When Love and Death Embrace

BY : SpeedyTomato
Category: Harry Potter > Slash - Male/Male > Harry/Sirius
Dragon prints: 5187
Disclaimer: I donít own Harry Potter and make no money off this story

Content Warning! This story contains some very dark themes, including depression and suicide. You’ve been warned!

 


Beta’d by the amazing Tenchi and Lynn.


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Prologue

 


I'm in love with you and it’s crushing my heart
All I want is you to take me into your arms

-When Love and Death Embrace

-HIM

 


Though still mourning the death of his best friend, Remus wouldn’t allow himself to focus on it. No, from the sound of it, he had other areas to concern himself with. Though Sirius’ death was a devastating blow, there was someone who needed him more than he needed to grieve; Harry.

 

As he read through the letter from Hermione again to ensure he picked up on everything she had to say he then sighed and shook his head sadly. While he knew Hermione was still in the infirmary, it appeared she heard plenty from Neville, who she made to sound almost panicked at what he saw from Harry. This wasn’t good.

 

While he remembered what Neville was like from teaching, he also knew the boy was a good friend with the others and what he said—well, he doubted Neville would panic enough to overly exaggerate Harry’s condition when it came to something so horrible and possibly serious. She also made it clear Harry hadn’t visited any of them in the infirmary for several days now. Yes, this was a concern he needed to take seriously.

 

He placed the letter aside and looked at it, shaking his head. Now he had to sort out how to handle the situation. Hermione wrote that Albus had talked to Harry, but he could remember Albus trying to help others deal with grief in the past. Oh, what he said was the truth, very logical, but grief didn’t always conform to one manifestation and when you’re lost in the throes of its grip, you didn’t think as rationally as normal, just focusing on the hurt. Now he had to not only assess the situation, but decide how to handle it from here. With over a week left of the school year, he had some time before Harry was once more forced to the purgatory called Privet Drive, something he was certain wouldn’t help his state. To do so, though, he needed more than Hermione’s letter as proof.

 

With a heavy sigh, he tried to think though his options. He could manage to get into the castle because of an upcoming Order meeting there in a couple of days. Before then—well, he could make an excuse of some sort to visit Albus then sneak off to talk to Harry. If caught—he could come up with a good enough excuse. He could even tell the truth. After all, no one would say a word if he expressed concern over Harry.

 

Plan in mind, at least the start of one, he decided to assess the situation first then go from there. Once he knew the state Harry was in, he would hammer out what to do.

 


Chapter 1

 


“A right mess,” Alastor grunted after taking a sip from his flask then slipping it into his pocket. “Now comes the problem of what to do about it. Not easy there as Albus already plans for the lad to go home to that—place. Mentioned to a few of us about having ‘words’ with his so-called family so he can deal with his grief and not put up with their nonsense.”

 

“It won’t work,” Remus sighed with a shake of his head. “They’ll just not speak to him, nothing more. Everything will go on just how it has. These are the sort of bullies nothing we’ll say will affect. With the shape Harry is in, it won’t help and may make the problem worse.”

 

“He’s in bad shape then?” He asked, though Remus had explained it was plenty bad. He just wanted an idea of how bad before they sorted out what to do about it. “Albus made it sound like it’s the normal process. Though we all assume there’s plenty of guilt involved.”

 

“Far worse than Albus makes it out, Alastor,” Remus told him honestly with an almost defeated sigh.

 

Though he and Alastor weren’t close, he had enlisted the man to help after his trip to the castle and seeing the shape Harry was in. Since Alastor was the sort who would help if the situation called for it and not just follow the herd, he had talked the situation over with him to see what they could do.

 

“The only reason Harry is clean is because of Neville casting cleaning charms on him. He refuses to leave his bed to do anything but use the loo. Dobby is taking him food, but Neville says he’s not eating more than a few bites.”

 

Then, lowering his voice, he added, “He even blew up on Hagrid. From what Neville said, it was after the blowup he took to his bed and won’t leave. When awake, he just keeps his back to everyone and lies there, eyes shut, refusing to answer. I saw that part myself. I couldn’t get him to respond to anything.”

 

“We need to do something then,” the ex-Auror grunted, shaking his head. “I don’t think Albus realizes how close Sirius and Harry were. Not sure of all the details there, but it was closer than most realized.”

 

“I think they hid it, Alastor,” Remus told him honestly. “When others were around, like the Weasleys, they didn’t let it show. When alone it was a different story. Sirius—I think he let the nonsense many thought about him seeing Harry as James go on. It wasn’t the case. They weren’t—well, it wasn’t a relationship like father and son, more like best friends of some kind. Not sure how to define it. As far as I know, Albus didn’t realize how close they were. Harry trusted Sirius more than he did most people and would talk to him about plenty. No one knew but me, I don’t think.”

 

“Which means Albus’ normal platitudes aren’t working and probably aren’t helping,” Alastor grunted, shifting in his chair with a soft groan. “Right, before we decide what to do here, we need to sort out the basics before the meeting tonight. Then we’ll go from there. I’m saying we plan for the lad to stay with you. While here is fine, I’m going to suggest we think of somewhere bigger. Who owns Grimmauld Place, do you know? I know Albus’ knickers are in a twist thinking Narcissa or Bella might. Just wondering if you have information he doesn’t.”

 

“Harry owns it,” Remus told him firmly. “Sirius made Harry his heir long ago. It’s an easy and quick test to prove it as well. And I take no issue relocating to Grimmauld Place. Well, as long as we can get it cleaned up better.”

 

“Might have something in mind to help there and for any spanners Albus can toss into the mix,” Alastor assured him with a determined nod. “We just have plenty else to sort out before we get to that part. First thing we have to make obvious is sending the lad back to those creatures he calls relatives is the worst idea in the world. And to make it clear the shape that he’s in.”

 

“Anything you have in mind,” Remus agreed with a nod. As he had no idea how to motivate Albus to seeing anything their way, he was willing to listen to everything Alastor had to say. He was just pleased he had help here and someone who took what he said seriously. If he didn’t, Harry would end up right back on Privet Drive. If he did, he was equally as certain Harry wouldn’t leave alive. All the mothering in the world from Molly wouldn’t bring Harry out of this, something he was sure factored into Albus’ plans.

 


“He made the choice to go there, let him deal with the consequences,” Severus sneered, arms folded over his chest. “Besides, it’s his fault. He’ll deal and go on. The house on Privet Drive is safest for him. Give him a week or so and he’ll stop wallowing then snap out of it.”

 

“Oh, I agree, he holds some responsibility,” Alastor told him, tone level. Most of the Order was in Albus’ office for a meeting and they were now onto the topic about Harry. Since bringing it up, they downplayed it, the standard tossed out and general nonsense brought up so he was about done. No one, especially Albus, were willing to consider doing anything for the lad except sending him back to the hellhole. Done messing by this point, people were going to listen if he had to force them to. And he was starting now.

 

“You hold plenty as well,” Alastor then snarled at Snape. “Decided not to teach him to shield himself right, so he didn’t want to continue.” A thunderous look crossing Snape’s face, he then kept right on going before the man could say it, “Don’t forget, Severus, I had to learn the same lessons, so I know what’s right and wrong when it comes to teaching. You held the lad in such disdain because you couldn’t get over your hatred of his father, so you decided to not go about it the right way or help him. Then you made damned sure you protected yourself so he couldn’t accidentally see your most humiliating memories, but didn’t afford him the same courtesy. In the end, you’re partially to blame.”

 

Head swiveling to Albus, he added, “Albus, though, holds most of the responsibly.”

 

“I admit to my mistakes,” Albus sighed, straightening up to defuse the situation. From the flush on Alastor’s face, he knew the man was angry. Best to calm him down before it went further.

 

“You hold more than you admit to,” Alastor snorted, leveling a hot gaze at the aging Headmaster. “Started well before this mess, too. You don’t tell the lad the most basic he needs to know to protect himself, like from the bit in Little Whinging last summer, avoid him, don’t give him the information he needs before tossing to him Snape to torture, don’t tell him why he needs to learn, give him no means of contacting anyone to find out if the vision is true, leaving him in a state of panic, nothing. Then you lock Sirius in that bloody awful house, knowing how bad it was when he lived there and confining him like a prisoner once more then expect him to obey. All of the above plus not having anyone in the Order made a contact for the kids in the school to get help from all of what went on added to the mess. You knew what those visions meant and what could come, but didn’t bother to tell the person who had them, letting him torture himself plenty and worry. About sum it up Albus?”

 

“I made mistakes, as I told Harry, and admit to my failings,” Albus nodded with a sigh, looking sad.

 

“Yes, let’s blame the lad, though, and let him ‘wallow’, as Snape said, the guilt and grief eat him alive. Then we’ll send him back to that bloody awful family of his after we have words with them. Quite sure they’ll do an about-face and he’ll become the pampered prince his cousin is,” Alastor spat, snorting in disdain. “Just so he’s alive, right, Albus? Then Molly can fuss and mother over him.”

 

“He needs time to deal with his grief, I do understand this,” Albus nodded, hearing murmurs from the rest in his office at what Alastor said.

 

“Oh yes, he does,” Alastor nodded. “Plenty of it and help. Now, Albus, tell me—have any of you people who supposedly care for the lad actually checked on him? My understanding is he’s not left the dorm for over a week and refuses to get out of bed for anything other than necessities. If you care so much and are doing the right thing, have you spoken with him or even bothered to check?” Magical eye flitting to the tight-lipped Minerva, he asked, tone laced with venom, “Has his Head of House even bothered?”

 

“We thought it best to let him sort through the problems himself,” Albus told him. “Once Ron and Hermione leave the hospital wing they’ll help, then set him back on the right path.”

 

“Thought not,” Alastor snorted, shaking his head. “You gave platitudes and the standard to a boy and not bothered to do anything from there. Not even once checked on him to see what shape he’s in. Yet you want everything to go on as it is and plan for whatever, despite what he might be dealing with. Rather cold, Albus,” he snorted. Then he glanced at Minerva again and added, “From both of you. This is a student in this school. It’s your responsibility to look after them. Yet you can’t be bothered.”

 

“Excuse me?” Minerva snarled, cold look on her face. “We take the health and well-being of our students seriously!”

 

“Seriously enough you haven’t bothered to check on one who hasn’t left the dorm in over a week,” Alastor shot back, not at all cowed by the look on her face or attitude. “From what I know, only one adult has bothered; Remus. He went and checked on the lad. It. The rest of you haven’t. Doesn’t say a lot, does it?”

 

Remus loved everything Alastor said, honestly, not to mention how he went about the whole matter, however, he had his part to do as well. They had worked out the most basic of plans and the time had come for him to do his part before a real fight began. Plenty looked like they would start arguing, so he would step in.

 

One hand held up, he said, voice soft, but level, “Let’s stop this before it starts. There is a simple solution to proving whatever. Albus and Minerva can go visit Harry. If he’s fine, we move on to another topic. If not, we start discussing options. Acceptable?”

 

“A fair solution,” Arthur nodded, now curious himself, and slightly worried, if what people said would prove overstated or if Harry was fine, just upset over Sirius’ death.

 

“We will,” Albus said, standing with a groan. He wanted this put to rest before it grew worse. As it was a simple solution, he would do so.

 

“If it’s a non-issue, as I suspect, you will apologize when we return, Alastor,” Minerva told him, tone frosty.

 

“I will give one if I’m proven wrong,” Alastor told her with a nod. Then, with a snort, he added, “If I’m right, you owe me one.”

 

Though stiff, Minerva nodded, still looking plenty mad then let Albus lead the way. It wouldn’t take but a few minutes then they could steer the meeting back on track.

 


An hour later, as the fretting in the office was growing with each passing minute, a very pale Minerva and upset looking Albus finally returned. While most were questioning the two about what happened, this pleased Remus and slightly relieved him. No, not the shape he had seen Harry in, knowing it had probably grown worse, but that help was finally coming for him. After a knowing look with Alastor, he waited.

 

“Well?” Alastor asked, not bothering to attempt tact in the matter.

 

“You were right, as was Remus,” Albus told them softly, shaking his head sadly. “We’ve—well, we involved Poppy and she looked at him, but didn’t get far. She removed poor Harry to the infirmary, making certain he’s left alone and wants to start him on some potions which can help. The spanner is he’s refusing. While he’s not saying anything or opening his eyes, he’s shaking his head. The issue comes in that he’s allowed to refuse medical treatment. The Dursleys are his guardians for all intents and purposes, which means we’d need their permission to compel him to take anything.”

 

“Have fun doing that,” Alastor snorted, glaring between him and Minerva.

 

Albus ignored what Alastor said, gut curdling at what he had seen and the talk with Mr. Longbottom. “It’s not the only issue. The next comes in with actually getting the potions for Harry to take and forcing them. This can’t be done by Muggle means. At school we can manage, if we can procure permission. Home? We can’t,” he sighed, shaking his head.

 

“He’s in that dire of straits?” Arthur asked, concerned, putting a hand on Molly’s, giving it a squeeze. His wife was already plenty upset over what they heard and it would probably grow worse.

 

“Yes,” Minerva interjected quietly, looking at the floor, hands clasped in front of her. Now she was kicking herself for not checking on Harry. Poppy had given them a right talking to over the shape Harry was in and how no one did a blasted thing before now.

 

“Which means we need to sort this,” Alastor growled, glaring between the two. “And that lad’s family—they’re out. He’s on his own for everything when there as we know. No chance we can trust them to do what’s right. As you said; they don’t have the means anyway.” Now he waited, knowing what was coming and having a plan in place to deal with it.

 

“We have issues, big ones,” Albus admitted sadly, mind all over the problem and how to make this work. He didn’t know yet how to manage. First they had to keep those Blood Wards in place, but also needed a way to get Harry the help he required. He just didn’t know what the solution was yet. It was just a matter of finding it, though.

 

After tipping a nod to Remus so he was ready, Alastor gruffed, “Might have a way here. We just have to make a choice; the lad or the wards. I think we’ll all agree the lad should come first.” Then he launched in. One way or another, Harry would end up with Remus. He didn’t give a damn how much of a fight it took, he would manage in the end.

 


About midnight, Remus sat at Harry’s bedside, stroking his head softly. The meeting had finally broken up not fifteen minutes before. Oh yes, the fight had taken that long. In the end, he and Alastor had ‘won’, making Albus and the rest cave. This meant Harry would get the treatment he needed.

 

Though it was complicated and in legal limbo until Albus and the rest could push something through the Wizengamot to have him appointed Harry’s legal guardian, he was going to Grimmauld Place the following day. While Harry as still refusing treatment and they couldn’t force him to take the potions, Remus thought he could at least help.

 

“Come tomorrow, you’ll be leaving with me for Grimmauld Place,” he told Harry softly, still stroking his head. “We hired Dobby to come take care of the house and help. It’s not the best and there is plenty of work to do, but you’ll be out of the school. I’ll be with you the whole time, Harry. It might be best to let you rest a couple more days, but we’ll work through this together. Once we start, you’ll begin to feel a little better.”

 

“I miss Sirius too, more than you’ll ever know,” he then added, lowering his voice, though no one could overhear because of the privacy curtain and the spells on it. “And I hurt just as much as you do over his death. We’ll work through our grief together, I promise. While there’ll be lots of people in and out, it’ll just be us most of the time. This way we can spend lots of time together and get to know each other in a way we haven’t before. If you want others to leave you alone, you just have to tell me.”

 

“Molly will come over a lot until school lets out. From what she said, she’ll help set up cleaning for the house and other areas. Plenty more will be around as well. Alastor you’ll have to get used to. He’s going to help me the most.”

 

Then, with a chuckle, he added, “You can thank him for this scheme. He’s the one who came up with it.”

 

“It won’t end up bad, Harry,” he continued on, just planning to talk until he had to leave and tend to the house. “You won’t ever have to go the Dursley’s again. They’re signing papers to let me take custody of you. While the wards will fall, we’ll protect them. From here on out, Grimmauld Place will be your home. Sirius left it to you, so you can stay there forever. It might not—well, it’s nasty how it is now, but we’ll fix it up together. All it’ll take is time. We have a lot of that. Besides, it’s nice and protected. You’re safe there from everyone and everything. Once you feel better, we’ll wander the neighborhood and find plenty to do.”

 

Though there was no response from Harry and he didn’t move, Remus kept talking. All he wanted was for Harry to know he was there. It was the first step he needed to take to make this work. Once at Grimmauld Place, he would press on.

 

Voice soft and gentle, he continued to talk and would until he received the signal from Albus to go finish tending to what he needed.

 


Though Harry could hear Remus, he ignored all the man said. Normally, he would have loved knowing he would never go back to the Dursley’s, but he didn’t this time. He just didn’t care. The only thing he could focus on was the pain and missing Sirius. He—he didn’t think he could go on. All he wanted was to go to Sirius and stay, nothing more. While Sirius said, in some of their talks, if something happened to him, Harry could bring him back, he never explained how. Harry now didn’t know how to do it and wanted to, desperately. If he couldn’t, he wanted to join him.

 

When Remus talked about them living at Grimmauld Place, the pain seemed to grow worse. Just the thought of living there and knowing Sirius wasn’t around made it all the worse. It sent new kinds of pain through him and made what he felt more horrific.

 

He tuned out what Remus said until the man finally left. Then he had quiet again. Though he could hear movement around, he ignored it. Once more, all he could focus on was the pain and replaying what happened in the Department of Mysteries, hurting all over again as he watched Sirius die over and over. The fact he caused it made everything hurt worse. Though this was a mental pain, it seemed to make his whole body hurt in different ways. He felt like he earned the pain because of what he caused, so he dealt with it, in some ways relishing it as a form of penance.

 

As the night ticked on, Harry didn’t sleep, just laying there and dealing with his mental anguish. It wasn’t until the sun started to rise he finally dozed off. Honestly? He just hoped he wouldn’t wake up later. Then he could not only be with Sirius, but the pain would end. Like much else in his life, he knew he didn’t have that kind of luck and would wake to face another day. That was almost more than he could bear.

 

With a soft sigh, he drifted away into a troubled doze, hurting and dejected.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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