Your Joy is your sorrow unmasked.
When you are Joyous, look deep into your heart;
You shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart,
And you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
The Prophet – Kahlil Gibran
Hermione and Professor Lupin arrived back at Grimmauld Place, safe and sound. Tonks and Harry were already waiting, shopping list in hand. Tonks’ hair was a subdued brown, and Hermione had to look twice to make sure it really was her. Tonks just smiled sheepishly. It was obvious that she was trying to blend in and not stand out.
Harry smiled at Hermione, but said nothing. He didn’t look at Professor Lupin at all.
Hermione frowned, she knew then, that there was more to Harry’s sullenness than met the eye. Sure, she knew that he was grieving, but why was he ignoring the one person who feels the same pain he does? In Hermione’s mind, it just didn’t make any sense, and she resolved to speak to him about it when he returned from Diagon Alley.
“Everything alright, Remus?” Tonks asked.
“Yes, everything’s fine. We didn’t encounter any problems, and I didn’t see anything odd or out of place. All is fine, you can go and collect Harry’s things,” Lupin smiled warmly at Harry, who was looking at the floor, “everything alright, Harry?”
Harry looked up briefly, and met Lupin’s eye for a split second. For a moment, just a moment, Lupin saw a flash of emotion.
“Yeah, I’m fine.” Harry looked at the floor again.
“C’mon, Harry, we'd best be going. Get a finger tip on this…” Tonks held out what looked like a lint laden sherbet lemon, it was hard to tell. Harry put his finger on it, and they disappeared together.
Lupin stood there, looking at the space that Harry had just occupied. Where had that emotion come from? Something stirred dangerously in the pit of his stomach, and he pushed it away. This wasn’t the time or place to be thinking of that….
Hermione’s eyebrows were raised in annoyance. Why was Harry behaving so oddly to Professor Lupin? She shook her head not really knowing what to think. She looked at Professor Lupin, and she saw caught a fleeting insight, as his face was clearly etched in confusion. Not an emotion that she usually attributed to him. And as quickly as it was there, it disappeared, and he faced her, confusion gone.
“Well, I don’t know about you, Hermione, but I have some things I need to do. I have a feeling you're going to spend the rest of the day curled up on the sitting room sofa, reading.” His eyes fell to the bag of books she was holding, there was a hint of wryness on his face.
Hermione smiled at him shyly, not feeling embarrassed, at the fun being poked at her bookishness. From him it was more of a compliment. She left the cellar and went into the sitting room.
Remus stood there for a while longer, running a hand through his grey speckled hair. The silence suffocated him. The feeling he had felt a few seconds ago, churned within him again, making him feel nauseous. He recognised that feeling, he had felt it many times… it was guilt. He knew in his head that feeling guilty about Harry was stupid, but his heart said otherwise. He did feel as though he were letting Harry down at the moment, there was obviously something wrong, and Harry certainly seemed to think that Lupin was the cause of it. Lupin sighed, and made his way up the steps back into the house.
Harry and Tonks appeared in the prearranged designated area. It wasn’t the same one that Hermione and Lupin had used. It seemed to be in a disused room of a shop in Diagon Alley, well at least that’s what Harry had assumed anyway.
It was dusty with disuse and neglect. There were boxes stacked all over in perilous columns, which swayed in Tonks’ wake as she moved past them. She seemed to have forgotten that Harry was there as she went straight to the door and peeked out. She was alert, and looked through the door, as a hawk would sight its prey. This was a side to Tonks which Harry hadn't seen before. She was always so fun loving, clumsy and a little daft, seeing her this serious almost wasn’t right. He was starting to understand why she was an Auror.
Harry watched her in awe, as she changed her facial features. She looked bland and unremarkable, so… so unlike Tonks. She looked over, and grinned at the look on Harry’s face.
“C’mon, Harry! Don’t dawdle, we’ve got shopping to do.” Despite the appearance change, the fun loving grin was just the same. Harry couldn’t help but smile. He followed Tonks out of the door, and through the shop. In no time at all he wasn’t thinking about anything other than the shopping list he had in his hands.
The thin, hooded figure with a pale, gaunt face watched as Tonks and Harry weaved through the crowd into yet another shop. In the light of day, the face could be made out clearly. Deathly white, as though the sun had not touched it for many years, hollowed cheeks and dark bags that hung beneath the even darker eyes. It could have been a beautiful face once, but a cruel malevolent grin twisted the face, like a knife in the gut.
The figure slouched back into the shadow of the dreary alley that she stood by and pulled down the hood of the robe. The stranger took out a flask and gulped a couple of mouthfuls, wincing only slightly as it was swallowed. Spiteful eyes watched patiently as Harry left the last shop he was in with Tonks. He had another bag in his hands.
Bellatrix stepped out of the shadow, ten feet away from Harry. He failed to notice her at first, but Tonks didn't.
“Harry…” Tonks called, wand out from nowhere, she was but a few paces behind Harry and tried to grab him, but before she could touch him, Harry saw Bellatrix.
Harry moved quicker than Tonks would have ever believed. He simultaneously ran towards Bellatrix and dropped his bags. Harry pulled out his wand and aimed at Bellatrix. People started to notice what was happening and although they didn’t understand what was happening, they started screaming. Harry moved through the crowd like a hot knife through butter, people did not want to get in his way.
Tonks was still trying to catch up to Harry, jumping over the bags that he dropped, but he was just moving too fast. “Harry… HARRY…wait,” she called after him, but she could see that he was blind and deaf to anything other than Bellatrix. “Harry, don’t be a fool!”
Harry stopped, a rush of emotions flitted over his face, settling on an ice-cold glare at Bellatrix’s retreating back.
“Harry…take this,” Tonks shoved the furry Lemon Sherbet in Harry’s hand, not letting go herself, and he felt the familiar tug behind his navel.
In the cellar of Grimmauld Place, Harry had barely a moment to breathe. Tonks took a few steps up the stairs and started yelling…
Harry heard a thudding from upstairs as though someone were running. Which they were, of course.
“Harry? Can you hear me?” Tonks was shaking him; looking over all of him in case he was hurt.
Harry nodded, “I’m fine.”
Lupin ran into the cellar, wand drawn, brow furrowed.
“Remus, there are Death Eaters in Diagon Alley, we saw Bellatrix. I have to go back. I’ve got to make sure she’s gone.” Tonks stepped away from Harry and Lupin.
A Look passed between Lupin and Tonks, one that expressed a million things like, be on your guard, protect the children and don’t get killed. Mostly it conveyed ‘Get Dumbledore’.
“Be careful…” Remus said. Tonks just nodded in response and Apparated out.
Lupin turned his attention back to Harry, his eyes checking for injury. His face was sharp and on guard.
“Harry, I need to contact Dumbledore. Will you wait in the kitchen for me?” Lupin spoke quietly, though there was an edge to his voice that made the question he asked a non-voluntary option.
Harry nodded a little, and a warm hand took him by the arm. It was Molly. On the other side of him stood Hermione and Ron, who looked, to all intents and purposes, like a fish. He kept opening and closing his mouth, as though his brain was trying to engage in some vocal function, but failing. They led him upstairs.
Upstairs in the kitchen, Molly and Hermione made a sweet tea for Harry, her Mum didn’t like sugar much but a sweet tea in an emergency was a remedy for shock, according to Mrs Weasley. She thought Harry might be in shock because he was so pale and quiet. Hermione wasn’t so sure it was shock, Harry looked a tiny bit annoyed too.
Hermione took the tea into the sitting room where Harry and Ron were. It wasn’t long before Professor Lupin strolled in and was sitting in front of Harry. Molly stood next to Harry, her face full of maternal concern.
“Harry, can you tell me what happened?” Lupin asked quietly.
“Bellatrix… she was there… waiting for me,” Harry’s voice was quiet and calm, it was unnaturally so. “I saw her… and… I ran after her.” Harry looked to Lupin’s face, which was passive, and revealed nothing of how he reacted to this news.
“You went after her?” Lupin’s voice was quiet, but there was a waver to it.
“Yes,” Harry looked for the disapproval, and found none, though Hermione had sucked in her breath sharply, and Ron was shaking his head. “She seemed to know that I would. I started to follow her but something Tonks said made me stop, she said ‘don’t be a fool’, and I knew I was doing what I’ve always done; I was rushing in without thinking, Bellatrix was provoking me. If Tonks hadn't have been with me…I’d have followed her and probably be dead.” Harry hung his head, ashamed of what he’d done. He had risked his life and unwittingly risked Tonks’ too, not to mention the innocent people around him. He felt like a complete fool.
“What on earth were you thinking, Harry… running off like that,” Hermione harped unthinkingly.
“Well I wasn’t, was I…. If I’d been thinking I wouldn’t have run after her,” Harry snapped. He looked annoyed at what Hermione had said, which was restating the obvious.
“Harry, I want you to promise me that you will never do anything like that again.” Molly said earnestly. “I know that if you promise me, you’ll keep that promise.”
“I’m not a child,” Harry said a little sullenly, more annoyed with his own actions because he had acted like a child.
“I know, I know, but I’d like to hear you say it.” Molly now looked a little concerned.
“What, like you keep all your promises? Say it but not actually mean it,” Harry spat, looking at Lupin, and delving into the well of emotion, that was rising within him.
“What? Harry, where has this come from? I've never lied to you,” Lupin looked confused.
“If you can lie to Dumbledore’s face then you can lie to anyone. You're as bad as the rest of them, with your secrets and lies,” Harry's voice was calm, but there was resentment on his face.
Lupin looked ashamed, as though Harry had pointed out a major flaw, which he had.
“Harry, I have always been honest with you. Back when I was young and stupid, things didn’t seem to matter as much, as they matter now, and you matter to me. I don’t know where this anger has come from, but let's calm down,” Lupin looked into Harry’s eyes and saw that an eruption was imminent. “Harry, I don’t know why you feel this way, but we can talk through it.”
“Harry, Merlin knows I am fond of you, but you can’t speak to Remus like that,” Molly spoke, she seemed shocked at the outburst, and pulled her cardigan around her tightly, as though it were a shield to Harry’s verbal attack.
“No, it's ok, Molly. Let Harry say what he needs to say,” Remus looked at Harry as he spoke, he realised that this - whatever it was – was the thing Harry had been stewing over for the last week or so.
Harry took Remus up on the offer, saying exactly what he thought, “No one ever thinks it's necessary that I know the truth of things. Why must I be in the dark on everything? If I had been kept informed of what was going on I would have never gone to the Ministry. Sirius wouldn’t have come after me, and he’d still be here. He’d still be here…with me.”
“Harry…” Lupin started reasonably, realising where this was going. The guilt within him stirred once again.
“Why didn’t you help him? He was your friend and you let him…die…” Harry’s voice started to break on the word 'die' but he lifted his chin up defiantly.
Lupin moved forward, and put a hand out to comfort him, but Harry pushed it away. Lupin stepped back like he was burned, his face etched with hurt.
Harry's voice was low and quiet, “You stopped me saving him, and I could have got to him, you…” Harry's voice wavered a little, and he took a moment to say what he needed to say, “you let him die.”
Lupin’s face contorted with emotions the others had never seen on his face before, but the raw pain was there, forefront of it all.
“Harry that’s enough!” Molly said sharply.
Ron stepped forward and said, “Harry…mate… It's no one's fault, at least, not anyone in this room.” Ron’s concern for his friend was clear, he was shaking his head, he didn’t agree with what Harry was saying.
Hermione didn’t say anything, but inside she felt a hollow sadness at seeing one of her best friends torn apart by grief.
They sat in an uncomfortable silence for a moment. Then a voice spoke, calm, soothing, and quietly commanding. Everyone turned and looked. Dumbledore had entered quietly; no one knew how long he had been there, listening.
“Remus…” Although he said Remus, his eyes rested upon Harry, his expression was grave, “You’ll be glad to hear that the Death Eater was caught, but we do not believe it was Bellatrix, other Death Eaters were also seen, all having the appearance of Bellatrix Lestrange.” Dumbledore paused before continuing, allowing the news to sink in, “Tonks managed to stun and capture the one that you saw Harry, we will have to wait and see who it really is, the others escaped,” Dumbledore paused again but this time something flickered across his face, brief and indefinable. “Tonks is missing, which could mean nothing more than she gave chase, but it's unlike her to disappear like that.”
“Is there anything I can do, Albus?” Remus’ voice was wavering a little.
“No, I have left it in Kingsley's hands, he is organising a search. They have indicated that they are going to keep quiet about the Death Eater's capture until they are sure who it really is.” Sitting down on the settee Dumbledore looked to Harry again, “ Do you think you could tell me what happened, Harry. I know you have already been through it once, but I would like to hear the events first hand.”
When Harry nodded in understanding, Dumbledore glanced at Remus, and some message was transferred because Lupin walked to the door of the sitting room and said, “Ron, Hermione, do you think I can request your tea making services?”
“Sure, Professor, we’d love to help,” Hermione said, catching on immediately she grabbed Ron and started pushing him to the door, he looked confused. Molly left wordlessly, following Ron.
Left alone in the sitting room, Harry and Dumbledore sat in silence for a moment.
“Did you hear everything I said to Remus?” asked Harry, guilt suddenly swirling his insides.
“Most of it, m’boy,” said Dumbledore non-commitally, he gave the impression of a man who can wait patiently for eternity.
Harry nodded to himself, and started to repeat what he had told the others.
Hermione sat at the kitchen table sipping tea quietly. She heard a quiet click from the front door; Professor Lupin had left. She really didn’t know why Harry was so upset with Lupin, but it was starting to affect him. She hoped for Harry's sake that he would get it sorted soon because as Sirius had proven, you never know how long you have.
Harry sat and looked at the wizened old face in front of him,” I’ve lost everything. I’ll never have a proper home or a proper family,” Harry said quietly. “To have it all nearly and then to see him die like that. So pointless, so meaningless, it's unbearable.”
“Harry, do you believe that you are the only one that hurts? The only one to feel the pain so deeply inside?” Dumbledore said evenly.
Harry looked up sharply. “Of course not, but no one else can imagine how this feels…. it…it all hurts so much,” his voice was hoarse from all the shouting.
“I know it does, Harry, but there are others that hurt too. Others that have felt the very same losses you have, and perhaps, a little more.” Dumbledore’s voice took on a slightly firmer tone.
“What do you mean?” Harry said looking up.
“We all grieved the loss of Sirius Black sixteen years ago, when we thought, wrongly, that he had betrayed us. We now grieve it again for the second time, for some of us that has been a very difficult thing to deal with. You say you have lost everything, yet you regain so much. Look in your heart, Harry, and I think that you will find the truth there. You will find what you need to know, “ Dumbledore’s sage tones halted, and he patted Harry briefly on the shoulder, and left the room.
Remus stood outside and breathed in deeply; the night air was fresh. He felt the need to expand the tightness in his chest, to release the contortion of emotions binding his lungs. He rested his hand on the moss topped, red brick wall in the garden, putting most of his weight on it, and the other hovered at his heart. He hung his head down and wondered if, at last, the tears would come.
A/N: After being cajoled, persuaded, bribed, ordered and finally threatened with the Unforgivables, I give you chapter six. I hope you liked it. And I apologise for the waiting you have had to do.
Also I have made a few assumptions, I assume Dolohov has an accent like Karkaroff, and I also assume you know all about Polyjuice, it having been used at least twice in the books. I also assume an awful lot about Tonks' morphing abilities.
The quote The Prophet – by Kahlil Gibran, is a life changing read I’d highly suggest, which is freely available to look up on the net.
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