Harry was sent to Azkaban and was later found to be innocent. With the help of Ron, he will find out who his true friends are. Will he forgive those who betrayed him? Will he be able to let the wor...
Disclaimer: I do not nor will I ever own the Harry Potter story, characters, villains, heroes and creatures. I also sadly do not make any money off this story. Trust me; my bank account cannot lie about that.
Thanks to Nancy for her help as always!
FLAMES OF BETRAYAL
"Harry," Ron called out to his brother.
Harry stopped, turned around and gave him a questioning look. "Yeah?" he answered.
"I got a letter from Percy. He says that Lizzie has finally gotten you a meeting with the Head of the Watchers," Ron explained.
Harry's expression brightened. "She did, did she? That's great. When do they want to meet?" he asked.
"Percy says that if you're free later today, you can meet with them. You need to let him know when and where."
"Well, I refuse to meet them at the Ministry. I don't want to take a chance of Lizzie and Percy getting into trouble. I'm pretty sure that Dumbledore is having Lizzie watched, especially since he knows her opinion of him," Harry mused thoughtfully.
Ron nodded. "Good idea. So how do you want to do it?" he asked.
Harry shrugged. "I think Dobby should bring them here. Maybe pop them into a secure room until we figure out if they're really who they say they are. I doubt Lizzie or Percy will betray us, but they can be tricked just as much as anyone."
"All right, I'll let Percy know that you agreed to the meeting," Ron said. He smiled at Harry, turned, and made his way to the den to write his brother.
"Dobby," Harry called out.
Dobby appeared in front of Harry. "Yes, Harry?" he asked.
"I need you to go to the Ministry and bring back some guests. Be sure to pop them into a secure room. I want you to check them over for any tracking spells and any other spells that might be on them. Percy has owled Ron informing him that Lizzie was finally able to get a meeting with the head of the Watchers group," Harry informed him.
Dobby nodded. "I can do that. What time is the meeting?" he asked.
Harry shrugged. "Ron said sometime today. You'll have to ask him when it is. Let me know before you leave. I still have to pack some things for our visit to the cavern," he paused and looked at Dobby with a gentle smile. "Have I told you how much I appreciate your doing this for me, for all of us?" he asked.
Dobby's face reddened slightly and he got a bashful look on his face. "I saw you practically killing yourself trying to learn everything you needed to know. I couldn't just stand by and watch you do that. I was just glad that the Council agreed to it," he explained.
"Well, regardless of the reason, I appreciate it alot. I actually have time to learn without stressing myself out."
Dobby smiled. "You're welcome, Harry. Now, I'm off. I have to run an errand for Sage," he said with a smile.
"Sage?" Harry asked, surprised. He was amused to see the small elf blush.
Dobby cleared his throat, a wide smile on his face as he said, "Yes, Sage. We have been spending a lot of time together lately."
Harry grinned. "Why, Dobby, do you have a girlfriend?" he teased.
The house-elf giggled and looked bashful. "We are just friends for now. The En Golodh have a long courtship. As of now, we are seeing if we are compatible. If we decide that we are, then we will enter a year long courtship before becoming handfasted. The handfasting will last six months. If by then, we decide that we are in love with each other, then we will bond. The bond will last until one of us dies. The En Golodh do not mate with just anyone," Dobby informed him.
"Interesting," Harry mused. "What about children?"
"Only a bonded pair can have children. Unlike humans, who can have children with any female, even if they do not love or are not bound to her, he En Golodh must be bound. Only when there is a sharing of magic between two elves can they have children."
"So, you don't...er...well...um...," Harry began to stammer. He blushed, his face red with embarrassment as he tried to find a way of asking the delicate question without offending Dobby.
Dobby looked amused. "The En Golodh can have recreational sex, if that is what you are asking. There just won't be any children from the unions."
Harry cleared his throat nervously. He grinned weakly. "Right, well, I hope things work out for you and Sage. I like the thought of little elflings running around," he said.
"As do I," Dobby replied. He nodded to Harry and disappeared.
Harry stood in the middle of the hallway, musing over the differences between elves and humans. Shaking his head to clear his mind, he made his way to his room to finish packing.
Sirius entered the room and smiled at seeing Harry humming as he packed to go to the cave. He hadn't seen Harry this happy in days, and he'd be forever grateful to Dobby for getting Harry the help he needed, both in training and with the elven warriors the Council would provide. Sirius' mood got even better as he contemplated having the time to teach Harry everything he knew - he couldn't wait to get started.
"Hey, Prongslet," Sirius greeted.
Harry looked up and grinned at his godfather. "Hey, Padfoot," he replied. "All packed?"
"Yep. Are you packing everything?"
Harry shook his head. "No, I'm bringing several sets of clothes, some books, my broom, the pensieves that I found in my vault, and my wand. I figure if I need anything else, I can just come back or send Dobby to get it."
"Hey, did you ever ask Dobby about the time differences in the cave?" Sirius inquired.
"Yeah. He said that a year will pass inside the cave for every week that we are there. Imagine, learning everything I need to know in three weeks or three years, depending on how you want to look at it. I can't tell you how relieved I feel knowing that I have time to learn. Dobby even said that he would teach us some of elf magic. He doesn't expect us to learn much since our magic is different, but it should be enough for a distraction in a battle. Tonks and I have decided that we'll meet twice the first week we are in the cave. After that, she's going to be spending a week in the cave with us so that I can refine my Magical Sight. Er...week outside time. That's kind of confusing."
"That's good. I don't have a clue if Voldemort has Magical Sight or not, but it would be useful if you developed the ability to see spells as they are cast, or hell, maybe you can work it that you can see it before. It would be good for you to know in a fight. It's nice to have something up your sleeve. Hey, will we age while we're in the cave?" Sirius asked.
Harry nodded. "Yeah, we will. Dobby said that there is no way that they can get around that. Hell, the En Golodh live for several hundred years, a few years in the cave isn't going to make much of a difference."
Sirius smirked. "You know, while we're in the cave, we'll have to train you to fight without a wand. I think with the right exercise program, we can get you fit. Imagine Voldemort and Dumbledore's surprise when they face a strong warrior instead of a weakened boy. I hope I'm there to see their faces."
Harry laughed. "I think I'll enjoy that."
"So, what are you going to do after this?"
"I dunno. Did Ron tell you about the meeting with the Head of the Watchers?" Harry asked and Sirius nodded. "I'm not sure when the meeting will happen, but as soon as they get here Dobby will let me know. I guess I can fly for a while. I haven't really had time lately, what with all the lessons. I would help Severus with the potion, but I suck at potions," he said sheepishly.
Sirius snorted, amused. "Yeah, I really don't think Severus would appreciate your help. Is he staying here for awhile?"
"Yeah. He doesn't want to leave his potion. I told him that once it was done, he needed to come to the cave to take it. No one has ever taken it before so I don't want him to be alone. Plus, he needs me to take off the ring."
"Mmm..." Sirius hummed absently. "You know, I never thought I would ever be friends with Snape. After everything that happened while we were at Hogwarts, I was sure that we would be bitter enemies until the end." He snorted bitterly. "It's amazing what happens when you know the whole story. I never would've thought that the Headmaster would've manipulated us like he did, but then, I never thought the Headmaster would keep me prisoner for two years either."
"I know what you mean. I blamed him for your death, along with Severus and myself. No matter how hard he tried, after your supposed death, I didn't have anything to do with him beyond Hogwarts. I refused to learn Occlumency from Severus, since I blamed him as well. I had to threaten Dumbledore that I would write a letter to Voldemort and the Ministry, telling them about Severus if he forced me to take lessons from him again," Harry told him.
Sirius eyes widened with surprise. "I'm surprised he didn't try to force you. There are several spells and potions that can force someone to do what he wanted."
Harry smirked. "Yes, but I'm not affected by the Imperius curse. In addition, the other spells would be ruined by the Legilimens spell. Since I can break the Imperius curse, I assume he thought that the lessons would weaken whatever hold they would've had on me. He wasn't happy, but he couldn't really force anything since he didn't want anyone to know about the lessons. Our relationship went downhill from then on. He didn't even pretend to be happy with me."
"What did Severus think?" Sirius asked.
Harry shrugged. "I'm not sure he even knew what happened. I imagine the Headmaster wouldn't want anyone know that a kid outsmarted him," he said, amused.
"Oh, he was angry, thank you very much," Severus replied, overhearing the comment. He walked into the room and gave Harry a mock glare. "I can't decide whether to be proud of your Slytherin tactics or angry because it wasn't the most delightful time after you told him no."
"Oh? What did he do?" Harry inquired.
Severus paused and frowned, his expression grim. "Let's just say that the Dark Lord isn't the only person to torture his minions with the Cruciatus Curse," he answered shortly.
Harry's eyes widened with shock. "He tortured you," he breathed softly. "Merlin, Severus, I'm sorry."
The Potions Master shrugged. "It wasn't the most enjoyable experience, but I have to admit that I found some pleasure in seeing him angry because of you. I may not have liked you, but anyone who could get one over on Dumbledore had some of my respect," he said, his gaze proud.
Harry blushed and looked down at the floor. He lifted his eyes shyly to Severus. "Thanks."
Severus nodded and Sirius gazed at them thoughtfully. This was something he never thought he would see, let alone be part of. Who knew that Severus and Harry would ever be friends?
"Harry, what would you have done if Dumbledore tried to force you to take the lessons? Would you have sent a note to Voldemort or the Ministry?" Sirius asked.
Harry looked thoughtful before nodding. "Yeah, I probably would've. I would've regretted it later, but at the time, I was so angry and grief stricken. I thought Severus was partly responsible for your death and I hated him. I would've done anything to make him miserable. I'm just glad that I didn't," he answered sheepishly.
"And I thank you as well," Severus said wryly.
Dobby popped into the room suddenly and smiled at everyone. He looked at Harry and said, "I'm leaving to bring back your guests."
"Now?" Harry asked, surprised.
Dobby nodded. "I'll be putting them into the suite on the second floor, with the angel portrait in it. Sage and I added some wards around the room and a very powerful locking spell that will only allow you, Ron, Sirius, Severus, and Remus in or out of the room. "
"All right. Let me know when you get back," Harry said.
Dobby nodded and disappeared.
"I wonder who the head of the Watchers is," Severus mused thoughtfully.
Harry shrugged. "I don't know, but I hope he or she can help. While we have the elves to help, I would like some actual Wizards as well. I wonder if I can get the werewolves," he wondered.
Sirius blinked. "Er...aren't the werewolves siding with Voldemort?" he asked.
Severus shook his head. "There is a small group that is siding with him, but the larger part of the werewolf community refuse to help the Dark Lord," he replied.
"What about Dumbledore?" Sirius inquired.
Harry smirked. "They won't help Dumbledore either. They don't trust him to help them with their cause. They can smell when someone is lying."
"Their cause?" Sirius asked.
Severus rolled his eyes and sighed. "You're friends with a werewolf and you don't even know about their cause?"
Sirius looked indignant. "Well, excuse me, but I've been out of touch for several years," he snapped.
"Out of touch is right," Severus mumbled.
"Hey!" Sirius yelped.
Harry shook his head. It didn't matter that Sirius and Severus had called a truce and were becoming friends, they would always mock and belittle each other. The only difference was that there wasn't an edge of hate in their voices. They did it because they each found it enjoyable.
"Their cause," Harry began, interrupting the insults, making both men pout at him, "is to find their place in the Wizarding World, same as the elves. They want the laws against werewolves to be repealed; at least the ones about having jobs, getting married and having children. Dumbledore made them vague promises, but they didn't believe it so they refused to side with him."
"How do you know about this? I thought you just got out of Azkaban?" Sirius asked, confused.
Harry sighed, looked at Severus and shook his head sadly. "I talked to Remus, Padfoot. While we may not be the friends that we once were, he is still a fount of information. I wanted to know what was going on in the world and with the Order. You really should take the time to talk to him."
Sirius crossed his arms over his stomach and pouted. "I talk to him," he whined.
"Yes, but this time, make sure it's more than just about the old days. I'm afraid they are gone," Severus commented.
Sirius sighed. "Fine, if I have too. I hate being responsible," he muttered.
"Really?" Severus inquired sarcastically. "Because I never would've noticed."
Harry snickered and went back to packing while Sirius and Severus continued their bickering.
Tonks walked into the Den, an absent look on her face. Harry looked up her, concerned.
"Hey, Tonks," he greeted.
"Wotcher, Harry," Tonks replied absently.
"Is something wrong?" Harry asked, his eyes worried.
Tonks frowned a little. "I'm not sure. Mad-Eye hasn't shown up for work for the last three days. I don't know why. You know that he never leaves without someone knowing where he went in case something happened."
"Was he on a case?" Harry asked.
Tonks bit her bottom lip thoughtfully before shaking her head. "No, not that I know of, but then again, I don't know everything that Moody works on. It's just odd for him to be gone this long without any contact."
"Ummm...it does seem a tad odd for him. He's the most paranoid Auror we have. He's always been strict about checking in. You might have to check around discreetly to see what's going on, but I'm sure everything's fine. He might be doing something for the Order," Harry replied, his voice a tad bit bitter.
Tonks looked at him, surprised. "Harry," she began softly.
Harry raised his hand, stopping her. "I know I'm not supposed to blame everyone in the Order, but it still bothers me tremendously that they did nothing. Surely, not everyone is under Dumbledore's thumb. I had to have had more support than just you and Remus. I thought after the lessons Moody gave me that he might've at least thought of me as a student, if not a friend, but I guess not."
"Harry, as far as I know, Moody didn't do a thing against you."
Harry snorted. "Maybe, but he sure in the hell didn't do anything to help me either."
"I'm sorry," Tonks whispered.
Harry sighed and shrugged. "It's not your fault, Tonks. It's just the way things worked out. It doesn't matter right now. I have other things to worry about besides the Order. So, did you get the time off to come to the cave next week?"
Tonks smiled brightly. "I sure did. I told them that I would be visiting Paris for a nice relaxing vacation. I can't wait; I have so much to teach you. I get to spend a year with you, Remus and Sirius. It should be fun."
Harry laughed. "Only you would think a year of training would be fun. You really need to get out more. Get a hobby, find a man."
Tonks looked at him slyly. "Why Harry, what makes you think I haven't? I don't spend a year with just anyone. Think of all the time we'll have together. As I said, I have so much to teach you," she said, her voice husky as she ran her fingers down Harry's face.
Harry's eyes were wide and panicked. He took a step back, looking longing towards the door of the Den. "Er...Tonks...not that I don't like, because I do, but um...well...you're really pretty, but I'm not...sorry, I can't...I don't..." he began to stutter.
Tonks waited a moment before she broke into laughter. "Oh Merlin, Harry. You're too easy," she cried as peals of laughter fell from her lips.
Harry sighed with relief before frowning, his eyes wounded. "You mean, you don't like me?" he whispered softly, his eyes on the ground.
Tonks stopped laughing, her eyes round. "Er...well...oh, Harry. I didn't mean...I'm so sorry," she said softly. Her heart clenched in her chest as she saw his shoulders begin to shake. She had just been teasing him. She hadn't meant anything serious by it, but she had forgotten his time in the Azkaban and the betrayal of his friends. She just hoped that her teasing didn't hurt him. She took a step forward to touch him when he raised his head as gazed at her, his eyes wide with mirth. His was biting his lips trying to repress his laughter. At her expression, he lost it.
"Who...is...the...easy...one...now?" he asked, barely getting the sentence out.
Tonks's face grew stormy and she stamped her foot. "Damn it, Harry. I thought I had hurt your feelings."
"Please, Tonks, I'm not that fragile. I know you don't like me like that," Harry said as he wipes the tears of laughter from his face. "Besides you deserved it for teasing me."
Tonks rolled her eyes before saying, "Maybe."
"Come on. Let's go get some lunch. I seem to be a tad bit hungry. I think I have to console myself with food," Harry teased as they walked out of the room.
"Very funny," an irate Tonks sneered.
Harry's laughter was heard as they made their way down the hall.
Neville and Luna waited impatiently for their 'mutual friend' who would take them to Harry. A letter had arrived with a portkey that took them to unfamiliar house. They had been there an hour and no one had come. Wards surrounded the house so they could not leave.
Neville felt uneasy. He didn't like the fact that they couldn't leave the house. He had been stupid to use an unknown portkey. The letter could have been sent by anyone. Several of the old DA members could've told anyone that Harry had taught the club and how they were contacted. He was so eager to find Harry that he didn't take into consideration that it might've been someone other than Harry.
There was a noise at the door and Neville looked up. Luna had a tight grip on his hand and he could feel her slightly shaking with nerves. He patted her hand softly and gave her a wan smile. He gaze went towards the door and he sighed with relief when he saw Mad-Eye Moody walk through the door. He didn't have a lot contact with Moody, but according to Harry, Moody was a decent guy, if not a little paranoid.
"Mad-Eye Moody. I have to tell you, I'm a little surprised to see you. I thought for sure that it was Ron that had written the letter," Neville said.
Mad-Eye stared at them, his false eye whirling around wildly. He gave them a smile that looked more like a grimace, raised his wand and yelled, "/Crucio/."
The lessons from DA were still in his head and Neville responded automatically. He pushed Luna off the couch and threw himself down on the ground. He grabbed his wand.
"/Stupefy/," Neville yelled as he cast the spell towards Moody.
The old Auror ducked behind a chair and the spell missed. Spells were exchanged for several minutes and neither side got in a hit.
"Moody, why are you trying to hurt us? I thought we were on the same side," Neville yelled as he ducked again as a spell flew over his head. He looked over at Luna, who was peaking out from behind the couch, her wand in her hand. He sighed; she was safe; at least for now.
"You two saw something ya shouldn't have. I'm here to take care of a loose end," Moody growled gruffly.
Neville frowned. What did he mean? The only thing they had seen was...oh. Neville swallowed hard. Somehow, Dumbledore knew that they had seen him raping Hermione's mind. The uneasy feeling was back; He knew he couldn't win against the Auror. Mad-Eye Moody was known for getting his man. Neville worked at a greenhouse, for Merlin's sake. He didn't keep up with the fighting spells. He was going to die. Luna was going to die. Neville's eyes hardened with determination. Not if he could help it. If he had to die protecting his girlfriend, then he would.
He was brought out his thoughts by the smell of smoke and heat. He looked up and saw the chair he was hiding behind was on fire from one of the spells that Moody cast. With a yelp, he jumped away from the chair. He never saw the green light of the spell that hit him. He never saw the horrified look on Luna's face as she saw her boyfriend fall to the ground, dead.
She began to shake. Neville was dead and she would soon be also. Betrayed by a man who was on the side of the Light.
"Come out, lassie. If you do, it'll be all that quicker for you," Moody called out.
Luna swallowed as she decided what to do. With a small whimper, she came out from behind the couch and stood. Her face was defiant as she stared at the scarred Wizard. She didn't want to die, but she didn't want to live in a world that didn't have Neville in it.
"Good choice, lassie," Moody said as he raised his wand.
"You'll get yours, Mad-Eye Moody. Harry Potter is going to defeat Voldemort and Dumbledore and your time will come," Luna intoned her voice dreamy.
Mad-Eye laughed gruffly. "Maybe, but you won't be here to see it."
Luna closed her eyes as the Wizard raised his wand. I love you, Neville and I'll be with you soon, she whispered to herself.
There was thud as a body fell to the ground.
Dobby popped in the room and looked around for Harry. The messy-haired Wizard was sitting with Ron and Sirius, laughing. Dobby smiled as he saw the relaxed and cheerful grin on Harry's face. Dobby nodded to himself, glad that he had made the decision to approach the Elders.
He made his way over to the small group and cleared his throat to get their attention. Harry looked up and smiled at the house-elf.
"Hey, Dobby. Whatcha need?" Harry asked.
"Your guests are here. Mr. Weasley and Ms. Cameron, plus two others," Dobby replied.
The smile left Harry's face and a pensive look came to his eyes. "Right, then. Go get Severus and Remus if you would. I think its time that we talk to the Head of the Watchers. Were they clean?" Harry asked, wondering if there had been any spells on their guests.
"They were clean."
Harry sighed and got to his feet. He looked over at his brother and his godfather, a question on his face. "Well, gentlemen, should we greet our guests?"
"Indeed," Sirius said flatly. He had been enjoying the carefree moments with his godson and he hated to see the cheerful look disappear. He made a vow to make time for some fun while they were in the Teaching Caves.
The three waited until Severus and Remus joined them in the Den before making their way to the suite. Dobby had already gone up to make sure the guests were secure. A few minutes later, they reached the room. Harry opened the door and they walked in. Dobby was standing near the door, five wands in his hands. Harry smirked. Apparently, someone had an extra wand. Dobby wasn't going to take any chances with their safety.
Percy was standing by Lizzie. They smiled at Harry and his friends and Harry grinned. Harry looked past them and his eyes widened with shock. He couldn't believe it, but yet somehow, it made perfect sense.
"Mad-Eye Moody," he greeted a wry grin on his face.
"Laddie!" Moody replied, a smirk on his face. "I'm sure this is a surprise."
Harry laughed. "Funny enough, not so much," and Moody's laughter joined with his.
Harry's laughter trailed off as a figure stepped out from behind Moody. The person had a cloak on with the hood up. He couldn't see who it was, but suddenly he felt very uneasy. He stared intently as the figure stopped, and slowly raised his hands up to the hood. He pulled it back and smiled serenely at the stunned room.
"Dumbledore!" a shocked cry went out.
Luna opened her eyes with a sense of disbelief. She wasn't dead. Why wasn't she dead? She looked over to where Moody had been standing, looking at the downed body with a sense of shock. What happened?
There was a noise by the door and she slowly looked over. She froze and began to weep as she realized she had been saved.
"Luna? Are you okay?" a worried voice asked her.
She continued to cry silently as she turned to look down at Neville's body. She heard a gasp of shock and small cry as the figure bent down to check him.
"Oh, Neville. I got here too late. I'm so sorry," she whispered. Hermione stared down at the dead body of her friend, her face filled with grief.