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
"How's Remus?" Harry asked as he sipped his tea.
"I checked on him an hour ago and he's still raging. The wolf seems particularly angry. He's destroyed nearly everything in the room. The comforters were ripped to pieces, the furniture overturned or destroyed. It's hard to imagine him having that much strength until you see it," Sirius said softly.
"Um...any reason as to why the wolf is so angry?" Harry asked.
Sirius shrugged. "Severus seems to think that Dumbledore did something to it or it's just mad for being messed with. I'm not sure. Severus has a particular fear of Remus's wolf and has decided to wait until he calms down," he replied.
"It's been over four hours now. How much longer do you expect him to rage?" Harry demanded impatiently.
"Not sure, but if it's too much longer, I'll drug the man myself. We need to know what's going on and soon," Sirius commented.
Harry sighed softly. "You know that Dumbledore is going to figure out what's happening. He's not going to wait for us to be ready. Not only do I have to face Voldemort, but I also have to face Dumbledore. My power, while apparently immense, still needs to be refined. I was lucky that Fawkes grounded my power when we bonded, but I still have spells that I need to learn. I missed a year; a year that I needed. How do people expect me to take care of everything if I don't even know what I need in order to do it?" Harry asked, frustrated.
"Hey, don't worry, kiddo. Severus and I will teach you. Maybe Remus as well, if things work out," Sirius murmured thoughtfully.
Harry grimaced. He wasn't sure if he wanted Remus to teach him. True, the man had been the best Defense of the Dark Arts teacher he'd ever had, but things were still tense between them. Of course, he was going to have to put aside hard feelings and learn. That is, if Remus had been coerced.
There was a pop and Dobby appeared in front of them. "The werewolf is asking for you," he stated solemnly as he gazed at Harry.
Harry sat up, his expression surprise. "Me? Has he calmed down?" he asked.
Dobby nodded. "Yes, he's doing better. He still growls some, but the rage is gone. I have cleaned up his room and he is cleaning himself up. He told me to tell you that he is ready."
"Thanks, Dobby. Could you find Severus and Ron and let them know to meet us in the Den? I want you to come as well," Harry requested.
"Understood," and with that, Dobby popped out of the room.
Harry turned to Sirius, his expression nervous. "Well, this is it. We'll find out what was so important that Dumbledore had to hide it. I hope," he murmured.
"Come on, the sooner we meet him, the faster we'll know. I have to admit though, I'm nervous. I think this could make or break our friendship. I don't think I could be friends with Remus again if he actually testified on his own. I don't think I could see past that betrayal. He knows better," Sirius said.
"Yeah," Harry sighed softly. He grabbed Sirius's arm and dragged him out of the room. As they made their way to the den, they caught up with Ron.
"Hey, brother of mine, you nervous?" Ron asked.
"No, not at all. I mean, it's not as if this is important or anything. I'm not going to find out why Dumbledore messed with Remus's mind, which will lead to some important revelations, and, hopefully, to a clue that may destroy Dumbledore, while at the same time taking out Voldemort. Then there's Remus. I mean, the man did betray me, and he was only one of my father's best friends. It's not like he was anything important to me," Harry replied sarcastically.
Ron stopped and looked at him. "So, what you're saying is, is that you're nervous?" he asked, confused.
Harry blew out a quick breath and replied, "Yeah, I might be a little nervous."
"Huh. Thought so," Ron quipped.
Harry grinned and they walked down the hall. The entered the den to see Remus pacing around the room, Severus leaning against the wall, his wand out and staring at Remus intently. Harry noticed that Remus's eyes were still glowing bright amber. The wolf was still at the forefront, but at least the man had calmed down some.
"Harry, Cub," Remus growled when he saw Harry. The amber eyes flared briefly, before Remus closed his eyes and took a deep breath. Harry could see that Remus was trying to calm himself and the struggle was visible on his face. Remus eyes opened and the amber was dulled. "I'm sorry. My wolf is restless. He apparently has been locked away for quite some time. The only time he has been able to come out is when I transform. I have noticed that my transformation have been increasingly more savage, even with the help of the Wolfsbane potion. I had just passed it off as another quirk of being a werewolf. Now, I know better," Remus explained bitterly.
"What do you mean, 'locked away?'" Severus asked.
"Dumbledore used a spell on me to lock away my wolf and any of the instincts that came with him. It was actually a couple of nights after Padfoot was to have died. I guess he thought since that the one person -- who had significant amount of influence over Harry -- was gone; he wasn't going to take the chance that I might take his place and try to interfere with his decisions regarding Harry. He locked away the wolf and repressed any feelings of Pack that I had for the boy. He wasn't going to take any chances," Remus said with a sigh.
The room was quiet for a moment before Sirius began to curse. "That son of a bitch!" he growled out. "That bastard! That cold, manipulative old bastard! I'm going to kill him!"
"Nice as that sounds, Sirius, what makes you think that Remus is telling the truth?" Severus asked coolly.
"What?" Sirius asked, confused. "He told us."
Severus snorted, a sneer on his face. "That's right, 'he told us.' However, we know that he's capable of betrayal. He could be feeding us lies to make us trust him. What makes you so sure that he's really telling the truth?" he asked.
Sirius opened his mouth to defend Remus when Harry piped up. "I agree. It's not that we don't trust you Remus, it's well...we don't trust you."
Ron chuckled with amusement, while Severus grinned wryly. Harry shot Ron a sharp look, who returned it smugly. Harry rolled his eyes and stared at Remus. "You have to understand, you could be lying to us and we would never know it. I don't trust you and I sure in the hell don't trust Dumbledore. You betrayed my trust once; I'm not going to give you another chance to do it. You either let Severus read your mind or you're out of here. There will be no discussion about it. I have no qualms about Obliviating you and letting you go. Dumbledore can take care of you, however he likes," Harry said coldly.
Remus swallowed hard. He nodded his head in understanding. "All right. To show that I'm not lying, Severus can read my mind. I want to show you, Harry, that you can trust me."
Harry's eyes flickered over him coldly before replying, "We'll see then, won't we?"
"Harry," Sirius began before Harry cut in.
"No, Padfoot. This is non-negotiable. I have more than just myself to think of. I don't want Severus, Ron or even you put at risk because we didn't do all we could to find out the truth," Harry explained. His stance was commanding; his eyes glowed with power; his expression firm.
It hit Sirius suddenly that Harry was no longer a child. He had grown up while Sirius had been imprisoned. Life had matured Harry in a way that should have taken many years. Azkaban had taken its toll on him as well as the betrayal of those who he considered his family and friends. Sirius felt pride when he saw the mature young man standing before him. He knew that Harry hated to be known as the Boy Who Lived, but the man that stood before him was going to be a leader. This man would make a difference in the Wizarding World and he was proud to know that he would be there to watch while he did it. Well at least he hoped he would be there to watch. Sirius looked over at Severus and saw the same realization on his face. The exchanged a smile and Sirius nodded back at Harry.
"All right," Sirius murmured.
"Severus, you're up. Ron, I want you to get one of my pensieves. I want a copy of the memories in case something happens to either Severus or Remus. Sirius, I want you and Dobby to stand guard. I hope that nothing will happen, but with our luck, Dumbledore will have some sort of trap set. And I don't want to be taken unaware," Harry explained.
Severus sat down next to where Remus had finally settled, after he'd stopped pacing. Remus looked at him warily, his expression nervous.
Ron came back in and set the pensieve down on the table. He moved over to Harry and stood next to him. He watched the two men on the couch intently as if able to see into Remus's mind himself.
Severus took a deep breath, trying to steady his nerves. "Are you ready?" he asked as he turned to Remus.
"As much as I can be. I understand why this needs to be done, but I'm afraid of everything I'm going to find out. There are blank spots in my mind. I still don't know what happened the night at the Order meeting. I'm actually surprised that I remembered as much as I do," Remus said softly.
"I'll try to be as gentle as I can, but as Harry can attest, it's not going to be easy. I'm going to have to dig through your memories. It will be more invasive than what I did before," Severus elucidated.
Remus drew in a shuddery breath and nodded. "Okay. Whenever you're ready."
Severus took out his wand, pointed it at Remus and muttered, "Legilimens." He entered Remus's mind and began to search. He dug through the memories that he didn't want and finally found the small batch of memories that had been blocked. There was still a light barrier surrounding them, but luckily that came from Remus's own mind instead of the barrier that Dumbledore had made. He gently peeled the barrier away and grasped the first memory he found.
Remus walked into the Headmaster's office, his posture defeated. It had only been a couple of days since Sirius had been killed. He was depressed and the pain that filled him as he thought of his best friend, his pack mate, almost choked him. He stifled the tears that wanted to fall.
The Headmaster looked at him with concern. "Remus, my dear boy, have a seat. I need to talk to you. Are you all right?" he asked gently.
Remus shrugged, his expression despondent. "As much as I can be, I guess. Padfoot's death has hit me hard. It's hard to lose all my pack mates, but luckily, I still have Harry. I don't know what I would do if something happened to Harry. A werewolf is not meant to be without a pack," Remus said brokenly.
Dumbledore's expression hardened a moment before a soft look came to his eyes. "Yes, about Harry. I am worried about how Sirius's death is affecting him. His only father figure has died and I'm afraid he is blaming himself."
"I know. I told him that if ever needed to talk, then I would be there. I can't lose him too. I need him in my life. He's my last pack mate. I'll do whatever I can to make sure that he gets through this. As much as I hate it, it can only make him stronger, and Merlin knows, he needs to be strong for what's coming," Remus stated firmly.
Dumbledore looked at him, confused. "What do you mean for what's coming?" he asked.
"Sirius told me about the Prophecy," Remus explained.
The Headmaster's eyes widened a moment. "How did he know?" he asked.
"Apparently James and Lily told him before they went into hiding. He made an oath that he wouldn't tell anyone unless James and Lily were dead. Since their death, he's been in Azkaban, unable to tell a soul. He told me during the summer before Harry's fourth year. I haven't told Harry yet. I want him to have as much of a childhood as possible. However, after what happened at the Ministry, I believe that he needs to know. He needs to know why Sirius died, what he was protecting, besides just Harry," Remus explained.
"I see," Dumbledore said coolly. "I hadn't realized that anyone else knew about the Prophecy."
Remus looked at him, confused. "Is that a problem? I really think Harry should know about the prophecy."
Dumbledore smiled genially. "I agree with you, which is why I told him as soon as I got back from the Ministry. He wasn't happy at all, but I think he'll adjust to it. He has a duty to the Wizarding World," he commented.
Remus's eyes widened. "A duty? He's only a fifteen-year-old boy. What duty can he possibly have?" he asked, outraged.
Dumbledore's eyes hardened. "Be that as it may, he is still the only one that can defeat Voldemort. The prophecy has predicted it. There is no other way. He must be ready," he explained.
Remus's expression grew fierce. "He is still a child. He shouldn't have to worry about killing. He should be dating, playing Quidditch, worrying about girls. I refuse to let you destroy what childhood he has left. I may not be his official Godfather, but he is still part of my Pack. I will not let him be turned into some mindless soldier for your war," he growled.
Dumbledore's expression went cold. "Yes, I was afraid of that. Regardless of what you would like, Harry has a duty to the Wizarding World and to me. He will defeat Voldemort. I'm afraid that you'll just be in the way. I cannot have you interfering with my plans, werewolf," he hissed coldly.
Remus's eyes widened with shock. "Albus?"
Dumbledore pulled out his wand and pointed it at Remus. "Petrificus Totalus," he muttered.
Remus's body was frozen. The Headmaster got up from the desk and walked over to Remus. He looked down at him coldly and said, "I would kill you, but it would only make Harry more upset. I need him focused on Voldemort, not his grief. Therefore, I will have to take care of you some other way. I have researched long and hard on the off chance that you might become bothersome. You think of Harry as pack, well the wolf does, so I need to change that."
Remus tried to whimper, but he was frozen. He couldn't believe what he was seeing. The kind benevolent man that had let a werewolf come to Hogwarts wasn't what he seemed. His mind cried out as he realized that no one knew. Harry was in danger from the one man he thought he could trust and there wasn't a damn thing he could do about it.
The Headmaster pointed his wand at Remus and muttered, "Cavea Lupus."
Remus felt the spell hit and he was unable to cry out as the pain hit him. He could hear his wolf howl through his mind as it fought the spell. Remus's body tried to struggle to get away from the pain, but he was frozen. His wolf continued to struggle against the spell and Remus tried to help, but couldn't. A golden cage surrounded the wolf, trapping him and with one last howl of rage, the presence of the wolf faded so much that he could barely feel it. Remus felt a sense of loss spread throughout his body.
"Not to worry Remus, the wolf is still there. He's just caged. You are no longer ruled by his instincts. Harry is no longer part of your pack. However, just to make sure, Imperious," Dumbledore chanted.
Remus could feel his mid fade away. There was an insistent voice telling him that he needed to forget about Harry being a pack mate. Harry was only a student, the son of a dead friend, nothing more. His worry over Harry should be minimal, at most. Remus struggled against the voice, but it was too strong. After a few minutes of struggle, he succumbed to the voice.
Dumbledore stepped back from Remus, his expression satisfied. "Now that I've taken care of your wolf, I think you need to forget about it. I can't have that memory floating around in your head on the off chance that something happens to your wolf. You should've stayed out of this. Harry is mine -- my pawn, my weapon. I will not have you interfering with my plans. I finally got rid of his godfather, I don't need another one to take his place," he said coldly.
The Headmaster raised his wand once more and muttered, "Obliviate."
Remus's world went dark.
Severus pulled out of the memory with a gasp. He knew what Dumbledore was really like, but it still gave him a chill to see the Headmaster treat one of his former students like that. He had always thought the old man had a fondness for the former Marauder, but it was apparent that the old man cared for no one. Severus skimmed through more of Remus's memories until he found one that looked interesting. Glancing at it, he realized that this was the one he had been searching for. Gently, he grabbed at the memory and his surroundings disappeared.
Remus sat in the Headmaster's office. He looked Molly and Arthur Weasley, Kingsley, McGonagall, and Tonks and sighed. He was waiting impatiently for the Headmaster to make an appearance so that they could talk about Harry.
Harry had been arrested for murder. There was no way that he could've done it. Harry may be many things, but he was not a killer. There was just no way. He wondered what the Order would do for him. He was sure that Dumbledore would do whatever he could for Harry. Albus would never let a student go to Azkaban for murder without a trial. He frowned briefly as he thought of Sirius, but realized that Sirius was a different case all together.
Dumbledore walked into the room and sat down at his desk. He crossed his arms, leaned on his desk and sighed. "I'm afraid that we are here together to discuss what is to be done with Harry Potter. According to the evidence, he did indeed kill Ginny, Cho Chang and Colin Creevey. I need your help to make sure that Harry is locked away in Azkaban forever," he explained.
Molly began to sob as Arthur held her tightly, his expression enraged. "Whatever you need, Albus. I can't let my daughter's murderer get away."
"Thank you, Arthur. I knew I could count on you. I need you to testify on any behavioral changes that you might have noticed from Harry. Things have not been right with the boy since Sirius died," Dumbledore sighed.
Remus frowned. "That's it? That's all you're going to do for Harry?" he asked, confused.
"What do you expect us to do? There is evidence that Harry killed those students. Why should we let him off? He may have defeated Voldemort once, but that doesn't give us the right to let him get away with murder," the Headmaster explained.
"But surely there's more to it than that? Have you realized that Voldemort would benefit from this? You say there is evidence, but where did that evidence come from? Have you thought that maybe the boy is being framed?" Remus asked.
"Remus, I know that you care for the boy, but you can't let your emotions get the better of you," McGonagall replied.
"Yes, I care for Harry, but that doesn't mean that my emotions are what's causing me to question the convenience of the evidence. Is no one doing anything about this? Why not? It seems to me that everyone wants Harry to go to Azkaban. Why is that?" Remus questioned.
Dumbledore's expression hardened. "I'm sorry you seem to think that. I guess this means that I can't count on you to testify on Harry's erratic behavior. You know as well as I do that he hasn't been himself lately. He's was turning Dark and I'm saddened to say that I didn't do something before he killed those students," Dumbledore said sadly.
Remus frowned at the Headmaster. "Look, there has to be more to this than what we can see. Can you really see Harry killing anyone, especially Ginny Weasley? He thought of her as a sister. There's just no way he would kill her. I refuse to do anything that will send Harry to Azkaban. So if you want someone to testify, count me out. I refuse to do that to James's son. If Sirius were alive, he would kill me. I promised him that I would take care of Harry if something happened to him and I will," Remus growled. He almost started in surprise as he felt his wolf stir. It had been a long time since his wolf had gotten agitated about anything. He frowned slightly as he wondered why that was, but Dumbledore's voice distracted him from his thoughts.
"I'm sorry to hear that, Remus." Dumbledore looked at the other members of the Order and asked, "If you would excuse us, I would like to talk to him privately for a moment."
Arthur nodded and helped Molly up from her chair. He turned and glared at Remus before leaving the room. McGonagall gave Remus a look of disapproval before she too left the room. Kingsley nodded and walked out while Tonks gave him an unreadable look. Remus turned back to Dumbledore as the door to his office closed and was surprised to see Dumbledore's wand pointed at him.
"What the hell?" Remus yelped.
"I seem to have nothing but problems from you, werewolf. I already had to take care of you once before and now I have to again. I can sense your wolf stirring and that shouldn't happen. You're stronger than I thought. I won't make that mistake again. Imperious," Dumbledore muttered.
Remus felt the spell hit and he tried to force the voice out of his head. He wanted to refuse the command, but he wasn't strong enough. He didn't want to testify against Harry. He fought the suggestion as hard as he could and finally the voice disappeared. He gasped for breath and glared at Dumbledore. "You used an Unforgivable on me! You want Harry to go to Azkaban. Why?" he demanded.
"My reasons are my own, werewolf. You are just a pawn in my little game. Harry trusts you, but you can be sure that I'm going to destroy that trust. He'll have no one to rely on but me. I think a little time in Azkaban will change his attitude. Imagine how grateful he'll be when I get him out. I'll have saved him from his prison," Dumbledore explained.
"You're mad," Remus yelled, shocked.
"Ummm...maybe...but I'll still have the power I deserve and you're going to help me. Petrificus Totalus," Dumbledore yelled.
Remus's body froze and Dumbledore smiled with satisfaction. He walked to the shelf and picked up a small green bottle. He glared down at Remus. "You will no longer cause me any trouble. You may have been able to cast off Imperious, but you won't be able to resist this little potion." He leaned forward and forced Remus's mouth open. He poured the potion down his throat and massaged it so that he was forced to swallow the bitter solution.
Remus felt his mind go fuzzy and a voice whispered to him what he needed to do. "You will testify against Harry. You believe that he has turned Dark and you agree that the boy needs to be in Azkaban. You will do whatever you can to help me in that. You will agree with me in everything that I do to the boy."
Remus's mind cried out one last time before his will was conquered. He knew that he would be putting Harry into prison and there was nothing he could do about it. He was broken.
"Again, you will not remember this. I need to find a way to make sure your memories cannot be tampered with," Dumbledore muttered to himself. "Obliviate."
Remus's mind went dark and the next thing he knew he was sitting in a chair in Dumbledore's office. Molly and Arthur looked satisfied, while McGonagall gave him a look of approval. Kingsley nodded and Tonks gave him a confused look before quickly changing her expression.
"I'm glad that you understand, Remus. I was afraid that your love for the boy wouldn't allow you to see that he has become Dark. He needs to be cast into Azkaban for his betrayal of the Wizarding World," Dumbledore was saying genially.
"Of course, Headmaster. I know now that I was wrong. I'll be glad to testify against the boy. Sirius must be turning in his grave," Remus said, shaking his head in disappointment.
"Indeed," Dumbledore said. He smiled gently as Remus and the memory faded.
Severus began to pull out of Remus's mind, satisfied with what he had seen. Remus had indeed been coerced in betraying Harry. As much as he disliked the werewolf, he knew that Harry would be happy or at least satisfied.
Remus leaned his head back on the couch, moaning. Severus pulled out a bottle from his robe and gave it to Remus. "Here, this is a pain relieving potion. It should help your head."
Remus reached for it, opened it and drank it. He sighed as the pain dulled. He opened his eyes and looked at Severus. The werewolf's eyes were filled with pain, betrayal and rage. Remus opened his mouth to comment, but shook his head and closed his mouth. He glanced at Harry and whispered, "I'm so sorry, Harry. I..." He shook his head and closed his eyes.
Harry bit his lip and glanced at Severus, a question on his face. Severus sighed. "He was coerced. Dumbledore didn't want to take the chance that Remus would interfere with his plans. He was forced to drink a potion that mimics the Imperious curse and he was obliviated twice, as well as having his wolf caged. Hand me the pensieve."
Sirius grabbed the pensieve and handed it to Severus. The Potions Master aimed his wand at his head and muttered a word. The thin sliver stream glowed and Severus directed it into the pensieve. He repeated this process several times before handing the pensieve back to Sirius.
Sirius took it and placed it on the table. He looked over at Harry, Ron and Dobby and asked, "You ready?"
Harry took a deep breath. "Yeah, I'm ready."
Severus watched as they entered the pensieve. He hoped that this would help Harry. He needed to know that Remus had never thought him guilty and would've never have helped Dumbledore if it hadn't been for a potion and a slew of spells. Harry needed to know who had really betrayed him - and it wasn't Remus. He glanced over at the werewolf, who was looking at the pensieve absently. "Are you all right?" he asked gruffly.
Remus started, surprised. "Yeah, I'm fine. My head feels better. I've been going through the memories that I've suddenly gained. Did you know that Sirius asked me to be Harry's godfather? I was happy and I wanted to share it with Dumbledore - the man I admired more than anyone. Sirius had a document that would give me guardianship of Harry, even though I was a werewolf. If he were to die, I would need to sign it and complete the ritual, binding us as Godfather and Godson. The Ministry wouldn't be able to do a thing about it. Harry could've lived with me. Unfortunately, Dumbledore obliviated the memory and I'm not sure if Sirius even remembers it. I'm assuming that Dumbledore didn't want to take any chances," Remus explained.
"What happened to the document?" Severus asked.
"I don't know. Sirius was suppose to hide it and let me know where it was later. I know he told Molly Weasley about it, but I don't know if she remembers that it existed either, or if she just didn't tell Harry because she didn't like Sirius. I'll have to ask him. I need time to go through my memories and see if there was anything else Dumbledore took from me," Remus said coldly.
The room was quiet for a few minutes before there was a gasp from Harry. Severus looked over and saw that they had left the pensieve. Harry turned around and looked at Remus, who was staring at him, tears in his eyes.
"Moony," Harry moaned softly.
"Cub," Remus answered.
Harry bit his lip hard and it drew blood. "That bastard!" he yelled. The glass in the room began to tremble as Harry's rage grew. Remus jumped off the couch and rushed over to Harry. He grabbed him by the arms and pulled him into a hug. "It'll be all right, Cub. We know now. I'm just sorry I wasn't strong enough to resist him," he said softly.
"No!" Harry yelled. The glass statue on the fireplace mantle shattered to pieces and Remus tried to sooth the enraged young man.
Harry pulled away and looked at Remus seriously, his eyes bright with rage and power. "It's not your fault, Moony. You resisted him as much as you could, but he is much more powerful than you are. I'm surprised that you managed to break the Imperious spell when you did. You were not whole. Your wolf was caged and you didn't have the strength. I don't think you even noticed it, but you were weak and sick. Your transformations took a lot more out of you than you even knew. Your wolf was angry from being kept caged and away from your pack. I could see how tired you were. It's not your fault," Harry exclaimed.
"I would like to believe that, but it's hard. I hurt you, I betrayed you and there was nothing I could do about it," Remus whispered.
"I know. Even though I know that you believed in me and that Dumbledore used a potion to get your cooperation, it's hard for me to forget that you testified against me. It still hurts when I remember you telling me that Sirius would hate me. It still hurts to know that you blamed me for Sirius's death. I considered you family and you turned on me. I know mentally that you were coerced, but my heart still hurts," Harry explained.
"Do you think that we could ever be family again?" Remus asked.
Harry nodded slowly. "I think we could. Your memory of what really happened goes a long way in helping, but there are still emotions that I need to get through. I've believed for the last nineteen months that you hated me. I've been filled with bitterness, betrayal, anger and pain over it. I'm going to have to work through it. And you will need to work through the guilt that you feel. However, I think we have a chance. I need you, Remus. I need you to help me get ready for Voldemort and Dumbledore. Even though you have no memory of what happened to the others in the meeting, we need to find out if Dumbledore did the same thing to them. I need your help. Will you help me?" Harry asked.
Remus swallowed hard. "You know I will, Cub. You're part of my Pack, my family. I would die for you," he exclaimed.
Harry smiled grimly. "Let's hope it doesn't come to that."
"Moony," Sirius called.
Remus looked over at Sirius and smiled widely when he heard his nickname. "Padfoot," he answered.
Sirius rushed over for a hug. Pulling back, he grinned wryly. "I would apologize for the alleyway, but I won't. I didn't know, but if I you had actually betrayed Harry, I would've done more than that."
Remus shook his head, exasperated. "I understand, Padfoot. Trust me, I do understand."
Severus sneered at them. "This is all very sweet, but do you think we can focus. We have things that we need to prepare for. Lupin, do you think you can help train Harry? He needs to catch up on what he missed while he was in Azkaban."
"I would love to. If that's all right with Harry," Remus questioned as he gazed at Harry.
Harry nodded. "That's fine. I need all the help I can get. Ron could probably use a brush up as well. Isn't that right, Ron?" Harry asked his brother.
There was no answer and Harry glanced over at him best friend. "Ron?" he questioned.
Ron looked at him blankly for a moment, startled out of his thoughts. "Did anyone notice Tonks?" he asked.
"What?" Harry asked, confused.
"I was paying attention to the other members of the Order during the meeting. I'm thinking that there was something odd about Tonks' glances at Remus, both during the meeting, when they left and when he remembered them later on. There was just something about her expression. She knows something," Ron said absently.
"What do you mean?" Sirius asked.
Ron shook his head. "I'm not sure, but she knows something. Whether it's about Dumbledore or something else, I don't know, but her expressions are giving me a big sense of something being off. It's a gut feeling," he replied.
"You know that she quit the Order. She didn't believe that I killed anyone and she didn't want to be in a group that didn't do anything. She must've realized something was going on when Remus agreed to testify against me. I wonder if Dumbledore did anything to her. She never testified against me. Hell, she wasn't even at the trial. I wonder what happened to her. I never asked her," Harry mused.
Remus nodded thoughtfully. "You know, she was always trying to talk to me before your trial, but she never had the chance. Dumbledore was always around, keeping an eye on me and she never seemed to want to be around Dumbledore. She just disappeared one day. I remember vaguely that Dumbledore seemed rather upset about it as well."
"I think its time to invite Tonks here. I would like some more answers, plus she needs to train me in how to use my magical sight. And if Ron says something is off, then he's right. I trust Ron with my life, frankly more than any of you and when he says he has a feeling, I go with it," Harry explained.
"Ah, that's the sweetest thing you've ever said," Ron said mockingly.
"Well, you know, its all about you babe," Harry trilled cheerfully.
Ron rolled his eyes. "Whatever. I just know she knows something," he commented.
"Do you think she's a Watcher?" Sirius asked suddenly.
Ron looked thoughtful. "Um...I'll have to ask Percy. Maybe he knows."
"All right, you owl Percy and see if can tell you anything. Me, I'm going to go eat. All this emotional crap is making me hungry," Harry exclaimed.
Ron snickered. "Yeah, let's not get too emotional. It's not manly," he teased.
Harry snorted. "Please! I'm all man!" he quipped.
Sirius put his arm around Harry's shoulder and dragged him out of the den. "Sure you are. I believe it," he commented skeptically.
"Hey, you better believe it, buddy," Harry said.
"Suuureee," Sirius drawled.
Remus grinned as he heard the banter begin. He had a lot of work ahead to find his place back in Harry's life, but at least he had a starting point. Dumbledore would regret caging his wolf and coercing him. If Harry didn't take care of him, Remus would. No one messes with his Pack and gets away with it. Remus smirked as he felt his wolf howl in agreement. Dumbledore would pay.
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