Disclaimer: These characters and this world belong to Ms. Rowling.
Harry could say at least one thing for this summer. He could finally console
himself with the fact that this was going to be his last summer with the
Dursleys. He’d only come back this time because he’d promised Dumbledore. At
his first opportunity after turning seventeen he would be out of there.
Uncle Vernon had been yelling at him yesterday because he thought Harry had
been watching the news again. Apparently he thought he was being especially
smart by telling Harry that after this summer he couldn’t be a free-loader
had overheard the conversation Harry and Dumbledore had last summer about the
Black family inheritance but Uncle Vernon had no concept of just how much money
was involved. He had even told Harry that he would probably end up starving on
the streets without a pound to his name because he wouldn’t know how to handle
money. Harry had kept his smile to himself, thinking about the money still left
in his school vault. Even though Harry had come to terms with Sirius’s death,
he still didn’t like to think about the circumstances under which the Black
Family fortune became his. He hated being rich just because someone else was
It had been strange to think, even though he hadn’t known his parents, how
much pain it had caused him since he had learned the truth. Perhaps it was
because growing up with the Dursleys had created a void in Harry’s life where
there should have been family and love. Now that he knew what really happened
to them and how much they had loved each other, the pain it caused knowing he
missed out of being a part of that, or that he had been so close to having that
in his life, was worse than the void. He really didn’t like to think about it
too much either, it would just start all the “what ifs.”
Sitting on the ground, leaning against a large tree in the park, Harry’s
mind ran through thoughts of this past school year. He should probably be
inside, that was where it was safest, but he couldn’t handle being in that
house a second longer. He needed some space to breathe and this tree had always
been on of his favourite places to think. Hermione
had slipped a letter into his school things; he found it after he’d arrived at
the Dursley’s. By now he could recite her letter by heart, having read it many
I slipped this letter into your things because I
can’t risk sending it by owl and I didn’t want to chance anyone overhearing us
at school or on the train.
I was looking through the library for some books
to read over the summer. On one of the back shelves I found a book, Muggle
Studies of Psychology and the Magical Mind. It looks as though no one has
taken it off the shelf since it got here, let alone read it.
I read though it already. Most of it isn’t
useful but there’s a small section on projecting emotions. There is a spell in
the section also, “Intra Cos Exsto.” It’s used to
help a magical person in therapy project their feelings onto the therapist so
what the patient is feeling can be better understood.
Although I can’t prove it, Harry, I believe we
might be able to use this to our advantage. Voldemort wasn’t able to possess
you for long at the Ministry two years ago because of the emotions you held in
you; emotions he didn’t understand, like love. It is difficult to say what we
might be able to do with this spell without research and testing but based on
what we already know I believe that a spell based on foreknowledge of how your
emotions affect Voldemort will give you a great advantage over him when the
We can discuss this more when we meet in person
PS- Please be extra
careful this summer.
Harry sighed as he finished mentally reciting Hermione’s letter for what
seemed like the hundredth time. He hoped desperately that she was right. He had
tremendous faith in her abilities and he wanted this to just be over. He was
sick of hiding and sick of worrying that any moment he was going to get the
news of another death. He wanted to know that the moment he destroyed the last
horcrux he would be able to face Voldemort and finish it once and for all.
After mulling over this bit of magic for a while, Harry began to think about
Ginny. His love for her had grown so much over the year and it broke his heart
to have to let her go now. Somewhere, in the back of his mind, was a wish that
he never consciously acknowledged: that after this was all over, Ginny would be
there and Harry could finally accept his feelings for her without worrying
about getting her killed and adding yet another name to the growing list in his
A sudden uneasy feeling pulled him out of his thoughts. A shadow next to a
tree across the park caught his attention as he looked around. Harry fixed his
gaze on the shadow as it slowly took the shape of a man. He was leaning against
the tree with a deceptive casualness. Harry’s eyes locked on the man’s face and
remained there. He knew that there was at least one Auror and one Order member
following him but he wasn’t taking any chances. His senses were on full alert
and even though his gaze remained fixed on the man across the park he was still
listening for any other noises around him.
Harry was uncertain how much time had passed but part of his attention was
drawn to the sound of scrapping feet dragging lazily along the ground. There
must have been five of them by the sound of it and they were heading right
“Hey Big D, isn’t that your freak of a cousin?” was all Harry needed to hear
to confirm his suspicions. Dudley and his gang were heading this way and if
that was a Death Eater across the park they’d have a hard time getting away
without being harmed. Dudley and his friends were bullies but that didn’t mean
they deserved to be hurt.
“Hey Harry, how about a beating for old time’s sake?”Dudley called out. Harry had to give him
credit. He was putting up a pretty convincing front even though Harry knew Dudley was scared of him. Dudley
had tried to save face in front of his gang by simply steering clear of Harry.
In the past he’d dissuaded his gang by hinting that Harry was potentially
violent, he was, after all, a student at St. Brutus’ School for the Incurably
Criminal, but as his gang aged, potential violence wasn’t enough to dissuade
“Dudley, you and your friends need to leave here, now.” Harry said calmly,
speaking as if Dudley were the only person who
could hear him but he never took his eyes off of the man across the park.
“You gonna let him talk to you like that Big D?”
Piers challenged, hoping to see some violence.
Dudley wasn’t listening to his friends, he
was following Harry’s gaze. Harry’s eyes were in a piercing stare that sent a
chill down his spine. He may be slow on the uptake most of the time but only a
complete dolt wouldn’t be able to see something was happening from looking at
Harry. His eyes were burning as if there was a fire behind them and his posture
was that of a jungle cat. Aside from that, whatever Harry was doing at that
school of his had turned him from a scrawny kid to a lean, muscular teenager.
Even if Harry couldn’t use magic, Dudley would
have been reluctant to pick a fight with him since he had been back this
summer. There was something different about him, something that seemed to say
that no matter how much his dad tried to intimidate Harry, it just didn’t
compare to what Harry’s eyes had already seen.
That was as far as Dudley thought before
simultaneous popping sounds had Harry on his feet and pulling out his wand,
pointing it in the direction of the noises. There were two masked figures,
judging by their size they were probably men. When the one on the left spoke it
confirmed that at least one was.
“Well, well, Mr. Potter…it’s a pleasure.”
His voice was dripping with sarcasm and hate.
“I’m afraid I can’t say the same.” Harry responded but he didn’t like
conversing. The only reason he was going to keep up this dialogue was to try
buy time for Dudley and his gang to escape.
Though every nerve in Harry’s body shouted at him to engage the Death Eaters in
a fight, he was attempting to control his emotions. He needed to respond to
this in a way so as not to upset the delicate balance that was keeping Dudley
and his friends off the Death Eaters’ radar. But it was too late, Dudley’s large frame made him look like a pink elephant
in a room full of black rats.
“You must be Potter’s cousin.”
Only the Death Eater on the left seemed to be in the mood to chat since he
was the only one to address Dudley. The other
one kept his wand steadily pointed at Harry.
“You guys are really starting to do your homework.” Harry responded, trying
to draw attention away from Dudley and back
onto himself. “Too bad my cousin isn’t around. Nice guess though.” Harry was
hoping this would be convincing enough but Dudley’s
friend Piers had to open his mouth.
“What are you talking about? Of course that’s your cousin.”
Whether Piers was trying to stay on the Death Eaters’ good side or he was
too stupid to realize what Harry was trying to do, or both…Piers obviously
didn’t understand the gravity of the situation. The Death Eater looked at Piers
for a moment and then turned his gaze back to Harry.
“Nice try, Potter, always like you, trying to be noble.”
He turned back to Dudley before continuing.
“Did you know there’s a tradition to follow? Anyone connected to Harry has to
be killed or at least suffer excruciating pain. I think today should be your
Dudley’s face went ghostly pale then to a
green tinge as the words sunk in. The Death Eater laughed cruelly as he turned
his wand away from Harry and pointed it at Dudley.
Harry pointed his wand in the direction of the silent Death Eater and
muttered “Intra Cos Exsto” before throwing himself in
front of Dudley. Harry, on a whim, had decided
to reflect his feelings back on the Death Eaters – positive feelings from the
good things from the past six years of his life. He focused on Dumbledore, the
Weasleys, Hermione, his parents, Sirius, everyone he loved, and most of all,
Ginny. The Death Eater cringed as Harry’s feelings of loyalty and sacrifice
poured forth and filled him but Harry was blinded a second later by the pain of
the Cruciatus curse.
Dudley stood in a state of shock and
horror. Harry was in front of him before he’d even seen him move but the moment
Harry was able to get in front of him, he was hit by a red beam of light.
Whatever it was that hit Harry caused a scream of sheer agony to be ripped from
his throat. But even as Harry screamed the masked figure standing on the other
side of Harry emitted a similar scream of agony. Dudley
didn’t understand how the man was being hurt but he could only assume that
Harry might be doing it.
Dudley’s gang ran off at the outbreak of
violence. Harry’s screams seemed to have driven them even faster from the spot.
This wasn’t the first time Harry had experienced the Cruciatus curse but if
he had thought nothing could be more painful that this curse, he had been dead
wrong. He had been hoping to hurt the Death Eater by projecting his feelings on
him but he hadn’t expected this to amplify the feeling of utter and all
consuming pain that ripped violently through his entire body. Not only that,
but the Death Eater seemed unable to break off the curse. It seemed like an
eternity of time had passed before he was shoved hard from the side, breaking
the projection of feelings. The Death Eater immediately fell to the ground,
breaking off his spell.
Someone off to Harry’s left yelled a binding and stunning spell but he
couldn’t see them. In fact, Harry couldn’t see anything; everything had gone
completely white, just as it was when the curse was being cast on him. He heard
people talking but he couldn’t find the strength to move. He was catching bits
and pieces of conversation, someone had mentioned Moody, and someone else had
mentioned Lupin. Harry assumed someone was going to get them.
“Harry…Harry can you hear me?” It was Tonks, he recognized her voice but he
couldn’t see her. He wasn’t sure if he responded, if he had managed to make a
sound it was definitely not any actual words. “Listen to me, it’s Tonks, we’re
going to move you back to your Aunt and Uncle’s. We have to make sure the area
is secure before we decide how to transport you to St. Mungo’s.” Harry tried to
move but couldn’t. He hated not being in control, not knowing exactly what was
“Dudley…” Harry managed to say. His cousin
had been there, he could have been killed. They certainly didn’t have the best
track record but he didn’t want another person dead because of him.
Dudley watched as people were appearing out
of nowhere. They all seemed to have a job to do but the scene still looked like
chaos. He could see his friends across the park with several men in robes. They
were pointing their wands at his friends and sending them each towards their
respective homes. He looked back at Harry when he heard a woman talking to him.
She had one of her hands resting on his head, brushing the hair out of his
eyes. There was something very tender in the way she was doing it, it seemed
strange to see anyone show Harry affection. He didn’t know what this St. Mungo’s
was she was talking about but he could only assume it was some hospital. After
what had just happened he thought Harry was lucky to be going to a hospital and
not the morgue. That’s when he heard it. Harry’s voice was raspy and barely
audible but he had heard him say his name.
“Shh, Harry, it’s okay. Your cousin is fine, he’s
standing right here. I’ll make sure he comes back to your aunt and uncle’s with
us.” The woman had looked at him briefly as she said this but kept most of her
attention on Harry. After all that, Harry was concerned about whether he was
alright? Hadn’t he tortured Harry enough in his life to make Harry want to
curse him rather than stepping in front of a curse himself? He had heard that
scream of agony, he didn’t think he’d ever forget it…Harry took that pain for
“Alright Tonks, lets go. I just got clearance to move him from here to
Number 4 Privet Drive.” Tonks looked up at Kingsley and nodded. The most
important thing was getting Harry back to a secure location. They couldn’t move
Harry with magic and he certainly couldn’t walk himself. It was left to Bill
Weasley, who had, up until this point, stayed in the background of the activity
to make things happen. He was there as an Order member, helping to secure the
area. No one said anything as Bill approached Harry and lifted him into his
arms as if Harry was just as much of a brother as Charlie was. No one had
argued with Bill, in fact no one said a word as Bill turned toward the
direction of the Dursleys' home. Even Dudley
recognized the solemn display.
The Aurors used shielding aversion charms to prevent people from seeing the
group of twenty or so witches and wizards walking down the street and entering
Number 4 Privet Drive.
Dudley didn’t know the man that was
carrying Harry but it was clear that he cared about him. Most people thought Dudley was daft, and maybe compared to most people he
was, but he had never really taken the time to look at Harry, to really look at
him. But now that he had he could see, even though he was what appeared to be
unconscious, these people responded to him. They moved near him with a sense of
loyalty. Kind of the way his gang gathered around him except this wasn’t so
superficial. Dudley walked behind the man
carrying Harry the entire way there. It was the first time he hadn’t seen a
single person stick their head out of their window to watch someone walk by.
Boy, his parents were going to have kittens when these people came inside.
Personally, he thought he was pretty well collected considering what had just
happened. He’d seen magic and violence and almost been injured but he tried to
keep the same composure as all the people around him.
As Bill came to a halt in the middle of the room he looked around warily. He
had heard the story of his father’s visit here and didn’t expect to receive a
warm welcome. He had also heard of some of the abuses Harry had suffered in
this place and with everything that had already happened today, he was feeling
extremely protective. He didn’t want to set Harry down and risk his uncle
getting near him. He couldn’t be held responsible for what he might do to that
horrible excuse for a guardian if he threatened Harry, especially at this
moment, when Harry was laying helplessly in his arms.
Vernon Dursley was so livid that he couldn’t bring himself to utter a single
word for at least five minutes. He was standing at the top of the stairs when
the front door was flung open and several freaks in robes walked right into his
front room, completely uninvited! Then a tall red haired man, dressed just as
abnormally but with long hair and a disgusting earring came in carrying that no
good nephew. Never mind why Harry was being carried, it figures that he was
responsible for this intrusion. His presence in his home had been an intrusion
since the very first day! Vernon’s
eyes narrowed as several of the freaks stared directly at him. But before he
could say anything his attention was caught by his son Dudley walking into the
front room and being followed by even more of these abnormal people. Vernon’s face was turning
purple now with rage. It was one thing to have to know about Harry’s
abnormality but it was quite another to taint his son with it. There must have
been twenty of them, all standing in his front room!
“GET OUT!” Of all the things Mr. Dursley wanted to say, this seemed to be
the only thing that could come out of his mouth. Bill looked up to see a cruel-looking, petty men. So…this must be “Uncle Vernon”
he thought. He had the appearance of a man who looked to be used to throwing
his weight around. There was no way he was going to let go of Harry now.
“Mr. Dursley, if you would please come into the kitchen I can explain what
has happened.” Kingsley Shacklebolt was attempting to be rational and
diplomatic but from what Bill had heard, neither of
these things were going to get him very far, not in a wizard’s robe. If it was
possible, Mr. Dursley seemed to become even more upset by this suggestion.
Apparently being told what to do in his own home did not agree with him.
“Let me introduce myself, I am Kingsley Shacklebolt. I am the head of
Harry’s security detail from the Auror Division. This…”
waving a hand toward Tonks, “is Miss Tonks. She is the head of Harry’s
security detail from the Order of the Phoenix.”
Tonks nodded her head toward Mr. Dursley but didn’t seem too concerned with
making a good impression.
“And whatare you freaks doing with my son?” demanded Mr.
Bill knew this was how the Dursleys referred to magical folks but it was
clear that most of the other wizards and witches in the room were not aware nor
did they seem to appreciate the term. Kingsley turned around and warned them to
stay silent with a single look. He then looked at Bill and motioned his head
toward the couch.
“It’s okay, Bill.” Kingsley reassured Bill,
understanding his apprehension in making Harry any more vulnerable. “Set him
down on the couch. Stay next to him. Rank One,
surround him. Rank Two remain in the room near all entrances. Rank Three, remain outside the house at each entrance. Expect the
arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Weasley. Remus should be arriving with Madam Pomfrey in
order to ensure Harry’s stability before we move him,” Shacklebolt said.
Lupin had been acting as something of a quasi-official guardian to Harry
after the end of his sixth year. It was clear the two had developed an even
closer bond in the past few months and Kingsley knew it was important that
Lupin be with Harry as soon as possible.
“Be advised that as soon as Harry is cleared to move and security is cleared
we are going to move him out of here. I’m going to need Ranks One and Two to
remain at St. Mungo’s in order to secure Harry’s room and floor. Rank
Three will need to remain under cover at the entrance and elevators on each
floor. It is imperative that the information of Harry being taken to St.
Mungo’s remains extremely confidential,” Kingsley continued.
When he finished giving his orders he turned to Dudley, who was still
standing in the middle of the security detail. “Dudley,”
he said, “would you please follow us into the kitchen and help explain to your
father what has happened?”
Bill noticed Kingsley’s tone with Dudley
was an attempt to bridge the gap between Mr. Dursley and the wizards and
witches. Bill could easily tell that Dudley
had been affected by the events. Even though he had never met Dudley before, he
could see Dudley’s beliefs about Harry were
clearly shaken. Anyone who had looked at Dudley
when Harry managed to say his name could see that he was now struggling to
understand the compassion that Harry possessed, even for someone who, in Bill’s
opinion, didn’t deserve it.
Dudley nodded at the man who had been
talking and started to walk into the kitchen. His father looked as if he wanted
to object but it seemed it was taking all his concentration to walk down the
stairs without letting his anger give him a stroke.
Bill laid Harry onto the couch as the rest of the Aurors and Order members
moved into their assigned positions. Bill kept Harry’s hand in his as he
brushed the hair out of his eyes. He was unconscious now; he had been that way
ever since Tonks had told him Dudley was all
right. Even so, there were still lines of pain etched into his face. A moment
later the front door opened and in stepped Bill’s parents.
Mr. Dursley walked into the kitchen and sank into his chair practically
shaking with fury. “Now Mr. Dursley,” Shacklebolt began, “As you heard me say
just now, we are moving Harry to the hospital as soon as we verify he is stable
enough to move and we are sure we can move him securely.” Mr. Dursley’s face
was practically purple except for the patches of red on his neck.
“I don’t care what condition he’s in, I want him and every one of you out of
here…NOW!” he yelled back. Mr. Shacklebolt made no acknowledgement of his
yelling and responded as if Dursley was being as calm and collected as he was.
“Unfortunately, Mr. Dursley, this situation is under my authority whether
you like it or not. As a courtesy, I am allowing you to be informed as to what
is happening as well as giving you the opportunity to find out what has
happened. However, that information is primarily because of your son’s
eyes widened with a look of terror.
“My son is not involved with you freaks!” he screamed back. Mr. Shacklebolt
looked at the floor shaking his head. It was the first sign he had given that Vernon’s attitude
bothered him in the least.
“Mr. Dursley, it is not my job to fix your self delusions, nor am I
concerned enough with you to correct them. My job is to ensure the safety of
Mr. Potter and your attitude only concerns me as far as it affects Mr. Potter’s
safety and welfare. As it is, he will not be leaving this house until I clear
it. If you can not handle this you will stay in the kitchen until we have
left.” There was a note of finality to this statement that there simply seemed
to be no way of arguing. Mr. Shacklebolt then turned to Dudley
and calmly stated, “Would you like to explain to your father what happened this
The front door opened and Madam Pomfrey rushed in followed by Remus Lupin.
This was the first time Lupin had been inside the Dursley’s home and was
frankly not surprised by the state of it. The same sterile neatness that
presented itself on the outside of the home was inside as well. He looked over
at Harry who was lying on the couch, still unconscious. Bill Weasley was
kneeling next to him.
Bill looked up when Remus entered the room. His lungs felt as though they
had tightened when he looked into Lupin’s eyes. They were the eyes of someone
who has lost time and time again. Even with Sirius and Peter, he had to lose
them both twice. The prospect of losing Harry too seemed to pull all those
Remus approached the couch and knelt down beside Harry. How he wished he
could take this burden away from him. Standing in this house now, feeling the
years of torment that Harry went though. If only he could have been Harry’s
guardian and not these awful people. If only things had been different, he
could have given Harry all the love he deserved growing up. He could have shown
his love and respect for Lily and James by making sure their only son grew up
in a loving home. But it was all too late for that now. Standing there, Remus swore
to himself he wouldn’t let this continue. The Dursleys would never again add to
the pain that already existed in Harry’s life.
Dudley lowered his head and stared at the
table. He could feel his dad’s stare burning into him. “Well?” his dad demanded,
“What did that insufferable, selfish freak do to you?” Mr. Shacklebolt shifted
slightly in his chair. His father may be used to dishing out verbal abuse at
Harry but these people certainly were not about to let it continue in their
presence. Dudley was silently thankful that
Harry wasn’t in the room, he had a feeling Mr. Shacklebolt only refrained from
action because it wasn’t aimed at Harry.
Lupin overheard Vernon Dursley speak to Dudley
as he was walking toward the kitchen. Dursley referred to Harry so horribly in
such a casual tone that it forced Remus to acknowledge that he probably didn’t
fully comprehend the levels of abuse that Harry had most likely endured. He
stepped into the kitchen just as Dudley was
beginning his explanation. Kingsley looked up at Lupin and Lupin simply nodded
for their conversation to continue without him being acknowledged. Dudley looked briefly at Lupin but didn’t seem to like
something he saw and looked back down at the table.
Dudley looked up at the man who had just
entered the kitchen. He looked like he couldn’t have been much older than his
own father but at the same time the man’s eyes and face had the look of someone
who experienced a great deal of pain in his life, making him look much older
than he was. It sent a shiver down his spine. His father followed his gaze but
seemed to lose his backbone and looked back at Dudley,
waiting for an answer.
“Well….” Dudley started again, “see…Piers
spotted Harry in the park. He wanted to see me beat Harry up a bit, like old
times.” Dudley paused for a moment and notice
that again Mr. Shacklebolt shifted a bit, this time exchanging a glance with
the newcomer. Dudley didn’t dare look at him
When Kingsley stole a glance at Lupin after Dudley’s
first confession he could see, in a split-second, fiery, remorse and pain flash
in Lupin’s eyes before returning to an unreadable expression.
“And you thought you’d give it a whirl?” Mr. Shacklebolt asked him,
prompting him to continue.
“Well…not really. I didn’t want to lose face in front of my gang but, in all
honesty I’ve tried to avoid Harry since he came back. Last summer he
seemed…unstable. But this summer he seemed, dangerous.”
“See…that no good Potter. He’s got no right trying to scare my son; he should
have been left in that burning house with his parents!” Mr. Dursley exclaimed.
Apparently the stress of having so many abnormal people in his house, telling
him what to do, made him forget any good sense he may have had.
“Silence!” thundered Lupin. It could be heard loud and clear from the front
room. Everyone, including the guards outside, turned in the direction of the
voice. Lupin had clearly had enough.
Kingsley would havebeen suppressing
a smirk after the look on Mr. Dursley’s face if it weren’t for the horrible
understanding, derived at exactly that moment, of just how awful Harry’s life
was before Hogwarts, or how it had been each summer holiday since he’d started
Before anything else could happen Madam Pomfrey moved into the kitchen and
stopped close to Lupin. She placed her hand lightly on his forearm and
whispered, “He’s almost ready to be moved.” He nodded to her and quietly
responded with a “thank you” before turning back to the group seated at the
“Unfortunately, we do not have the time to hear this from Dudley.
However, I think you agree that you owe it to Harry to show your father the
truth.” Lupin stated, looking at Dudley. He
pulled a miniature bowl, about the size of a tangerine, from his robes. He set
it on the table and tapped it once with his wand. The bowl expanded into the
size of a salad bowl. He then raised his eyes and looked at Dudley.
“I wanted you to think in your mind of the moment when you approached Harry
in the park.” Dudley nodded when he had done so and Lupin placed his wand to Dudley’s temple. As he did this, Mr. Dursley moved to
object but Lupin simply held up his hand. Mr. Dursley didn’t appear to have to
courage to speak after the last time he was silenced.
Lupin placed a silver strand into the small bowl that was obviously a
Pensive. Since it contained no other memories it was probably a “Travel
“Something Dumbledore gave me.” Lupin explained to a confused looking
Only Dumbledore, thought Kingsley, shaking his head slightly and trying to
bite back a smirk but he couldn’t stop the side of his mouth from twitching a
watched in horror as the man touched the silvery substance with his wand and
the strands contorted into an image before him. It was similar to the
television except this was a picture of the neighborhood park. Dudley was just approaching Harry. He saw it all. Harry’s alert posture, his warning to Dudley to leave, the threats
to Dudley’s safety. At this point Lupin
slowed down the memory so Harry’s actions could be seen. Vernon
saw it then, Harry neutralizing the silent man, stepping in front of Dudley and then he heard it. The sound he would never
forget. That scream, that scream could have been Dudley.
He didn’t understand what Harry had done to hurt the other man in the same way
but his scream was terrible. His scream was worse than Harry’s but as soon as
he started to scream, Harry seemed to get worse. It went on for almost two
minutes. Both seemed unable to stop what was happening. That’s when Vernon saw
Dudley, his Dudley, come around to the side of Harry and knock Harry out of the
path of whatever was causing so much pain. This seemed to stop the curse but he
saw that Dudley, for a split second, was hit
with the same pain that Harry had been experiencing.
As Dudley watched the events unfold he
relived every feeling. When he watched himself push Harry out of the way of the
beam of light, he remembered the feeling. He would never forget the sheer
agony. Harry had spent two entire minutes enduring that, Harry had saved him
from that. And he could feel it, whatever Harry had
used to fight the man had made the pain worse, something he could scarcely
Lupin tapped the image, returned the memory to Dudley,
shrank the bowl to its travel size and stowed it in his robes once more. He
then looked directly at Dudley.
“The injuries Harry suffered are quite serious. Some people do not recover
from prolonged exposure to that particular curse. In Harry’s case, though it
was not a long exposure, relatively, the effects of exposure to an amplified
form of the curse are unknown.” Lupin explained
Dudley blinked several times, trying to
process what the man had just said. Lupin smiled slightly before continuing.
“In short, we don’t know if he will be able to fully recover from the injuries
he has. However, any recovery he makes will be a great thanks to you. Had you
not pushed him out of the way, that curse would have continued on much longer.
Thank you.” Lupin nodded to Dudley and
then to Kingsley before leaving the room.
Madam Pomfrey was still fussing over Harry when Lupin entered the front
“Almost ready Poppy?” he asked.
“Well, I feel he’s stabilized just enough to make the trip but the longer
you can wait the better it will be for him.” Lupin nodded and turned to the
“We’ll be leaving here by Portkeys. One will take
Madam Pomfrey and Bill with Harry.” He paused to look and Arthur
Weasley before continuing. “I could use your help, Arthur, with security inside
of Harry’s room.” Mr. Weasley nodded and Lupin turned to Mrs. Weasley, “Molly,
I need someone to pack up Harry’s things upstairs and bring them to Grimmauld Place.” He turned his attention back to
everyone before stating, “We’ll be leaving once Kingsley and I inform the
Dursleys what is going on.” With that Lupin turned and walked to the kitchen.
Kingsley was standing near the kitchen table, consulting a small coin as
Lupin entered. Both Dudley and Mr. Dursley sat in silence, apparently both deep
in thought. Kingsley looked at Lupin and nodded his head once.
“All areas are secure, healers are standing by, portkey locations are ready.”
“Good,” Lupin responded. “Someone will be staying behind to collect Harry’s
things,” he stated to Mr. Dursley, who looked livid that there would still be
“intruders” after Harry was taken away. But he remained silent except for a
small grunt he couldn’t seem to control. Both Kingsley and Lupin left the
kitchen together and returned to the front room.
Kingsley entered the room as he was pulling out various sheets of paper from
his robes, casting spells on each. He handed several to Tonks, one to Bill, and
another to Mrs. Weasley.
“Arthur, I’d like you to stay with Molly while she collects Harry’s things.
Your Portkeys will activate in ten minutes and will
take you to Grimmauld Place.” Mr. Weasley
nodded and followed his wife up the stairs towards Harry’s room.
The hospital was buzzing with activity everywhere except for one entire
floor. Remus Lupin sat in a chair outside the very last door on the left. His
arms were crossed over his chest and he was staring and the floor. He had been
looking at the same imperfection in the tile for ten minutes now but it was
better than pacing back and forth in front of the door, which had given him a
headache. What was taking so long? He thought with a sigh. The mediwizards had been in there for thirty minutes! Just when
Remus thought he couldn’t wait any longer the door opened and five mediwizards emerged. Two pairs were talking in whispers
while the fifth one out tried to give him an encouraging smile. Remus had stood
up and was now facing the door, looking at the remaining mediwizard.
“How is he? Is he going to be okay? Can I see him?” The questions came tumbling out of Remus before he could stop himself. The
mediwizard held out a placating hand.
“We believe he’s going to make a full recovery. But he will need to remain
here for at least two weeks so we can monitor the effects of the spells that
were used. To be honest, we’ve never seen any spell like this before,
especially used in the way it was.” The worry lines on the mediwizard’s
face were deep but Remus couldn’t help but breath a
sigh of relief. He was going to be okay. A long recovery he could handle, but
losing Harry…he wasn’t sure what he’d do.
It was then that Hermione Granger and Ron and Ginny Weasley came rushing
down the long hall, skidding to a halt near Lupin.
“Is he okay?” they asked, practically yelling, in unison. Remus let himself
smile before responding.
“They think he’ll be fine.”
“Professor Lupin?” Hermione hesitantly began, “The spell…did Harry…I mean…is
that why he’s…” Hermione’s eyes were filling with tears as she glanced at the
doorway to Harry’s room, apparently unable to continue to meet Remus’s gaze. Ron put his hand on Hermione’s shoulder.
“It’s not your fault, Hermione,” Ron said, trying to comfort her. But this
seemed to make it slightly worse and her body started to shake slightly.
“Ron’s right,” Remus continued. “There was no way of knowing this could have
happened.” Hermione looked back at Remus.
“But…If I hadn’t told him…I should have…done more research…” She trailed off
again, trying to maintain control of the tears that were threatening to fall.
There was silence for a few moments before Hermione sniffed softly and looked
back up at Remus, “Do you think that this might…be a breakthrough for Harry,
once we work on the spell, for defeating Voldemort?” Despite her guilt,
Hermione’s intellectual curiosity could not be kept at bay. Remus couldn’t help
but smile to himself.
“You know, Hermione,” he began, “I have a feeling that it is.” She smiled
back at this response and the four turned toward the door.
“I’ll be back in a bit to check on him.” The mediwizard responded before
nodding at them and walking back down the hall.
Remus followed Ginny, Ron and Hermione into Harry’s room, allowing a small
glimmer of hope to make his chest tighten.
In spite of everything – things were looking up.
Author’s Note: Thank you Kokopelli, for helping me
with my first story and your patience with all my questions. And
thank you Chris, for listening to hours of me talking about ideas.