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 entered into his bedroom and walked over to the small snake painting on the wall, hissing at it. The painted moved aside to show a small square hole. Harry reached in and pulled out a bag. He hissed at the painting again and it moved to cover the hole. With a sigh of satisfaction, Harry turned and looked at Ron, Severus and Sirius, who had followed him.
Ron looked at the bag and then back at the painting before glancing up at Harry. "I guess no one would ever find your bag, would they?" Ron asked, amused.
Harry grinned. "Why do you think I use the snake painting? I don't want just anyone to get into my secret hiding place."
"What about us?" Sirius asked with a pout. "Don't you trust us?" He had a sorrowful look on his face, his eyes wide with mock hurt.
Harry rolled his eyes. "Yes, Padfoot, I trust you three. If you ever need money or if you need to hide something so that no one else can get to it, you can use my little hiding spot. The password is Susie." Harry smirked at Ron, who began to laugh.
Looking down at the bag, Harry frowned a little. "Maybe we should go back down to the den for this. We'll need to be comfortable before we go start going through the memories."
Sirius looked eager. "I don't think I can wait that long. Let's transfigure some cushions and sit on the floor."
Severus snorted. "I'm a little too old to be sitting on the floor. I think you can wait the few minutes it will take to go downstairs to the den, don't you?" he asked sarcastically.
Sirius crossed his arms and pouted. "If I have to," he said with an indignant sniff.
Harry shook his head at his godfather's antics and walked to the bedroom door. "Well, I'm going to get comfortable while visiting the Pensieves. You guys can do what you want," Harry smirked before walking out of the bedroom.
Sirius looked at the bedroom door and back over to Severus. "You know, that boy is getting a little too big for his britches. I'm tempted to spank him," he said, irritated.
Severus looked thoughtful before sighing regretfully. "I agree, but if we did that, he would get even with us. He is the son of a Marauder."
Ron smirked. "Let's not forget that he also should've been a Slytherin and he is more powerful than the three of us. He may not hurt us, but he would definitely humiliate us."
Sirius pouted. "Fine, I guess we should go to the den." Sirius turned, walked out of the bedroom, grumbling the whole time.
Severus looked over at Ron with a smirk. "I don't think Harry is the one that needs the spanking."
Ron laughed as he followed Severus out of the bedroom.
Harry sat the Pensieves down on the table. He looked at them thoughtfully and wondered what he was going to find. The fact that Dumbledore killed his grandfather made Harry angry. He also realized that he only had Miss Cameron's word on it. While Dumbledore was many things, Harry still had a hard time believing that he was a murderer. The thought that bothered him most was; if Dumbledore killed his grandfather, then did he have anything to do with his parents death?
Could he have killed them and blamed it on Voldemort? He didn't want to believe that, but so many things he thought were true wound up being false, and Dumbledore was in the middle of it all.
Harry looked up as Sirius walked into the room. He sat down on the couch and looked at Harry curiously. "So, what do you think you're going to find?"
Harry shrugged. "I'm not sure. The Pensieves might not even have anything pertaining to Dumbledore in them. They could all be memories from my grandfather. Even if it is, it's still important to me. I like the thought of having something that belonged to my grandfather."
"Surely they have something important in them. Why else would they be protected by the shield?" Ron asked as he walked into the room, followed by Severus. He sat down in the armchair by the fireplace.
"I'm not saying there's nothing important in here, but they could also be a decoy," Harry explained.
"But why?" Ron asked. "There is no way that anyone but you can get into the vault. It's protected by a shield that can only be gotten through with your blood."
"True, but what if my grandfather was worried that Dumbledore would use my father somehow? If James was as under his thumb as they say he was, then Dumbledore could've used him if he hadn't died," Harry said.
Sirius shook his head. "I agree that James respected Dumbledore, he didn't know any different, but he wouldn't have taken him to the family vault. That is personal and it's not shared with anyone but family."
"And if he had no choice?" Harry asked archly.
Severus frowned thoughtfully. "I think you're over analyzing the situation. Look into the Pensieves and find out what is in there. Then you'll know for sure," he said.
Harry sighed. "You're right. I'm starting to over think everything." He looked at the Pensieves in front of him and frowned. Deciding it probably didn't matter which one he started with, he grabbed one and pulled it towards him. Looking up at Sirius, he said, "I need a knife or something sharp."
Sirius transfigured one of the pillows lying on the couch and handed it to Harry. Harry took it and nodded his thanks. He slowly cut his finger and winced at the pain. He laid down the knife and held his finger over the Pensieve. A large drop of blood fell from his finger and landed on the shield. There was a bright flash and the shield disappeared. He healed his finger and took a steadying breath. He was nervous at what he would find. He looked over at Ron, Sirius, and Severus and asked, "You guys want to come?"
They came over to the table and sat down on the floor. They looked at each other a little warily and with a deep breath, they entered the Pensieve.
They were standing in a large room. There were large windows that faced a lovely view of a lake. There was a fire in the fireplace and the logs were popping softly. Harry turned around as the door to the room opened. A little boy of about four ran into the room, followed by a harried blonde woman.
"James, stop!" the woman yelled. The little boy ran around the room, making sure to stay out of the range of the woman. He giggled as he hid behind a large armchair. He peeked around to grin at the woman, his face bright and cheerful. His messy black hair was short and his hazel eyes were glittering with mischief.
"James, you come out from behind that chair now. You need to take your bath. Minsky has the tub filled," the woman said sternly.
"No!" James yelled. "Me don't like bafs," he said with a pout.
A tall man entered the room, stopped as he saw the woman and child in the room. Harry could see him size up the situation and grin at the little boy. "What is my son doing hiding behind the chair?" he asked cheerfully. The man was tall, with the same messy black hair and hazel eyes as his son. Harry grinned as he realized that his hair was definitely a Potter family trait. Harry looked at the man he now knew was his grandfather. Merlin, he took after him as well. He could see the definite family resemblance.
"Your son doesn't want to take a bath," the woman said, exasperated.
"No, mum, me no like bafs," James said with a stamp of his foot.
William chuckled as he walked over to the chair and picked up his son. "Miriam, why don't you get things ready and I'll bring James up to you in a moment," he said with a grin.
Miriam rolled her blue eyes and replied, "All right William, but you had better not forget this time."
William looked at her in mock shock. "Would I do that?" he asked.
Miriam gave him a stern look, although her eyes dancing with merriment. "You know that you would and that you have."
William grinned cheerfully and leaned over to kiss his wife on the cheek. "Ahhh...too true."
Shaking her head with exasperation, Miriam kissed her husband and walked out of the room. William looked down at his son and grinned. "So, you tried to escape the dreaded bath, did you? Sorry son, but you didn't make it this time. You'll have to take your bath or your mother will skin us both alive," he said.
James's eyes widened with shock, "Mummy would do that?" he asked in awe.
William nodded his face solemn. "Oh yes! You know how serious she is about little boys taking a bath," he said.
James pouted and said, "Me no like bafs. They yucky."
William chuckled at the disgusted expression on James's face. "That may be true, but you'll have to take one. Tell you what, you take one tonight without arguing with your mother and Minsky, and I'll take you out on my broom tomorrow."
James's face lit up and his eyes rounded with excitement. "You will?" he squeaked.
"I will," William replied solemnly. James squealed with glee. He threw his arms around his father's neck and hugged him hard. "So, what do you say?" William asked.
James nodded excitedly. "Me be good. Me take yucky baf so that me go fly tomorrow," the little boy said eagerly.
"That's my boy," William stated. He walked out of the room with James chattering excitedly along the way.
Harry's eyes pricked with tears as he watched his father and grandfather walk out of the room. That was what he had wanted in life. He wanted a father who would care for him, a father who would love him. He would have loved to have known his grandfather. From what he had seen in the Pensieve, Harry believed they would have enjoyed each other's company.
"So, did James finally get into the habit of bathing?" Ron asked idly.
Sirius chuckled. "He did, but William always did love telling us about how James would try to escape his nightly bath. I think James was seven before he realized that it was fruitless to escape Mum Miriam," he said with a nostalgic grin.
"What happened to my grandmother?" Harry asked.
Sirius's eyes darkened. "She died in the same attack that killed your grandfather. If Dumbledore did indeed have something to do with William's death, then he also killed Miriam," Sirius said, his eyes cold. "If there was anyone who didn't deserve death, it was Mum Miriam. She was a joy to be around, so full of life and love. Everyone knew she loved to take in strays. She may have only had one child, but she was a mother to all. You would've loved her, Harry. Molly reminds me a lot of her."
"It looks like Dumbledore has a lot to answer for," Harry growled angrily, a twinge of regret coursing throughout his body. He wished he could have known his grandparents.
"Next memory," Severus said quietly. Harry nodded and turned back towards the room. The room swirled and disappeared.
Harry found himself standing in the same room, except there was no fire in the fireplace. William was sitting at the desk, reading the morning paper when the door flew open and a boy ran into the room.
"Dad, I got it!" James exclaimed, his arms waving around. Clutched in his hand was a piece of paper. He ran over to his father and slammed it down on the desk. "Look Dad, I got it!" he said excitedly, his face beaming with joy.
William put the paper down and looked down at his son with a grin. He picked up the paper and read it. "Oh ho! I see that my boy is going to Hogwarts. I told you not to worry, James. I knew you would be going. You're a Potter after all and all Potters have gone to Hogwarts."
"I know," the eleven-year-old boy said. "I wasn't worried."
"Right," William drawled and James's face flushed with embarrassment.
"Well, not much," James said sheepishly.
William chuckled and James's face brightened. "So, when can we go shopping for my stuff?" he asked excitedly.
"I guess we can go today. I don't have anything planned," William said.
James whooped with joy. "All right! Hey, do you think they'll let me take a broom?" he asked.
William shook his head, exasperated. "Apparently you haven't read anything. No first year can take a broom," he said.
James frowned. "Awww man!" he whined.
William chuckled. "Come on, my boy. Let's go shopping," he said as he got out of his chair.
"Whoo hoo!" James crowed. He rushed over to the door and stopped. He turned slowly and looked at his father pensively. "Dad, do you think I'll have any friends?" he asked softly.
William walked over to his son and reached down to tousle his hair. "I think you'll have plenty of friends. You'll make friends at Hogwarts that will last you the rest of your life. They'll be good friends. Don't you worry James, you'll have friends," he said.
James looked at his father with a satisfied expression. "If you say that I will, then I believe I will. Thanks, Dad."
William smiled at James softly and said, "You're welcome, son."
The room disappeared and Harry cleared his throat. He had choked up at the expression of love on his grandfather's face. He felt a hand on his arm and looked up. Sirius was looking at him with an expression of concern. "You all right?" he asked softly.
Harry nodded. "Just realizing what I missed out on."
A look of pain flashed over Sirius's face and he pulled Harry into a hug. "I wish things had been different for you, Prongslet. I wish you had grown up with a family that loved you. Even though that didn't happen, I want you to know that I love you. You're my godson. You're the closest thing I have to a son. While I may not be what you wanted, I'm still your family," Sirius said.
Harry sniffed softly. "You'll always be my family, Padfoot. I just wish that Dad and Mom could've been with us."
"As do I, kiddo. As do I," Sirius said softly.
Three hours and many memories later, Harry sighed in frustration. Neither Pensieve had anything about Dumbledore in them. There was nothing but William's memories of his family. While Harry enjoyed it, the memories didn't help him with the Dumbledore problem.
Looking over at his friends, he said, "I think we need to leave this Pensieve. I don't see anything here that will help us."
"Yes, let's do. I'm tired of seeing memories of James," Severus sneered.
"Don't make me hit you," Sirius growled.
Harry rolled his eyes with exasperation. "Would you two grow up?"
Severus and Sirius glared at each other before looking at Harry. Sirius grinned sheepishly and Severus sneered. Harry shook his head and looked over at Ron, who was looking thoughtful.
"What is it, Ron?" Harry asked.
"I don't understand why your grandfather would go through all the trouble of shielding two Pensieves if there was nothing to show for it. There has to be something here, something that we're missing," Ron explained.
"If there is, then I don't know how to find it," Harry said. "Maybe Miss Cameron was wrong and the evidence got destroyed the night my grandfather died."
Ron frowned and shook his head. "No, we're missing something. I just can't figure it out. Maybe you need something more than just your blood."
Harry thought over what Miss Cameron said and shook his head. "No, there isn't. Miss Cameron said that the evidence could only be retrieved by the blood of the Potter heir."
As soon as the words were out of his mouth, the scene in the Pensieve changed. With a wild whirl, Harry was standing in front of his grandfather. The man looked older and there were lines of tension on his face.
"James, if you're standing here now, then it means that Dumbledore was successful in killing me. I'm sorry that I couldn't be there with you now, son, but I had a job to do. I have hopes that Dumbledore will not find out about me, but if he does, then I want you to use what you find in these two Pensieves and bring that man to justice. I hope that you'll understand exactly what type of man Dumbledore really is. I pray that Dumbledore doesn't get to you as well. I'm sorry that I won't be around to see you and Lily get married. I want you to do everything in your power to protect your children. Dumbledore has plans for you, my son, and I fear for the Potter line, as well as the Gryffindor line," William explained solemnly.
"You know as well as I do, that only a few know about our true heritage. Dumbledore is one of them. He has a plan set into place to gain more power for himself in the Wizarding World and it includes you and your children. There is more to Voldemort than even Voldemort himself knows. Dumbledore plans to use the Gryffindor line to defeat Voldemort, who is the Slytherin heir. What you don't know is that Dumbledore made certain that Voldemort was evil. Tom Riddle had no chance for any other life. The plan was implemented before Dumbledore defeated Grindelwald. Once he realized that there was a Dark Lord to defeat, he did everything in his power to make sure he was the one to defeat Grindelwald."
"He realized that by doing this, it would only further his plans of power. Once Grindelwald was defeated, Dumbledore reveled in the power that came from being the most powerful Wizard in the Wizarding World. That was just a taste; Dumbledore wanted even more power. Then he heard a prophecy about his eventual downfall, so he took steps to insure that he would be invaluable to the Wizarding World once again. It is prophesized that one of the Gryffindor line, marked by the Slytherin heir, will bring down the Bumblebee," William said.
Harry felt chills as he saw the look of fright on his grandfather's face. "I can't emphasize enough how much danger our family line is in. I fear for your life and the lives of any of your children. Do not believe a word that Dumbledore tells you. Voldemort will try to kill you and your children, Dumbledore will see to that. He is only using Voldemort to do his dirty work, and not even Voldemort knows about it. What I am about to tell you is what Dumbledore will have killed me for. Many years ago, the last surviving member of the Slytherin line fell in love with a man. They were together for several years, keeping their liaison a secret from the rest of the world. One day the woman found out that she was pregnant with her lover's child and with great joy, she told him. The man was delighted that she was pregnant as it meant his plans were falling into place. He obliviated her and replaced her memories of their time together with memories of another man, a Muggle," William explained.
Harry began to breathe heavily as he realized where his grandfather was going with this. He couldn't believe the one thought that was crowding his mind. He looked over at Ron, Sirius, and Severus and saw horror on their faces as well. Merlin, he wasn't the only one to understand what William was saying.
"He then obliviated the Muggle and fed him false memories of the woman and their time together. As soon as the man realized that the woman was a witch and was pregnant with his 'child', he abandoned her and the child. The woman died in childbirth and the baby went to an orphanage, where he was continually abused on his real father's orders," William said softly.
Harry inhaled sharply, a feeling of sickness spreading throughout his body as he realized that he was right. Merlin, he was going to be sick. He couldn't believe that....
"Voldemort, aka Tom Marvolo Riddle, is in fact Dumbledore's son," William said.
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