(Actual Chapter Title) 18: Apology Not Fucking Accepted
"Two threads are side by side; sharing an anchor, they are analogous. Observation will be required determine if they are Component, Solidary or Symbiotic. Difficulties may be encountered in the absence of frequent traffic or proximity. Lacking constant broadcast, there is no immediate delineation without simultaneous traffic."
Harry woke up at an indeterminate time after midnight. It was too dark to see his watch, and he knew he had left the door open a bit when he'd come back from the loo. That left him rolling out of bed sometime before sunrise.
He was thirsty, mostly. He yawned as he descended the steps with his lit wand held out before him. The pale light cast leaping shadows from the banister, flitting across the walls, and he was struck by the sudden memory of headlights projecting the same dark, scrolling shapes from his window at the Dursleys', when it had been barred. Thanks to Sophie's cleaning efforts the sight was a bit less threatening than it would have been in the past. The décor remained oppressive, but at least it didn't look abandoned any more.
Near the bottom of the steps he could see the warm glow of lamplight shining from the kitchen. He extinguished his wand and descended into the light, wondering who else was up and about.
Scott was rummaging through the cupboards, digging about the food and making quite a racket with the bags of crisps he was pulling out. He was barefoot and dressed in a pair of boxers and a t-shirt that looked like it might have been white at some point but had since turned grey. Despite such a state of undress, his M14 rifle was slung across his back.
He quickly looked around when Harry entered the room, only to turn away, incurious, when he saw who it was. "Hey, have you seen my nacho chips?" he asked with his head back in the cupboard.
Harry had not expected to find Scott. The sight of him sent Harry's anger leaping in his chest, tensing his muscles and curling his fingers. He tried to tamp it down. "What are you doing?"
"I'm starving, man. Got the munchies, need some calories to burn."
"I think Ginny ate your crisps," Harry said with a certain amount of satisfaction.
"Aww, what?" Scott dropped his forehead against the cupboard bottom with a thump. "Why would she do that? No, wait. It's because nacho chips are awesome."
Harry watched in silence as Scott continued to rummage through the cupboard, perhaps clinging to the vain hope that Ginny hadn't eaten the crisps. Harry needed to confront Scott and he almost didn't know where to start. The Kharadjai had been out of action for long enough that the grievances had seemed to compile, long enough that Harry had discovered an entirely new one that almost overrode the others. If it was the truth. Some part of him wanted to give Scott the benefit of the doubt, but it was difficult to do so when Scott's history of omission, even more than the evidence, was so damning.
They had, after all, just survived a mission in which Scott had directly lied to all of his Primes. Not the best way to maintain trust. Harry was still deeply unhappy at being cut out of the battle, but at least he could understand Scott's reasoning, even if he didn't agree with it. But the mental link with Voldemort? If Scott had truly been blocking it, without ever saying a word, then Harry just couldn't abide that. God only knew what vital information might have been lost through such an action.
"Sit down," Harry said, his acidic anger coursing with his thoughts.
Scott withdrew his head from the cupboard. "What?"
"Sit down. I want to talk to you."
Scott's mouth twitched as if he was going to smile, but when his gaze met Harry's, his mouth flattened and his eyes narrowed. "About what?"
"What do you think? Take a wild guess," Harry said harshly.
Scott dropped the tin he was holding and raised a questioning eyebrow. "Are you still mad about the radio thing?"
As a matter of fact, Harry was, but that wasn't the present issue. He pointed at his scar. "About this."
Scott's other eyebrow shot up. "Okay. Not something we've really talked about before, but…"
"How long have you been blocking Vol—"
"—Riddle from my mind?" Harry said angrily.
"How long have I what?"
"Been blocking Riddle! Through the scar!" Harry shouted, enraged by Scott's dedication to playing dumb. "Do you have any idea what you've done, do you have any fucking ideaat all? We might have found them all by now, we might have saved more—"
"Harry, if you don't start making sense—"
"You'll what?! What?!"Harry snarled. "Lie to me some more? Cut me out of the fight? Muck about with my FUCKING head?!"
"Sure, I'll start with this fork! C'mere, maybe a fork lobotomy will calm your ass down—"
"Just tell me!"
"Tell. You. WHAT?"
"THE TRUTH!" Harry bellowed.
"Time OUT!" Scott yelled, making a gesture that formed a 'T'. "I feel like we've done this before. Let's try something different: fuckin' tell me what you want."
It took every ounce of willpower Harry had, but he reigned in his fury. "This. This is my curse scar, I got it from the Killing Curse," he said through gritted teeth as he pointed again at his scar.
Scott crossed his arms and nodded. "I know."
"It gives me a mental connection with Riddle, and I can see through his eyes when he broadcasts, which is how I saw Mr Weasley get bitten and was tricked into going to the Department." Harry's voice was already rising again.
"Then do you also know why it so happens to be that I haven't had a single vision since you decided to take over my life?" Harry seethed.
Scott just stared at him. "What are you suggesting?"
Harry looked him right in the eye, searching Scott's face for even the smallest sign of falsehood. "Have you been blocking Riddle from my mind?"
Scott's face contorted in scornful disbelief. "No, I haven't. I don't even know what that would look like, a thread like that would have been…" He froze.
Watching the realisation come into Scott's eyes was all the confirmation Harry needed. "You cunt. You absolute, sodding cunt," he said, his voice shaking with rage. "Have you ever been my friend at all? Why couldn't you just fucking stay gone! Or better yet, actually done your fucking job, because we would all rather have Dumbledore, anyway!"
"Go fuck yourself, I don't need this."
"You don't even get it, do you? You think you're right, you always think you're right, you're NEVER wrong! We might have had the Horcruxes already, we could be done, but no — you had to go fucking with everything, always, thinking you know what you're doing when you know nothing at ALL. How much time did we waste because of you? How many people are DEAD now because I DIDN'T KNOW IT WAS HAPPENING?!"
"How many of us are alive now because you didn't run head-first into a trap? Or did you have another godfather to spare?" Scott said in a tone like ice.
If Harry could have found the presence of mind, he'd have throttled the life out of Scott right then and there. He had to leave; he couldn't look at Scott for a second longer. He turned and staggered up the stairs, brushing through the stunned cluster of his friends that he hadn't even noticed gathering behind him.
"Harry, I'm sorry," Scott called after him.
Harry didn't even spare him a glance.
When Harry fled back upstairs, Ron and Ginny followed him. Hermione stayed where she was, meeting Sophie's eyes. They reached a silent agreement, and Sophie put her arms around Kylie's shoulders and led the girl back towards her room. In the past, Hermione would