Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Aphasia1 Reviews
Harry stops speaking, and Sirius finds out why - RLSBHP
I wasn’t going to post this until I found a suitable title as aphasia doesn’t quite fit, but I like it. It isn’t quite accurate as Harry has no medical reason for his lack of speech (no brain lesions) and has no trouble comprehending the written or spoken word, but is still affected by a lack of speech. Aphasia, comes from the Greek: a "without" + phasis "utterance," from phanai "to speak". Please feel free to point out my mistake – I know my SPAG is absolutely abhorrent.
Disclaimer: Harry Potter is not mine!
"Harry..." Sirius murmured, pulling the black-haired teenager into a shadowy alcove of Grimmauld Place. "I don't care what they just said in there, Harry." He stooped slightly to look straight into his godson's green eyes. "I don't care; I'm not going to leave you to those Muggles, Harry. I won't abandon you. That’s not your only home."
Harry's eyes stared back, dull and lifeless; the disbelief obvious in the muted boy's form. Sirius restrained a sigh with difficultly, and he bent forward to clasp Harry's hand. Sincere eyes gazed firmly into his.
"I promise. I'm not going to leave you."
For one frail precious second, Harry believed his godfather. Staring up into those serious eyes he could sense no joke or deception. His world of grey flickered, allowing the scene to light with colour. His frozen heart leapt, a brief pang of warmth in an arctic blizzard, and just for a fleeting moment, his hand squeezed back.
Then, the Order started spilling out of the kitchen, talking noisily and Harry was gone, vanishing like a ghost, without sound or trace. Sirius didn't pretend to smile for the people he'd just battled so vehemently with, but he shook their hands and wished them well. Mrs. Weasley came out of the kitchen and smiled at him, murmuring briefly about plans for dinner, although Sirius could see her itching to console him on his defeat. The long haired man nodded, without listening and climbed the stairs to Buckbeak's room, not looking back. People knew to leave him alone when he went there. Well, mostly.
He bowed to the magnificent beast before him, shutting the door and allowing himself to slide down the wall, until he sat, throwing Buckbeak a rat from the bag at his feet. He sighed.
Nobody knew what had happened to Harry, why he'd come back on summer from the Dursley's disinclined to speak anything more than a few words, but it was something that bothered Sirius. And with the rise in exasperated attempts to force the boy to speak, some of which being his own, Harry spoke fewer words still until one day, he barely spoke at all. At first, Dumbledore had been rather impressed with Harry's talent for wordless magic, which was developing easily with the continual practice, but then, he too had become concerned.
Sirius had spent ages trying to find out the cause, then a solution, although numerous trips to St. Mungo's proved futile. Harry was perfectly healthy; he was simply just choosing not to speak, greeting all questions with the same vacant stare. But what was the reason? Now, hopeless, Sirius saw nothing else to do but accept Harry's silence, having no idea how else to try to make him speak. Tempers in the headquarters grew shorter with The-Boy-Who-Lived, whose presence grew more translucent everyday. They were starting to lose faith; to think of ways of winning he war without him.
Sirius, however, refused to give up. He found that Harry's looks were easy enough to read, even if the betrayed worryingly little emotion. Remus had told him it was probably the wisest thing to do, but Mrs. Weasley shot him angry glares and hissed that he was encouraging it. Part of him worried indeed he was as Harry spoke less to him, but instinct told him what he was doing was better than the nagging. He'd thought bringing Harry home for Easter might help, not that Grimmauld Place was really a home anymore with all the people rushing about. He'd been hoping to see if he could make Harry smile by feeding him up on chocolate and jovial memories, as in the time the boy had been silent, Sirius had yet to seem him smile. When he’d mentioned it to Hermione, she’d said the same thing.
At the end of summer, it would be a full year of silence, if not longer, as there was no telling how long he’d been silent before her returned to school. The blue-eyed man had been shocked to see how his classmates had responded. Like the Gryffindors they were, they didn't shun him, their pride wouldn’t let them, but they ignored his silence, speaking in falsely bright voices and no longer involving him in any real conversation, treating him as if all intelligence had faded with his voice.
A full term later, Harry couldn't remember his godfather's promised. If he didn't take a nightly Sleeping Draught than he would remember his dreams of it, but as he did, he didn't. Now, he said, excluded by inclusion into a carriage of couples, who talked and joked without him. They'd gotten used to his presence, his silence, remarkably quickly and none of them noticed now when he slipped away. He had become like a shadow, but like a shadow, he wasn't alive anymore. He didn't really exist; he was an imitation of life, a mere memory, barely taking part in anything at all. The train stopped, and, in Muggle clothing, Harry grabbed his trunk and his absent owl's cage, joining the bustling crowds piling of the train. It wasn't manners that made him hold back and let a group of second year Ravenclaws go first, but Hermione still beamed at him anyway.
"Have a good summer, Harry." She smiled, pulling him into a hug. Harry didn't feel it, and nodded, shaking Ron's hand, silently wondering how contact could be made without feeling, and shuddering to be free from it. The Weasley’s were standing on the platform, not far from the doors Ron was clambering out of, and Harry slipped past, unnoticed as always, joining the queue to leave the platform, allowing the crowds of bustling families to mask him from their sight.
Then, moments before he took the step across the barrier, a cold wet nose touched his hand, nudging it. Harry jumped, instinctively jarring away from the contact. Padfoot stood by his side, his amber-brown eyes, gazing up defiantly. Unsure how to react, Harry stepped back into the shadows of a corner beside a surprisingly Muggle looking vending machine. The dog followed.
"I promised I wouldn't leave you alone, Harry." Sirius murmured, his form becoming human again, but staying crouched in the darkest corner. "Remus will work out where I've gone so you don’t have to worry.” There was a short pause, a fleeting grin. “I can't leave you unprotected Harry. Not after last summer."
Harry stood still for a moment, staring down at the black haired man. His face gave away nothing. Sirius continued.
"Give this letter to your guardians. It looks like Dumbledore's handwriting, so there shouldn't be a problem." For a second, it almost looked like Harry would respond, his mouth opening slightly, and his brow creasing just a bit, but when he didn't Sirius slowly changed into Padfoot, and they rejoined the queue. Then, the moment came for Harry Potter to step back across into King's Cross Station, his fingers lightly resting on Padfoot's back.
Vernon Dursley was an irritable man, and one who hated waiting. He was waiting for Harry, standing facing the other way, as if waiting for the next train from platform ten. When he heard Harry approach, his piggy little eyes swivelled to fix him with a disapproving stare. He opened his mouth to spit out the standard snarl of "Your hair needs cutting, boy." when his small eyes found Padfoot, the pupils dilating.
"What is that?" He asked unnecessarily, knowing no answer would be forth coming. "He's not getting in my car. It's my new company car. I only got it last week."
Harry’s fingers felt the stiffening of Padfoot's back, and the involuntarily rise in his hackles. Still, he sat obviously trying to seem harmless, body language contradicting the gesture, yet unnoticed by Harry's uncle, who had snatched the letter from Harry's hands.
The Kitchen, 4 Privet Drive, Little Whinging.
Dear Mrs. Dursley,
Harry's dog, Snuffles, is to act as a wizarding guard for Harry for the duration of the summer spent in your home. I assure you he is very well trained, and will provide some level of protection for your home and family as well. He is to accompany Harry everywhere, more particularly when he is outside, or when Harry is asleep.
Sorry for any regrettable inconvenience this may cause you and your family, and thank you for your understanding and cooperation in this matter.
"Th[//]e dog stays, Vernon." Aunt Petunia announced, sucking on her horse-like teeth, having read the letter no less than three times. The large black dog was sitting obediently by the door, and to this his tail raised once and beat it back against the floor. "However," She glanced at the dog, then glared at Harry, her expression unreadable. "He is to stay with you. You are responsible for anything and everything he does. He isn't allowed in the kitchen, or the living room or any other bedroom aside from your own. Is that clear?"
"You are not to let him go on the front lawn, and woes betide you if I find one single hair on my furniture." She sniffed, whisking a faded wisp of her hair away behind her ear, and turning to rearrange the jars on the spice rack. Assuming that was his welcome complete, Harry turned and left, walking the short distance along the hall and opening his trunk, starting to empty it of its contents so it was light enough for him to drag upstairs by himself.
Uncle Vernon sat at the kitchen table, angry red fists clenched around a paper grinding his teeth. His wife stood up, and began to wipe the spotless surface of the table. Recently defeated in his attempts to have the boy's dog delivered to the abattoir, a bitterness stirred in Uncle Vernon, and he sat staring after them, a glint of something malicious playing in his eyes.
Upstairs, Harry was rearranging his room. His half empty trunk lay open, its contents strewn across the bed, and he methodically moved things to a suitable position - sleeping draughts into the draw of bedside table, photograph album and a few books into its cupboard. Padfoot’s first response to Harry's room was to thoroughly sniff every corner before finding a piece of carpet next to the desk comfortable enough to lie down on. Still, his observant eyes never left Harry, who when he had finished unpacking, cleaned Hedwig’s cage, opened the window and lay down on the bed, sighing. Shortly after, Padfoot jumped up next to him and lay down, and after a tense, silent pause, Harry's fingers tangled in the dog's coat.
"Thank you." He murmured; his green eyes closing as he drifted into sleep. Padfoot's ears pricked and his tail wagged at the words. Inside him, Sirius smiled.