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
Remus lay down on the bed, sighing as his body relaxed into the soft mattress. It had been a long day, hell it had been a long couple of years. He was overjoyed to know that Sirius was alive and well, and that Harry's condition had been exaggerated. On the down side, he couldn't get over the fact that Dumbledore was a cold manipulative, evil man. The things that he had done to Sirius, Harry, Severus and himself made him go cold.
Remus turned over and stared out the window. The stars were bright, and they twinkled with a cold light. What was this world coming to when the man everyone thought of as a savior, wasn't? What would happen if Dumbledore decided to take over the Wizarding World? Could their world hold up against two powerful men, bent on destroying each other and any who would stand in their way?
It sickened him to know that Voldemort, a.k.a. Tom Riddle, was Dumbledore's son. How could a man treat his child that way? All for the sake of power? He couldn't get past that. He loved children, and he was envious of those who had their own. He would love to have kids, but he was afraid of transmitting the Werewolf disease to anyone, even his children. There was always a fifty-fifty chance of any child being born a werewolf if one of its parents was a werewolf. He couldn't live with himself if he inflicted that on anyone, let alone a child.
A knock on the door drew him out of his thoughts. "Come in," he called out.
The door open and Sirius bounced in. He shut the door and walked over to the bed, flounced down and grinned at him. "Hey, Moony. How's it hanging?" he asked.
Remus smiled at his best friend and replied, "To the left, my good man, to the left."
Sirius laughed exuberantly. He lay on his back and sighed heavily. They laid there in the darkness and enjoyed just being together again.
"Padfoot," Remus began hesitantly.
"Yeah?" Sirius replied.
"What's going on with you and Severus?" he asked.
"Ewwww...nothing," Sirius exclaimed, horror covering his face.
Remus smacked him on the arm. "Not that, you prat. I meant, why are you two getting along so well?" he asked.
Sirius snickered. "Oh, that," he drawled. "Not much. We just decided to call a truce. It seems a certain insane Headmaster manipulated many of the things that happened while we were in Hogwarts. Once we realized that, we decided to expand on the friendship we would've had if Dumbledore hadn't interfered."
"Ah," Remus commented.
Sirius rolled over and looked at him curiously. "Why? Does that bother you? You were the one who said that we should try to put aside our differences and get along. Have you changed your mind?" he asked.
Remus sighed. "No, I haven't changed my mind. It's just..." he trailed off.
"Yeah? What?" Sirius asked impatiently.
"It's just everything's changed. Our enemy is our friend, our friend is our enemy. Ron is no longer a Weasley but a Black. You and Severus are friends, hell even Dobby has changed. It's just...too much, I guess," Remus explained softly. "I think I'm going to go crazy if something else happens."
"Ah. Well, then you had better call up the funny farm, because Harry was able to do magic while in Azkaban," Sirius informed him cheerfully.
Remus sat up quickly and stared at Sirius, his expression shocked. "He did what?" he yelped.
Sirius grinned at him. "Our little Prongslet is a mighty powerful wizard. Did you know that he gained an animagus form, without the potion? He transformed in Azkaban," Sirius told him, his eyes filled with mirth.
"You're lying," Remus exclaimed wildly.
"I kid you not. Marauder's honor," Sirius said solemnly, his hand over his heart.
"Well, hell," Remus muttered as he lay back down on the bed. There was quiet for a few minutes before Remus asked, "What kind of animagus form?"
Sirius laughed softly. "A wolf. A large, beautiful silver wolf. We gave him the Marauder name Celevon. Dobby gave it to him. It's..."
"Elvish," Remus cut in.
"Figures you would know that; if I didn't know better, I'd think you were in Ravenclaw," Sirius huffed.
"Mmmm..." Remus agreed absently.
The room was quiet once more as they basked in the joy of being together. There were many times when they were younger that they would just sit together and do nothing, no talking, no reading, just lying there, enjoying the closeness of Pack. Remus could feel his wolf calming down in a way that hadn't happened in many years. He felt more complete, more rested. He frowned as he thought of Dumbledore and what he had done to his wolf.
"What are we going to do, Padfoot?" Remus asked seriously.
"About?" Sirius questioned.
"Dumbledore and Voldemort? It's too much for Harry to handle. He may have the power, but he doesn't have the experience or the knowledge. Between Dumbledore and Voldemort, there is at least two hundred years of experience. Harry missed his last year of school. There's no way that he can do this," Remus explained.
Sirius sighed heavily. "I know. He needs time to learn, but you know that Dumbledore won't wait. If I could, I'd sneak the boy into Hogwarts and use the Room of Requirement. I bet you can stop time in that room. But, it would be too close to Dumbledore and Harry isn't ready for Dumbledore to know his true condition."
"Don't you think that he might have some idea now? We destroyed the block around my memories. Shouldn't that give him some idea that all is not what it seems?" Remus asked.
Sirius sat up and gazed down at his friend. He shook his head and replied, "I don't know. I would like to think not, but Dumbledore is crafty. I guess we just go with the thought that Dumbledore knows, that way we won't be surprised."
"Agreed," Remus answered. "Padfoot, I'm sorry I should have looked harder into your death. If I had, maybe I could've found you sooner."
"Remy, it's not your fault. If you had looked into it, Dumbledore might've just killed you. I'm surprised he didn't since you seem to cause him so much trouble. You had no idea what was going on with the old man. My death wasn't suspicious so why should you have thought any different?" Sirius asked.
"Actually, there was something off that night. Your scent wasn't quite right. I just thought it was stress or new cologne or whatever. I never thought that it was simply because it wasn't you. I should've known," Remus said bitterly. "What good are my heightened senses if I can't even tell my friend from an imposter?"
Sirius reached over, grabbed Remus's arm and squeezed gently. "Don't dwell on it, Moony. You didn't know. Dumbledore made sure of that. I don't blame you and Harry doesn't blame you," he murmured softly.
Remus shrugged. "I guess," he whispered.
"Don't worry, Moony. Somehow, we'll get through it. With our help, Harry will defeat Voldemort and we'll take care of Dumbledore. Things will work out in the end," Sirius said softly.
The room was filled with quiet as they lay on the bed together, each lost in their own thoughts.
Severus read over the potion that Tiberus Potter wrote. It looked like it should remove the Dark Mark, if only he could figure out the missing ingredient. He frowned thoughtfully as he wondered what it might be. He had already tried many things, even though the journal had stated that they wouldn't work. He wanted to experiment, just in case Tiberus Potter had done something wrong. So far, nothing worked.
He needed something that would enhance the phoenix tears instead of diluting their effects. The unicorn's hair turned the whole potion into a lovely yellow color that would dissolve the insides of a man's body. He grimaced as he imagined the joy Voldemort would've gotten at finding a new way to kill someone. He had then tried a toenail of a gryphon, but that had turned the whole potion into some sort of sticky glue.
He had better luck with the shredded skin of a runespoor. That had changed it into a rather powerful healing potion. He tapped his lip with his quill, gazing across the room absently. He needed something incredibly powerful. He needed something that would enhance the phoenix tears and solidify the dragon's blood. Throwing the journal down in frustration, he sighed with disgust as he came up with nothing. He needed to find the missing ingredient. The ring that Harry had given him was a great help and he was thankful for it, but he wanted the freedom of having clear skin on his left forearm.
Severus rubbed his face wearily. He really should go to bed; the day had been long and rather strenuous. The efforts with the werewolf had exhausted him. If that blasted journal wouldn't keep him up all night, he would no doubt be sleeping now.
There was a knock on the door. "Come in," he called out.
The door opened and Harry came into the room. He made his way over to Severus and sat down in the chair. "Hey," he said softly.
"Harry, to what do I owe the pleasure of this visit?" Severus asked.
"I wasn't quite ready to go to bed yet. My mind is still racing with today's events. Ron's in bed and Sirius is visiting with Remus. I thought I would let them talk since they seem to need it. I figured I would check on you and see how you were," Harry explained.
"Mmmm...well I too would be in bed, but I've been working on this blasted potion that your ancestor started. It would figure that another Potter is aggravating me," Severus snapped, his expression tired and frustrated.
Harry smiled. "We aim to please," he retorted cheerfully.
Severus sneered. "Yes, I've noticed."
"So, what's the problem?" Harry asked.
Severus gave him a sharp look. "Mr. Potter, do you really think that you can ever understand the complexities of Potions? You, the one who was rather atrocious at making even the simplest potion," he asked.
Harry shrugged. "I'm not even going to pretend that I understand it all, but it might help to have someone to bounce ideas off of, even if it's only to hear yourself talk," Harry offered.
"Yes, there is that. Very well, would you like something to drink? I have an urge for some tea," Severus said.
"I'm fine," Harry answered.
Severus nodded and called for a house-elf. A few minutes later, the house-elf brought Severus his tea. He sipped it slowly while looking at Harry absently.
"How does it feel to know that Lupin didn't betray you?" Severus asked.
Harry looked at him, his expression startled. He shrugged and replied, "Kind of a relief, but not. I told him that even though my mind knows that Dumbledore coerced him, my heart was going to take a while to get over it. I have a lot of emotions to get through before Remus and I can become friends again, let alone family. I don't know if I will ever trust him as I once did."
"I can see where it would be hard to," Severus said with a nod.
"Yeah," Harry whispered. "So, about the potion; what seems to be your problem?" he asked.
Severus explained how he had used the other ingredients and what happened when they were added. Harry nodded while Severus expanded on his problem. He noticed the intense frustration that filled the man's face as he talked. Harry knew how much Severus wanted to be free of the Dark Mark. He wanted it for Severus as well.
"So, the runespoor skin worked. Could it have some something to do with serpents?" Harry asked.
Severus looked thoughtful. "Mmmm...it could, but the runespoor is one on the most magical snakes in the Wizarding World. Anything else wouldn't be as powerful, well except maybe a basilisk," Severus mused. He began to look excited as he muttered to himself. "Yes, a basilisk would actually work. It would enhance the magical properties of the phoenix tears and solidify the dragon's blood, as well as imbed the potion with a pain relieving ability. Yes, a basilisk would do very well," he said excitedly before sighing. "Sadly, there hasn't been a basilisk seen in England for over a hundred years, since the Ministry banned them."
"What about a dead basilisk?" Harry asked.
"Excuse me?" Severus asked, confused.
"Would a dead basilisk work? I know they're magical, doesn't it take years before the body begins to decompose?" Harry questioned.
"Yes, it does. I believe their bodies begin decomposing approximately twelve to twenty years after their death. The body stays intact until the magic fades away - and for such a large and powerful snake, it takes very long time. Maybe I could check the Black Market. There has to be someone who has some basilisk skin. What would work the best is the poison from their fangs," Severus mused thoughtfully.
"Right. Well, then, I guess I know what needs to be done tomorrow. Is there any special way to harvest the basilisk skin and poison?" Harry asked.
Severus blinked a moment before looking at Harry, confused. "Yes, there is, but why do you need to know? I told you, there hasn't been a basilisk seen in a hundred years."
Harry smirked. "Another thing Dumbledore didn't tell you. What did he tell you about the creature from the Chamber of Secrets during my second year?" he asked.
"That it had been taken care of and Hogwarts was safe once again, why?" Severus questioned.
"Figures," Harry said with a snort. "The creature that Dumbledore was talking about was a basilisk. I happened to kill it and it should still be in the Chamber. It's only been six years since its death, so the body should still be in good condition," Harry explained.
Severus stared at him, a shocked expression on his face. "You killed a basilisk when you were twelve?"
Harry nodded. "Well, Fawkes helped. He blinded the snake; I just stabbed it through the mouth and into its brain. I did get poisoned though," Harry said. "A tooth got me right on the arm," he said as he rolled up his sleeve to show Severus his scar. "Luckily for me, Fawkes was there to help out else I would've been a dead man...er...boy."
Severus sighed heavily. "The things you got up to when you were younger. I only knew that you had found the Chamber, the creature had been taken care of, Ginny Weasley had been rescued, that twit Lockhart had an accident, and Fawkes had brought all of you back," he said.
"Huh, figures. I guess Dumbledore didn't want anyone to know that the creature had been killed by a twelve year old child," Harry snarled.
"I'm sure that's part of the reason. How did you kill it?" Severus asked.
"I stabbed a sword through its mouth and into the brain," Harry replied.
Severus frowned. "Where did you get the sword?" he asked.
Harry grinned. "Fawkes brought me the Sorting Hat and I pulled out Gryffindor's sword."
Severus's eyes widened, "Gryffindor's sword?" he asked, shocked.
"Yep," Harry quipped.
Severus looked at him thoughtfully. "My, you are the epitome of Gryffindor, aren't you?" he sneered playfully.
"With a side of Slytherin," Harry trilled cheerfully.
The Potions Master snorted. "A very small side," he said.
Harry laughed. "So, you want to go harvest the basilisk tomorrow?"
"I would indeed. Hopefully, this will be the ingredient that I need," Severus sighed.
"I hope so too. Until then, you need to keep on wearing that ring. It's kept you pain free for this long," Harry replied.
"True," Severus said. They sat in a comfortable silence, lost in their own thoughts. Severus glanced over at Harry, who was staring at the fire pensively. "How are you doing, Harry? Really doing?" he asked.
"I'm scared," Harry replied softly. "It was bad enough that Voldemort was after me, but now Dumbledore will be as well. I'm not ready. I have all this power, and I won't even be able to use it because I don't know anything. Jelly-Legs jinxes and Tickling charms aren't going to defeat them, no matter how much power is behind them. I have to learn a whole year worth of spells, just to catch up with everyone else, and it still won't be enough. Those two know so many more spells than I do. I don't know what I'm going to do. There is simply not enough time."
Severus could see the fear on Harry's face. "I would like to say that everything will work out, but I'm not the type to give false hope. I don't know what's going to happen. We may all be killed. I don't know, but what I do know is that I'm going to help you in whatever way I can. You also have Ron, Sirius and now Lupin to help you in your endeavors. Not to mention the Watchers are on your side as well. Even if we go down, we're going to take a lot the bastards with us," Severus said fiercely.
Harry swallowed hard before nodding. "That we will," he replied. "I'll make them both curse the name Harry Potter before I go."
Severus laughed lightly. "I think they do that now," he said.
Harry grinned, his expression a little happier. "I don't know why. I'm such a good boy," he deadpanned.
"Oh yes, a good boy," Severus mocked.
They began to chuckle. "Thanks, Uncle Severus," Harry said softly. "I'm glad you're here with us."
"As am I, Harry. As am I."
Tonks was sipping her tea, humming quietly as she skimmed through the paper. Things had been quiet lately. Work was getting boring, which in itself was odd. With Voldemort alive once again, one would think that there would be all kinds of things happening, but for some reason, the Dark Wizard was quiet. That made Tonks nervous. It could only mean that Voldemort was biding his time. He had to be planning something. Sadly, since she had broken off her contact with the Order, she had been out of the loop.
She frowned at the thought of the Order. She couldn't believe that Dumbledore had allowed Harry to go to prison. She never would've believed it, but she had watched, horrified, as those who Harry considered family, turned on him. There had been something very wrong about the meeting she had attended with some of the Order members. She remembered Remus's defense of Harry, only to have him change his mind. There was just something...off about it, but she couldn't figure out what. She had no proof, and there was no one that she could discuss it with. She only wished that Sirius was still alive. He would've done something. He wouldn't have allowed Harry to go to Azkaban, even if he had to kidnap the boy and made a run for it.
With things so strange, she had decided that it was time for her to disappear for a while. She didn't like the way things had been going. She was afraid for herself. With Dumbledore demanding that everyone testify against Harry, she couldn't allow herself to stay and be used against the boy. She had taken off and stayed with a great-aunt on her father's side. Dumbledore never thought to look for her in the Muggle world. She waited until Harry's trial was over before she came back. She broke off her ties with the Order and made sure that she was never alone with Dumbledore. It was sad to realize that she didn't trust the Leader of the Light.
She remembered the joy she had felt when Harry was pardoned and released from prison. The fact that she had been right had made her feel smug. She had known that Harry never would've killed anyone. She had briefly wondered about the friends and family of Harry's that had turned on him. How did they feel now that they knew that Harry was innocent? She hoped that the guilt would eat them alive. She had been devastated to hear that Harry was catatonic. His stint in Azkaban had hurt him and no one knew if he would ever recover.
When she saw Harry at Gringotts, she had almost fainted with shock. She realized then that Harry had been lying to everyone. After a brief conversation with him, she had gone home to celebrate. She was happy to see that Harry was away from Dumbledore. She smirked as she realized that she was one of the very few who knew that Harry wasn't as incapacitated as he portrayed. It appealed to her sense of humor. She would love to see Dumbledore's face when he found out that he had been lied to. She only hoped she was there when he did.
Tonks was startled out of her thoughts by an owl flying through her window. It landed on the table and stuck out its foot. It hooted impatiently and Tonks rolled her eyes. Reaching down, she took the letter and petted the owl briefly.
Unrolling the parchment, she read it and began to smile.
I thought about it and I've decided to take you up on your offer of training. I realize that I need it more than ever. I need to learn how to control my sight.
If you agree and you have the time, I have someone who will bring you to where I am now staying. If not, let me know and we'll try at another time.
Tonks laughed. As she wrote her reply, she grew excited. She would finally be able to see Harry again. She had so much to teach him.
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