Harry's eyes snapped open. His back arched slightly as he gasped in a deep breath of air. He heard someone call his name. A hand gripped his arm. A blurry figure with dark messy hair and slanted, deep blue eyes. The walls were familiar. Grimmuald Place.
"There's a castle," Harry gasped, eyes burning with tears. "There's a castle in my head." And he burst into tears. Curling onto his side, face pressed into the pillow, he felt Heero bend so his body protected Harry's own. Still gasping and crying, Harry reached out a weak hand and grabbed Heero's wrist. "Can... can I see Tro and Quatre? Please?"
"You will have anything you need," Heero promised, voice low and solid as ever. Fingertips grazed his wet cheek before Heero slipped silently from the room.
Alone, Harry turned his face into the pillow and screamed. He screamed and screamed until he felt a warm body wrap all around him. It held him together, kept him from shattering further. Calm washed over him. Harry turned so that he faced Quatre and curled into his brother's warm arms. Quatre hushed him gently and just lay with him, holding him tight.
"Cat... " he moaned softly. His hands spasmed and clenched around the soft button-down Quatre wore. Harry looked up and saw that his brother was watching him. The expression on his face was of perfect grief. His empathy was wide open.
"Harry... I'm so sorry." Quatre pressed their foreheads together, breaking that painful eye contact. "I never wanted you to know this pain."
Harry wept quietly, knowing that he wasn't alone. Quatre understood exactly how he felt. Quatre was here with him.
Suddenly the bed dipped and Harry felt a second lean body press against him. He was suddenly sandwiched.
"Little brother," Trowa said softly.
"Tro... " Harry felt the pain surge anew. He shimmied until he had his face pressed to Quatre's chest, the soothing magic soaking into him, and Trowa wrapped around him from behind. "I... I saw my mum. Lily." He laughed wetly. "It was an accident, but I saw her. So much of his memories of her are wrapped up in his every thought that it just... spilled over." He closed his eyes tight and saw the shimmering sunrise red hair, the smiling green eyes. He really did have his mother's eyes, like Remus said.
"We've got you, Harry," Quatre murmured. His hand stroked through Harry's sweat-damp hair.
"Let it out, little one," Trowa added, pressing still closer until Harry was practically cradled by his body.
"It was Snape." Harry opened his eyes. He could see Trowa's arms around his waist, Quatre's chest rising and falling, still radiating magical warmth, his own knees curled up toward his chest. It was all so solid and real, but so were the images that refused to fade behind his eyes. "He loved her. So much."
"Harry?" Quatre reached down to tilt his head up, to make eye contact. "Did Snape do this?"
Harry pulled free of that light grip and pressed close to Quatre's chest again. "I just... I want you to hear me. Before you do anything."
"I'm sorry." Quatre returned to petting his hair. "Forgive me, Harry. Of course we aren't going anywhere. Not until you're ready."
Harry nodded. Quatre and Trowa, they weren't like the others. They understood he sometimes needed to lie still. It was safe to unburden his heart and know they wouldn't immediately jump up and do something about it all. They would stay and hold him for as long as he needed.
Slowly the tension drained away, the images slowed as his heart did. He lay calm in his brothers' arms. "Snape came to show me how to build a castle in my thoughts. He's a master at guarding his mind. He knew... " Harry's throat tightened and Quatre's hand tensed in his hair in reaction. But he had to be strong. He swallowed the painful lump and continued. "He knew Voldemort possessed me."
"It wasn't your fault," Trowa told him, and Harry knew it was true, but...
"It was horrible, Trowa. I... I really hurt Duo." Harry felt the tears come again. "He was so hurt! He screamed so much and... and the blood... Duo, he was crying... Duo was! I've never seen him cry because something hurt. Not even when he breaks something... I tortured him!"
"Hush, little one." Trowa began to rock slightly back and forth as Harry panted and gasped for air.
"Duo is fine," Quatre promised, his own heart pounding with Harry's panic. "He's strong. What happened was horrible, but you and Duo survived. There's hope. There's always hope."
Harry's hands clenched into fists. It took a few minutes, but Harry slowly calmed down. He lay limp and exhausted. "Snape cast that spell... It was like a song playing over and over. I listened to it. Watched as it built this enormous castle over and over. Until I began singing it, too. I couldn't help it, you know? I'd heard it so much. But that's when... When I realized the music had stopped. That I was the one singing. I could wake up."
There was a pause before Trowa asked, hushed, "What does it do?"
"It protects my mind. So nothing can break in. So Voldemort can't." Harry pulled back to look up at Quatre. "But there was bleed through. I could see her. She's always in his thoughts. Where his thoughts touched mine to build the castle, she was there. In the corners. My mum." Tears filled already raw eyes. "She was beautiful."
Quatre put his hands on Harry's cheeks. He stared into Harry's face in understanding, both of them now sharing a pillow, eyes level. Quatre had lost his only parent, his father, in the Gundam war. Even without empathy, he'd know what Harry was feeling. "Oh Harry."
"Snape has to keep his true mind locked away. It's driving him mad. Serving Voldemort because of the mark on his arm. He's a slave. He does his best to help Dumbledore, but he's being twisted. He's going to die soon, Quatre. He's not really sane anymore."
Quatre pressed a kiss to Harry's forehead and smoothed back his hair. "Don't think about it, Harry. Not right now. For right now, let's just talk about the good things. What was she like, your mother?"
Harry smiled and let his eyes fall closed. "She had hair the red gold of dawn. She wore it down mostly. And it was always flying up around her in the breeze or when she spun around. I really do have her eyes, and she felt things. All sorts of things..."
And Harry told them about the girl in his dreams. The girl caught in Snape's. The one Harry had lost before he'd even had the chance to know her.
x x x
Heero stood outside the master bedroom. His back was pressed to the wall across from the door, his arms folded tight. He hadn't moved since he'd escorted Trowa to the room almost three hours ago.
Sirius came down the hallway, stopping a few feet from him. "Are you certain we shouldn't check on them?" he asked quietly.
"Quatre would contact us if we were needed. Harry wanted time with them," Heero answered without looking at the man.
Sirius shifted his feet, a gesture of uncertainty. "It wouldn't hurt to peek in," he suggested quietly.
Cold blue eyes turned toward Sirius and the man flinched and looked down. Without a word spoken, without Heero turning his head, Sirius understood that he would not get any closer to that bedroom than he was now. A single glance of Heero's eyes and Sirius had backed a step.
The stalemate broke as Quatre slipped from the room, shutting the door silently behind him again. He gestured with a flick of his head and a raised eyebrow. Heero turned to Sirius. A second later, Sirius applied a silencing ward so that those in the room wouldn't hear their conversation.
"Report," Heero stated, eyes locked on his brother.
Quatre leaned against the door and let out a tired sigh. "He's sleeping. He remembers the possession in vivid detail. I think he needs to see Duo when he wakes. He's unconsciously avoiding asking about him or asking to see him. We need to break that barrier or it could affect their relationship permanently."
Heero nodded and Sirius shifted uncertainly again. The trouble was Sirius could imagine what it had been like for Harry. His own haunted and violent childhood meshed with his new violent path as a Death Eater and he shuddered.
"The mind spell put the instructions of a mental defense in Harry's mind," Quatre continued the report. "Harry calls it a castle. He insists that it will protect him from anyone trying to get in his head, even Voldemort. He was trapped in his own mind until he could produce the castle on his own. The sharing of these instructions left Harry with memories of his mother, so he is grieving that loss as well."
"Do we know the identity of the perpetrator?" Heero asked coldly.
"Snape," Sirius answered. He ducked his head slightly as two sets of hard eyes shifted to him. "Snape is a Master Occlumens and he knew Lily in childhood. They were also friends in Hogwarts up until 5th year. He was in love with her."
Quatre nodded and pushed hair from his face. "Yes. It seems that Snape is a double agent. However, Voldemort has marked his followers. This mark forces him to hide magically and psychologically in order to assist the Light. The strain has degraded his sanity, as I sensed earlier. Harry suspects Snape will die soon."
Sirius looked shocked, but Heero merely nodded. "Status?"
Quatre leaned even more against the door, his body nearly limp with exhaustion. "Harry's mind is intact, however he is severely traumatized. I believe the trauma of witnessing Duo's torture will make him adverse to violence. He's going to be emotional and have triggers for awhile. Talking to Dr. Bohren will help, but I think it's too soon. He needs to process everything. I also think it's too soon for the exorcists that Duo and Wufei found to see him. I believe he needs to get back to his routine and return to Hogwarts in a few days. He can see Dr. Bohren next weekend. Depending on the doctor's evaluation, we can try the exorcisms that weekend or the next."
"We may not have that much time," Sirius whispered. He had his arms crossed in front of him, his shoulders hunched unhappily. "The Death Eaters are already talking about their next move."
Heero shook his head sharply once. "We will take whatever time Harry needs."
"I think we do have time," Quatre added. "You said that Voldemort hardly ever attends these meetings. Think about it. Voldemort resurrected using the death of an innocent girl. Then he expended a massive amount of magical power resurrecting his basilisk. It took months after that before he attacked Diagon Alley. Again, he spent a lot of power in that attack and it took months more before he was seen again. I think the battle and possessing Harry will keep him down for a while. He is clearly not at one hundred percent."
Sirius perked up. "That would be a blessing if true."
Heero pushed off the wall. "Stay with Harry. I will inform the others of developments."
Quatre nodded and slipped quietly back into the bedroom where his husband and child slept deeply. As for Sirius, he returned to his bedroom to prepare for his next meeting with the Death Eaters.
x x x
Duo slipped into the garden of Grimmuald Place near silently. There were straggly bushes, a circular stone path, and stone benches here and there. Harry was sitting on one. He had a bright orange ball in his left hand and was squeezing it. Simple exercises to strengthen the hand he'd regrown.
Duo strode over to the small teen. Harry head was ducked, his long braid trailing over his shoulder and down his chest. The messy bangs hid most of his face from view. Duo came to a stop directly in front of him. Harry continued to squeeze the ball. Duo sighed and crouched. As he lowered, he could make out a tightly held mouth set in a pale face and silver-framed glasses.
"Hey, Harry-chan," Duo said softly. His hands dangled in between his spread thighs as he crouched. There was no response. Duo felt a spike of temper. "Look at me, Harry!"
Green eyes peered at him from behind glass.
Duo offered a smile. "We're not going to let this little wannabe Lord beat us, you know?"
Harry looked away.
Duo sighed and stood. "Alright. Fine. What do you want to do Harry? Never talk to me again?"
Harry threw the ball as hard as he could across the garden, but he still couldn't face Duo.
Duo grabbed Harry's collar and forced the boy to his feet. "I'm fine," he growled. "It hurt like a mother fucker, but I'm fine. This..." he shook the teen, ignoring the tears now streaking Harry's face. "This makes me very not fine. You're my little brother, damn it! No matter what, we stick together. We promised, Harry!" Duo reached forward with his free hand and tugged Harry's braid. "We promised each other."
Harry gave a painful sounding cry and flung himself at Duo hard enough to tackled him to the ground. Crying, green eyes hard, he forced Duo's shirt off and examined his older brother's torso. He felt along every inch, traced the scars there, then he moved to Duo's hand. He tilted it this way and that, felt the strength of Duo's grip. Once he was satisfied, he flung himself down on top of Duo and burst into loud sobs, saying over and over that he was sorry, that he tried to stop it.
Duo smiled and held the teen, petting his long braid. "It's okay, Harry-chan. It is. I know it doesn't feel like it, but I'm okay and that wasn't you. It was Lord Fear of Death, and we're going to end him, Harry. We really are. I promise."
Harry nodded and burrowed into Duo's arms. "I... I am so sorry, Duo! I couldn't stop myself. I hurt you so bad, and when I cut off your fingers... God, Duo!"
"Shhh," Duo soothed.
"I felt so excited, so happy and you were screaming," Harry yelled. He was nearly hyperventilating now.
Duo captured Harry's face and forced the teen to look at him. "We're going to free you from this. You have to have faith in your big brothers. You have your castle now, and we have exorcists who are going to break your connection to that madman once and for all once your feeling better."
Harry took a big shuddering breath and wiped at his face. "I'm feeling better," he rasped. "I want to see them now." He met Duo's eyes, desperation burning in his own. "I need him out of me, Duo. Please."
Duo smoothed Harry's damp bangs out of his face and kissed his forehead. "Rest for now, okay? Plus we have to get you back to school. Next weekend we can talk about the exorcists. They're not going anywhere."
Harry sat bolt up right, hands fisted. "No. Getting him out of my head comes first! I want to see the exorcists."
Duo slowly nodded. "I'll talk to Heero."