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Thanks to Nancy for her help as always!
FLAMES OF BETRAYAL
Two nights later Dobby went to collect blood from Dumbledore. The house-elf put the old wizard under the Petrificus Totalus spell while he was sleeping and then drew the blood in as painful a manner as possible. Later, he sadly explained to Severus, "I had to heal and obliterate him, even though I wanted him to remember his pain and helplessness. I know that he should have no idea that someone took his blood. I took him by surprise. I didn't want him to know that I was even there."
Severus looked sympathetic. "I understand, but at least you got a bit of revenge. You can feel good about that," he said.
Dobby had nodded cheerfully and disappeared back into the kitchen.
Severus took the blood and disappeared into the lab. Harry had no clue as to what he was doing, but he knew that it had something to do with being able to break the shields that were protecting Remus's memories.
Harry looked over at Sirius, who was talking excitedly to Remus, and frowned slightly. Sirius was Remus's guard since the werewolf was now allowed to roam about the castle. Although Remus gave Harry sad looks and hopeful smiles, the messy-haired man just couldn't get his hopes up. What if he believed that Remus was forced to betray him, only to find out that they were wrong? Harry didn't think he could take the disappointment. His feelings of betrayal were still strong. He just ignored the werewolf, too scared of being hurt in this. If Remus had also been betrayed by Dumbledore, who Harry knew, Remus believed to have been his protector and benefactor since he'd been eleven years old, the man would be devastated.
Harry's head flew up as the door slammed open. Severus stalked into the room, looking smug. "I have found the spell that will dispel the shield around Remus's memories," Severus announced proudly. "This castle has a very large library and I researched some very old, rare books which proved to be fruitful as I have finally found the canceling spell. Harry, you'll have to be the one to do the spell because of your link with Voldemort."
"Okay, so what? I say the magic and presto, Remus's memories are unblocked?" Harry asked curiously.
Severus snorted. "Not hardly. There will be pain involved, of course," he said maliciously as he looked at Remus. He looked back at Harry and grimaced slightly. "With the blood that Dobby got from Dumbledore, it will help, but there will still be significant pain. The spell involves the combining of your blood with Remus's and Dumbledore's blood. In addition, a small potion needs to be added that will aide you with the spell. Once the blood is combined, it is then smeared on your scar. Remus will have to be cut and the blood smeared on the wound. The blood needs to enter his body. Once that is done, you need to utter the spell. At that time, you will probably feel pain as the spell forces its way through Remus's shield."
Harry nodded warily. "All right. As much as I hate the idea of pain, we need to know what Dumbledore did to Remus. Will Voldemort and Dumbledore feel the same pain?" he asked.
Severus smirked. "Oh, Dumbledore and Voldemort should feel more pain than you will since Dumbledore used his blood to set the spell in the first place. Remus will probably feel more pain as well since it's his mind that you'll be entering. Any pain you feel shouldn't be too bad since the spell is only working through your link with Voldemort instead of any blood bond. I'm sorry about that," Severus said quietly.
Harry shook his head. "It's not your fault, Severus. We need to do this. We need to know what Dumbledore is hiding. If there is a chance that he had coerced Remus or any of the other Order members, then I want to know about it and I want to know why!" Harry growled.
Severus nodded, an understanding look on his face. "While I don't care about Remus's pain per se, I'll do what I can for you. I'll have some of the strongest pain relievers on hand. I insist that you take one before you do the spell. Nothing in the potion will interfere with the blood mixture," the Potions Master explained.
"Hey! What about Remus? Shouldn't he have some as well?" Sirius asked, outraged.
Severus looked at him scornfully. "If you insist. Remus is only here because we need information. You may have decided to trust your friend again, but I haven't. I won't until I see for myself that he didn't betray Harry on his own. I would've thought you'd have been a little more wary of who your friends were, but I see that I was wrong. I hope for your sake, your trust isn't misplaced," Severus said coldly.
Sirius opened his mouth to yell at Severus, but he noticed that Harry was watching the two of them warily. He realized that he hadn't really talked to Harry much for the last couple of days. His time had been spent with Remus and Harry wanted nothing to do with the werewolf. Sirius bit his lip and frowned as he realized that he had been neglecting his godson to spend time with someone they weren't even sure of. Sirius looked over at Remus, who looked sad, and realized that he had been so sure of Remus's innocence, that he had ignored those around him, who weren't as trusting. Sirius sighed. "I'm sorry, Harry. I hadn't realized..." Sirius trailed off.
Harry shrugged. "Hey, Remus is your friend," he replied flatly.
Sirius looked at Harry with disbelief. "Maybe, but you're my godson. No one is more important to me than you."
"But you've only known me for a few years while you've known Remus since you were eleven," Harry said.
Sirius's face stormy. "What is that suppose to mean?" he demanded harshly.
Harry shrugged warily. "I'm just saying that you have more history with Remus than you do with me. You've only really known me for a couple of years, and then you were held captive for the last few years. I can understand that you would want to spend time with your...friend," Harry stated coolly.
"Harry James Potter!" Sirius yelled angrily. "If you're trying to say that Remus is more important to me than you are, then you're an idiot. While I care for Remus, you are my godson. You're as close to a son as I'll ever get. While it would hurt me to find out that wasn't Remus was coerced, it would kill me if something happened to you."
Sirius got up from his chair and walked over to Harry. He bent down and grabbed Harry's hands. "There is nothing more important to me than you. I can't reiterate this enough."
Harry looked away from Sirius. He wanted to believe Sirius, he really did, but so much had happened in his life. It was hard to trust anyone. He feared that he'd be betrayed again and he found himself not wanting to place his trust in anyone ever again. Harry bit his lip and looked back at Sirius. "I'm sorry, Padfoot," he said softly. "I'm having a hard time with trusting anyone right now."
Sirius sighed. "I understand, I really do. You have no reason to trust anyone of us in this room, except for the fact -- with the exception of Remus -- that none of us has ever betrayed you. We would never think of doing such a thing. You can bet your ass that if that does happen, then there is something wrong. We know you, Harry. We know what kind of person you really are. We would never betray you. You can count on that," Sirius stated firmly.
Harry glanced up at his brother. Ron looked at him seriously and nodded. Harry gave him a tremulous smile and looked over at Severus. Severus gave him an arched look and Harry could just see his irritation that Harry would even doubt Severus's loyalty. He grinned at Severus and the Potion Master rolled his eyes. He didn't bother looking at Remus. Turning back to Sirius, he smiled. "I'm sorry for doubting you," he said softly.
Sirius hugged him. "Hey kiddo, it's all right. As I said, I do understand. Just don't be so wary of trusting that you never trust anyone."
Harry nodded and pulled back from the hug. He took a deep breath and looked over at Severus. "So, when do we do the spell?" he asked.
Severus looked thoughtful. "Give me an hour to get the potions and set the things up. We'll meet here in the den and do the spell."
"All right. We'll do it in an hour," Harry said.
An hour later, they were all sitting in the den. Harry was nervous. He was anxious about the pain, and what he would learn from Remus's memories. He hoped, for Sirius's sake, that Remus had been coerced. He knew that Sirius needed his friend. Remus was to Sirius as Ron was to him, a brother.
They all waited impatiently as Severus placed a bowl down in the middle of the table. He reached into his pocked a pulled out a vial of red liquid. Harry grimaced when he realized that it was Dumbledore's blood. He watched as Severus opened the vial and poured several drops into the small bowl.
"I need your blood, Harry," Severus said.
Harry sighed and nodded as he reached for the small knife that was on the table and cut his finger. He placed his hand over the bowl and watched as several drops of blood fell into the bowl. He healed the cut and waited as Remus did the same.
Severus mixed the blood together and added a couple of drops of a potion. The blood turned blue and Severus began to chant softly. Harry watched with amazement as the blood began to turn silver. With a tiny flash of light, the blood turned gold and Severus looked satisfied.
"The blood is ready. You two need to drink this potion to minimize some of the pain you'll feel," Severus said as he handed out bottles of red liquid to Harry and Remus.
Harry grabbed his and drank it down, grimacing at the taste. "Blech, tastes like mud," he said.
"Yes, it's not meant to taste good, it's meant to kill pain," Severus retorted archly.
Harry nodded as he felt his body go numb. He hoped this worked, because he really wasn't into pain. From what he'd felt before, he knew that the pain would, most likely, be excruciating. Harry did get a little pleasure from knowing that Voldemort and Dumbledore would be in more pain than he would be. They didn't have advance warning of what was about to happen. Harry grinned viciously at the thought.
"I need you over here, Harry," Severus said, interrupting his thoughts.
Harry got up from the chair and sat down on the floor. He watched as Severus picked up the bowl and carefully smeared a small knife with the changed blood. Severus reached down and carefully smeared the blood over Harry's scar. Harry hissed in pain as his scar flared up from the tingling magic of the changed blood.
"Are you all right?" Severus asked.
Harry nodded. "Yeah. I was just surprised. There's a little pain, but nothing major. I can feel the magic of the blood working on my scar," he explained.
Severus nodded with understanding. He stepped back and looked over at a nervous Remus. "Sit across from Harry," he ordered.
Remus got up from the couch, crossed the room and sat down in front of Harry. He gave Harry a wan smile and the messy-haired man had to repress the urge to comfort him. He wasn't ready to reach out to his old professor yet. He wouldn't think of it until they knew for certain if Remus had been coerced into betraying him. Severus picked up the knife and made a cut on Remus's arm. He then dipped the knife into the blood mixture, smeared the edge of the knife and covered the cut with it. Remus hissed in pain.
Severus set knife and the bowl down. He looked over at Harry. "Are you ready?" he asked seriously.
Harry nodded nervously. He had been over the spell several times and he knew it well. There really wasn't anything keeping him from doing this, except the expectation of the pain. Harry shook off the thought. "I'm ready," he replied.
"We'll be here with you, Harry. I have more pain relieving potion for when this is over," Severus said.
Harry gave Severus a grateful smile. "Thanks."
Severus nodded and took step back. Harry looked over at Remus and asked, "Are you ready?"
Remus shrugged. "As much as I'll ever be, I guess."
Harry grimaced. "Yeah, not really looking forward to pain myself. All right, here we go," he muttered.
Harry pulled out his wand and pointed it at Remus. "Divello Saeptum," he intoned. There was a momentary silence and then a sound of something ripping. Harry and Remus began to scream.
Harry could feel his scar begin to burn then there was a tearing sensation. It was painful. As painful as when Voldemort tortured someone and sent it through the link. Harry had a momentary thought that if this pain were blunted by Severus's pain relieving potion, he would've hated to have done this without it.
He could no longer think. The pain was overwhelming him. He could hear the distant voice of Remus screaming along with him. He could also feel Voldemort in his mind, whimpering as pain filled his mind. He felt a momentary sense of satisfaction at Voldemort's pain before his mind was once more overwhelmed with pain. He heard a loud scream and the pain suddenly stopped. He slumped to the floor and panted. He moaned as someone tried to move him. He felt nauseous and his whole body was hurting.
"Here Harry, you need to drink this," Severus urged as he held out a potion bottle.
Harry groaned as hands helped him sit up. He saw the potion bottle and grabbed it. He drank the pain reliever and sighed in satisfaction as the throbbing in his head and body decreased. He looked over at Remus and frowned, his face faintly concerned when he saw that Remus was lying on the floor, unconscious. Sirius was checking him over.
"What happened?" Harry asked as he nodded towards Remus.
Severus frowned. "We're not sure. You both began to scream for several minutes, and then Remus gave one last scream and collapsed. I'm not sure. It could be that the pain overwhelmed him or it could be something more," he said.
Harry snorted. "I bet it was the pain. It was unbelievable, Severus. I thought I had gotten used to pain when Voldemort invaded our link, but this was more intense. It was as if someone was stabbing hot pokers through my brain. I can't even contemplate what it would've been like without your potion," Harry told him, his expression thankful. He grinned. "I heard Voldemort screaming through our link."
Severus smiled with cold satisfaction. "Yes, I bet the Headmaster was feeling it as well," he smirked.
Harry chuckled. "As I said before, it couldn't have happened to a couple of nicer guys."
Severus snorted, amused. "Are you all right?" he asked, his face expressionless, but his eyes concerned.
Harry nodded. "Yeah, I feel a little woozy and my head is still throbbing some, but its fine."
"Good," he stated. "Now, I'm going to check on the werewolf." The Potion Master walked over to Remus and waved his wand over the unconscious man. A slight glow
surrounded him and Severus frowned at whatever he was seeing. "There is nothing physically wrong with him. There are some odd readings though. I see a ripple in his magic, but I'm not sure why."
Remus groaned. Severus took a step back just in time as Remus's eyes flew open and he lunged for Severus. His eyes were glowing gold, and he was snarling.
"Crap!" Sirius yelled.
Harry jumped up and pointed his wand at the snarling man. "Stupefy," he yelled. When the spell hit Remus, he went down fast.
"What the hell was that?" Ron asked, shocked.
Severus frowned as he took a step forward and examined Remus. "I think the wolf was released when Harry did the spell. Remember, it appeared that Dumbledore had bound the wolf within Remus. You must have released more than just the barrier around his memories. I wonder what else Dumbledore did to him. I think the wolf was a little angry," Severus said blandly.
Harry looked at him with disbelief. "You think? What was your first clue? The glowing eyes or the snarling?" he asked.
Severus smirked. "Maybe I just bring out the worst in people," he said whimsically.
Harry snorted, amused. "Oh, you're not getting a denial here."
"So, what do we do with him?" Sirius asked.
"Dobby, take him up to his room and make sure you secure it. I don't want to give him an opportunity to escape before he calms down. Until that happens, we'll have to put off looking at his memories. There is no way I'm going to enter the mind of an angry wolf," Severus said.
Dobby walked over to Remus, reached down, and gently picked up the stunned man. He popped out of the room, taking the werewolf with him.
"Damn," Harry cursed. "I was hoping to find out more tonight."
"Give it time, Harry," Sirius said.
Harry laughed grimly. "Sirius, time is not something we have. Dumbledore is going to know what we did tonight. He's going to take steps to protect himself," he said. "We need all the time we can get."
"Yes, Dumbledore will not be happy that he has lost another pawn in his little game," Severus stated. "I fear for those who will get in his way now. I have a feeling that the gloves are going to come off soon. No one is safe."
Harry felt a chill creep up his spine. He wasn't ready. He was nowhere near ready, but that didn't seem to make any difference. The only protection they had right now was that neither Dumbledore nor Voldemort knew where they were hiding.
That didn't give Harry any comfort. It was only a matter of time before he had to face Dumbledore or Voldemort and Harry was scared.
Divello -vellere -velli -vulsum (-volsum) [to pluck apart, tear asunder, break up, destroy, interrupt; to distract, pull away, remove, separate].
Saeptum - a wall, enclosure, a barrier
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