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Chapter Twenty Two

Harry walked down the corridor to Remus’ office and walked in. Remus was sat at his desk reading over some papers, the little dragon kept blowing bubbles at him, trying to make him do something more interesting but it wasn’t getting much of a result. Remus glanced up when he entered and smiled when he saw who it was.

“So how did you like your lesson then?” Remus asked him with a grin.

“It was great thanks.” Harry smiled.

“You weren’t annoyed that we used a hedge maze, filled with obstacles, isolated you from your friends and had a rigged trophy in the middle?” Remus asked.

“Well it wasn’t nice to be back in a hedge maze and I won’t be venturing in one of my own free will anytime soon but it was really good.” Harry replied. His little dragon came and walked over his fingers before returning to Remus. “That phoenix shredded some of Hermione’s notes earlier.”

“Really?” Remus asked and laughed, “Well your dragon’s been trying to distract me from my work ever since I started.” Harry sat down on the edge of his desk and they passed an hour just talking about the day’s events, the maze in particular. It had taken not only Remus and Mad Eye to make it but also a lot of help from Tonks, McGonagall and Flitwick before the top floor was made, the bottom floor had been made from an elongated classroom beneath.

“Anyway, I hate to leave you but I promised Hagrid I’d go down to his and if I don’t go soon then I’ll get caught repeatedly coming back by Filch.” Harry said and they smiled at the remembrance of the trouble they had caused Filch in the past.

“Okay, I’ll see you tomorrow; you’ve got defence against the dark arts first thing I think.” Remus said and although he sounded quite cheerful he didn’t want to see Harry go.

“See you tomorrow.” Harry echoed and left the room. As he walked down through an assortment of passageways and tunnels to the ground floor, the little phoenix on his finger pecked at him incessantly and kept looking up at him sadly. “Don’t do that.” Harry murmured to it, “I’ll be seeing you tomorrow.” The phoenix looked sad still and pecked at him again. The little dragon on Remus’ desk looked up at him in the same sad manner as he sat on his work and kept trying to get in his field of vision which basically meant he walked all over the work he was trying to do and whenever he tried to write he sat in the way of the pen.

“Stop it.” Remus said to it and stroked its little head. He reached out and picked up the little dragon and put it down by the side of his work. He cupped his hand round its back and the dragon curled up inside his hand, resting it’s head on his thumb.

As Harry got further from the office the phoenix stopped looking so unhappy and perched on his shoulder instead. Harry reached Hagrid’s hut quickly and after knocking on the door the usual sounds of Fang barking inside and Hagrid shouting at him to try and calm him came from the other side of the door. Hagrid swung the door open to find Harry stood on his doorstep.

“Harry! Good ter see yer!” Hagrid said and let him inside. Fang jumped up at him and Harry stroked his head. “Have a good firs’ day back?”

“Yeah, it was great thanks.” Harry replied, “That maze was brilliant!”

“And you were brilliant in that maze.” Hagrid chuckled. “How was summer with Remus then? I didn’t have chance to talk to you much over the holidays.”

Harry told him what his holidays had been like and how much he had enjoyed staying with Remus and the phoenix hopped along between his fingers.

“Wha’s that?” Hagrid asked, looking down at it.

“It’s an ornament I transfigured but then Remus froze it and then I made him transfigure it back to life so now it’s got all his feelings and his personality in it and it just follows me about.” Harry smiled.

“Ah yes, like the dragon that’s been following Remus about.” Hagrid beamed, “could be useful havin’ two little things like them about, they’ll show yer when the other’s in trouble.”

“Anyway it’s past nine now so I’m gonna have to make a run for it through the castle and hope Filch doesn’t catch me, I’ll see you tomorrow.” Harry said.

“A’right Harry, take care now.” Hagrid said and rose to watch Harry up to the castle.

Harry walked quickly through the night air up to the castle and through the main doors. The entrance hall was already darker than it normally was during the daytime due to the lights being dimmed, after all, since it was after hours then there shouldn’t be anyone up to need them. As Harry was walking down the corridor Mrs Norris suddenly appeared infront of him. He stopped abruptly and turned and ran back to the entrance hall and into a passageway behind a portrait there. There were steps in the passageway and it worked like an escalator; slowly moving up or down in the direction needed but Harry ran up them despite this and came out on the second floor. He ran down the corridor and past Remus’ office. He stopped and turned around, making his way back to the office. He opened the door quietly and glanced in, Remus was still working and the dragon was curled up beneath his hand.

“Night Remus,” He said quietly. Remus looked up and smiled.

“Wait a minute.” Remus told him and from his desk drawer he pulled out a piece of parchment. “I solemnly swear I am up to no good.”

The map of the school materialised infront of him and Harry opened his mouth to say something but Remus beat him to it.

“I didn’t steal it if that’s what you’re thinking.” He smiled, “I made a copy because it just wouldn’t do for me to be constantly summoning yours when I wanted it. Anyway, Filch is currently prowling this floor on his search for you so I suggest you wait a moment.” Harry and Remus watched the little dot labelled ‘Argus Filch’ as it walked up and down the corridor until it went up onto the fourth floor.

“Thanks.” Harry said, “night…”

“Good night, Harry.” Remus replied and watched Harry leave before turning his attention to the map. He watched as Harry raced down the corridor and then down another corridor past the transfiguration rooms, past the stairs up to the next floor and to the secret passage up to the sixth floor. He ran up it quickly and when he reached the sixth floor he just made it to the staircase up to the seventh floor when Filch saw him from below and chased after him. Remus smiled, he knew that Harry was a very quick runner when he needed to be and he easily made it to the Fat Lady and inside before Filch could do anything about it. He wiped the map clean before tidying the papers infront of him and retiring to bed himself.


***


“Good evening Harry.” Voldemort said and Harry’s eyes widened in shock and for a moment he was frozen to the spot in the Great Hall. “Surprised to see me?”

“This is just a dream, you can’t get into Hogwarts.” Harry managed.

“You’re only half right, I’m afraid.” Voldemort said, “I cannot get into Hogwarts – yet, but this is not just a dream. It is quite something else, and as you will soon become aware it is almost like life, excepting one difference, you can’t die.” Harry watched him uneasily, he didn’t like this, “And there are two things that you will be wanting to know. The first is that you cannot escape whilst I hold you here in your own mind, and the second is that pain is in the mind Harry, and I am in your mind, therefore I control your pain.” An awful smile touched his face and Harry turned and ran to the door. It was locked.

“I control everything here.” Voldemort said quietly and stood up. He pointed his wand at him and uttered the word Harry most dreaded. “Crucio” Harry dropped to the floor and gasped in pain, trying desperately to keep in any signs of suffering after that as he writhed on the floor.

“I could hold you here for as long as I care to do so… but that is not my intention. My intention is merely to remind Dumbledore that even in the walls of his castle you are not untouchable Harry.” Voldemort said, “I will be seeing you later.”


Harry opened his eyes suddenly and sat bolt upright in his bed. Ron, Dean and Neville were stood at the side of him looking anxious.

“Harry! Are you okay?” Ron asked him instantly. Harry breathed deeply for a few moments and lay back down onto his pillow.

“I’m fine,” he managed.

“That was really frightening; it looked like… like you were under the Crucius curse.” Neville said quietly. Harry smiled lightly.

“In my dreams?” He asked him. “No. But it was awful though. What time is it?”

“Half past five.” Ron replied. “If you’re sure you’re okay then I guess I’ll be going back to sleep.”

“I’m fine.” Harry reassured him and watched his three friends return to their own beds. He was worried. Voldemort could get into his dreams and hold him there… he could take complete control of his mind and inflict pain on him. Occlumency. The word floated through his mind and he knew with dread that he would have to learn it once more. He hoped that it wouldn’t be Snape that taught him again because although Snape didn’t seem quite as bad as he used to be to him he was still a long way from friendly.

The phoenix Remus had transformed for him jumped down onto his chest from the bed head and started pacing back and forth across his chest. He didn’t seem very happy and quite worried about something. Harry pulled his wand out from under his pillow and thought hard of Remus and the message he wanted to send to his hand before flicking his wand slightly.

I’m fine… Why do you ask? The reply to his question appeared on Harry’s hand almost immediately after he had sent his to Remus.

Because the little phoenix which is pacing up and down across my chest seems quite agitated at 5 in the morning when it should be asleep. Harry replied to him

I was worried because your dragon was writhing in pain some time earlier… explain? Remus said to him.

I won’t explain like this, I’d rather do it in person. Harry said. It was true, he didn’t want to tell Remus about his horrific dream just over their hands, he wanted to see him in person.

Then come and see me now.

It’s five in the morning!

Well if you’re planning on going back to sleep then you needn’t come but I won’t be sleeping again for some time. Remus replied. Harry looked down at the message until it faded away. He wanted to go see him, and at the same time he wanted to put off telling him about his dream; it had frightened him, although it had been a dream Voldemort had been there and he had inflicted the Crucius curse on him and it had hurt. The dragon had writhed in pain and so had Harry… Harry?

Ok, I’ll see you soon… Harry said. He took the marauders map out from under his bed and looked it over in wand light. No one was up at this time; it was far too late for teachers to still be patrolling the corridors. Even Filch was asleep in a small room off the side of his office and Mrs Norris was curled up at the bottom of his bed from the little dot next to him. He touched his pyjamas with his wand and he was fully dressed in an instant, and he walked across the darkened room in silence and left their dorm. The silence was quite eerie as he walked unhindered through the dark corridors and made his way down to the second floor where Remus’ office was. Harry wished it could have been closer because although he knew that all the teachers were in bed at this time he was still afraid that Filch would catch him wandering in the middle of the night. Eventually he reached his door and stepped inside Remus’ office, the owner of which sat staring out of the window at the night but as he entered rose to greet him.

“So tell me what happened…” Remus said after they seated each other opposite one another on the large windowsill, looking out over the lake. Harry took a deep breath and told him every detail. That was another thing which differentiated between dreams and that particular dream he had had – he could remember every detail. After he had told of the events he watched Remus carefully. He was lost in thought as he stared out at the lake. Remus was afraid. He wasn’t often afraid either which made it all the more strange for him to be so. It wasn’t for himself that he feared: it was for Harry. Voldemort could get into his head and control his dreams in such a way that he could inflict pain and hold him there. What if he held him there and tortured him until he went mad, like the Longbottoms? What if he could control his actions? What if he knows about how close we are? What if he can see through his eyes as he goes about his life? What if…? Thoughts and fears raced each other round his mind. He was aware that Harry was sat opposite him and probably wondering about the amount of time he had spent staring out at nothing… What was there to be done? Occlumency again? That hadn’t gone well last time and if he did have to take it again then who would be his teacher? Snape? Dumbledore? He bit his lip slightly and glanced at Harry who he realised had been watching him patiently for his response for quite some time, although how long he didn’t know.

“I don’t know what to say…” Remus said, “I suppose Dumbledore has to be told…”

“I’m going to have to start occlumency again aren’t I?” Harry said, more as a statement than a question.

“I’m not sure… I doubt that Snape will teach you again and yet I don’t know whether or not Dumbledore can risk teaching you himself, it leaves your mind wide open and Voldemort will be able to access it easily, if he sees you with Dumbledore then…” Remus said, his thoughts still whirling in his head. He wished he could be of more help to Harry, although he hoped that just talking about it may have helped him slightly. Harry still watched him quietly, not knowing what to say, he felt exhausted but feared going back to sleep, in case he was there. “He won’t get you again in the same night, Harry.” Remus said, seemingly reading his thoughts. Harry looked up at him and into his deep brown eyes and wondered how he had known that. “You should try and get some sleep…”

“I suppose so.” Harry agreed, it was one thing to say that he should get some sleep after what had happened but quite something else to actually get it. “I’ll disappear and let you get some sleep then.” Harry said to him and stood up to leave. Remus watched him, knowing that he wouldn’t and probably couldn’t sleep again, he wondered whether or not about keeping him with him until morning, he wouldn’t sleep either and it was better to be not sleeping with someone else there than not sleeping on your own. In the end he decided not to say anything and let him walk back up to his dorm.

“See you later, Harry.” Remus said quietly as he left and returned back to his own bed where he lay for some time afterwards before finally drifting off to sleep.

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