Revised 30/08/20 There is a story that positively inspires this story, called Don't let go by Cross-stitch01, it's a fantastic story, brilliantly written and has characters that are AcTuAlLy in nature, amazing right?!. It was brought to my attention when I was learning more about what Harry and Hermione's relationship would be like, and this person ticked every box, so please, give that a read, as of now it's still going but nearing the end. I must say this now, if you hate this ship with a passion and cannot grasp the fact that other people have different opinions, in which you could learn to respect, then why are you here? Are you seriously planning on reading? That's incredibly stupid! That's like walking to the store and buying food you know you don't like, then purposely eating it just to complain about how bad it is. What are you doing?
Disclaimer: as much as I would like to be queen Rowling, I am not, I am king Miles and do not own any of her characters nor this unique story they call Harry Potter. I am merely a long time crazy Harry Potter fan, who has very persuasive friends and too much free time.
Fifteen-year-old Harry Potter was unable to sleep, despite the late hour. Instead, he had perched himself atop his desk chair that he'd moved to sit beside his small window. Rows of identical houses stood before him, all bathed in a dull orange due to the fading street lamps, separated by the road that ran in-between each street. Each held only one car that had previously had its existence known a little too loudly by its owner in a pathetic attempt to gloat.
Tired green eyes floated across the neighbourhood he had been forced to call home one more time, an equally weary sigh escaping him. Standing, he reached for the handle as he took one last breath of the cool night air, before gently pulling the window shut.
As he turned, his gaze drifted towards his desk, where several unopened letters were piled neatly on one edge. Guilt flooded through him, briefly replacing the former fear that had accumulated from his earlier dream, a dream involving his late Godfather, Sirius Black.
He shook his head in an attempt to brush away these feelings as anger quickly took their place. Turning on the spot, he moved towards his dresser, hastily pulling out a pair of pre-owned jeans and his infamous blue shirt, leaving them to practically hang from his slim body after peeling off his nightwear, still damp with sweat from the previous nightmare.
Roughly tying his beaten pair of trainers, he yanked a hoodie from his door handle and stepped out of the door, his mood intending on him stomping down the stairs before he decided he'd rather not wake up his relatives. Irritated or not, he would probably find himself in the cupboard under the stairs for the rest of his time here.
As another sigh escaped him, he tiptoed down the hallway and crept down the stairs, slipping through the front door and wandering into the night.
He could feel his eyes on him. He wasn't stupid; he knew the order was watching him; he'd sit with Tonks on the same bench at the same time every day, looking onto the broken playground, as a result of his cousin Dudley, no doubt. She was the only one who had actually attempted to talk to him this last fortnight, always one for breaking the rules. Their friendship had strengthened as she didn't potter around pretending she wasn't there; it was refreshing to know they both had somebody in a time like this.
He focused on the path below him, his feet unknowingly leading him toward the said battered park. His mind started to veer back to the open letters, causing him to frown and his hands to sink deeper into the pockets of his trousers.
Guilty. He felt guilty. All he'd wanted the previous summer was information, and now he refused to even glimpse at it; he refused even to acknowledge it. His stomach tightened as he thought of what his best friends Ron and Hermione may have written. Tonks had informed him days earlier that Hermione had been worried sick, always eager to know how he'd been doing and longed for his reply to her many letters.
He hadn't meant to ignore her; he hadn't meant to ignore anyone; he just didn't know what to say.
He huffed slightly, feeling all hope drain from him. Their relationship had shifted the previous year, his and Hermione's. It had hit him a few weeks after he had seen her fall; a few weeks after he'd seen Dolohov struck her. Harry almost growled in response to these images and attempted to keep focused.
After his disastrous first kiss with Cho Chang– he cringed as he remembered how wet her tears felt– he'd noticed Hermione had begun to distance herself, talking to him less frequently. Even throughout the stay at Grimmauld Place for Christmas. When she did speak to him, there was a certain sadness present in her eyes that Harry couldn't quite place. In the end, he dubbed it as nothing, but it had worried him greatly.
Moments after his equally disastrous first date with said Ravenclaw, the sadness had disappeared. Her brown eyes had sparkled happily, alight with humour as he filled her in, utterly oblivious to why each girl had reacted in such ways when the other was mentioned. Her cheeks had flushed when he had informed her that he, as a matter of fact, did not think she was ugly in the slightest, but at the time, he'd assumed her red cheeks were the result of the cold weather.
Weeks had gone by, the hand-holding, the lingering touches, the bone-crushing hugs increased steadily, until right before he'd left his carriage on the Hogwarts Express. She had done something she had only done once before; she had raised herself on her toes, intending on kissing him on the cheek. Her lips had landed on the corner of his mouth, igniting a fire beneath his skin and causing bright red to trail across his face and down his neck. That same blush appeared once more at the thought. She had lowered her head, resting it on his chest before snaking her arms around his waist, whispering a promise to write soon.
He had felt more emotion in that one moment than he had in the previous few weeks. Now he walked under a sky of stars, frowning.
Eventually, he made it to his destination, and headed for the swings, walking past the once squeaky rusted gate that now made no noise from its place on the floor.
Looking between the pair of swings, he sighed as only one remained in good condition; the other had been wrapped around the faded red pole that held them up
Pulling down the hood of his jumper as he sat, he took in his surroundings. His head snapped to the side when he heard the bush behind him shake; he held his breath to listen closely as the hairs on the back of his neck stood up. Mumbling something incoherent under his breath, he turned to the source of the sound.
"I know you're here", he said as though it were the most obvious thing in the world.
The noise paused. Harry rolled his eyes.
Turning once more, he asserted, a little louder this time, "Remus, I can hear your breathing; either come out and sit with me or quiet down because frankly, it's rather distracting."
More silence followed, Harry kept his gaze forward until– as if out of nowhere– the lycanthrope appeared in front of him, his head tilted to the side. Harry looked up at him, raising an eyebrow in challenge. The ex-professor let out a light laugh before extracting his wand.
With a flick of his wrist, the neglected swing beside him silently untangled itself before gently floating back into place. Remus sat heavily on the seat as his tired joints protested against the sudden movements.
No one said anything for a while, and Harry was grateful for that; he hadn't expected Remus to show himself at all.
"How was the full moon?" he said suddenly, breaking the night's silence; Remus turned to him, eyebrow raised.
"The full moon. It was two days ago. I couldn't see because of the clouds, but Snape took your shift, so I could only assume. How was it?" He explained, repeating his previous question.
Remus shook his head, giving him a look that seemed to say, 'Of course, you know everyone's shifts; why wouldn't you?'.
The werewolf sighed, "Not the best, not the worst." he informed with a shrug; Harry nodded in understanding as silence washed over them once more, both heads raised as a faint orange began to leak into the dark sky.
"How are you?" Remus asked the lingering question, turning away from the sunrise.
"I'm surprised you don't know, considering you guys watch me every moment of every day", he replied shortly, almost missing the look of guilt that flashed across his old professor's exhausted face; he sighed.
"I'm sorry," The young wizard started sheepishly, "This mustn't be easy for you either, Moony." he mentally kicked himself; he hadn't just lost his Godfather.
Remus had lost his best friend.
A wave of fear rose from the pit of his stomach as he imagined Ron or Hermione dying in front of him; he wouldn't be able to stand it.
"I'm -." he went to answer the previous question-before the lycanthrope could respond-with the classic 'I'm fine,' but knew Remus would see right through it, and instead settled with: "I'll be okay." in which the auror seemed to accept. "How is it on your end?" he asked in an attempt to diffuse the slight tension he had created.
"It's alright; Dung is driving everyone mad, I included. I'm surprised Tonks hasn't strangled the guy considering her hair practically glows every time he breathes." Harry, despite himself, chuckled at this, Remus' fondness of the metamorphosis still present. "I've been coping... Alright, I suppose. Mrs Weasley is absolutely terrifying, as per usual, keeps trying to set him straight but no avail; I don't know how those kids deal with her on a day to day basis, must be tiring."
"They're just as bad; it's in the redhead genes." he chuckled, allowing the now comfortable quiet to sink around them.
"When... When do you, uh... think I'll be out of here?" Harry questioned hesitantly, and for what was like the hundredth time that night, Remus let out a long sigh.
"A while yet, Harry, I'm sorry." His words made Harry hang his head involuntarily, only to lift it moments later when he felt a hand on his shoulder. "If I could, I'd bring you back to the Burrow with me, but I'll already be in enough trouble for talking-"
"The Burrow?" Harry interrupted quickly, "Why're you meeting at the Burrow? Why not Grimmauld?" He continued, feeling a pang of sadness at the mention of his Godfather's home.
"This is exactly why I shouldn't be talking to you, Harry. We could slip up and tell you too much. Dumbledore will explain everything when he sees it fit. But for now, you must wait." He scolded, his tone suggesting that he will not be explaining the Orders regular presence at the Burrow tonight.
Harry Huffed, scrunching up his nose and pouting like a child. He did understand Remus' reasons; he just didn't accept them.
"Now, if you had read your letters, you may have the right to complain about your lack of information." he countered at his best friends son's expression. Seeing as the boy made no move to reply, the only sign of him hearing what he'd said was his hunching shoulders, Remus continued. "I received a letter from Hermione a few days ago, asking for you; she said she had contacted Tonks too. She's worried about you, Harry."
His stomach dropped, her loyalty; everyone's loyalty made him sick; how could they wish to stay close to him when he was nothing more than an explosive weapon, one that could go off at any moment and take so many with him?
"I know," he muttered barely above a whisper. "I just don't know what to say to her... We kind of…" he trailed off, "I don't think I've dealt with this the best way." he admitted, seeing Lupin's eyes soften before putting his head in his hands.
Checking his watch, he noted that the Dursleys would be waking up in a few hours; turning to Remus, he forced a smile onto his face. "I better get back before they realize I'm not there." Here Remus nodded, and both wizards moved to stand. "I'll see you around, Moony," Harry promised before turning and making to leave the abandoned playground.
"When you see her, talk to her", Lupin replied, causing Harry to turn, only to face the empty pair of swings restored to how they stood when he had found them. Harry tutted slightly before once again turning and making his way back' home'.
Arriving home, he was greeted by the sound of muffled snoring and the smell of bleach; Aunt Petunia must have finished her midnight wipe down of all the surfaces and returned to bed. Using this to his advantage, he crept up the stairs and made for the shower after stopping by his room to pick up clean underwear.
Upon stepping under the hot, pouring water, he felt his entire body relax. Leaning his head against the cold tiles, he felt all other thoughts drift from his mind as he moved to rid the lingering sweat and grime from his body.
Fifteen minutes later, Harry found himself fresh and clean, holding his shirt in his hands. He wiped the mirror that hung above the sink and took in his reflection. His unruly, raven hair was more wild than usual due to his former attempts of drying the overgrown mess. Unkempt curls stuck up in odd directions and framed his face like a hand made art project. The same emerald eyes stared back at him; the dark circles under them were the cause of his plagued dreams. Over the past school year, he had matured somewhat, his jawline more defined as well as his cheekbones, completely ridding him of his chubby cheeks; his chin now held a slight stubble which he refused to shave. He had also grown abundantly throughout the past few summer weeks, now standing several inches taller, his height lining perfectly with his now broader shoulders. He was still skinny, probably more than what was considered healthy, but he had gained weight the past school year, only to lose most of it within a month of being back.
Suddenly, thoughts were broken; gaze was drawn from the mirror and towards the bathroom door as he heard his Uncle's pounding footsteps vibrate through the hall and down the stairs, then looked at his watch, which read '4 am '. What maniac would knock on the Dursley's door at four in the morning?
His questions were answered quickly at the sound of a muffled yelp, followed by a louder 'BOY!' snapping him out of his frozen state as he scrambled to pull his shirt over his damp head; yanking open the bathroom door and flying down the stairs, taking two at a time.
He was greeted by a familiar twinkle behind a pair of half-moon glasses when he reached the bottom.
"Ah, Harry, how nice of you to join us." Dumbledore greeted cheerfully.
This was going to be a long night.
If any of you are interested in the back story of this fanfiction, the "Before the events of convince me otherwise" One short compilation will be up soon. Thank you for reading.