The Sugar Quill
Author: Ciela Night  Story: Memories That Hurt  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

Harry wandered about 12 Grimmauld Place in a daze

 

Acknowledgements: I’d like to thank my beta reader Suburban House Elf for the great job she did in editing and for suggesting some changes that made the story a lot better. Also thanks to the kind folk of the Sugar Quill who selected my story. I’m a Sugar Quill author, yay!

 

Note: As it said in the summary, there is slash ahead. If that’s not your cup of tea then you might want to hit the back button. Just a friendly reminder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harry wandered about number twelve, Grimmauld Place in a daze. Around him, members of the Order cleaned and collected things that would give any clue to the fact that they had used this house. It had been decided after the attack at the Department of Mysteries to change locations for the headquarters. Harry felt a sense of relief when he heard the news; this place had been like a prison to Sirius and most of Harry’s memories in this house were not happy ones; the sooner he could forget those memories, the better.

 

"Do you have anything to get, Harry?" asked Bill Weasley as he came down the stairs with a huge box in his arms. "Anything you left at Christmas?"

 

Harry shook his head. "No, don't think so." Ron and Hermione had gone outside again, each carrying items of importance to the Portkey that led to the new headquarters. Harry himself had made two trips already and he had gone back inside mechanically to get another load.

 

"All right- could you do me a favor then?"

 

"What do you want me to do?"

 

"We've almost finished packing up everything and Mad-Eye wants us to get a move on. Remus Lupin is still upstairs, I think. Could you find him and see if he needs help with anything?"

 

Harry hesitated. He really didn't want to spend any more time in here than necessary but he supposed he had better help. "Sure."

 

Bill thanked him and Harry hurried up the stairs.

 

"Professor Lupin?" he called softly into the dim hallway. No answer. Harry made his way down the hall, quickly checking in each open doorway. At the end of the hallway he stopped; the last door was closed. Harry stopped in front of it. A small stream of light was visible underneath the doorway. Harry knew this room, even though he had never been inside. It was Sirius's bedroom. What was Lupin doing in there?

 

"Professor Lupin?" he called again softly. He knocked on the door.

 

"Ah, Harry?" came the voice in the room. It was Lupin.

 

"Can I come in?"

 

In response, Harry heard Lupin say an incantation and the door opened with a small sigh. Harry stepped inside; the professor was standing over a small bowl that Harry recognized as a Pensieve.

 

Lupin gave a wan smile as he turned around to see Harry. His face was drawn and tired, and his eyes were red-rimmed. Harry took a step back; he didn't want to intrude on Lupin's grief.

 

"No, it's all right, I'm just finishing up." Harry saw that Lupin had his wand out and he knew what Lupin had been doing.

 

"Is that your Pensieve, Professor?"

 

"Er, no," said Lupin quietly. "It was Sirius's. Dumbledore sent one to him so he could take out some of his memories of Azkaban when the nightmares got to be too much."

 

"Can I put some in too?"

 

"What are you talking about?" asked Lupin, but his face wore a guilty look.

 

"Memories of Sirius. They hurt too much; I want to get rid of them. I know that's what you were doing."

 

Lupin sighed. "When you get to be my age, and you remember far too many horrible memories, that's when you can take them out. You're barely sixteen..."

 

Harry began to get angry. "So you think that my memories, my feelings aren't as strong as yours, that I didn't care for Sirius as much as you did!"

 

Lupin gave a helpless shrug. "I didn't mean it like that. Very well, if you wish, you can put one memory in the Pensieve. Only one though. Do you understand? I'm destroying the Pensieve before we leave and you won't be able to get that memory back."

 

"I know."

 

“Do you know how to do give up a memory to a Pensieve?

 

“Er, no.”

 

“I’ll show you how.”

 

Lupin picked up his wand and demonstrated the spell to Harry, showing him how to take out a memory. A silvery stream floated out in the air and Lupin directed it with his wand until it merged with the other memories in the bowl.

 

“You try now.” Lupin stepped back. “Remember, just one memory.” He went into another corner of Sirius’s room, as if to give Harry some privacy.

 

Alone now, Harry faced the Pensieve. He could see shadowy figures swirling in the silver-gray depths of the bowl. He tried to think of the memory he wanted to give up. He wondered what memories Lupin had put in. He contemplated for a few minutes and finally decided on the memory of Sirius giving him the two-way mirror. That memory was painful for more than one reason. Focusing hard on the memory, Harry murmured the incantation and his thoughts left him in a rush. Feeling momentarily disoriented, Harry struggled to rein in his thoughts and direct them towards the bowl. He finally succeeded in getting them in the Pensieve. Harry relaxed and let the memories go but as he lifted his wand out it hit against the side and touched one the silver contents. Instantly Harry felt himself being sucked into a memory. 

 

He landed with a slight bang on the floor in the middle of a room that Harry recognized as the Shrieking Shack. "Ow," Harry complained as he stood up stiffly. Then he stopped. Directly in front of him stood his father, Sirius and Peter Pettigrew. They were all staring straight at Harry.

 

For a moment Harry thought that they were looking at him and he nervously thought of ways he could explain his appearance. Then he realized that they couldn't see him; they were actually staring past him. Harry turned around to see sickly-looking Lupin lying on an old bed.

 

"Moony-" James was saying as he walked closer to Lupin.

 

"I said GO!" Remus answered emphatically. Sweat was poring down his face and his jaw was clenched tight.

 

James gave Sirius a look; Sirius returned it with an inscrutable gaze. James appeared to think for a minute and then he said cheerfully. "All right, Remus, we'll meet you outside." Harry watched his father usher Peter out the door. Before James left he gave Sirius a wink; Sirius responded with a small smile.

 

Sirius made his way over to the bed and sat down next to Lupin. Lupin shot him a sideways glance. "I thought I said for you to go," he groaned.

 

"Just 'cause you said to go doesn't mean -" Sirius gave him a cheeky grin.

 

"I'm serious this time! Go away and wait with James and Peter. I'll meet you when I'm finished transforming!"

 

Sirius scooted over on the bed and he pinned Remus against the headboard. Lupin tried to avoid Sirius's stare but he couldn't. He met Sirius's eyes and then looked away. Immediately Harry felt that he had intruded on something that wasn't meant to be seen. He tried to go out of the room but found that he couldn't. He remembered, he was in Lupin's memory and could only go where Lupin was.

 

"How come? How come you won't let me stay?" Sirius demanded.

 

Remus whispered something softly. Sirius's face changed. "Say that again," he said hoarsely.

 

"It’s not safe! Do you think I want to chance you or James or Peter getting bitten?”

 

“We’ve been over this before, Remus. Whenever you start to change I’ll go into my Animagus form. I can’t get lycanthropy when I’m transformed, ” Sirius interrupted impatiently.

 

“It’s just - I also don't want you to see me changing into a monster. You mean too much to me, I don't want to lose you..."

 

"We're your friends; we'd never do that!" Sirius answered hotly.

 

"No, I mean, I meant you... in particular," said Remus, his voice so low that Harry could barely hear him. Sirius let go suddenly of Lupin. Remus fell on his side, his face contorted with pain.

 

"You'd better go." Lupin pushed himself back up. "The moon's come out.”

 

"No, I'm staying." Sirius grabbed Lupin across the shoulders in a tight embrace and he put his mouth down close to Lupin's. "I'm not leaving, Remus," he breathed. He gave him a quick kiss. Lupin could only moan in response and he began to shake. The change was beginning.

 

Sirius let go and crossed the room, his eyes never leaving the thrashing figure on the bed.

 

Harry could only stand there, transfixed in a mixture of horror and fascination. A touch at his elbow made him turn. A grown-up Lupin was standing beside him. "Come on, Harry, I think you've seen enough." He gently pulled Harry out of the memory and back into Sirius's dark bedroom.

 

Lupin let go of Harry's arm and looked at him silently.

 

Harry thought back on the memory he had just seen; he blushed. "Professor-, I..I'm sorry, I didn't mean to," he stammered.

 

With a bitter laugh, Lupin replied, "No, I suppose you didn't mean to but the end result's the same. You know the truth now, about Sirius and me."

 

Harry nodded slowly, "I won't tell anyone though, Professor." He tried to get his head around the scene he had just seen. His godfather and Professor Lupin were – had been together? As a couple? Living with the Dursleys and their close-minded approach to anything or anyone different, Harry had never heard anything good about the gay population of Britain. Uncle Vernon had often referred to politicians as “bunch of poofs,” and had expressed the opinion that “all the queers and nancies should be kicked out and we’d be a lot better off.” In the wizarding world, well, Harry had never heard of homosexual wizards. He had a feeling that it was a bit of a taboo subject from the way Lupin was acting. He didn’t know for sure his thoughts on this subject, but one thing he knew for certain: Anything that Uncle Vernon was opposed to, he was in favor of.

 

"Thank you." Lupin looked as if he were about to say more but then there was a knock on the door.

 

"Remus?" Molly Weasley's voice called. "We're getting ready to leave in a few minutes."

 

"I'll be down soon," Lupin promised.

 

He waited until the footsteps died away before he turned back to Harry. "Did you put your memory in?" he asked.

 

Harry was still preoccupied with what he had seen. Now that he knew, certain actions made more sense. "Who knew? About you and Sirius?"

 

"Not many- your father did, of course. Peter suspected but I don't think he ever knew for sure. Your mother- James could never keep a secret from Lily. I suppose now you do too, Harry."

 

Harry digested this. He gave a glance at the Pensieve, peacefully swirling, silver-gray light reflecting off the ceiling. "You know," he began tentatively, "I don't think that I am going to give up a memory."

 

"That's a wise decision," said Lupin, giving Harry a clap on the back as he went back to the Pensieve. "You should probably go down. I'll be along in a minute after I destroy this."

 

Harry turned to go, a strange feeling in his heart. He turned around at the door. "Professor?"

 

"Yes?"

 

"I don't think Sirius would like you destroying the memories of you and him together."

 

Lupin blanched. "You don't understand, Harry," he swallowed hard and then went on. "Sirius understood me, he was a part of me. I need to let this part go, otherwise… I don't think I can go on."

 

Harry knew what he was talking about. He remembered how he felt when he realized Sirius was dead. Remus must feel the same way; he had lost the last member of his family as well. Harry closed his eyes and then opened them. "Dumbledore tells me that the pain I feel, it proves that I’m still a man, still human," he offered dully.

 

Lupin just stared at him.

 

Harry didn’t know what to do. He couldn’t help Lupin; he didn’t know what to say that could make the pain and sense of loss go away. Many people had tried with him in the past couple of weeks and no one understood, nothing they said helped. But he had to do something… He could not stand by and do nothing

 

“We should go before they send out a search party,” Lupin finally replied.

 

Harry nodded and he opened the door. He looked back quickly and saw Lupin standing over the Pensive, his wand pointing at his temple and ghostly silver memories disappearing back into his head. Harry started walking back down the hallway and down the stairs. The murmur of voices of the other members of the order reached him as he started down the last of the staircases.  “Harry, wait,” called Lupin tentatively behind him. Harry turned and Lupin spoke, “Perhaps we should talk sometime soon. I imagine that you’re going to have questions… and as I said earlier, I would prefer to keep this between you and me.” He said the last bit as though he wasn’t sure of Harry’s reaction.

 

“Er, sure professor,” answered Harry, as they opened the front door into the bright summer sunlight.

 

“Harry, you know that you don’t have to call me professor anymore,” said Lupin.

 

“Right. Sorry,” Harry answered. He looked at the Pensieve tucked under Lupin’s arm and thought back to the memory that he had seen. He realized that there was still a lot he didn’t know about Sirius’s life; some stuff he would never know. But there was someone still alive who could shed some light on any questions he might have and also share memories of Sirius and his parents.

 

There was also the revelation that Sirius and Lupin are- were a couple, that they were- are gay. Harry didn’t know exactly what he thought about this; he was still digesting this news. Why hadn’t Sirius trusted him with this information? Was he afraid that Harry would have rejected him? Harry would never know now, or maybe –

 

“Professor?”

 

“Yes, Harry?”

 

“D’you think that maybe we can we talk, tonight?”

 

“Of course.”

 

Harry thought if he could accept having an escaped Azkaban prisoner as a godfather, the fact that he had been gay and in love with a werewolf, shouldn’t surprise him. He smiled to himself as he went to look for Ron and Hermione.

 

 

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