Remus stared at Harry for a moment. He knew that he had gone an interestingly pale colour even without having to get up to go look in the mirror. Harry’s words echoed back in his head and he felt sick to his stomach as he felt the implication of the words. Harry has to beat Voldemort… He swallowed hard and focused his gaze on Harry whose eyes were searching his face. “Remus?” Harry said quietly, “Are you alright?” Alright?! How can I be alright?! His mind demanded. How could Harry take it? He felt sick and afraid and it wasn’t even he that had to beat Voldemort. Both the wizarding world and the muggle world were both in his hands and he didn’t know how he was coping. As well as having recently lost something that resembled a parent to him he should have given up quite some time ago. In his mind’s eye he could see Harry being cursed by Voldemort, killed in a hundred scenarios. There was a vague remembrance of Voldemort, but only that; it had been a very long time since he had met him face to face all those years ago, and even then he hadn’t dared to fight, he had run as fast as he could, not stopping to turn back. He wondered how on earth he had ever managed to survive; it seemed impossible that Voldemort would just let him run away. He blinked and found himself sat opposite Harry on his bed. Harry looked quite worried. “I’m fine…” Remus said quietly. “I asked you that more than two minutes ago.” Harry replied, “You’re not fine.” “How can I be fine?! I’ve just lost Sirius! I don’t want to lose you too!” Remus said suddenly as he got up from the bed and paced the room. “Thanks for the vote of confidence.” Harry murmured softly. “Can you blame me for reacting like this?!” Remus demanded, his voice rising, “Voldemort’s a powerful, murderous maniac and you’re…” “His next victim.” Harry finished as he rose from the bed. Remus’ reaction frightened him quite badly, not because the man himself was particularly intimidating but because Remus never dropped his cool exterior. Malfoy had been insulting towards him earlier on in the day and he had managed to stay perfectly composed throughout, even gaining the upper hand, and yet when he discovered that Harry would have to battle Voldemort for the world he had reached a point where he could no longer contain his emotions and had become almost angry. “Good night, Remus.” Harry said quietly as he shut the door behind him. He received no good night in return, but heard only a miserable groan as Remus collapsed onto his bed. He didn’t want to leave him there alone but with Remus in his current frame of mind, Harry was likely to upset and infuriate him. Instead he walked across the landing to his room which he shared with Ron and crept inside. The room was dark and Ron was evidently fast asleep. Harry quickly undressed and put on his pyjamas, feeling uneasy at having to change in the same room as someone else. He climbed into his own bed and drew the drapes around the bed, casting a quick charm over the drapes that would prevent them from being opened in the morning; he wanted to get some sleep, not be woken by Ron at the crack of dawn. He closed his eyes and soon drifted off to sleep.
Remus walked through the Forbidden Forest, his wand raised. Even with his heightened senses he could distinguish very little through the darkness that smothered his surroundings. He was very alone and rather afraid. He knew the territory well but when there were Death Eaters and their master somewhere nearby he didn’t care whether he was in his own home or in Russia, the fact was that he was trying to find people who would kill him the moment they spotted him. But he had known this would be the way that things were the moment he entered the ministry and applied to become an Auror. He had hidden his affliction well, but in the end it had come out, as it always had to. Fortunately that was after he had completed the lengthy training course. As soon as he had been discharged from the Ministry he had been accepted by the Order of the Phoenix, who valued his intelligence and would use his so called ‘affliction’ to his, and their, advantage. It was for the Order that he walked through the forest, hunting down their enemy. Somewhere on his right Mad Eye Moody strode confidently and yet cautiously through the forest. Around fifty paces to his left walked his close friend, James, whilst behind them both walked Sirius. There were a lot more there than just those four however, around fifty people were there in total and somehow he had ended up on the front line.
If he didn’t know better it appeared to get lighter ahead, meaning that they were getting closer and closer to their foe. He clutched he wand tighter as they moved towards them. He heard muffled laughter, and to his disquiet it wasn’t very far ahead.
“Avada Kedavra!” Someone screamed and there was a flash of green light from somewhere ahead. Somewhere nearby there was a thud as someone fell to the floor. “Looks pretty dead to me.” Someone muttered only twenty paces to his left. His chest tightened and his breath became shallow and quick. He was certain that one of them would hear him. There were three men on the scene, both wearing dark colours and barely distinguishable from their surroundings. He forced himself to breathe more deeply and to carry on moving, if he stayed still he was a lot more likely to be caught than if he carried on moving. He chose a path which was forward and away from the men at the same time and began to walk slowly along it, his ears strained in the silence for any sound. For no reason his heart began to beat faster and he felt a sense of dread. A crack of a twig from behind him caused him to spin round, but he saw no one. He took a few deep breaths and carried on along his path, to what would almost certainly be his doom.
“Stupefy!” Someone cried out from nearby. A red bolt hit him in the chest and blackness encompassed him.
“How good of you to join me.” Said a cold, cruel voice. Voldemort! His head cried out and his eyes snapped open in an instant. He was lying on the cold ground of the forest still, but in a small clearing. There were a few Death Eaters around but that wasn’t what concerned him. What did concern him was the ominous figure infront of him, a pale white face, blood red lips and fearsome eyes which inflicted terror into his heart. Imgonnadieimgonnadieimgonnadie! His head yelled out. He forced his demeanour to remain perfectly calm and collected, despite the turmoil in his mind.
“What do you want with me?” Remus managed to choke out through dry lips.
“I want you to join me.” Voldemort said. “There are many more of your kind in my ranks and you could be of invaluable use as a spy. Join me and I will reward you with whatever your heart desires.”
Remus managed to get to his feet, astounded that he wasn’t dead or even so much as bound. His wand was in Voldemort’s hand however, leaving him rather defenceless.
“Will you join me?” Voldemort asked him softly. Remus stared at the man for a moment, almost hypnotised by his eyes which seemed much more prominent than any of his other features that he could see through the dark. Remus gathered all his courage.
“No, I will not join you.” He said and turned to run, as he knew he must. He reached the part where he knew that there was a clearing in the trees but stopped, as he found there was no way out. He span around to see Voldemort sauntering towards him.
“After a mistake in the past, involving me and yourself,” Voldemort said, “I have decided to shut that, just to stop you escaping. Now will you join me?”
“I will never join you.” Remus hissed through clenched teeth.
“So be it.” Voldemort said. Remus’ wand pointed squarely at his own chest. “Avada Kedavra.” There was a green flash of light and Remus flinched and squeezed his eyes tightly shut. There was an odd moment where Remus was convinced that he was dead and that his torturous life had finally ended until he looked up and saw Voldemort standing over him, triumphant. He turned around and stared at the body on the floor.
“Harry!” The gasp escaped his lips as he saw the boy lying dead on the floor behind him. Voldemort had ceased to acknowledge his presence and laughed at the broken body of the child on the ground before turning on his heel and marching off, Remus’ own wand still in his hand.
“Remus!” Someone said and his eyes opened instantly, resting on Molly Weasley infront of him. “You’ve been asleep for hours!”
“Have I?” Remus asked, quite puzzled.
“It’s almost half past ten.” Molly replied, “I was worried.” It was not in his nature to sleep later than nine. He knew by the enticing smell that wafted up through the house that breakfast was ready. He felt his stomach rumble and thanked Molly for waking him before climbing out of bed and readying himself to go down for breakfast.
“So where is everyone?” Remus asked Mad Eye who was glancing through the hated Daily Prophet over an empty bowl.
“Quidditch.” Mad Eye said shortly. “Potter really is amazing, you should go watch.” Remus made a noncommittal murmur in his throat as he remembered Harry’s abrupt departure from his room the night before.
“Thanks for the vote of confidence.” Harry said in his mind. His head was beginning to hurt and he no longer had an appetite. He ate some of the toast that Molly made for him before leaving the house through the back door in the kitchen and walking out into the vast garden of Grimmauld Place.
A large path stretched out infront of him, leading across the vast garden. It appeared to have been a very grand garden before it had fallen derelict along with the rest of the house. Remus took the quickest way through the garden – a straight path down the very centre, with hedges on either side. He could only presume that the hedges themselves had once only been up to around waist height as he struggled to see over the top of them now. At the end of the path in the very centre of the garden was a water feature with a large basilisk in the centre of it, from which water had once gushed out of it’s open mouth. No longer was this the case as a steady drip of a mud and water mixture came from one of it’s elongated fangs into the murky water beneath. He couldn’t help but think that there was little reason that most people chose to fly over the garden instead of walk through it. He shivered at the sight of the small topiary that surrounded the fountain; all animals such as snakes and a few reptiles here and there. These appeared to be one of very few things that Kreacher had actually taken care of before his death.
Remus caught something move in the corner of his eye and span around to see nothing but the hedge. He felt as if the topiary were closing in on him and he didn’t like the feeling at all, he suddenly realised that, knowing the Black house, the hedge reptiles could very easily be closing in on him. That thought got him moving down the garden again, but this time the path kept breaking off and changing as he walked through it. It was very disconcerting to walk through a part of the hedge, only to turn and find that it had gone. The strange fear that the Black garden could inflict on those that were not welcomed into it was nothing he hadn’t felt before however, and he walked hastily on, feeling a sense of great relief as he reached the end of the garden which was a low brick wall with anti-muggle charms and other such charms on it; nothing he couldn’t get past again though.
Putting one palm on the wall, Remus easily swung his body over it and down into the field on the other side. Looking upwards he could see a few figures flying in the air above, not too high though as they all knew that Molly would be watching from the kitchen, ready to chastise anyone who flew too high or too far. He could hear Charlie, Bill, Tonks and Kingsley up in the air, along with Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny and the twins who seemed desperate to outdo one another in volume. He watched with his heart racing as Harry and Charlie went into a spectacular dive after a small golden object which fluttered ahead of them and didn’t appear to want to be caught.
“An excellent choice for Quidditch captain, don’t you think?” Minerva said from behind him. Remus turned and saw the head of Gryffindor house accompanied by Mad Eye and Filius.
“Definitely.” Mad Eye said, glancing up to see that Harry had caught the Snitch. Charlie was laughing and congratulating him in the air before they all assembled back in the middle of their makeshift pitch. Bill released the balls, throwing the quaffle high in the air and conveniently catching it himself before flying off towards Hermione, who had been forced into the goals.
“Oh come on, Hermione!” Kingsley shouted to her and to everyone’s surprise she actually put in some effort and blocked the quaffle from the hoop before throwing the quaffle to Tonks who laughed and flew off towards Ron.
“Ron got over that burst of jealousy quickly, didn’t he?” Mad Eye said, observing the youngest male Weasley successfully block a few shots to the net by Tonks, whilst Fred shot a bludger at him.
“Very quickly,” Remus said, “But what do you expect? They argue all the time.”
“True, but few are so furious and so short-lived.” Minerva said.
“And so petty as well.” Filius added.
“Honestly, arguing because Harry became Quidditch captain and he didn’t…” Minerva said.
“Since when has he been ‘Harry’ and not ‘Mr Potter’?” Remus asked with a slight smile. “Surely you don’t actually like the boy, Minerva?”
“Do be quiet, Lupin.” She said coolly but unable to hide a slight smile.
“So why are you all out here? Not like you to enjoy the sunshine,” Remus noted.
“We could say quite the reverse.” Filius said.
“True enough.” Remus replied.
“But we’re all out here because Molly threw us out of the kitchen.” Mad Eye told him, “And I wanted to see if the amazing flying talents of Potter live up to the hearsay floating around.”
“By ‘hearsay floating around’ he means ‘things Minerva’s said’.” Filius added.
There were cheers from the air as all but two players had stopped moving. Down on the ground, four pairs of eyes looked up to watch Harry and Charlie dodging in and out of the players as they chased the golden snitch, before pulling right up another twenty feet into the air. Harry and Charlie swung their firebolts around to see the snitch spiralling downwards through the players and towards the grass below. Having no alternative, the two of them followed it down in a similar pattern.
“I don’t know how he can go vertical on a broom without falling off, to be quite honest.” Filius said.
“Nor do I.” Remus said as he watched his godson spiralling down to the ground at great speed.
“They’re going to crash.” Mad Eye said and Remus couldn’t help but agree with him.
“No they’re not.” Minerva said calmly. Harry took over Charlie who started to slow, just in case he did plummet into the ground. The snitch was around fifteen feet from the floor when it pulled up sharply, causing both Harry and Charlie to cry out in horror at the ground. Harry pulled his broom out of the dive, which only Minerva managed to watch, just skimming the floor with his toes before speeding off after it, finally feeling the fluttering of the golden ball in his palm.
“Wow, Harry!” Tonks said, flying over to him. “That was amazing!”
“Plus we won by about three hundred points.” George said as he joined the two of them gliding back down to the ground.
“That was pathetic, Charlie!” Ron said, flying over to his brother.
“I can’t help it if he’s better than me.” Charlie grinned at his younger brother.
“You will have to be removed from the position of team captain if you break your neck just before term,” Minerva said to Harry as he walked over to them, “I hope you realise that.”
“I’ve never broken my neck yet.” Harry said to her.
“There’s a first time for everything,” She said coolly before picking up her pace to walk with Mad Eye infront of the group.
“Hello.” Remus said quietly to Harry, as he dropped to the back of the group to talk to him. Harry hoped that he wasn’t about to start a conversation about the prophecy, especially not so close to Ron and Hermione who were arguing infront about the most impressive time Harry had caught the Snitch.
“Hey.” Harry said quietly.
“About last night…” Remus said and Harry felt his stomach twist, talking about it now wasn’t the best of ideas, although he would feel reluctant to talk about it under any other circumstances; he had told Remus what it said, he didn’t want to have to discuss it afterwards as well. “I reacted badly… I was just shocked.”
“I know. Which is why I left you to get used to the idea.” Harry said to him. Glancing up at his godfather he could see the anxiety in his eyes and the bags underneath them. He couldn’t help but wonder just how much sleep he had managed to get the night before. “You needn’t worry, you know. I’m sure I’ll be fine.” Remus stopped and looked at him with a tortured expression.
“I know that’s not what you think.” Remus said quietly, “And as much as I’d like to think that you’re going to do well and save the world and all, I’m just… afraid.” He turned away from him and carried on walking. Harry caught up with him quickly and walked close by his side. He felt Remus put his arm around his shoulders as they walked along. “Do Ron and Hermione know yet?”
“No.” Harry sighed, “I don’t know when I’m going to tell them. I want them to know before the rest of the Order but there’s always someone else around and you didn’t react well, who knows how they’ll react!”
“I’m sure they’ll react better than I did.” Remus said quietly as they climbed over the wall and entered the garden.
“I hate this garden.” Harry muttered, changing the subject. “One of those hedge snakes followed me all the way down to here earlier!”
“So make sure you don’t go in the garden alone or at night.” Remus said.
“That was this morning and I wasn’t alone!” Harry scowled as they reached the middle of the garden. He shivered slightly in the morning sun as he was certain that one of the snakes was staring at him. “These things are so creepy!” Harry said, without taking his eyes from the stone snake in the middle. He glanced back to Remus who had stopped suddenly and was staring at him, with wide eyes. “What?” Harry asked.
“Did you just speak in Parseltongue?!” Remus said, feeling a strange twist of fear in his stomach. Harry raised an eyebrow at his unfounded fear. “You can’t be a parselmouth!”
“Why not?” Harry asked him.
“Because evil wizards are parselmouths.” Remus said, uncertainly.
“Then you are in the company of an evil wizard.” Harry said lightly. Seeing the odd look on Remus’ face he added, “It wasn’t as if I was born a parselmouth, Voldemort passed the power to me when…” He broke off, but it was enough for Remus to understand.
“Oh.” He said quietly, thinking for a moment and absorbing the information he had been given, “When did you find that out?”
“Second year.” Harry responded as they carried on up to the house, dimly aware that some of the snakes had moved during their conversation.
This was the final straw for Remus who had been wanting to discuss Harry’s past for quite some time now, and this reference to his second year made him more interested than ever in his life previous to his involvement with him.
“Harry…?” Remus asked him cautiously as they walked up to the stone steps to the house. Harry glanced up at him, wondering what he wanted to know from him; for he knew by then that when Remus said his name in that tone that he wanted to know something. He waited for him to continue and he did a second later, “Whathappenedinyourfirsttwoyears?” He said very quickly. Harry stared at him for a moment before asking him to repeat it, but slower. “What happened to you in your first two years at Hogwarts and in your fourth year as well and maybe…?”
“Basically you want to know what else happened to me of interest in every other year but the year that you were there.” Harry said and grinned at Remus who nodded, smiling slightly.
“Well?” Remus said, “Will you tell me?”
“I’ll consider it.” Harry said, “It will take a lot of telling though.”
“You’ve never had a more action filled year than the year Sirius and I ended up there, have you?” Remus asked, uncertainly.
“You’d think that, wouldn’t you?” Harry said dryly as they re-entered the house.
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