36 : Dark Impressions
"He insulted my parents, among other things." Horris answered the question Lupin had addressed to Sirius.
"Horris?" Remus asked, sounding uneasy, "Dumbledore hasn't told him, I take it?"
"No." He answered flatly, "neither will you."
"Horatius Ferox Snape!"
Merlin how he hated when people did that,
"Undo this shield this instant so that we can continue this in the Headmaster's office!"
"I don't see a difference." Horris retorted, crossing his arms, "Besides, if you want the shield down so bad, do it yourself… you can't make me." The statement challenged his old professor, hopefully sending the message that he was not in the mood for this. He was mad, the 'time out' he had taken to blow off steam not achieving the desired effect.
"He insulted mom."
Remus' eyes grew wide,
"You're lucky I didn't let dad kill him."
"You did WHAT?"
"Who's side are you on Moony?" Sirius demanded, "Mine or that… that devil's spawn?"
"He doesn't know professor." Horris repeated, pretending not to have heard the last insult.
"If you don't, Dumbledore will."
"I'll just make him forget then" again.
"But… but that's-"
here we go… Horris mused,
Horris raised a brow. What did they think Voldemort taught him for Merlin's sake, first year hexes?
And untraceable. "Who said I wouldn't just Obliviate him?" Horris prompted,
Of course he wouldn't use that, it can be reversed with a strong will and it deletes entire durations of time… his curse recognizes the memory to only remove whatever elements Horris wants deleted. Quite handy, he admitted, though he hated to use it on Sirius (who at presently had no inkling Horris could do any Wandless, Elemental or Animagical magic). Either way, Lupin was now stumped.
"You gonna make me out to be some lapdog to Voldemort as well?"
"Dumbledore wants to speak with you. Just let Sirius out and let's pay him a visit, shall we?"
"I'm not eleven Remus." Horris clarified, in perfect monotone.
Still, he had expected the Headmaster to call on him ever since Voldemort let him out…
here we go again.
He took out his wand, feeling its power. True, he had used it before, but rarely, and the sensation it provided seemed to grow each time. He waved it, the movement perfectly fluid in his hand. He didn't need the words for almost all spells but he wanted to be sure this one worked well enough for even Dumbledore to be hopeless to crack it. He had pulled the barrier down with a thought, but this would prevent anyone from forcing his transformation. He wouldn't want Dumbledore to know, now would he?
"Ready?""Ah, Horris my dear… and Sirius, I do hope you took the news well. I would have told you myself but-"
"Do so then." Sirius grumbled, stuck between anger and worry.
"Don't you dare Headmaster!" the Snape child rebutted in an instant, making Sirius wonder just who the kid thought he was. And, once again, Dumbledore was confused, confusing Sirius even more.
"Am I to believe," The headmaster began, "that Sirius does not yet know?"
The million galleon question… Sirius mused sarcastically, oh how he wished they'd all just stop asking and tell him!
"And you aren't going to tell him." The boy stated,
"Oh yes he is." Remus countered, "Dumbledore should have told him the moment he arrived."
"But didn't." the kid countered, confirming that he was, without a doubt, a Snape.
"Now now boys, I do like to reserve my ability to disclose information to myself…"
"It is my secret sir, and I do not want him knowing."
"Why?" The boy echoed questioningly,
"Yes… I know you are not ashamed of who you are so why is it so important Mr. Black here does not know? Are you worried you still care? Are you afraid of what he would think of this… situation?"
"Then why child?" Dumbledore asked pleasantly,
"He doesn't deserve to."
Sirius, baffled as to why the kid would in any way value his opinion, awaited what came next, what always came next; the endless babble. It took the Marauders till about Christmas of their sixth year to be able to keep anything secret from Dumbledore once he used his 'Oh?' voice… it was like a spell in itself. But the boy stared straight into the twinkling eyes, nodding his answer curtly, silently.
"Would you just tell him sir?" Moony finally prompted, breaking the silence none seemed to want to crack.
"I believe Harry should do so."
"He's not here though, is he… sir." The boy glared as effectively as his father,
"Enough Horatius, I do believe you owe Sirius some explanation."
Someone damn well does!
"Think over this carefully, if you refuse you shall leave me no choice but to tell him myself child."
"Why is this so important to you Headmaster?"
"The question is why is it so important to you that you do not." Dumbledore answered calmly, "I would have thought-"
"You thought wrong."
Sirius could hardly believe his ears. No one, no one had the right to talk to Dumbledore that way, especially some Slytherin beast probably already pledged to Voldemort. Right now, Snape's bastard stood in the way of him finding Harry and Sirius was losing patience at a rate even he found alarming. He couldn't fathom why Dumbledore even took the kid's crap. Sure, the kid was powerful, but surely nowhere near as powerful as Dumbledore! The headmaster could undo anything that twerp did without even a flick of his wand! The others were still talking, totally overlooking his presence, so Sirius tried to get his mind back into the conversation and away from the anger at this Hornis and his worry for Harry.
"Do and your little weapon permanently falls out of your hands." Sirius heard the kid threaten, the twinkles in Dumbledore's eyes flickering out in an instant.
What 'little weapon'? Sirius wondered, cursing himself for not paying better attention. The kid sounded on edge now, spiteful even. Someone had to have really pressed the wrong button sometime during Sirius' muse.
"Remember Sirius," The kid went on, looking straight at him now with a hint of regret mixed in the sea of emotions in the boy's eyes, "remember all that you said against me and my parents… remember that you hate me." And with that, the boy disappeared, a stick falling to the floor.
"Horris?" He heard Moony call out, desperate, but he was transfixed on the fallen wand.
"I can see through invisibility cloaks child." Dumbledore warned, but Sirius could see the man's eyes darting around the room from the corner of his eye.
The wand… it wasn't the sleek black Ebony that boy had used to force the shield down; it was Harry's.
Harry was somewhere without his wand!
No, Harry knew the importance of his wand… he wouldn't have left it, unless-
"Tell me," Instant silence flooded the room, "tell me that child didn't…didn't do anything to-"
He stopped, still staring at the wand. The tip was still faintly glowing, as if it sensed it's master near by, as if Harry was-
There was a tiny pop, barely audible, and the glow faded in an instant. The boy's glare burned in Sirius' mind, the green eyes drilling into his skull.
"No." He whispered, still transfixed on the wand, "Please… he can't be."Horris ran, not quite knowing what had happened. People can't apparate into Hogwarts, people can't apparate out of Hogwarts so why can they apparate within Hogwarts? Why could he more like it, only Merlin knew if this wasn't another one of Voldemort's little improvements to his Asps… he hadn't even meant to do it, he just… he just had to get the hell out of there, fast. Sirius probably put the pieces together by now, or someone told him, either way… that look in his eyes… he had to find dad, he just-
"For Merlin's sake, where were you?"
"He knows." He told him bluntly, no time to give a play by play.
"Damn! Are you alright?"
"Yeah, just found out I can pop all around Hogwarts…"
"No idea. I'll have to tell Draco to try…"
"Go back to the dorms then, if Black-"
"I'm staying with you."
"Horris… I will not kill him."
"Yeah, well, I doubt the reverse is true…"
"I can take care of myself son."
"It's either me or an Asp detail."
"You put Draco in charge, remember?"
"Think Draco would undo the order? For Merlin's sake, I'm still Alpha!" Horris defended himself. His deal with Draco had changed over time, giving the blonde little more than the power of 'vetoing' Horris' command only if it directly involved Voldemort or fighting. Besides, most picked up on the 'fool Voldie' game quickly, knowing which orders to take before they even checked with Draco for confirmation. "Five Asps or me Dad, choice is yours…"
"Do you honestly think Black will try to kill me?"
"He did already."
"Fine." His father growled, "You are telling me about that little transformation then. One does not become an Animagus overnight..."
"Right…" Horris replied, flinching at the subject. "I got a book for my birthday, 'The Marauders' hid a good deal of potion in a secret room so Lea, Weasley and I…"
"So Mr. Weasley knows…"
"No, none of us was anywhere near finding our forms then and I think I was furthest along… I practiced all the times I was supposed to be in your class, and later, I… I meant to tell you. At first I didn't trust you, but then it turned into an escape for me, being able to run in the forest…"
"So that is where-"
Horris nodded, "Basically, only you know."
"I'm sure Voldemort taught you the curse."
"Horris…" His father warned,
"If I learned one thing as Harry Potter, it was that anything you learn could come in useful one day... even herbology. I didn't like what he taught me, that doesn't mean I won't use it if necessary. I'm not an idiot who dumps powerful tools because they were a gift from the enemy."
"From the Devil."
"Even better, he'll get killed by his own devices."
"I still do not approve."
"About Black… I know you are attached to him, he was like a father when I-"
"He didn't love me." Horris cut him off, "He loved the child of his best friend, not Harry Potter. He only thought he did."
"If… if it had all been a lie, if Remus had invented the journal and I just played along… if I was James Potter's son…"
"Stop. Now, I do hope this is not a half-decent attempt at a confession, but I do believe I would thank him."
"You would?" Horris questioned, baffled at the response.
"You are the best thing that has happened to me, and I am thankful that Remus gave me this chance to know you, to be a father. Even if it were all a lie, I would still be glad I had the chance to hear you call me 'Dad'. This does not mean, however, that I am about to let Lupin pull you into that deathtrap of an order Dumbledore heads." His father stated sternly, a tone of impeccable sincerity present in his voice. "Back to Black. I do not want you to think that because I dislike the man you need change your views on him in any way. He loved you, regardless of what you might think now, and I doubt you ought to change your opinion of him on tonight's reaction alone…"
"Now, care to tell me what happened?"
"Remus was talking to Sirius when I came back, he told me that Dumbledore was looking for both of us and asked me to let him go."
"And you did?"
"More or less…" he nodded, "I figured the other side would want to teach me the rightness of their ways ever since Voldemort had a go at it; I'm amazed it took them this long."
"No, nothing like that. The headmaster tried to force me to tell Sirius…"
"and you did?"
"Sort of, I told him all the crap he said and poof."
"Poof. I went invisible. Dumbledore can't see it by the way, just so you know. I dropped him a gift though. He was about to figure it out when I- er- left abruptly."
Horris nodded, "I didn't mean to, just… well, did."
"I see." His father commented after a moment of pregnant silence, "What was the gift?"
"The old one, Harry's."
"I thought I told you to leave it at the manor!"
"I couldn't… not then…I kept it invisible , don't worry."
"I figured out a while ago that it couldn't belong to me anymore, not just because it would be too suspicious either. Sirius should keep it." He felt a warm pulse at his side, a confirmation of his wards. His old wand had once done so as well, almost as if it guided him… like a friend. That was why he kept it at first, as a memento and a friend of sorts. It never 'spoke' to him anymore, he knew why, really, he figured he had changed too much. It liked Sirius though, always had, he'd be a good keeper for it. Sirius needed a wand, and Horris didn't see a reason why his old one wouldn't let him.
"A great gift." His father commented, "Merlin knows he needed one."
Horris just smiled, feeling his own wand radiate warmth again. He had worried once, worried this wand was evil, lured by his dark Aspian qualities instead of his light. It wasn't, he knew that now. It gave the impression of darkness, like him. A dark cover to protect the goodness within.