Chapter 1 of 1
Harry kneeled down, was putting away his things in a drawer of the closet of the room he was sharing with Ron. He hadn’t done it the previous night, with all the excitement of arriving at Headquarters, seeing everyone, yelling at Ron and Hermione and finding out what was happening with Voldemort. The door opened but he didn’t look up, he figured it must be Ron. From the corner of his eyes he saw his mattress dip slightly instead of Ron’s. He looked up and was surprised to meet brown warm eyes.
“Hello Harry,” his former professor said calmly. “Could we talk?”
“I guess,” Harry shrugged and sat down next to Remus were he was patting the mattress.
“I didn’t mean to sound callous last night Harry.”
“About what you said about your relatives, about them not caring.”
“Oh,” Harry hadn’t thought much about it. No one ever cared before, and it’s not like it was a secret that the Dursleys hated him, I mean, he wore rags for crying out loud, and Ron and the twins had to yank bars out of his window. How much more explicit must you get?
“I just didn’t want to make a fuss there Harry. With everyone present. You need to understand. We had to choose the lesser of two evils. It’s not just about the blood wards, it’s about who would have your custody if your Aunt’s right was disputed. You see Harry, in the Wizarding World blood speaks above all. So by being your blood, even being a Muggle, no one can dispute Petunia’s right to custody, unless you are in danger from Petunia herself. Abuse would qualify-”
“I’m not abused, just well you, not treated well,” Harry quickly stated. Abuse was too harsh a word, no it was just, you know…they hated Harry, just that.
Lupin didn’t agree with Harry though. He looked at him firmly, “What they do to you is abuse Harry. Even if we can’t fight it, you need to understand what it is. Which leads me to why we can’t expose what the Dursleys do to you. I don’t know if you know Harry but the Blacks and the Potters are related, which means that you are distantly related to the Malfoys as Narcissa Malfoy is a Black by birth.” Harry shook his head. Sirius had said earlier that all pureblood families were related but Harry hadn’t extended the thought to him being actually related to Malfoy, or even Sirius for that matter. “And considering Lucius’s power he would have managed to easily attain custody had your Aunt lost it.”
“And he’d give me to Voldemort in an instant.”
Lupin smiled sadly, “Precisely. So you see, as much as we know that your situation at home is not…er…ideal,” Harry snorted at that, “What could come of it if we did something about the matter could be actually worse.”
“I see, er, Professor-“
“Call me Remus Harry, I’m not your teacher anymore, and I would like to think we would be closer than that,” Remus smiled.
Harry smiled at the thought, he would like that too, “Remus, why are you bringing this up now?”
Remus inhaled deeply, “Because, as I said before, you need to know Harry, that it’s not right, what they do to you, and that it’s not your fault. I can’t change where you have to live Harry, but I can let you know that you can come to me if you need, whatever you need, even if it’s just someone to rant about the Dursleys to. I’m also seeing with the others if there isn’t some way we could, er, make your Aunt and Uncle behave.”
Harry looked at Remus and smiled. He never had that, an adult actually telling him he could count on them. An adult actually taking the time to explain to him why he had to go back to the Dursleys every summer. Dumbledore had said something about blood wards, and he believed in them, but what Lupin was explaining was a lot more tangible. Made him understand that it wasn’t that he was less important than some blood ward.
“Does Sirius know?”
“He knows what everyone else knows, but if you’re asking if I told him what you told me last night or what I saw in that house. No. I-” Lupin smiled to himself and sighed. “Sirius is governed by his heart more than his head at times, I’m afraid of what may come of the Dursleys if he found out.”
Harry smiled at the image of the deranged Sirius Black that was painted to everyone his third year going after the Dursleys. They’d deserve it, but now he understood why they were better to him alive than eaten by a happy grim like dog waggling his tail.
Remus waved his wand at the door and it closed, a click told him Remus locked it too. He looked at Harry and asked, “So, do you want to talk? Tell me about what your life has been?”
“I don’t know,” Harry shrugged scuffing the toes of his shoes on the floor.
“Why don’t I tell you a little bit about my life then?” Remus asked and laid back on the wall. He started talking, telling Harry about how he was bitten, about how it was before Hogwarts and when he went to Hogwarts, how amazed he was at making friends for the first time in his life. Harry could relate, thanks to Dudley, Ron had been his first friend ever. He really didn’t know how, but he had said that at some point, which led him to talk about Dudley, that in turn led to Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia. Harry couldn’t tell how long they were there or how much he talked. He just knew that when Sirius came knocking on the door and gave Remus and Harry a suspicious look when they finally opened it, and told them to give up because there was no way those two amateurs would be able to get him unawares, Harry actually laughed as he hadn’t since Cedric had died, and he had winked at Remus and for the first time in his life actually started formulating how to best prank someone. To be honest, his godfather should have known better than to give the idea.