The Baker Street Irregulars

Disclaimer: Don't own Potter. Try not to take weapons – I've worked hard on them with friends. Basic revenge plot from Alexandre Dumas's Count of Monte Cristo (also a wicked movie), and scenes shamelessly stolen from Indiana Jones, Kill Bill, Pirates of the Caribbean and much more.

Chapter Two: Meeting

The door to Dumbledore's office burst open through the use of wandless magic as Remus stormed into the room, pure werewolf emotion coming off of him in waves. Remus glanced at the door only briefly before stalking up to where Dumbledore sat behind his pristine, dark wood, completely clean desk.

"What in Merlin's name were you thinking?" Remus snarled. "Sending a sixteen year old boy to Azkaban prison! Azkaban! Did you finally snap, old man? Tell me why, goddamnit, why?"

Dumbledore, who had not moved during Remus' rant, looked up impassively. "Harry Potter killed that man, Remus. You saw the evidence. I regret that it is unfortunate that Lily and James' son would—"

"Don't you dare talk about them like you know how they would feel, Dumbledore," snapped Remus, clenching his hands together tightly, and ignoring the warm oozing sensation, that was his blood, pooling around his fingers before dripping to the floor.

Dumbledore cleaned it up with a simple scourgify. His eyes didn't twinkle, and his mouth was set in a straight, grim line. His face was a colour of paste, and his body was slumped over and smaller than usual. Remus wasn't sure, but he was guessing that Harry's incarceration was taking more of a toll than Dumbledore wanted to admit. For whatever reason, Dumbledore believed himself to be right, and that was all that mattered – after all, he was the most powerful wizard in the world.

But maybe not anymore, Remus thought sadly. "You realize," he spoke, enunciating his words slowly and clearly, "That if you are wrong… and Harry is innocent, which he is, regardless of what you believe or not… you will most likely have either a puddle of meaningless goo – in which, if that is the case, be expected to turn into a werewolf for the rest of your pitiful life – or a very, very angry and dark wizard on your hands. One, who, I might mention, will not help you in fulfilling the prophecy."

Dumbledore's left eye gave a small twitch. "I don't believe it will come to that. It is, after all, an unfortunate incident, but –"

"UNFORTUNATE INCIDENT!" roared Remus. "You're sounding just like that fool, Fudge, Dumbledore!" Remus peered into the eyes of the headmaster, and without warning, quickly drew his wand and shouted, "Finite Incantatum!"

Neither Dumbledore's expression, nor behavior changed. "I am under no spell, Remus."

Remus, silent for a long time, sighed and hung his head, his hand with the wand in it falling to his side. "At least tell me why, Albus."

Dumbledore sighed, his weary eyes dark as he remember something particularly discouraging. "Do you know who Tom Riddle is, Remus?"

Remus nodded his head slowly. "Top student here fifty years ago… now Voldemort. Why?"

"Do you remember learning a case in History of Magic, titled 'R. v. Riddle'?" Dumbledore continued, leaning on his desktop with his elbows and propping his hands together.

Remus's brow furrowed. "I believe so. It was a landmark case or something like that… Riddle, the boy, was charged with the murder of his father and grandparents. However, when they went to check his wand using Prior Incantatum, only the last spell he did was lumos, and they kept checking, but there was no Unforgivable."

"What else?"

Remus continued, with his eyes glazed over as he remembered his sixth year, so many, many moons ago. "Well, Riddle got off. The Ministry took the blow because they couldn't give Veritaserum to a sixteen-year-old boy, because pf the potent amount of some of the properties in it. Something like it would become a hallucinogen?"

"That is correct, Remus. The use of ayahuasca is in Veritaserum, and as you know, ayahuasca is a hallucinogen when drunk on its own," Dumbledore sighed. "And then, a year later, Tom Riddle disappeared off the face of the earth, only to appear five years later as Lord Voldemort."

Remus blinked. "And… what does this have to do with Harry and his case?"

"Do you know just how powerful Voldemort is, Remus?" asked Dumbledore carefully, glancing up at the agitated man.

Remus shook his head.

"Voldemort is extremely powerful. He is so powerful that he can do a minimum amount of wandless magic, which I myself cannot even do. Oh, well, we can do wandless magic when we are young or extremely emotional as you displayed earlier, of course, but once we receive a wand we channel our magic through it to do what we want."

"Then what, Albus?" Remus sighed, his patience wearing thin.

Dumbledore's eyes took on a hard quality. "He used wandless magic on his father and grandparents, Remus… just like Harry. You can say whatever you want a spell to be, but it's the intent that comes out of the wand. For first years, you teach them that saying 'lumos' means your wand tip will light up. But, say someone doesn't learn like that – they just want light and they have a wand. Their wand tip will glow. It's the intent of magic."

Remus stared. "You know Harry wouldn't kill someone, Albus. You know that." He paused. "What are you hiding from me?"

Dumbledore squirmed under the werewolf's glare. "Nothing."

"You're not the only one who is good at Legilimency," snapped Remus uncharacteristically. "Now, what is it that you're hiding?"

Dumbledore sighed. "The last time I hid something from someone, Harry accused me of being the one who killed Sirius… fine. I shall tell you."

Remus crossed his arms and waited.

Dumbledore took a deep breath and recited, "The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches… born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies … and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not … and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives … the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies …"

Remus stared. "You're joking." He paused, waiting to see Dumbledore's reaction, and when he didn't receive one, he let out a primal growl. "Harry would not kill someone for practice or pleasure, Dumbledore! He will kill Voldemort, if he has to, but he wouldn't do it because he liked it!"

Dumbledore's eyes shone in sadness. "Remus, please… understand that we can't know that anymore. He was very upset that night, and he may have decided to try something on his own –"

"How can you say that?" Remus spat. "How can you say that about the one boy who ever looked up to you as a mentor?" He shook his graying head. "That's just plain daft, Albus. I thought you knew better."

Dumbledore turned away. "He will not be given a trial, Remus. Tonks had his wand and checked it. It's clear, but that doesn't mean he couldn't have done the wandless magic. We both know Harry is powerful."

Remus didn't say anything, just set his teeth together with a firm, jutted chin.

Dumbledore sighed. "I see. I cannot change your mind, and you cannot change mine."

"Harry is innocent. He will never trust you again!"

"He never trusted me anyway, Remus," murmured Dumbledore, "We had a falling out before he left school. It would not have made much of a difference."

"Say you're wrong! Then what?" Remus begged. "Then what will you do?"

Dumbledore turned his head away. "I cannot believe that I am wrong about this, Remus. Harry will need to learn to kill, and with his emotions all over the place because of Sirius's death, he will be likely to go Dark. Going to Azkaban, I'm afraid, is the best precaution we can have. I would rather deal with losing to Voldemort than see Harry turn."

Remus snapped his mouth shut.

"Did you find what you were looking for, Remus?"

He blinked his eyes a couple times, hoping to remove the tears that he knew would soon fall when he would step out of the room, and nodded. "Yes. I did, Headmaster," he whispered.

He turned and walked toward the door, pausing to look around at the office he once loved as a child. Dumbledore had given him a chance at a normal, wizard life and an education he would never have received because of his status as a werewolf. And now, Remus felt betrayed. The man that once swore to protect him was now turning away the one boy who needed protection, more than anything. And, in doing so, Dumbledore was turning away not only James and Lily's child, but also Sirius' godson, and the only boy Remus ever thought remotely as kin. He was destroying everything, everything the Order had worked for; everything Sirius and James and Lily died for.

Remus felt a lump in his throat, and squared his shoulders. "Goodbye, Dumbledore," he said, before leaving the office in a brisk stride. Engrossed in his thoughts and his pain, he didn't realize that the door to the office slammed shut behind him wandlessly.

He wouldn't set foot again in Hogwarts for many, many years to come.

Severus Snape never liked James Potter. Or Sirius Black, now that he thought about it, and he hardly tolerated Remus Lupin (he didn't like dogs. He really didn't.). But, he did respect young Potter… er, well, Harry that is… even if he didn't say it. But the boy did have a talent for miracles, if anything.

There was that time with the Philosopher's Stone… and the basilisk fang… oh, oh, and meeting Voldemort when he was fourteen and somehow surviving it – really, can't imagine how that came to be when most Death Eaters left that party under the effects of crucio – and then there was that rather spectacular moment in the Department of Mysteries, where Voldemort took over Harry's body…

Severus shook his head. Oh yes, if anything, that boy was a kicker. He wasn't going to roll over and die in Azkaban, Severus was quite sure about that. In fact, the more that he thought about it – and the conversation that he accidentally overheard just recently – he was quite sure that Harry was going to want some visitors. Oh, and books. And perhaps some decent food? Merlin knows that Azkaban only served Nutella and water. Severus was sure he could sneak something in… maybe an apple?

Planning, a foreboding sneer in place (must keep up appearances, of course), he strode toward his room in the dungeons and prepared to brief the Dark Lord on Potter's latest misdemeanor.

He stopped before a gargoyle, glared at its beady eyes for a bit (there hadn't been any students in his way, oh darn it!) and snapped out, "Belladonna."

Entering his humble, dungeon abode, Severus made his way over a thick, padded green carpet and went straight for his liquor cabinet.

He was so engrossed in the thought of some hard liquor that he didn't notice his godson until he spoke.

"Well, today was eventful, wasn't it, Professor?" the drawling, I'm-so-better-than-you voice of Draco Malfoy stated.

Severus jumped, pathetically, especially since he was a spy, and clutched is hand to his chest where he felt his heart race. "Merlin's balls, Draco – give an old man a heart attack, why don't you?"

"Sorry," the teenager grinned, not sorry at all. He sat in one of the large, black wingback chairs that were a pair. The flickering red and oranges of the fireplace that was before him illuminated his face. "I saw Potter."

Severus's head snapped up from the tan liquid he was pouring. He set the Firewhisky down and glanced at the young Slytherin. "When?"

"Before he was escorted out of the Ministry."

Severus put down the shot glass. "How was he? Did he… say anything?"

Draco shook his head, the light bouncing off his blond hair. "No. Actually, he seemed very… resigned, content. Like he knew what he was facing, and was accepting it. Lupin was there, beside him, and helping him through the crowd. Looked pale, of course, with two Dementors near him… but he still held up pretty well." Draco fell silent afterwards, only to ask minutes later, "Will he be sane when we get him out?"

Severus was silent. Finally, he said in a soft voice, "I don't know."

"This is absolutely, completely, and utterly useless," came the sound of a melodic, female voice. The owner of that voice stepped out of a backroom that was located in Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, coughing and choking on a dusty text.

Ginny Weasley was a fairly tall girl, taking after Bill, Percy and Ron in the vertical department. Of course, she was her mother's daughter and had the lungs to prove it too, so in reality, she was more like Molly Weasley than one would imagine.

"No, it's not," replied another girl, this one with brown bushy hair and cinnamon eyes. "We've got to help Harry get out of Azkaban. I doubt there will be a trial or anything like that… it's going to be like Sirius all over again!"

Ginny fell silent. "I miss him. I wonder how Harry is going to deal with…" she trailed off, ending the message awkwardly.

Fred Weasley, one person of a pair, looked up from his notes. "Harry will be fine, Gin. Well, okay, not fine per se, but he'll manage. He's the Boy-Who-Lived."

"That's why he's in that place! Because he's their bloody hero!" snapped Hermione Granger, throwing a book at Fred. She looked surprised, then ashamed, and then horrified when she realized it came from Hogwarts.

"Good aim," said Remus, as he wearily stepped out of the fireplace at 3W. Fred, Ginny, Hermione and the two others who had been silent looked up.

"Well?" Neville and George asked in unison. "What did Dumbledore say? When's Harry getting out?"

Remus sighed. "Harry's not getting out. Dumbledore believes he did it."

Hermione paled. "He… he couldn't."

Fred and George shared a terrified glance and shouted; "He must have been under a spell, imperious or something… he wouldn't do that on his own!"

"I tried, you two, I tried finite incantatum on him… and it didn't work. There won't even be a trial!" moaned Remus, sinking into a seat. His sandy brown hair was speckled with more grays than it had been before. "I've lost them both now. Both Sirius and Harry. What am I going to do?"

Hermione sighed. "Well, since there is no trial, we can't have someone give Harry Veritaserum, either, despite the laws against underage usage. They say you can use it in controversial cases, and I'm sure this is one."

Neville asked, "What about Prior Incantatum?"

Remus shook his head. "Dumbledore says Harry can do wandless magic. There's also precedent for the case, so it looks bad for him." He trailed off into silence, with the rest of the teenagers sullen.

Suddenly the fireplace turned a dark green, indicating someone was using the Floo. Immediately the people around the room and pranks and shelves slipped books away and hid floor plans, watching the hearth warily.

Severus Snape and Draco Malfoy stepped out regally, brushing the soot off their impeccable cloaks.

Severus turned and smirked at Remus. "Your conversation with the headmaster was enlightening, Lupin. I am surprised you could yell that loudly. You were always so quiet, even when you were with your… friends." Severus sneered the last part.

Draco "ahem'ed," and Severus glanced down at him, a mulish expression on his face. "Oh, fine," he muttered. "I overheard you in the office and believe that you are correct in your assumptions. Potter was framed for the murder – most likely by the Dark Lord, but I wouldn't put it past the Ministry either."

"Fudge was looking like he caught the snitch," inputted Draco, with a twitch of his nose when he thought of the expression.

"Cat that caught the canary," Hermione giggled to herself, pleased at the expression. "So what do we do now? What can we do?"

"No trial, no Veritaserum, no nothing," sighed Fred. "Harry's going to rot in there."

"We'll come up with something," protested Ginny, "We have to!"

Severus opened his mouth to say something, but instead he hissed, his right hand coming involuntarily up to clutch at his left forearm. Draco mimicked him, but an expression of extreme pain appeared on his face, despite his hope of keeping his apathetic mask on.

"We must go," Severus grimaced. "We will discuss this more, soon." He then turned on his heal, his cloak flaring out behind him as he strode to the 3W door, and then disappeared with a pop, Draco following him immediately after.

Hermione let her head fall slowly down to the tabletop, resting her chin on the edge. "What are we going to do at Hogwarts without Harry?"

No one answered.

A month and a some days later…

Hermione pulled out the gold Galleon that she had charmed for Harry as the leader of the DA and tapped it once with her wand, making the times and dates on it change. She watched as other members of the DA jumped slightly and felt around their pockets for the coin, glancing at her casually.

Hermione nodded back to a few of them, letting them know that it was a bona fide DA meeting. It was time to get back on track with Voldemort and his Death Eaters on the loose. She couldn't afford to become slack – none of them could.

"Tonight? It's only the second day of school," sighed Neville, as he slid in the seat across from Hermione at the Gryffindor table in the Great Hall. Ginny and Dean came behind him. Hermione wasn't too sure what was between those two anymore, but she didn't say anything. If Ginny wanted to gossip, she would listen.

"I know, Neville," said Hermione carefully, "But Harry was the best dueler in the school, and now that… that he's… well," Hermione choked slightly, "gone, we need to keep up appearances of being the best in Defense Against the Darks Arts."

Ginny sighed. "I wish… I wish things were different."

Hermione nodded. "So do I."

An hour later, once school was done and dinner had been served, Hermione was waiting for the members of the DA to arrive in the Room of Requirement. She stood in the middle, her hands folded behind her back as she worried her lip and paced restlessly.

Ginny, Neville, Dean and Seamus entered together, chatting and laughing before falling silent.

"It'll be all right, you know," commented Ginny with a wry smile on her lips. "I think you knew more spells and hexes than Harry ever did."

"But Harry had more practice!" Hermione wailed, tugging at the end of her wiry hair. "I'm not cut out for this, really, I'm not. Harry had more practice, Harry was meant to be a leader. Not Hermione 'The-Know-It-All' Granger."

"You might be a know-it-all," inputted Luna, as she walked in to the room during Hermione's wail, "but you happen to be our know-it-all."

Ron entered soon afterwards, looking wary and nervous. When he spotted the group of Gryffindors and lone Ravenclaw comforting Hermione, he immediately moved in that direction. "Everything okay, Mione?"

Hermione just wailed louder. "I can't take Harry's place! I'm not Harry! I'm not strong enough like Harry!" she placed her head in her hands and moaned some more. Ron blinked, before slumping and awkwardly patting Hermione's shoulder.

"You're not a failure; I can't believe you out of all people would say this. I mean, sure, there was that one time with Professor Lupin's boggart when you didn't manage to get perfect like Harry, but still…"

Ginny glared at her brother. "You're not helping," she warned in a singsong voice. Dean and Seamus chuckled while Luna tilted her head and studied both Ron and Hermione.

"Are you worried about something, Ronald?" she asked, blinking her owlish eyes at the redhead.

Ron sputtered. "What? No – I mean, why would I – oh, bugger…"

Hermione looked up at the admission. "What are you worried about? You're not the one who'll be leading the DA, Ron."

Ron's ear tips turned red and he began to shuffle from one foot to another. "It's just that… well, why are we starting the DA again?"

Dean paused before asking, "Why not?"

Ron cleared his throat, feeling extremely nervous with six pairs of eyes studying him. "It's just, well… so Harry's fought Death Eaters and Vol—Vol – You-Know-Who, but look where he is now—"

Ginny was sure that Ron would have continued to say more if he hadn't been on the receiving end of one of Hermione's famous slaps. In fact, if Ginny had to think about it, this slap was much harder than the one Hermione had given Malfoy in the Trio's third year.

"Bloody hell, Mione!"

Hermione's eyes weren't filled with tears anymore, but they were rimmed with red as the shorter witch glared at her thickheaded best friend. "How dare you!" she seethed. "How dare you say that about Harry! You know he's innocent!" When Ron refused to meet her eyes, Hermione let out an unearthly shriek. "RONALD BILLUS WEASLEY!"

Cowering slightly, Ron watched as Hermione stormed toward him, her index finger wagging in his general direction as she opened her mouth and let out a string of insults (not one swear word, though) that had him feeling like a four-year-old with his hand caught in the cookie jar. Mortified, Ron muttered out, "But he's in Azkaban, they wouldn't put someone innocent there…"

Hermione's face slackened. "I guess you forgot about Scabbers and Snuffles, then, didn't you?" she replied nastily. Ron's face paled at the statement.

"Well, that was a special case, really—"

"You listen to me, Ron! Harry is innocent. We've known him since we were all eleven years old, and never ever has Harry wanted to kill someone!"

"He killed the basilisk," inputted Ginny helpfully. Ron nodded to enforce the point.

"It was trying to kill him first, I can't believe you brought that up Ginny, Harry was there saving you from Voldemort!" let out Hermione in one sentence, whirling to face Ginny. She blushed before murmuring, "you're right," and then moved to hide behind Neville.

Facing Ron yet again, Hermione shouted, "Give me one reason – just one—where Harry deliberately hurt someone for pleasure!"

Ron didn't move, or say anything. As the seconds ticked by, and the door to the Room of Requirement opened again, Ron bowed his head. Other members of the DA were looking curiously at the group, but none were brave enough to come up and ask what was happening.

"That's what I thought," Hermione hissed. "Now, are you his best friend or not?"

"I am!" protested Ron in a whisper. "I am and I would never betray him!"

Hermione nodded, satisfied. "Then remember that, Ron. Why on earth would you think differently, anyway?"

Ron glanced away, at the floor and murmured, "It was like the Potters all over again… the best friend betrays the family, kills someone."

Hermione sighed, her hands falling lifelessly to her side as she shook her head. "Oh, Ron! Harry wouldn't do that. First of all, even if that was the same situation, Sirius was innocent remember? He never betrayed James or Lily. So, I think we need to have a little more faith in Harry."

"And how can we do that?" replied Ron sadly. "He's in prison, not a correctional center."

A Hufflepuff from near them overheard. "Why should we help him anyway?" he asked nastily. "He's a murderer!"

Hermione's face turned red again, but this time Ron pulled her back and warned her to be quiet. However, before Neville, Dean, Seamus, Ginny, Luna or Ron could say anything, a Ravenclaw from across the room shouted back.

"No, he's not!"

All of a sudden, the room burst into colour as spells and hexes and curses went flying back and forth, with people wearing their spoils of war. Hermione watched in part fascination, part horror as the group divided themselves into those who believed in Harry's innocence (all the Gryffindors, only a smattering of Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws), and those who didn't.

"This is insane!" breathed out Dean, his brown eyes wide as he watched from a safe distance. He shook his head, totally at a loss. "This is just wrong. We'll never fight and win against Death Eaters this way."

"STOP IT! STOP IT ALL OF YOU!"

Instantly, everyone lowered their wands and turned their multicoloured hair, body parts, boiled covered faces and hands, and the likes to face the speaker.

Luna Lovegood, normally the quiet, calm and odd Ravenclaw who saw things differently than everyone else, was glaring hard at the large group of witches and wizards. "How can you divide amongst yourselves when war is upon us? How can you not believe Harry? After everything he did for the school – for the DA – for all of you!"

"You heard what Fudge said! He killed the French Foreign Minister!" shouted Justin Finch-Fletchley.

Hermione rolled her eyes. Of course, he'd blame Harry. He did so when they were twelve, what's three years between then?

"And you believe that idiot?" snorted Ron. Hermione elbowed him. Yeah, like that was the best way to win them over, Ron, she thought, rolling her eyes.

Justin puffed his chest out and began to rant. "He's a Parselmouth! He's connected to You-Know-Who through his scar! He killed Cedric!"

Hannah Abbott was fidgeting next to her friend, but she was nodding her head, while Susan Bones and Ernie Macmillan were scowling at the two.

Cho, who had been quiet for most of the meeting, snapped, "Harry didn't kill Cedric, You-Know-Who did!"

"Technically," Hermione murmured to Ron, "it was Wormtail who did the killing and Voldemort who did the ordering."

He snorted but continued to watch the growing argument.

"I can't believe you'd stick up for him after what he did to your boyfriend!" called out a Ravenclaw, Terry Boot.

"We need to stop this!" whispered furiously Neville. "Before things get out of hand."

Seamus shook his head. "It's already out of hand… look – there they go again."

Indeed, some third year had hexed Terry, and then whole mess started up again. Hermione sighed and motioned for Luna to shout again. The younger girl did so, pleasantly.

"SPOT IT ALL OF YOU BEFORE YOU FIND YOURSELF DEALING WITH AN ANGRY CRUMPLE-HORNED SNORKACK!"

With the attention of the room once again on her, Hermione took a deep breath and tilted her chin up. "If you don't believe that Harry is innocent, I will ask you – kindly – to leave the DA. Harry created the Defense Association in good faith to help everyone who wanted it, and while he might have a kind heart and would have kept you all in here, I do not. Harry is my best friend and I will stand by him until the day I die. So I suggest you leave if you think a sixteen year old deserves Azkaban."

Hannah, Justin, Terry and a group of seven or so other Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs left, muttering and shooting glares as they did so. Only when they left and the door shut behind them did Hermione sink to her knees.

Talk exploded all around her, Harry being the topic.

Oh, Harry, she thought, as she tipped her head back and closed her eyes, we need you. Don't leave us. Please, don't leave me.

Azkaban was dark. And grimy, and there was something wet and just plain icky dripping from the ceiling but the young man that sat in the corner of the cell, in the area farthest away from the iron bars, barely noticed.

His gray shirt didn't offer any warmth and his meals were always brought to him cold. His eyes had faded from an expressive, vibrant emerald to a dull, unpolished jade. They stared unseeingly at the far wall, with no expression on the face. Black hair tumbled in wild disarray, stopping just before hitting the young man's eyes, resting on the edge of his glasses.

Glasses. Surprised they would let me keep something with glass in them. I could cut myself, and then where would they be? But no – I won't. Remus believes in me. So does Hermione. And Neville, Ginny, Fred and George.

I wonder what those two have been making since I arrived here. Here being Azkaban Prison, the notorious Azkaban prison, where no one escaped. No, that's not right, Sirius escaped.

Sirius. My Godfather. The only person I ever looked up to – well, Dumbledore doesn't count, really. Not anymore, anyway. No, Sirius was someone I loved. He was someone who was taken from me before his time, someone who I loved dearly. By Bellatrix, that fucking cousin of his – I will get my revenge. How she could kill her own family is beyond me.

Family. I had a family once. My mum and dad: also dead. They were taken from life when they were young too. No chance to live, no chance with me and that prophecy that is ruining my life.

The prophecy. I wonder if Dumbledore has told Remus or Hermione or Ron yet. No, not Ron… if he heard of it I'd have heard him yelling bloody murder at the top of his lungs. I wonder what he thinks of me. He looked so angry. So confused.

I'd be confused too. I am confused. I know I'm innocent, so I wonder how I was at that hotel. Probably polyjuice.

I remember the polyjuice potion. Hermione made it when we were twelve. Twelve. That was such a long time ago.

How long have I been in here? Days? Months? Hours? Seconds? Time meshes together in a place like this. There is no beginning, and no end. Will I even be sane if I get out? No, not if. When. When I get out. I will escape.

I wonder how Sirius escaped. He was an animagus. I'm not, so that doesn't help. The Dementors couldn't feed on him when he was a dog. Lunch. Speaking of Dementors, it's getting cold again.

Cold. It's really cold, and well – there goes mum again, screaming in my head for Voldemort to leave me and take her instead. He took her, all right. She's dead and I'm not. Shame, really. After everything that's happened to me, I should be dead.

Dad's voice now. Telling my mum to run. Oh, and there's Cedric. I've heard him at least a dozen times. And Pettigrew's voice following afterward, saying those fateful words.

Words are a funny thing. They can mean something or when you say something it can come out differently than you intended. Words are only so good. I wonder if you can do magic without saying words.

Magic. It's been so long since I've done magic. I miss it. I miss Hogwarts and the classes. Oh, hell, I even miss Snape. That bastard. Snivellus. Well… maybe I don't miss him that much.

"Is that the best you can do?"

Sirius. I miss him. I miss Remus too. And Hermione. Did I think about this already? Maybe. I can't remember. Remembering things is hard, especially with Dementors near by. All they do is make me remember horrible moments. Moments like when Ginny was almost dead, when I learned about Mr. Weasley being bitten. That one night… that night that started this all.

I'll never forget that night. There's not fear attached to it. No pain or happiness or anything. Indifference. Anger, if anything. That bloody night when Voldemort – no, Riddle – came back. Flesh, blood, bone.

That's what a human is made up of. They're only flesh, blood and bones. People are fragile things that can easily break. Their mind is even more fragile than we'd like to admit. Take Neville's parents, for example. Their mind broke. Things break easily in this world.

I know I am not so easily broken. I won't allow myself to be. I sleep, I wake up, and then I eat. I get lost in a storm of nightmares, and I dream of revenge on those who hurt me.

I will have my revenge. Bellatrix will die for what she did.

Death? No. Death is too good for them now. I've heard that before. A line from a book perhaps? Maybe not. Doesn't matter, anymore, does it? I'm in Azkaban. Prisoner #86225, that's me.

No, that's not right either.

I'm Harry Potter. The Boy-Who-Lived.

And then Harry closed his eyes and slept.

AN Braydon: I just wanna thank you (I'm guessing he meant me :-P) for writing such a great story and for listening to my ideas. And I also want to thank John Woo for feeding my homicidal tendencies with his amazing action movies.

AN Kneazle: chapter revision Oct.03.06