as he spotted the unconscious Remus on the couch. Molly explained everything to him and he approached the couch as well.

"Do you remember the healer saying anything about this?" Molly asked to anyone who had an answer. Harry felt Hermione stiffen beside her like she always did when she knew the answer to a teacher's question.

"Did he?" Harry asked her.

"Yes, he said that the stress might make the hours leading up to his transformation more difficult." she said knowingly, but Harry knew there was no way to tell the others this.

"Did he say if there was anything we could do about it?" Harry asked as Arthur left to see what potions were in stock in the pantry. Hermione shook her head.

"I only hope it's not too painful, no wonder he locked himself up before a full moon."

Sirius put his hands on Remus' shoulders to try and steady his shaking. Suddenly Remus' eyes shot open and the deep amber pools beneath glistened in pain.

"Remus" Sirius whispered soothingly, trying to calm his friend down. "What's wrong?"

"I...can’t. breath" Harry now noticed how labored his breathing was, even through his far too big robes his chest could be seen struggling to rise and fall.

"Sshhh, ok, just breath, no need to talk." Sirius tried to calm Remus down, and it was slowly working. His breathing came easier but the pain didn't seem to lessen. After a few agonizing minutes Remus sat up abruptly.

"Remus! Lie back down this instant." Molly said fiercely.

"Can't" Remus managed to choke out.

"Does it hurt?" Sirius asked.

Remus shook his head slowly, his eyes remained tightly shut and his expression was a pained one. Harry felt bad for him. He sat in silence for a moment and when Ginny attempted to come see what was wrong her mother quickly shooed her away.

"Fine!" Ginny huffed as she stomped out of the room. The heavy movement seemed to upset Remus, he suddenly lurched forward and made everyone around jump. His eyes opened wide once again and he hastily covered his mouth. Sirius opened his mouth to question his but was cut off as Remus sprung up and dashed for the bathroom nearby. Hermione gasped, Harry sighed.

"Poor bloke" Arthur sighed, "I bet it's the stress."

"I shouldn't have yelled at him" Molly concluded, looking to be on the verge of tears. Her husband moved closer and comforted her.

"I'll go check on him" Sirius said as he got up and stalked warily over in the same direction Remus had taken. He tried to take his mind off any unpleasant sounds Remus may have been making, but he found that Remus, as usual, was exercising his skill of keeping everything about himself private when he needed to. Sirius approached the bathroom door and knocked, when he was met with silence, he entered cautiously to find Remus leaning heavily against the wall, looking strained and pale.

"Feel better?" he asked.

"Yes"

Sirius leaned against the wall opposite Remus. "I'm really starting to worry about you." he said, staring at his friend. His gaze was met by Remus' dazzling amber eyes that reflected perfectly the stress he must have felt. Those eyes shone with appreciation and for a few moments all signs tiredness were lost.

"You needn't be worried." Remus said, though it was easy to hear the appreciation in his strained voice. It had taken years for Sirius to ease through the many protective layers of Remus Lupin, now hidden emotions could often be heard and Remus didn't make as much effort to hide them. Remus sighed deeply, running his hands through his hair and forcing it to stick up in places.

"Has this ever happened before?" Sirius wondered aloud.

"Yes" Remus nodded, "after my mom died I became sick, the healer said it was stress, so I suppose that's what's happening now." Sirius nodded sadly.

"Maybe I should go lay down for a while" Remus sighed.

"Are you tired?"

"No, but I don't think Molly will believe me when I say that."

"Go sit on the couch" Sirius said, "Molly will let you." Remus nodded and moved to leave the large bathroom he had fled to.

"Do you need anything?"

"No"

"Are you hungry?"

"Sirius, my stomach just emptied itself of food I don't even remember eating, what do you think?!"

"Sorry"

Harry watched Remus emerge from the bathroom with Sirius close behind him. Hermione was still sitting on the couch, too worried to do much, when Remus made his reappearance in the living room. Molly immediately rushed to him and ushered him gently to the couch. Lupin sat back and looked as comfortable as he could considering what he'd just been through.

"Are you feeling alright dear?" Molly said, sitting down beside him, Remus only nodded.

Harry sat down on the moth eaten couch farthest from where Lupin sat, and coughed as a cloud of dust rose around him. Hermione saw this and sat on a somewhat less dusty chair beside him. Harry started to relax but had to scoot over quickly as Sirius dropped himself down onto the couch, another cloud of dust rose and Harry fought the urge to cough.

"You're sure you don't need anything dear?" Molly repeated as she got up to go prepare dinner.

"No Molly. Thank you, but I'm fine." Lupin said with as much sincerity as he could muster.

Mrs. Weasley took one last moment to make sure he wasn't lying, and walked into the hallway leading to the kitchen. Sirius laid back on his spot on the couch and breathed a deep sigh of contentment. Remus looked up at him, a slight smile playing onto his lined face. He too laid back and lifted the cloak over his shoulders, revealing a light brown muggle t-shirt beneath.

"So how are you feeling?" Sirius asked, his relaxed tone showing a flicker of concern.

Lupin tensed, then his curious expression turned into one of sudden annoyance. "Oh no! No no no no no!" Lupin pointed one scarred hand in Sirius' direction. "I'm not falling for this again Mr. Black, I feel fine thanks!" Sirius did his best to look as if he didn't understand, but he had never been able to keep a straight face with his friends. Sirius sat back again and watched Lupin, and it became very obvious he was having trouble sitting still.

"What's wrong with you?" Sirius asked, looking the slightest bit confused.

"Dunno" Lupin said irritably, "need something"

"Tea?" Sirius asked, starting to get up knowing how compulsive Remus was about his tea and knowing he didn't have the will power to refuse it.

"No, that's ok." Lupin sighed, Sirius fell back onto the couch in surprise. He could probably count the number of times Remus had refused to on one hand.

"Ok, something’s wrong" Sirius said, sitting beside Lupin on his couch.

Lupin laughed, "I know what I want!" he said, a determined look suddenly spreading across his face.

"And what would that be master Lupin?" Sirius said with his best imitation of a house elf.

"Hot cocoa" he said, his eyes getting that glazed look they did when he had a cup of tea in his hands. Lupin nearly jumped as Sirius emitted an incredibly bark-like laugh.

"What?" Lupin asked, feigning a hurt a hurt expression. "It’s relaxing!"

"I should have known!" Sirius said to himself, still laughing like a madman. "If it wasn't tea it was chocolate!"

"Hey! I'm not that bad!" Lupin said, doing his best to look serious.

"Are you kidding!?! Let's ask Harry how many times he's seen you with chocolate!" Sirius said, gesticulating impressively. "I can't even begin to count how many times I caught you in the dormitory with chocolate! Chocolate is like sex for you!"

All Lupin could do in response was blush deeply. Suddenly in the midst of Lupin's embarrassment Mrs. Weasley made her reappearance with two cups of her special recipe hot chocolate. Harry knew this was like gold to Lupin, and he and Hermione were still laughing hysterically.

"Here you are" she said kindly to Lupin, handing him and then Sirius large blue and gold mugs. Lupin was too stunned to start drinking the delicious liquid contained in the mug in his hands.

"Did you? You didn't hear-" Lupin stuttered, but Mrs. Weasley quickly cut him off by putting a comforting hand on his shoulder.

"It's alright Remus, I think I'm the only one who heard." she said in a kind voice. Sirius smiled wickedly, and then flinched when Remus smacked him. Everyone in the room watched Mrs. Weasley's retreating back go in the direction of the kitchen, where wonderful smells of her cooking were already evident.

Harry looked beside him at Hermione, who was blushing and giggling furiously. "Hermione" Harry began, smiling despite himself, "when we go back let's try and leave Lupin's dignity intact and try and prevent Sirius from saying that." Hermione nodded and continued to giggle.

Harry looked back over where Sirius was apparently trying to make Moony forgive him, Lupin's tactic was one that tortured Sirius in every way possible, the silent treatment.

"Moony please! I didn't mean it I promise!" Sirius whined and begged, but to no avail. Remus only sat in silence and Harry had the feeling he was savoring every moment of Sirius' pain, even though it didn't show behind the smirk currently residing on his face.

"Supper!" Mrs. Weasley yelled, causing both Sirius and Remus to jump slightly. Sirius remained in his seat beside Lupin.

"Would you mind setting the table Remus?" Molly asked distractedly.

"I'll do it!" Sirius cut her off dashing up and collecting various dishes, he almost grabbed the silver plates stacked up high but was quickly reminded of why he shouldn't do that by a loud clearing of Molly's throat. His hands quickly moved away from the plates in question and Remus had to smile, temporarily letting down his angry image.

"Let me help" he said getting up and grabbing the cutlery from the appropriate place. All of the silver wear had been locked up after an incident that had occurred just after the order had reformed. Harry remembered the shiny burn on Lupin's hand that had refused to leave for weeks, no matter how much Molly fussed over it.

For a few minutes every one tucked in and began to chat loudly while enjoying the delicious food. Mrs. Weasley began to once again try and convince Bill the earring was too much. Ron was being fiercely told by Ginny that her homework did not belong in the bottom of Errol’s cage, while Fred and George sat beside them laughing too hard to be able to eat.

Suddenly Moody crashed through the kitchen door, his hat was even more crooked then usual and his magical seemed to be jammed. "Help!" he hollered, "Attack!"



Chapter 12: Inferno
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Ok guys, this is it, probably the biggest climactic chapter I've written for this trilogy. I'd like you to know that this chapter had been a long time in the making and my inspiration for Inferno. Please tell me if anything seems wrong so I may or may not be able to fix it. These are my story telling capabilities pushed as far as they will go for now so please tell me what you thought of the fruit of my efforts. This chapter was the inspiration for Inferno, so please tell me what you think. Thank you! You guys are great and I wouldn't do it without you!


Inferno

For a few agonizing moments everyone in the kitchen sat deathly still while processing this information in their heads, Sirius, with his renown reflexes, shot up first.

"Come on!" Moody screeched while the others finally came to their senses. His bowler hat was threatening to fall off his balding head, and both his eyes were going ballistic. Everyone at the table was finally ready for action, when Mrs. Weasley's mothering instinct finally kicked in, Harry could almost see something click inside her head.

"The children are to go upstairs and not, under any circumstances, try and come with us." she put particular emphasis on the last bit of the phrase, while making no effort to disguise the fact that she was staring directly at Fred and George.

"But we're of age mum!" George protested, but his mother was obviously not going to hear of it.

"Harry," Hermione whispered to him, in case they missed something important that was said. "If Lupin goes, we have to go too." Harry nodded, though he had a bad feeling about the whole situation. Suddenly Harry's attention turned to Lupin as he got up and proceeded to whisper something to Sirius, Harry hurried over but Lupin was speaking so quietly he only caught some of it.

"...something's not right...never came back...."

Harry pondered the disjointed phrase for a moment, but didn't have time to think before the adults took action. The younger wizards all walked slowly up the stairs, all of them scared of what was to come but too stubborn to show it.

Harry and Hermione stood torn meanwhile about where they would be the most useful, not to mention the safest.

"What is it Mad-Eye?" Arthur finally asked as they were all standing waiting for information.

"No time come on, to Hogsmead!" Moody yelled before throwing a huge handful of floo-powder into the fire, allowing it to stay open long enough for all to follow. One by one members of the Order walked into the blazing green fire and disappeared, while Harry and Hermione waited to be sure that Lupin would go with them.

"Come on Remus!" Sirius yelled as Lupin looked frantically around for something. Sirius, Lupin and Molly were now the only adults left. Harry was about to go through the fire when all of the kids came running down the stairs.

"Mom!" Ginny yelled.

"What is it?" Molly asked, Harry could hear the anger in her voice, though it wasn't necessarily directed at her children.

"The dark Mark mum, it's close to here!" Ron yelled.

"What!?!" Molly was now panicking.

"Don't worry Molly, it's a bluff! He's trying to get us to come out and face him, don't take the bate!" Sirius tried to reassure her, but it was quite apparent that it wasn't working.

"Sirius, I want you to go to the Burrow with them and stay there." Molly ordered, Harry saw Sirius' brain thinking furiously of how to get out of the situation.

"Molly I have to fight" he said, still thinking hard.

"No Sirius, you're in more danger than any of us out there, now hurry up and go!" Molly said as she disappeared to the fight. Sirius looked at the gathering on the stairs and then looked to Remus.

"Remus what are you looking for?" Sirius asked him, seeing that Remus' desperate search had not relented.

"The potion Sirius, I need to take the wolfsbane potion" Remus said.

"But the full moon is tomorrow." Ginny said.

"It doesn't matter" Lupin said with his head in the fridge, still searching. "If I don't take one today, it's useless tomorrow."
Suddenly Lupin looked towards a spot on the stairs where it appeared that no one stood, and spoke with a pained look on his face. "You're the ones who told me to stay put, maybe you don't need me." Sirius gave him a pleading look but Remus raised a hand to silence him, "Who is to say that I would even be missed."

Suddenly Hermione turned to Harry, "Harry," she said, he could hear the worry in her voice. "What if Lupin's potion is still in his room?" Harry remembered Mrs. Weasley bringing it up there in case he never got out of bed that day.

"Let's go get it" Harry said. He took one last glance back to see Sirius disappearing with the others while Lupin looked on. He ran up the stairs as fast as he could with Hermione behind him. Just as he reached the stairs the fire in the kitchen roared up and Harry wondered if Lupin had found the potion and left. He ran into the room and felt his chest clench when he couldn't see the potion. Hermione passed him and looked all over the floor and the bed. After a few agonizing minutes they decided to go back downstairs. Harry felt the panic rising in him like boiling water threatening to overflow.

He ripped out of the room and was about to go down the stairs when something a wasy down the hallway behind him caught his eye, an eerie orange glow was steadily growing. Hermione whipped around at the same time as he did to see flames slowly spreading from inside one of the upstairs rooms.

"Put it out!" Hermione shouted. Her and Harry rushed towards the flames and tried to extinguish them by shooting water out of there wands, but it was no use. Harry looked around and saw that there was fire on the other side of them too, and if they didn't hurry it would block there only way out.

"Put it out there before it covers the stairs Harry yelled to Hermione, who was closer to them. With a wave of her wand the flames were temporarily extinguished and they bolted through. Just as they reached the main floor once again they heard a huge crash from the kitchen. Hermione tried to move towards the noise but the flames were rising too fast.

Harry leapt to the side as the Black family tapestry fell burning to the ground. The last few ashes managed to land on the lower end of Harry's pant leg and he struggled to put it out before getting burned. Unfortunately, Hermione's situation was no better, her back was now on fire. Harry ran to her and held her still and tried to keep her from screaming anymore. With a flick of his wand and a quick incantation her back was cooled by a spout of cold water. Harry could see her robes were singed but the shirt underneath was still intact so the burns couldn't have hurt her too much.

"Harry, we have to get out!" she screamed as a piece of the ceiling fell inches from her. Harry was about to answer her when another huge bang and a wild screech came from the kitchen again, Lupin wasn't faring so well.

"Why isn't he flooing out?" Harry yelled as they made their way trying to extinguish as much as possible. It just didn't make sense to Harry.

"Did you see how much floo powder Moody used? I bet there isn't enough to transport a grown man out of here left!" Hermione said as they turned the final corner that would lead them to the kitchen.

Harry peered into the kitchen as hard as he could and saw a shadow of a figure dancing around most likely trying to avoid the flames. Several yells came from there now, and Harry was almost afraid to look. Hermione put out one last fire to allow them entrance to the kitchen at last, but just as they put a foot in an immense piece of stone and wood fell before them, blocking their passage completely. Harry screamed in frustration. He looked beyond the barricade and that's when he saw him. Lupin was lying on the floor, the smoke clouding around them was making breathing nearly impossible. Harry felt himself start to shake as he noticed the skin pealing from Lupin's arms. His robes were torn and singed everywhere, exposing parts of his chest and back. Harry saw the raw pieces of exposed flesh and wanted more than anything to be able to end his suffering somehow. Harry heard the ceiling above them give a groan and knew they didn't have much time. He called out to Lupin uselessly, his voice breaking as he fought off tears and continued to shake. Hermione continued to put out flames to prevent them getting burned. Harry knew he had to do something, and that there was no other time to do it. He put his hands on the huge block in front of him and gave one great heave before pulling away screaming, the block had singed his hands in only a few short seconds. The pain was indescribable, and what was even worse was knowing that his hands were only a tiny fraction of what Lupin was going through.

He was about to try again when Hermione grabbed him back, "Harry we have to go!"

"I WON'T LEAVE HIM!" Harry yelled at her. Harry heard Lupin's agony as he moaned and yelled. He made one last attempt to move the block with his back to it before the ceiling began to give way. Hermione pulled Harry out of the way just in time. The remnants of Sirius' old room came crashing down before them. Without speaking Harry and Hermione tore towards the front door, Hermione keeping the sleeve of Harry's shirt in her hand so as to make sure he didn't try and save Lupin at the last second.

They were about to exit when Harry thought of something, the only way to save Lupin. Just as Hermione opened the door to leave Harry tore his hand from her clutch and tore back in the other direction, Hermione screamed for him to come back but he couldn't be persuaded. At least if he didn't make it Hermione had the time turner to return. He covered his mouth to try and block the huge amounts of dark smoke from entering his lungs. His vision was starting to blur, and his lungs were screaming for oxygen, but he had to do it. He reached the hall and stopped for a moment, examining something placed on the wall. He stole one last glance towards the kitchen and left as a gut wrenching scream rang in his ears. He reached Hermione who had a questioning look on her tear streaked face.

"Where were you?" Hermione asked, but Harry didn't answer, because at that moment something behind them collapsed. They ran another few feet away from the house and turned. Harry was aw-stricken by the way the flames lit the sky. The smoke rising from the house rose miles in the air, and Harry finally had to give in to his tears.

"Harry" Hermione said quietly as she fell to her knees in tears.

Hermione had one phrase ringing throughout her head, one phrase she knew would stick with her forever, would always be there to make sure the flames of guilt rose fresh within her.

You're the ones who told me to stay put, maybe you don't need me...Who is to say that I would even be missed?
"Harry..." Hermione repeated, crying harder still. Harry knelt down to her and she saw the tears shining on his face as well, "We told him to stay put... Harry, we killed him!"

Without another word Harry put the chain over his and her necks and launched them into a past that Harry prayed would turn out differently.


Chapter 13: Broken Glass and Shattered Hopes
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Broken Glass and Shattered Hopes



Harry felt his feet hit solid ground and immediately put out his hands to steady himself. He looked beside him to see Hermione had done the same. He could see the streaks of tears still gleaming on her face, she continued to cry silently over what they had just witnessed.

Before either of them went anywhere they both toppled back onto the couch. Harry sat still, feeling lightheaded, images of horrible moments swimming through his dazed mind. He sat still and Hermione turned to face him after a moment of silence.

"Harry" she said in a weak whisper, tears flowed down her cheeks. "Harry we can't let that happen to him.

"We won't" Harry replied, holding his own words as more of a vow than a statement. Hermione finally broke down into sobs and collapsed into Harry's arms. It was at this moment that Sirius entered to find the two of them shaking and sobbing.

"Harry, Hermione! You're back!" he shouted, instantly footsteps could be heard throughout the house all heading for the main room where they sat, the first to arrive, to Harry's surprise, was Dumbledore. Sirius bent down and put his hands firmly on Harry and Hermione's shoulders.

"What happened?" he asked, seeing the state they returned in. "Are you ok?"

Hermione was about to speak to him when Dumbledore neared them and cut her off. By now everyone had reached the room and were fighting to here what was being said. Harry noticed Ron trying to catch his attention and was waving for them to join him, but his attention was immediately shifted when the door opened again. Harry's gaze followed Lupin as he slowly made his way towards them, his face was pale and strained. Harry knew that it was because he was showing early signs of the sickness doomed to befall him.

Dumbledore turned to the crowd of people gathered in the room and spoke. "I must ask for a few private moments with Harry and Hermione before anything is said." All of them knew better than to go against Dumbledore so they left and made for the kitchen, leaving them alone with Dumbledore at last. Harry wondered why they couldn't even speak before Dumbledore spoke privately to them. Dumbledore stood in front of them, looking as anxious as he had in Harry's second year when the Basilisk was loose in the castle. Finally, after looking them over in silence for a few agonizing moments, he spoke again. "First, I would like to thank you for what you have done, as I'm sure Remus will do many times before the night is through." Harry saw a flicker of a smile pass over Dumbledore's noble face. For a while Dumbledore explained how time had passed while they were gone but in this time they had only been gone for a few minutes. Harry thought this was fortunate because now they knew vaguely what was to happen when, he also thought that it was strange that Dumbledore hadn't yet asked for a recount of there journey through time. Dumbledore continued to speak, and Harry's thoughts were justified. "Now, this is one of the most important things I will ever tell you about time. You two have seen and experienced things that were never known to any of us here in present day. So it is unimaginably important that it stay that way. You two are not to tell anyone of what you have seen or heard or even smelled in the future, do you understand?" Harry and Hermione both nodded, trying to grasp the concept of having to keep everything to themselves.

"What will happen if someone found out?" Hermione asked after a moment. Dumbledore sighed and looked her straight in the eyes.

"If someone finds out miss Granger, I can guarantee you that Remus Lupin will not live to see next week." Dumbledore's words rang out and Harry couldn't help but shudder. Harry's thoughts were put on hold when Dumbledore turned to leave and spoke one last time, "I will leave you two now, to discuss all that has happened, and please, be careful no one hears." And with that, he was gone.

Harry and Hermione were both silent for what felt like ages after he had left, so Harry decided to break the silence. "This complicates things a bit." Harry sighed. Hermione nodded in agreement.

"If I had known this before I would have looked at things differently" she said.
Harry looked at her and smiled, "Well I'm glad to have you here with me at least." he said. He saw a blush creep up Hermione's cheeks.

"I just...I don't know what to do." she said, changing the subject. "I think maybe we should think backwards, and try and figure out what caused that dreadful..." she lowered her voice and leaned closer, "that horrible fire." Harry nodded, and tried to think, but thinking seemed impossible now, now that he had seen the result of it all, the thing that had put Lupin in the ground, it seemed impossible to stop. After a few minutes of trying to contemplate this seemingly unsolvable riddle, Harry sighed in frustration.

"Well what do we no about the fire.... I can't seem to think straight trying to recall it" Hermione said. She laid her face in her hands and tried to picture it, the heat, the screams, the terror. That's when she remembered Harry running back and returning.

"Harry?" she asked. "What happened when you ran back in the house?"

This question seemed to switch Harry's brain on, he had completely forgotten that. "Hermione" he said, "I remember now, I went and looked at the clock!"

Hermione looked at him incredulously; "Harry," she sighed, "I think that's one of the smartest things you've ever done!" she beamed at him. "What time was it?"

"Nine fifteen exactly."

"Great, now we'll know if we've succeeded or not." Hermione said.

"What do you say we go face the crowd, Ron's going to flip when we don't tell him what happened,"

The two of them got up and walked into the kitchen, and were immediately grabbed into one of Mrs. Weasley's enormous hugs. After a few minutes of near strangulation and tearful reunions Harry and Hermione were aloud to visit the rest.

Ron ran up to them and embraced them both, all indignity forgotten. "How are you two?" he asked, beaming at them, "Are you two ok? What happened? You have to tell me everything!"

Harry looked to Hermione and then turned back to Ron. "Ron, I'm afraid we can't tell you anything, I'm sorry."

"WHAT!?!" Ron yelled in surprise and frustration, the noise caught the attention of everyone in the room and they all turned to Harry. Harry felt uneasy in the tense silence held around him. Harry turned around to see the crowd parting and Lupin walked silently through, he walked slowly, Harry could see he was still favoring his bad leg. His amber eyes shone with emotion Harry couldn't describe. Lupin walked slowly to a place a few feet in front of where Harry and Hermione stood. The room was silent as he approached. He stopped in front of them and smiled brightly, "Harry, Hermione, thank you for everything, I owe you my life." Harry could clearly hear the sincerity in his voice. Hermione suddenly sprung back to life and hugged Lupin tightly.

"So what happened?" Fred piped up from behind the crowd of people gathered in the kitchen.

"Come Harry, sit down, tell us everything." Sirius said, inviting them to sit at the table. Harry looked around to see all of the expecting looks he was receiving, but upon seeing Lupin he knew that he had to remain silent.

"What happened after you left?" Ginny said, seeing that he didn't want to sit down and talk.

Harry looked at them and tried to think of how to deny them when thankfully for him Hermione stepped in.

"I'm sorry, but we can't say anything until this is all over, please don't be angry, but it's all for the best." there were many disappointed faces throughout the room, but they took it fairly well. After a little while of hugs and happy reunions Hermione and Harry were once again left in peace to try and contemplate how to overcome what they were now faced with.

"So" Hermione whispered to Harry as they sat now the main floor guest room. "What should we do?"

Harry thought about this for a few moments, the answer to all of this seemed hidden, trying to solve this problem felt like trying to move a mountain to have a view of the sun. He thought about what Hermione had said earlier about working backwards. "Well," he said, "I guess we have to try and figure out caused the- you know what..." Harry said, glancing at the door to see know one was there. "If we figure that out, then we can hopefully try and stop it."

"Yes," Hermione said thoughtfully, "We're going to have to try and remember what took place when and how it affected the outcome, it's a not so simple case of cause and effect!"

Harry smiled, if Hermione set her mind to something there was no stopping her mind. "So where could this have all started?" Harry wondered out loud. Hermione had the same thoughtful look spread on her face as before. Harry looked up as he heard loud bang coming from upstairs. He was trying to remember what had happened up there when Hermione stiffened suddenly beside him.

"Harry" she said quickly, breathing hard. "What if we saw the thing that caused the fire, but just didn't realize it?"

Harry thought furiously about this, what had happened about now that could have caused the fire. That's when it hit him.

The oil lamp.

“Exactly!” Hermione screeched, though she quickly lowered her voice and whispered to him quickly, “How long had we been in the future when that happened?”

“Only a few minutes I think…” Harry said trying hard to remember.

“Well come on! We have to stop that from happening!” Hermione shrieked as the ran up towards the stairs, Harry quickly followed suit. Within a few seconds Harry was tearing up the stairs, he had dashed past Hermione and was making his way to Sirius’ room as fast as he possibly could. The noise they were making in the midst of their haste had made Remus and Sirius stop their conversation, but after a moment it recommenced and just as Harry approached the room with Hermione right behind him. Just as he was about to turn and enter the room where it had all started, a loud bang and the sound of broken glass shattered Harry’s hopes even more than the oil lamp that would lead to the death of Lupin.

At that moment they both stopped dead and leaned against the wall in defeat.

“Harry...” Hermione whispered softly, “What have we done?”



Ok...to start, I am soooooooooooo sorry it took so long, I'm just so afraid something won't fall into place properly. You guys are so good to me! Many of the events to come have been hinted at. I guarantee a couple more surprises to come, so please continue to review and tell me if something doesn't seem right. Next chapter will be up soon!




Chapter 14: The Paths We Take
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I'm realy sorry it took so long guys! Right now I'm on a friends computer because mine broke down! The next chapter will be up soon! Hope you enjoy!




The Paths We Take



Harry took a few cautious steps towards the door, hoping beyond anything that his ears had just deceived him. He leaned his ear to the doorway to try and listen to what was being said.

"Good job pads" Harry heard Lupin say critically, and Harry felt his stomach drop. He remembered those words, they were the same words he had heard the first time Sirius broke the oil lamp. Harry lifted his gaze to see Hermione standing beside him trying to control her uneasiness.

"That might not have been the lamp. It might have been something else that broke..." Hermione pleaded, trying to convince herself that this had not just happened. As much as Harry sympathized with her, he knew that what was done was done. He walked back downstairs in defeat.

Harry reached the bottom of the stairs and sat down gloomily. Hermione sat a few steps up from him and Harry noticed she was crying. He felt something catch in his throat and decided he had to help her. He got up and turned around to see shining streaks of tears along her face.

"What's wrong?" Harry said softly, sitting beside her and looking into her shining eyes.

"Harry..." she paused to wipe her eyes, "What if we've failed him? What if it's done? I'll never be able to live with myself."

Harry was at a loss for words; his thoughts were identical to Hermione's words, only he didn't have the courage to speak them. As she continued to cry all Harry could do was try and calm her. After a few moments Harry held his breath and slowly laid his hand on hers. It was a strange feeling, Harry felt as if he was communicating with her in this moment than he had in these three days, even when no words were being said.

When Hermione's tears stopped Harry stood up with her and they sat at the couch. They sat in a strangely comfortable silence for a few moments when a creaking at the stairs made them both look up. Sirius came barreling down the stairs with Remus coming down a bit more slowly behind him. They went through into the kitchen chatting idly. It cheered Harry up in a way to see that Lupin was trying to stay as detached as possible.

When the two men had entered the kitchen Hermione stood up and started towards the stairs.

"Where are you going?" Harry asked as he quickly got up to follow her.

"To keep the oil from soaking into that wood," she said fiercely.

Harry smiled at her level of determination. He followed quietly and watched in the hall to make sure no one was coming while she cleaned. When she was satisfied with her job she stepped into the hall and followed Harry down the stairs once again to join the others in the kitchen.

They stood in the doorway for a few moments when Harry felt Crookshanks sneak past him once again. The same poor creature furry pray caught in his jaws, Harry felt sorry for the rodent.

Ron spotted them and waved them to come sit down with him. They went and took their seats at the now crowded table, where Sirius launched into his all too familiar tale of the underworld, with the occasional comment added by the all knowing Lupin.Once again Moody excused himself from the table, and Harry couldn't remember the next time he would be seeing him.

Harry ate Mrs. Weasley's delicious food until all thoughts of the task at hand were almost impossible to worry about. It was a small seemingly meaningless comment from Ron that brought it all back into focus.

"Harry..." he said curiously, "what happened to your hand?"

Harry, still smiling from Sirius' story, looked down at his hand noticed for the first time a wide patch of skin on his hand that looked agitated, he touched it gently and felt a burning sensation run through his hand. It took him a few seconds to realize that this was the mark left by the heated stone that had been blocking him from a dying Lupin. Hermione looked down and noticed it as well, instantly remembering the situation in which had been obtained. Before Harry had a chance to answer Ron he was grabbed by Hermione, she dragged him unceremoniously out of the kitchen, attracting many stairs from the occupants in the kitchen.

Harry turned around to face her and was surprised to see an angry look on her face.

"Why didn't you tell me!?!" she whispered fiercely.

"I didn't realize-"

"Don't tell me you never knew that the hot cement left a scar! You would have felt it before now!"

"But I didn't" Harry said honestly, he didn't see why this was such a big deal to her.

"Harry!" she looked desperately at him, "If Ron suspects that you were hurt on our trip to the future, it could jeopardize everything!"

Harry knew Hermione was right, but didn't want to believe it. He sat down on the couch and put his head in his hands, all of the anxiety from this whole thing was starting to have an effect on him.

"Harry, how could you be so ignorant! You should have told me! What if he figures it out! Lupin's doomed!" she hissed.
"Has it maybe occurred to you that for once in your life you might be wrong?" Harry asked her sourly. She took a step back, her a shocked look on her face, but that suddenly changed to sadness. She sat down beside him and heaved a huge sigh.
"I'm sorry Harry" she said. "I just don't know what to do."

"I know," Harry said, "But I think going to bed might be a good start." Hermione nodded and they both walked upstairs and went into there separate rooms.

Harry changed and laid in the darkness for a while for what seemed like ages when the door creaked open and a tall lanky figure that Harry recognized as Ron walked in.

"So what was that?" Ron asked, Harry didn't need to ask what he was talking about.

Harry quickly thought up something Ron would buy. "Oh, that, well, she realized something I had done wrong and wanted to yell at me a bit." Harry said with a surprising amount of bitterness in his voice, and Ron bought it, knowing full well how plaintiff Hermione could be.

"So what's the scar from?" Ron asked.

"Oh, this? This happened in the department of Mysteries, it looks bad because I fell the other day and put this hand out to stop myself."

Ron nodded and turned over on his bed and within a few minutes his snoring could be heard echoing throughout the room. Harry smiled at how gullible Ron was before falling asleep.

Harry woke to a loud bang that seemed to have come from downstairs. He slowly sat up and had dressed. He noticed that Ron had already left and was about to leave the room to enter the hall when the door opened before he could get to it. A frantic Hermione stepped inside.

"Harry!" she said, clearly panicking, "Lupin's gone!"

Chapter 15: “You killed him Sirius…”
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“You killed him Sirius…”





Harry shot up from the bed and had joined Hermione at the doorway in seconds. His mind was racing. Had he slept in? Was Lupin already in the hospital? Questions shot through his mind like bullets. He needed to know more.
"Who's home now?" he asked Hermione desperately.

Hermione took a moment to think, "Everyone" she said, but after a second she looked at Harry once more, "Everyone except Sirius..." Harry watched as a horrified look spread across Hermione's pretty face, and he knew exactly what she was thinking. "Oh no..." she looked as if she was thinking frantically, and Harry couldn't help but notice how beautiful she looked when she did it, but he quickly snapped out of it. "Harry..." she said, panicking, "what if he and Sirius already fought? What if Lupin stopped breathing and, and, and Sirius didn't know what to do... What if they forgot Lupin's registration card again and they refuse to treat him? Oh Harry we have to find him!" Hermione was close to tears by the time she had finished, but Harry felt just like he looked, panicked.

Harry and Hermione flew down the stairs making an incredible amount of noise, and the other occupants of twelve Grimmauld place couldn't help but notice.

"What is it you two?" Mrs. Weasley asked curiously, Harry saw she had her apron on, and knew not to upset her when she was cooking.

Harry was about to speak when he felt a sharp poke in the middle of his back, he did his best not to flinch before starting over. "Oh, nothing... we were just wondering where Lupin was." Harry finished, bracing himself just in case Hermione felt violent again.

"I haven't seen him dear, but if I do I'll let him know you're looking for him." she smiled and went back into the kitchen. As soon as she had disappeared into the kitchen Harry turned to Hermione.

"What was that for?" he asked her.

"I'm sorry" she said honestly, "I just didn't want you to sound to panicked or Mrs. Weasley would have thought there was something wrong." Harry knew she was right, so he didn't pursue the subject.

Harry stretched and walked towards the kitchen, where the delicious smells of Mrs. Weasley's eggs and toast were coming from. Harry yawned hugely as he entered the kitchen. There he could see Bill and Mr. Weasley talking about the problems within the ministry, and Fred and George were busy trying to convince Ron he had had dirt between his eyes. Ginny sat reading the paper silently at the far end of the table.

Harry and Hermione sat down at the table quietly and within moments they were served a delicious breakfast, but Harry's appetite had vanished, his thoughts were stuck on Lupin and his whereabouts. He could see that Hermione was having the same problem. They ate slowly, it was almost a tedious job, which was quite unusual considering it was Mrs. Weasleys food in front of them. Every now and then their eyes would meet but no words were needed, the worry was mutual.

With every moment that passed, Harry felt more anxious about Lupin, or more accurately the lack thereof. Harry felt that his anxiety was going to overcome him if this continued. Harry's thought were all he could concentrate on, he was so completely immersed in his own mind that when the door opened and Mrs. Black began her chorus of half-breeds and mudbloods, Harry nearly jumped out of his skin.

It took both Harry and Hermione a moment to realize what had just happened, it was Lupin's voice that finally brought them out of their daze. Harry and Hermione shot up in unison making those still at the table jump, poor Ginny spilled her pumpkin juice all over the paper she was still reading.

Harry ran to the front hall, and for the first time in an alarmingly long time his mind had gone completely blank. Harry turned the final corner, and at that moment his satisfaction was overwhelming. His eyes came to rest on the thin frame of Lupin, he shivered slightly and Harry saw a few stray snow flakes fall to the floor. His light brown hair was also flecked with large snow flakes, which he didn't bother to shake off. Harry let out a huge sigh of relief, all was well. Harry received a second surprise when Sirius walked in through the door behind Lupin. Harry finally was urged into speech.

"Where were you?" he asked in the most casual voice he could muster after the ordeal he had just been through.
It was Sirius who answered, "Oh, we just went for a walk to discuss things" Sirius said in a light tone, but Harry saw right through him, he knew that they had been having a very serious discussion, and it most likely wasn't over.

At that moment Mrs. Weasley walked in, "Alright" she said in a business like manner, "We have to go to Diagon alley for new robes and school things, and I know that Charlie wanted to visit Gringott's, so we are off." and with her words the troop of Weasley's went off upstairs to get ready to leave by floo.

Harry was standing still when Hermione yanked into the living room and sat him down on the nearest sofa.
"Harry" she said seriously, "I don't know if this is exactly what happened the first time around, but we have to keep Lupin safe until 9:15."

Harry nodded, but then a thought struck him, "Why don't we just leave with him now?" he said.

"Because Harry, the Dark Mark was conjured near here, there were probably Death Eaters all over the place. There was probably something else going on."

Harry didn't know what to do, so many things could go wrong, and Lupin's life was the price to pay. At this point the only thing keeping Harry sane was that he knew what time the fire started at.

After a few silent moments Hermione got up and crept towards the entrance to the kitchen, making no noise at all. A few seconds later Harry realized what she was up to. He could hear voice in the kitchen, and by the sound of it the discussion being had wasn't a very happy one. Harry got as close as he could to the door without being able to be seen through it, he recognized the voices immediately as those of Lupin and Sirius.

"I know you aren't fine Remus" Sirius said in a hoarse voice, abandoning the old school nick name.

"I am fine" Lupin said defiantly, "I am not weak."

"Not being fine doesn't make you weak Moony, it makes you human."

"You know just as well as I do that I'm only human to a certain extent."

"Cut the crap Remus!"


Harry knew what was going on, he had heard it all before. Now that Harry heard it all for a second time, it was easy to see that something was going to happen to Lupin. Harry could hear Lupin's breathing becoming more and more labored, and he realized that those long pauses between the exchange of harmful words weren't for effect, but for Lupin to catch his breath. It was apparent that Hermione had now caught on as well.

"No... we can't let this happen" Hermione whispered desperately.

In that moment something happened, something changed in Harry. His will to save Lupin became anger. He didn't want to have to do this anymore, not if he thought he could end it. It only took Harry a split second to make his decision.

"We won't let this happen" he said fiercely. "What if Sirius thinks he's the reason Lupin died? Wouldn't they think it was all over if we stopped him?"

"Harry no! It would break Sirius' heart to know he killed Lupin! We can't lie to him!"

Without a second thought Harry walked straight into the kitchen. Both men looked at him, and without a thought Harry came between them. Hermione took a few quick steps towards them, but she knew she was too late.

"Stop!" Harry yelled, his frustration boiling over.

"What is it?" Sirius said, still sounding edgy.

Harry found himself yelling. "Do not have this argument!" he shouted.

"Harry people have disagreements sometimes." Sirius said fairly calmly, but his own anger was easily detected.

"FINE!" Harry yelled, "But you should know that if you don't stop it will be the last argument you ever have!" The look on Sirius’ face in that moment made Harry instantly regret what he had just said, but he knew that what was done was done.

Hermione stepped in and spoke, she knew what had to be done.

“You killed him Sirius…”

“How?” Sirius said in a choked voice.

Harry didn’t answer, he truly didn’t know what to say anymore, but he took a few steps back to reveal to Sirius the struggling Lupin, and he immediately understood.

The look on Sirius' face went from anger to shock, and after a moment of extremely tense silence Sirius lowered his head in shame.

"I...I didn't know." he said quietly. As he spoke, Harry heard gasps coming from behind him. He turned just in time to see Lupin fall to his knees.

"No!" Sirius yelled as he ran to Lupin's side.

Lupin was shaking, his breathing was becoming more and more difficult, his eyes were red with unshed tears.

"Moony I'm so sorry..." Sirius said, embracing Lupin. His breathing steadily became better, but it appeared that Sirius was only becoming worse.

"Moony I didn't know..." Sirius said.

"It's alright Sirius, I'm fine." Remus huffed.

"Didn't we just have this discussion?" Sirius said gruffly.

Sirius slung one of Lupin's arms over his shoulder, and Harry rose to help. Together they helped Lupin towards the couch.
"Does this remind you of old times Harry?" Lupin said quietly. Harry couldn't help but laugh, at least Lupin still had his sense of humor.

As they laid him on the couch, Hermione came to their side. She looked at Harry and smiled sadly, Harry had no idea what she was thinking. She began to go up the stairs and Harry followed. "What's wrong?" he asked.

"Harry" she began. "I really hope you know what you're doing" she said softly.

"Don't worry" Harry replied. "We've already lost Lupin once... It won't happen again."


YAY! No cliffie guys! Aren't you proud!?! I have to stop and thank you for all of your wonderful reviews! I was wondering if you guys have figured out what's going to happen? I'll give you one clue... you should be thinking about that disjointed phrase Lupin spoke when they were under attack. A few MAJOR things have happened that you guys most likely overlooked. Please tell me what you think!

Chapter 16: Old Scars and New Scars
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Ok, I really have to appologize, my stupid computer is so screwed up. But I'm going on a ski trip tommorow so I figured I would leave you with this. I'm so sorry it took so long. Please enjoy!


Old Scars and New Scars



Harry sat at the top of the stairs looking down into the room below, glad in these moments for some time to himself. He raised his arms and stretched, yawning widely. He couldn't help think of this as the calm before the storm, yet he could only hope the storm would never come. It startled him how much the quiet around him magnified every detail seen in front of him. He saw Lupin struggle to breathe, but caught the distinct smile that flickered onto to his face every time Sirius spoke to him from the chair he had pulled up to the couch. Harry noticed the preoccupied look on Sirius' newly restored handsome face, and was certain that his words were the cause of it. After what seemed like ages of sitting quietly, Harry knew by heart every subtle crease in Sirius' distraught face, and every faded scar on Lupin's pale one.

The weather outside was a mirror image of what Harry was feeling inside. Storm clouds loomed over the area bringing the threat of a downpour. Harry replayed the events of the previous days making deathly sure that he hadn't missed anything, after a while his head was pounding. He was snapped out of his trance by a loud burst of laughter from somewhere behind him. He got up slowly and quietly and crept towards the source of the commotion, only to find that it was Lupin's room. Hermione seemed to have heard it as well and she was soon beside him. They creaked the door open to see Sirius kneeling beside a bed that held a sleeping Lupin.

Sirius quickly turned to see them peering in and motioned for them to come in. They looked at each other for a moment before entering. Harry crept in to see Lupin sprawled out in bed with Sirius kneeling at his bed.

"You have to hear this!" Sirius said excitedly.

Harry said nothing, he watched the seen play out and hurried out as Lupin awoke and was ridiculed by a delirious Sirius. Even though Harry had witnessed all of it before Harry had to laugh. Seeing this happen with a glimmer of hope that it might all be alright made Harry breathe a sigh of relief. After the humiliated Lupin had left the room Harry was caught by surprise (and embarrassment) when Sirius started to take his shirt off. Harry started to turn around to save his dignity but abandoned it when Hermione let out a gasp.

Harry turned to see a topless Sirius, but that wasn't what had made Hermione gasp. Long deep horrific scars ran jaggedly down his chest. Harry read those scars faster than Hermione could read a book. Crippling images of a great dark lupine figure shot through Harry's mind. He remembered when Sirius had stood against Lupin in the underworld, saving Harry's life, and nearly killing Lupin in the process. Neither of them held any grudges over it, Harry even thought their friendship had grown from it. Each knew what it was like to lose the other, and had grown to appreciate each other that much more.

Harry traced the wicked scars down Sirius' back with his eyes, feeling the pain of remembrance. He had nearly forgotten how much Sirius had suffered from their dispute. When Sirius found a deep blue shirt and put it on, Harry and Hermione went back into their room.

"Where did those come from?" Hermione asked incredulously.

"Lupin" Harry said sadly. Registering the look of shock on Hermione's face, Harry knew his answer wasn't enough to satisfy Hermione's need for the truth, so he continued. "Lupin transformed when we were down there, beyond the veil, and he chased us. So Sirius transformed to save me." Harry lowered his gaze.

Hermione thought for a moment before speaking, "Is it me or does Sirius not seem quite as happy as he did in the future?" she said.

"You're right, it's all my fault. He thinks he's a murderer, all because of me." Harry said shamefully.

"Maybe you should talk to him" Hermione suggested.

Harry thought about this for a moment. "What should I tell him?" he asked. "Should I tell him I lied?"

"No" Hermione said firmly. "Just try and cheer him up, he looks lonely, even with Lupin around."

A little while later Harry found himself walking down the steep flowing staircase that led to the dimly lit main room. The air in the room was heavy with dust, making the room seem ancient, as it most likely was.

Sirius sat upon the blood red sofa, and incredibly, he was alone, which seemed strange for someone who thrived on the company of others. Harry noticed a news paper sitting on the heavily polished wooden table in front of him. Sirius looked up and Harry instantly noticed the sadness engraved into his gaunt expression. Sirius flicked his head back to motion for Harry to sit, he obeyed silently.

The couch let out a groan as Harry's wait was added to it's load. Sirius just continued to stare out in front of him.

"Is everything alright Harry?" Sirius asked tiredly.

"No" Harry replied," something’s not right with you."

"I'm fine Harry"

"You're starting to sound just like Lupin you know..."

"Well, I suppose it's only fair that I should have to feel pain on his level for once, instead of just brushing it all aside and trying to forget." Sirius said sadly.

"What do you mean... pain on his level?" Harry asked.

Sirius thought for a moment before answering. "Remus is a very fragile person Harry... A very fragile person with a very bad reputation for blaming himself for everything that happens."

Harry knew Sirius was right. "Why are you so sad?"

"I can't believe that I was the reason he died... I can't believe I murdered my best friend. I can't believe I put him through all of this pain... after it was me who practically made him come live here."

Harry thought about this, "Wait a minute? He didn't want to live here with you?"

A comical look came onto Sirius' face, "Of course he wanted to, but he's stubborn to accept charity without a fight. But there was no way I would let him be alone anymore."

After a few seconds of silence Harry spotted Sirius' bare wrist, and was horrified by how mutilated it looked. Sirius saw him looking.

"Sirius..."

"Harry, I didn't do that."

"How?"

"In Azkaban, they would chain me up for days at a time if I got too active."

"It looks like it hurts."

"I have scars much worse than that Harry." Harry started to point at Sirius' chest.

"No Harry... they're up here" Sirius pointed at his head. "The constant hopelessness, the loneliness, they get to you, they change you. I don't think I'll ever be the same."

Harry noticed as Sirius' glance shifted to the news paper sitting on the table several times, as if checking to make sure it didn't crawl away. Thought Harry was starting to believe that anything was possible in this house.

"What's wrong?" Harry asked. Sirius laid his face in his shaking hands. He saw silent sobs wrack over his body. Harry felt a tight knot form in his throat, something was wrong. Harry had always thought of Sirius as indestructible, and to see him like this bothered Harry more than he thought it ever could. "What is it?" he asked, a little more urgently this time.

"I have to leave" Sirius said quietly, though his voice was heavy with tears.

"What? Why?" Harry was starting to become worried. "If it was because of what I told you then please you can't I was only-"

"Harry... stop." Sirius said, putting a tear stained hand on his shoulder. After a second Sirius pointed towards the news paper sitting on the table in front of them.

Harry picked it up and upon sweeping his eyes over the first page, he nearly dropped it.

"NO" Harry yelled, "You can't!"

"It's already done Harry"

Harry was shaking with frustration. His head felt like it would collapse, his heart was pounding.

"Goodbye Harry."


Chapter 17: As Good as Gone...
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Yay! Quick update by me! Please review! I love to hear what you all have to say! I wrote this a few days ago so I hope you enjoy!



As Good as Gone...





Harry couldn't bring himself to believe what was happening. Some piece of this mental puzzle just didn't fit.

"You can't... I won't let you!" Harry shouted, Sirius had a panicked look, Harry could tell he didn't want this to be a big event.

"Harry you have to understand... there's nothing to be done."

"DON'T SAY THAT! THAT WAS EXACTLY WHAT LUPIN SAID WHEN HE FOUND OUT WHAT WAS TO HAPPEN, YOU KNOW IT'S NOT TRUE!"

"Harry calm down" Sirius whispered desperately, looking around to make sure no one had been attracted by the noise, but it was too late. From the other end of the hall soft, uneven foot steps could be heard approaching.

Sirius took one last look at Harry, placing both hands on Harry's shoulder. It appeared that he had no words left to say, or no time left to say them. Sirius pulled Harry into a tight hug before moving to go out of the heavy front door.

"What's going on?" Lupin said suspiciously eyeing Harry in particular. While Sirius turned around to address Lupin, Harry dashed in front of him, blocking his escape.

"Harry-" Sirius began, but was cut off.

"What's going on?" Lupin repeated, this time with a bit more force.

Harry's heart continued to pound, and considering he hadn't done much in the last few moments he was surprised to find how out of breath he was. Lupin's gaze continued to rest on Harry, so he pointed at the prophet still lying innocently on the table. Harry watched as Lupin turned and looked at the roll of paper. His gaze was drawn immediately to the title of article printed in bold writing on the front page. Harry never thought that four words could have so much effect on a grown man.

BLACK RESURFACES AT LAST!

Harry saw Lupin go pale, and could help but notice that the strained man looked exactly how he felt, he couldn't even begin to imagine how Sirius must have felt. Lupin's calm placid nature disintegrated as he read through the article.

This morning the minister for magic Cornelius Fudge announced that he received a tip from an 'extremely reliable source' saying that Black had been sited in that very building. Other things in relation to Black were disclosed as well, authorities are seeking him already. For any who are not aware or who's memory needs refreshing; Black was convicted for the murders of twelve muggles and one wizard. It was the attempted heroism of the Peter Pettigrew that bought the poor souls there final moments of precious life. It is to this day unknown what caused the sudden madness within Black but the results stand to show that these things can happen. At the time Black's parents said to witnesses that they themselves always thought there son to be a dangerous maniac. Just a few days ago this 'reliable source' said to have received information that Black allegedly 'disappeared' and has now returned by means only know to him. Even though it is evident that not all of the information known was shared, the Minister said to his staff that he is confident that it is sufficient to obtain the wizarding worlds most wanted convict.

When Lupin had finished Harry saw his legs start to give, but he managed to keep himself upright. Lupin's keen amber eyes, now brought into sharp relief by the paleness of his face, lifted to take in the handsome, and slightly shaking features of Sirius.

"No" he said, sounding breathless as well. "Please don't-"

"You know I have to leave Remus."

"Please-"

"I'm endangering all of you by staying"

"Sirius don't-"

"Stop pretending I wasn't the reason you-"

"Oh you know I would never hold that against you!"

"Remus listen to me-"

"NO YOU LISTEN TO ME SIRIUS!" Harry could tell Lupin was desperate to be heard. "Sirius... I need you here, I'll come with you!"

"No! I've endangered you enough! You stay safe, if anything gives my happiness while I'm in hiding it's knowing that you're safe."

Lupin's legs were starting to shake, the old cane that had been leaning against the side of the sofa had made a reappearance in his hand.

"I won't let them take you Sirius" Lupin lifted a shaking hand to wipe a single tear off his cheek. "I lost you already, please don't leave me. I need you, you're like a brother to me Padfoot, you are my brother."

By now Sirius was struggling to control his emotions as well. Harry had never seen such a desperate plea, and it broke him to know that it was all because of a lie, his lie.

In a few quick steps Sirius had crossed the room and embraced his last true friend in a brotherly hug that reduced Hermione to tears.

The hug seemed to last for ages, Harry didn't have the heart to break it up. The twp of them seemed to fit together so perfectly, in that moment Harry felt pang of guilt for making them go through all of this. In that moment he realized how much these two friends had done for each other, and how much more they were likely to do. He was going to fix all of this, he would tell them the truth.

Harry was so wrapped up in his thoughts that he didn't notice when Sirius said his final goodbye to Lupin. Harry's head snapped up and he had reached the door just as Sirius had exited it.

"Sirius I-"

"Harry... take care of Moony for me" Sirius said in a choked up voice before closing the door.

For a few moments Harry could only stand at the door that his Godfather had just exited. Sirius now believed that he had killed Lupin, and Lupin was now alone, again. Harry didn't know what to do, he had changed something, and everyone else was paying for it.

Harry turned to Lupin, Hermione was beside him helping him to sit on the couch. Of course Harry thought, it's the full moon soon.

"Remus" Harry began, not even thinking about what he was saying. Everything came pouring out.

"It's my fault, Sirius wasn't the reason this all happened, it wasn't him! Please don't ever hold that against him! It's my fault he's leaving, I changed something! I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry..."

The expression on Lupin's face went from vacant to a look of mild surprise, which quickly turned into suspicion.

"Why would you do that?" was all he said, and his voice was strangely calm, it frightened Harry more than any werewolf could. Harry stood still waiting for that calming half smile always there for reassurance, but it never came.

The frightening look upon Lupin's face didn't leave, Harry stood in some sort of paralyzed awe. Lupin got up and walked up the stairs without another word to either of them. Harry had never seen Hermione look so terrified.

Harry turned to her, "What just happened..."

Hermione looked frozen to the spot, "What're we going to do? Lupin's mad, Sirius is gone, things are going all wrong..."

At that moment Molly walked in the room, soot from the fireplace she had just traveled through still lingering on her worn velvet green robes. "What's going on I heard a door slam?" she asked innocently, looking between Harry and Hermione, who were still plastered to the floor.

Harry turned around, away from Mrs. Weasley, and said quietly to himself, "I think I just killed Lupin."


Chapter 18: Of Mice and Men...
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Here we go, the chapter I've been waiting to write for months, I'm sorry if it's short, but please review and tell me what you think. The title of this chapter comes from the title of John Steinbeck's novel of the same name.



Of Mice and Men






"What did you just say dear?" Mrs. Weasley asked innocently.

"Nothing"

"Well, come to dinner than, everything is made and ready."

"Alright" Harry and Hermione chorised.

The two of them started to make there way into the kitchen, when Harry stopped. He looked at Hermione sadly, "You go," he said, "I better go talk to Lupin." Hermione nodded and Harry turned back to ascend the towerng staircase.

The stairs creaked beneath Harry's weight, so Lupin most likely knew that he was coming. Harry had glanced at the clock in the kitchen before he had begun to head towards Lupin's room on the top floor, it was only 6:30, he still had lots of time. He reached the door which hung slightly open. He took one deep breath before entering, and found Lupin sitting on the the cosy looking bed covered in deep gold covers, his back to Harry.

"Remus?" Harry said cautiously, but he wasn't worried of startling him, Harry knew his keen ears would have picked up his presence already.

"Come in Harry" Lupin said quietly. Harry tip toed over to the bed and hopped on, inching his way to sit beside Lupin on the other side. The look on Lupin's scar ridden face was one of guilt. "Harry..." he began, but Harry cut him off before he could say anything.

"No, listen, I'm sorry I drove Sirius away, I was only trying to help and all of this was just so frustrating that I took a stupid risk thinking it would help. I was too ignorant to try and imagine what you must be going through." Harry finished and Lupin looked up into his eyes.

"Harry" he began, "You did what you thought was best, and after all you've done for me, I have no right to oppose you, I'm so sorry Harry."

"So are we forgiven?" Harry asked, Lupin raised his hand and Harry shook it in agreement. "Come to dinner then?" Lupin nodded and got up with Harry, but Harry could still see the lingering worry on Lupin's face for Sirius. As the descended the stairs Harry noticed that they had been in there for 15 minutes upstairs, it was now quarter to 7.

The delicious smells coming from the kitchen made Harry realize how hungry he was. The two men made their way into the kitchen. Harry entered and took a seat between Ron and Hermione, while Lupin sat beside Bill and on his other side was the chair usually occupied by Sirius. Harry saw Lupin look at the empty seat longingly.

"Where's Sirius?" Mrs. Weasley asked curiously.

"He went out for a while" Lupin said tonelessly. A disapproving look came over Mrs. Weasley's face as she clicked her tongue and went back for more food to place on the table.

"He should no better." she said with her back turned to them.

In no time at all dinner was served and the chatting began, though Harry, Hermioen and Lupin stayed rather quiet. Harry couldn't help but keep glancing at the clock. Harry felt strange, like something had been overlooked, but his thoughts were interrupted by an outburst of laughter from Fred and George.

"Remember when we made Charlie think he was late for his precious meeting George?" Fred laughed.

"Yah turning back that clock was an awesome idea" Harry's head shot up so fast it made several people at the table jump.

"What clock did you change?" he asked severely. Fred looked at him strangely.

"The one in the hall" he said.

"And have you changed it back?"

Fred shook his head, "Did you George?" George shook his head.

Harry's heart fell. He shot up from his seat grabbing Hermione and dragging her into the hall. "Hermione, what time did I tell you Lupin died?" he said fiercely.

"Um, 9:15 exactly you told me" she said uncertainly.

Harry ran over into the hall, his heart fell. The clock in front of him read 9:15. Hermione's hazel eyes widened with realization. Without any words exchanged the two of them dashed towards the kitchen. Just as they appeared, the too familiar face of none other than Mad-Eye-Moody appeared through the door on the other side of the kitchen, "ATTACK!" he roared. It took a few moments for everyone to react, but within a few moments everyone was up and all had scared looks on their faces.

"Come on! We have to go!" Moody yelled.

"Where?" people asked.

"We have to go, NOW!" Moody once again grabbed a huge amount of floo powder to hold the fire open while people left. Harry immediately went to Lupin, urging him to leave.

"Harry what are you doing?" he asked.

"You have to go with them!" Harry shouted over the commotion.

Lupin nodded and started to go as Mrs. rounded up the children telling them to go upstairs, to much opposition. Just as Harry thought he was in the clear Lupin turned around.

"Wait! I need to take my potion!"

"NO" Harry and Hermione shouted together. Lupin was momentarily startled, but unfazed. He went back and began rummaging through the cupboards in search of his missing potion.

"Bill" Mrs. Weasley said, take the children to the Burrow. Bill quickly obliged and within seconds Harry, Hermione and Lupin were the only one's left.

Harry ran up to Lupin, and in a rare moment of silence Harry realized that Lupin was speaking to himself, "...something's not right...never came back...." Lupin had momentarily stopped his desperate search, but quickly continued.

"Oh no, oh no, oh no!" Hermione was panicking. Things were not looking good.

"We have to go!" Harry yelled at the now panicked Lupin.

"It must be here..." he tried to reassure himself. "Drat! Fine, let's go I'll take you to the burrow." Lupin went up to the pot of floo powder only to find it was empty. "MOODY!" he yelled in frustration.

"Just come on!" Hermione yelled, we have to get out of this house. Lupin grudgingly obliged, but just as they were about to go, Lupin made one last dash to a cupboard to search one final time for his precious wolfs-bane potion.

Hermione was fighting impatiently waiting for Lupin, her eyes darted around for any sign of a spark or ember.

Harry didn't know what to do, Lupin's stubbornness was not helping at all. Harry turned to Hermione to see her staring at the doorway with a look on her face similar to the one she wore after being petrified.

"I don't think it was the fire that killed Lupin" she said weakly.

"What!?!" both Harry and Lupin said at the same time.

"What was it then?" Harry asked her as if she was crazy.

"Silver" was all she could say. Harry was speechless. Suddenly Hermione pointed a shaking hand towards the door. Harry followed her gaze to the door, as his eyes took in what she was pointing at he nearly fell back in shock. Everything suddenly made sense.

Lupin shot up and stood in front of him, peering into the doorway he saw what Harry had. Harry felt him shudder in realization.

"Peter!?!"


Chapter 19: "For you Remus"
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Hi all! I updated as fast as I could so thanks for your wonderful reviews! I've been really busy lately so if after you read this (because it's not over yet) you could check out my new story called That Which is Broken... I would appreciate it so much! I hope you enjoy this, please don't hate me! : )



"For you Remus"



The room and everything in it was deathly still for one harsh moment. Lupin instinctively moved to block Harry and Hermione from Pettigrew. "What do you want Peter" he said, his voice sounding unsure. Harry could feel all of the questions hidden within his unsteady voice. The anger boiling within him was nearly a throbbing in Harry's ears. He could hear Hermione trying to take deep calming breaths, and was having no success.

The sandy haired, narrow eyed Pettigrew still stood poised in the doorway, slightly out of breath. His snug looking faded grey suit was extremely dusty and looked as if it hadn't been washed in decades. look on Lupin's face was one of absolute fury. A sense of loathing was etched into every line of his scarred face. Harry had never felt so much hatred resonate from one man.

"Ah, Moony, my old friend" Pettigrew said in his high pitched voice, Harry was surprised at how sincere Peter sounded considering what he was about to try and do.

"I am not your friend Peter" Lupin said in a now shaky voice, Harry saw his fists balled up and shaking. By now all four of them had there wands out, but Peter remained unusually calm.

"Don't even try it" Pettigrew spoke to all of them, "I have been rewarded with powers you couldn't dream of."

"It was you!" Hermione screamed, "you killed him! It wasn't a fire, it was you!" Harry saw thick streams of tears flowing wildly down her face.

"A fire?" Lupin said, not taking his eyes off Pettigrew.

"Yes" Harry said shakily, "I told Sirius it was his fault so you two wouldn't be worried anymore, but I didn't think he would leave because of it."

"What are you talking about?" Peter interrupted, the sly look on his face slowly fading into worry. "How did you know I was going to set a fire?"

"Lucky guess I suppose" Harry said calmly.

Lupin then spoke in the most menacing voice Harry had ever heard from the genuinely docile man. "I would happily die to see to it that you never cause any more pain Peter."

"Is that right?" Pettigrew smiled, but suddenly the look on his face morphed into rage. He caught the three of them off guard and leapt towards the shocked Lupin. Both man fell to the ground landing with a great bang. Just as Harry and Hermione were preparing to fire a spell strong arms subdued them both. Harry shook violently to try and break free from the grip that held him tight and Hermione was doing the same, but to no avail. Black sleeves covered the arms that held him, and Harry instantly knew that these were death eaters. The one holding Harry began to speak and Harry seized the opportunity and lunged out of his arms. He had only made it a few steps away when he felt something heavy hit the back of his head, and he knew no more.


* * *


Harry opened his eyes only to experience a throbbing pain coming from the back of his head. When he tried to instinctively place his hand where the pain was he realized that his wrists were bound to Hermione's, and both of them had their feet magically chained to the ground. "Are you awake?" he whispered to Hermione as his eyes still fought to gain focus on the world around him.

"Yes" she said weakly. Harry could feel her shaking and was certain that she was crying.

Harry's vision finally kicked in and he saw that he was still in the dimly lit kitchen of Grimmauld place. He could feel dried blood that had seeped down the front of his face, this told him that he had been out for a while, he just didn't remember why.

"What happened?" he asked quietly as his head continued to pound.

Hermione's sobbing intensified, and there was nothing Harry could do to comfort her. "You tried to escape, but- but the man holding you hit you, there was so much blood..." Harry felt Hermione shudder.

Suddenly a small groan from the other side of the kitchen made Harry jump. He looked over and noticed Lupin. He too was tied up as they were but he was chained to the wall, with his hands bound behind his back and his ankles bound together magically. "Professor?" Harry whispered, not wanting to scare him. After a few seconds no answer came from the injured man, Harry saw by the extent of his injuries that Lupin had put up quite a fight before finally being taken down. Harry was also starting to worry about the others, it had been a while since they had departed. Another groan alerted Harry to Lupin's presence once more. Harry couldn't help feeling guilty for thinking that he had come off worse than Lupin, because that was definitely not true.

Lupin's lower lip was turned down in a temporary frown by what was undoubtedly a bruised lip, and he too had blood encrusted around his eyes and mouth. A deep gash on his left cheek seemed to be fresh and bled freely onto his tattered robes, Harry hoped that there was nothing further wrong.

"How is he doing?" Hermione asked in a voice filled with dread.

"I don't know" Harry said as he tried to uselessly free himself.

At that moment Lupin's eyes fluttered open to reveal the glossy pools of amber beneath. Harry saw his eyes gain focus and land on the two of them. "Harry Hermione..." he then noticed the rope that bound them together, "No..." he sighed.

"Are you alright?" Harry asked him directly.

"I think so" Lupin replied, tilting his head downwards to make sure he was whole. "Are you two alright?" they nodded their heads mutely.

Lupin scowled in frustration, "Why wouldn't he let you go... I thought I was a monster!"

Harry had nothing to say to this, and so the room was laden with silence once more. Hope among was sparse, how could they get out of this? Harry nearly jumped again when Hermione spoke in a quiet voice.

"How did Pettigrew get in?" she wondered aloud. Harry thought about that for a while, trying to remember ant time in the past couple of days when he could have managed to sneak in.

"Crookshanks!" Hermione said suddenly, making Harry nearly jump out of his skin, he twisted his head around in search of the feline.

"I don't see him" Harry said.

"No! It was Crookshanks, it was him who brought the mouse in remember? He must have walked in with it when someone else came through the door!" That's when Harry remembered it all, he was so stupid to have forgotten.

"But how did he stay unnoticed in a house full of order members?" Harry asked, looking at Lupin for a possible answer, but he say that Lupin had blacked out again. Harry sighed with frustration, giving one last violent tug with his hands to try and free them. His wrists felt like they were on fire and the blood seeping from them was the only pitiful relief.

Harry was about to ask Hermione how she was feeling when the door burst open and none other than Pettigrew strolled in looking snug. At this Lupin's eyes shot open and radiated with anger once more.

"You scum!" Lupin spat, "How dare you harm them! Leave the alone, they did nothing to harm you, it's me you should take it out on!"

Pettigrew showed no mercy, instead he smiled, "Well, if you insist" he said, taking a quick step towards Lupin.

"NO!" Harry and Hermione shouted.

"Peter" Lupin interrupted, "why are you doing this?"

"Because I have to" he replied, the look of immunity starting to ware off his pointed face. "You were all good friends, but he has so much more to offer me..."

"HE DESPISES YOU PETER! WE TREATED YOU LIKE A FRIEND! JAMES TOOK YOU IN AND SHARED THE SPOTLIGHT WITH YOU, AND HOW DO REPAY HIM? YOU KILLED HIM!" tears were starting to seep down his face among the dried blood.

A pitiful look crept onto Pettigrew’s face, and Harry didn't have the courage to interrupted them.

"I didn't want to..." he said, the hand that pointed a wand at Lupin began to falter.

"But you did Peter, and you ruined Sirius' life to compensate for it! I actually felt sorry for you Peter, until I learned what a coward you are!" the look on Lupin's face was one of pure hatred, one Harry never thought he would see.

Pettigrew took one deep calming breath, and the snug look Harry hated returned, "Well," he said with a forced smile on his pale face, "seeing as how I've destroyed everyone elses lives, I may as well do you the favor of ending it quickly." With that he lifted his wand hand once again and pointed it at Lupin's heart. Lupin's face was expressionless, the last gleam of hope had long left, and Harry's breath caught in his chest as Pettigrew prepared to strike. Harry had to try something.

"You coward!" Harry shouted, his mind was racing to put words in his mouth quicker than he could speak them. Pettigrew whipped around to face Harry.

"What did you say?" Peter hissed.

"You can't even give him a chance to defend himself! Because you're too scared he might beat you!" Hermione put in, knowing that Harry was trying to buy some time.

"I've already beaten him once girl, so don't think I'm not capable-"

Harry cut him off, "Well if your so capable... fight him standing up!"

Pettigrew looked around Lupin and Harry's heart soared, it had worked, he had given Lupin a chance.

With a flick of Pettigrew’s wand the ropes and chains disappeared. Lupin stood slowly up with Peter's wand still pointing at him. Harry had expected Lupin to make some move to get away, a quick dash, an incantation, something, but he did nothing. It brought tears of frustration to Harry's eyes to see how hopeless Lupin had become, and in that moment Harry knew that he had failed him.

"Let them go..." Lupin said quietly, the look of sadness visible even through the layers of blood.

"For you Remus, my old friend, I will do this."

"LET HIM GO!" Harry screamed at him.

A pitiful look came on Pettigrew's face, "I'm sorry Moony..."

* * *



Ron walked through the dark street, the lams weren't on yet he saw, which only added to his uneasiness. He kept repeating the orders his mother had given him over and over in his head. Read the paper with the location of the house, go in, find the others, and be careful. It had all seemed so simple back at the Burrow, but this didn't seem so simple now, now he wished that he had let someone else come.

He counted in his head and finally came to the spot where number 11 and 13 met. He pulled out the paper given to him be Dumbledore.

The location of the order of the phoenix is number 12 Grimmauld place.

The house came up before him, and he quietly entered. He heard voices coming from the kitchen, and crept quietly towards it. The scene that met his eyes was one more horrible than he had ever seen. Peter Pettigrew stood pointing his wand at Lupin, and Harry and Hermione sat bound together, bleeding and struggling. A few last words echoed through the kitchen and Ron backed away in fright and was safe from harm behind the wall. Lupin said nothing as Pettigrew raised his wand, and in that moment everything was silent, the silence was finaly broken by one last rugged intake of breath from Lupin.

"Avada Kadavra"

He was dead before his eyes registered the green flash illuminated the whole house, nealry blinding Ron and making it impossible to see anything for those few seconds. His body fell lifelessly to the ground and the unbearable resonating silence was broken by the crash of his body on the cold hard floor. Ron sunk down against the wall, "Oh no" he wept in panic, "It's over..."


Chapter 20: Layers of Black
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Layers of Black



Peter Pettigrew stood pointing his wand at Lupin, and Harry and Hermione sat bound together, bleeding and struggling. A few last words echoed through the kitchen and Ron backed away in fright and was safe from harm behind the wall. Lupin said nothing as Pettigrew raised his wand, and in that moment everything was silent, the silence was finally broken by one last rugged intake of breath from Lupin.

"Avada Kadavra"

He was dead before his eyes registered the green flash illuminated the whole house, nearly blinding Ron and making it impossible to see anything for those few seconds. His body fell lifelessly to the ground and the unbearable resonating silence was broken by the crash of his body on the cold hard floor.


The rays of green gently subsided, leaving Harry's eyes to take in the events that had just taken place. His heart was pounding, the constant drumming was the only thing he could count on, the only certain thing in these desperate moments. When his vision was restored, what Harry saw made his heart stop. Lupin lay on the ground... alive.

Peter Pettigrew lay motionless and pale on the stone floor, his lifeless eyes as empty as his conscious had once been. Harry didn't know what to think. Silence tore at Harry's heart and finally Lupin's ragged breathing broke it.

"What happened?" Hermione sounded panicked, she was turned away from them, and hadn't seen any of it.

"It's alright..." Harry said quietly, "I think"

Lupin groaned and started to get up, he pushed himself up onto his hands and knees and began to get up, but wobbled and nearly fell back down, but was caught by two strong arms. "Sirius?" he asked as the muscular figure lifted him gently up.

"You know you love me" Sirius said with a smile tugging at the sides of his lips. "I'm sorry Peter" Sirius said warily, the potential smile vanishing from his face. "But it's time you got what you deserve, and it's time I committed the murder I was imprisoned for." Lupin's eyes lifted from the body of his once friend to the man standing tall beside him, who would forever be his friend.

"You saved my life" Lupin said as he bent down to untie Harry and Hermione.

"Only returning the favor" Sirius said, his broken smile showing itself at last.

As everyone stood up, eyes darting every now and again to the lifeless body of Pettigrew, making them all uneasy. Footsteps could be heard entering and they all turned to see Ron enter, pale and shaking. Harry and Hermione, without any words spoken, ran to him and pulled each other into a calming hug, Hermione burst out in tears. Harry and Ron did their best to comfort her.

"When did you come?" Lupin asked Ron as he approached and patted Hermione on the back for reassurance.

"I was sent back for you" Ron said shakily, "I didn't realize that.." Ron's voice trailed off, but they all knew what he meant, but then he spoke again, "How did Pettigrew get in?" he asked.

"That's a good question." came Sirius' voice from behind them.

"I think I know" Hermione said quietly, sitting down at the only chair left standing. They all waited patiently for her to wipe her tears and continue. "I was so stupid, I should have seen it before... Crookshanks carried hi in." They all stood, shocked.

"When?" Ron asked, walking up to where she sat.

"Yesterday" Harry said before she could respond. He remembered it now, Crookshanks brushing up against his leg with a rodent clutched in her jaws.

"But how did he stay hidden so long?" Lupin wondered.

"Maybe he was in disguise" Sirius chimed in.

"You mean like polyjuice potion?" Harry asked, knowing full well what that did.

"Well is there anyone who hasn't been acting normally?" Hermione said to them all.

At this Lupin froze, a look of terrible realization crossing his strained features. "Of course.." he said. "He wasn't acting normally, and I had seen it! Why hadn't I done something!" Lupin scolded himself. That's when Harry remembered the disjointed phrase Lupin had uttered just before the fire had started, "...something's not right...never came back...."

"What are you talking about?" Sirius looked at him like he was crazy.

Lupin suddenly looked very seriously at them, "Do you have any where he might have hidden in the house?" he asked them.

They all thought for a minute before Harry remembered something. "There was a door" he said, "on the second floor, it was locked."

"Show me."

As Harry led them up the stairs Lupin was silent, Harry wondered if he already knew what was behind that door.

Sirius wouldn't shut up.

"What's behind it? Who was acting weird? Why didn't you tell me this before? WHY AREN'T YOU TALKING TO ME!?!"

"Quiet" Lupin said distractedly, Harry brought them before the locked door and shook the handle to prove his point. Lupin took out his wand, he closed his eyes for a moment and then yelled a few incomprehensible words before pointing his wand at the door, which promptly exploded off it's magically sealed hinges.

They peered in, and only one gruesome image registered in Harry's mind.

Blood.

Blood was pooled around yet another body. "No" Lupin whispered to himself. He and Sirius entered the room first, while Harry and the rest entered more cautiously. Lupin knelt down and carefully turned over the still corpse of none other than Mad-Eye Moody. There was a collective gasp throughout the room.

"I knew it" Lupin said sadly. "I had known that something was wrong. He went upstairs during dinner, and never returned, that must be when Pettigrew nabbed him. The next time we thought we saw Moody it was actually Peter, and it was him who told us there was an attack taking place."

"There was no attack," Ron interrupted, "He led us into the middle of no where and abandoned us, I made it back to the cabin we had flooed to and flooed back to London to walk here."

"Where are the others?" Sirius asked, his voice full of concern.

"They're all right, they're coming too." They all breathed a sigh of deep relief, mixed with the sorrow of having lost Moody.

"It's alright" Sirius said sadly, "he would have wanted to go out fighting."

* * *


Harry stood nervously outside of the kitchen as the ministry officials discussed the finding of the body of Peter Pettigrew. Most were shocked, except Kingsley of course, though he still pretended to be. Though they had all been shocked to find a deceased Moody. All were downhearted to some extent.

Mrs. Weasley passed tea around to everyone in the house, Lupin stood explaining the details about Pettigrew's appearance to the Ministry officials, though he was managing to leave out one crucial detail...

"So now that we've established as self defense," the first burly looking official said, still sounding amazed at the appearance of Pettigrew, "who was it that killed him?" This was where Lupin stiffened, his brain fighting with a decision that could change lives forever. Sirius had wanted to be turned in, with hopes of being set free, but Remus didn't know if he could do it. He took one deep breath.

"It was Sirius..."

"Black?" Lupin nodded silently, as the door to the cellar opened behind them, and a very nervous Sirius walked in. Now the ministry wizards looked as if they were about to faint. "You all have some explaining to do" he said with his light Irish accent.

* * *


It was done... Everything had been explained, and there they all stood, in the Ministry of Magic building in front of the Minister for magic himself, the man who had replaced fudge was a man that Harry had seen at a desk when he had been there on trial.

"Well Mr. Black..." Everyone held their breath, "after tests done to prove your statements true, I have no choice but to clear you of all charges, may you accept our full apology."

Everyone jumped for joy, but none higher than Sirius himself. Harry was so immersed in the celebration that he scarcely noticed the ministry workers all over the building standing and applauding, many of whom came to shake Sirius' hand as he left. None of them could believe it.

They flooed back to Grimmauld place, Sirius had been told to stay put until the next morning's prophet was released to explain everything.

When they had arrived they all continued the celebration. Fred and George set off countless fireworks (much to their mothers dismay), and butterbeer was passed all around. Harry had never seen Sirius so happy, nor Lupin. Both stood smiling immensely beside each other, Lupin's eyes shone with happiness that none their had ever witnessed in him. Harry could have sworn that day that they were both glowing. So many years of hardships, and it was finally over...

When the celebrations had ceased and the fireworks faded, they all sat once again at the table, Dumbledore sat at his seat at the end of the table.

"There are many things to be said tonight" he explained, all of them listened intently. "First of all, I think we are all eager to know why this all started in the first place."

"What do you mean?" Charlie asked from his spot on the other end of the table between his twin brothers.

"Have none of you ever wondered why it was Remus who was attacked in the past? And why he was attacked again a few days ago?" At this both Sirius and Remus lowered their heads. But all of the rest now wondered about what Dumbledore had said, it was an obvious question that had never been answered. They all looked at Lupin.

Remus had done some research in the past few days. "I could explain" he said to all of them, but I would need some help."

"That has been arranged" Dumbledore said, and to the dismay of many Severus Snape walked into the room and sat himself in the last vacant seat.

"It's because of this" Lupin muttered, tugging the black ring from his long finger and tossing it onto the table in front of him. None of them were satisfied with this answer and so the room stayed deathly silent as they waited for him to continue. Lupin sighed, Harry could tell his story was not a happy one.

"My mother was killed because of this ring, it was a family heirloom. The Death Eaters were mistaken when they thought she was wearing, they didn't know that she had already given it to me." Lupin's hands shook so he hid them under the table. "Severus told me that this was why I was attacked, for my ring, but I still don't know why."

"That is why I'm here, even if I don't want to be" Snape sulked. "When a Death Eater is initiated, a spell is cast on them, the result of this spell is the tattoo of the dark mark that you see on them. It is excruciating to have put on, but gives great power to it's owner. The backside to this though, is that when a Death Eater is killed, all of that power, along with the tattoo, vanish. The power is then lifted into the person who killed them. That is why Voldemort kills his followers himself if he thinks they are weak, he's only helping himself by taking back the power he gave to them."

"So why does this involve my ring?" Lupin asked.

"You're mother was wearing that ring when she killed a Death Eater, and because that ring had magic inside it, the power of the dark mark went into it, and it grew over the years. My master was afraid that that ring would find it's way into the hands of Potter." Harry looked up in surprise, "And so he set out to destroy it."

All of them sighed with realization, " I would treasure that ring if I were you" Snape said to Lupin.

"Oh don't worry Severus" Lupin looked down at the ring, remembering his mother and father who had given it to him, "I will..."


* * *


It had been three days since the horrible experience, and today was a day of mourning. Lupin stood waging war with his tie while the others dressed in their muggle best for the funeral. Sirius came to help him, smiling at his incompetence.

"You never could tie a tie Moony" he mocked. "I guess that means your going to have to stay and continue living here." Lupin's head shot up, looking Sirius straight in the eyes, Remus had been expecting to have to move out now that Sirius was a free man.

"You're free, you're someone now, I don't want to-" Lupin was interrupted by Sirius putting a finger on his lips.

"I'm no one without you Moony"

Remus had nothing to say, he had never been able to deny Sirius, not that he particularly wanted to in this instance.

"Are you sure?" Lupin said faintly.

"Positive"

Lupin smiled, he looked up and over Sirius' shoulders he could see the picture that had been recently put up there. It was the front page of a daily prophet, the one Remus had been waiting for for fourteen years.

BLACK FOUND INNOCENT!

Beneath the headline there was a picture of Sirius, not a picture of Sirius with a face withered by Azkaban, but the handsome Sirius they knew today, that picture was never going to leave that wall.

Soon after they found themselves walking through the cemetery, a small crowd had already gathered at their destination. Heavy snowflakes fell slowly to the ground weaving their way through gusts of chilled wind. The sky was pale and the atmosphere a sad one. After a few minutes of waiting for all of the guests to arrive the ceremony began...

They all stood silently and respectfully as prayers were spoken for Moody. All were dressed in black, and Harry couldn't help but see the familiarity between this and his dream, the dream that had started it all. All had there heads down for a moment of silence. When the ceremony was over everyone stood around and talked about Moody.

Sirius and Remus stood together talking formally when Sirius noticed a women knelt at a freshly dug grave nearby. He took a few steps closer and Lupin did the same. With a pang of guilt Sirius noticed the name on the stone which no one had come to gather around in mourning.

Pettigrew

Both men stood still, neither knowing how to deal with the situation. Sirius recognized the women as Peter's grandmother, her frail body was knelt before the grave stone of her only grandchild, he could see her body shake with silent sobs. Sirius took a few steps towards but felt Lupin's hand on his shoulder, as if to stop him. He looked back to see Remus shaking his head, but deep down Sirius knew that this had to be done. He shook his shoulder free of Remus' grasp and walked towards her. He could tell from her wrinkled features that she had at one time been a very beautiful women, though it might not show as much now.

He quietly walked up behind her and put a hand on her shoulder, she didn't move.

"Thank you Sirius" came her weak voice.

Sirius didn't know what to say. She spoke once more, "Thank you for bringing my grandson back to me." Sirius throat tightened with guilt.

"Your welcome" came his constricted voice. Sirius watched as she placed a single flower in front of Peter's head stone. It's blue petals shone proudly against the pale snow that continued to fall around them. She got up painfully slowly and walked away without another word, Sirius would never see her again...

Sirius walked back towards the crowd full of familiar faces, all of which shown brighter in the light that he had been restricted from seeing for so many years. The trees had never seemed greener, the sky more beautiful, as it was now when he looked at it, as a free man.

"You're a good man Sirius" Lupin said, Harry stood beside him.

In that moment Harry saw something in Sirius' eyes that he had never seen there before. Through all the layers of black there loomed a faint gleam of... Harry couldn't quite pinpoint what it was, but Lupin saw it too. A glimmer of mischief and a twinkle of pride. Harry couldn't help but admire Sirius in that moment, even if he couldn't figure out what had changed about him. Yet Remus had found it.

It was Padfoot.

The moment Remus was reunited with Sirius at Hogwarts, he had known at that point without a doubt that something had been different, but for all of the years since then he had failed to figure out what it was that Azkaban had taken from this innocent man. It had been Padfoot... When the memories had slipped away in the darkness and gloom of his cell, Padfoot had gone with them. It was clear now, that was why his eyes had remained so empty, even when his voice rang with hope. The soul behind the smile was gone... The boundless charm and thoughtless bravery, it had all evaporated. Leaving only the hollow pieces of a broken man. In this moment Remus looked into those stormy eyes and saw the boy he had admired so much. Remus felt his eyes sting with tears, tears dedicated to all that had been lost, and amongst the darkness that which had been found. Sirius stood watching him, Remus took a few steps and closed the gap between them, and was instantly pulled into a comfortable embrace. His head fit perfectly into the hollow of Sirius' collar bone, which gave off the all too familiar scent of wind and trees, of freedom... Remus looked up into those eyes once more. The tears that tugged at the back of his amber eyes finally spilled, he had never felt happier than in that moment.

"Welcome back Padfoot..."


~ THE END ~





Chapter 21: Epilogue
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 As the lingering tension and excitement of all that had happened finaly ceased the moon rose to greet the very tired occupants of number twelve Grimmauld place. Her rays bathed the meager remnants of what used to be a flousishing back garden, and as she moved her rays crept up the shabby walls and into the window of the only bedroom who's occupand had managed to fall asleep.





 Remus Lupin could be found lightly snoring in the exact position he had first layed down in. He was undoubtedly deep in sleep when his eyes started twitching under closed lids, something had disturbed him.

 He could feel himself wake, though he had not yet managed to raise his heavy eyelids. Somehow, he managed to raise himself up and walk out of his room, down his stairs and through many halls, without opening his eyes. He felt strangely calm in the darkness behind his own closed eyes. Something guided him effortlessly, willing him to do it's bidding. Or bringing him towards something. And though he could not see it, and had no idea what it was, he could feel warm emotions building in him. Strange ones. He felt them with the swift compassion of a heart not yet learned in the ways of true love, or true wisdom. He felt electrified with youth, unwilling now to open his eyes in case the return of his vision might erase these glorious feelings. These strange feelings continued to grow, untill he felt a smile ease into his features, though he still had no idea why. He couldn't explain none of this, he felt as though memory alone guided his body instead of his unnaturally honed senses. The sense of purpose grew within him, and e felt himself grow closer to his unknown destination.

 When he finally did open his eyes, he jumped. He felt a chill as a whirlwind of memories that weren't his flew past him. His confused eyes cought only flashes of red. Soft lips brushing against his and peircing eyes penetrating his very core. 

 Suddenly, he sat bolt upright in bed. The genlte moonlight reflecting off the sweat now beading off of his face. Slowly he felt his eyes grow heavy once again, and managed to utter but one word before he layed back down, never again to remember these fleeting memories...

"Ginny..."






 




There you are, for those of you who felt the story was incomplete before, I hope this changes your mind, and maybe even bring a smile to your faces. For all those of you who have reviewed and wondered where I have been for the last...two years now I can only say that I have been going through a lot of changes in my life. But now I realy want to take up writing again. So I'm sorry if I seem a bit rusty.

And for any of you who are just finishing for the first time, thank you so much for investing your time in my storytelling capabilities. I hope to have something new started up soon. I only hope my writing abilities haven't completely abandonned me.. For your sake as well as my own.
Thank you!

Angela

http://www.harrypotterfanfiction.com