To Require and Reacquire
The first thing Harry did after the Start of Term feast was go to the Room of Requirement to continue his silent vigil. He’d said barely a word over the summer and barely smiled. The times he had succumbed to even a little happiness usually included the Weasley twin’s daily routine in trying to cheer him up.
He’d talked to Remus Lupin about Sirius, once, when no one else was around. But the conversation had brought up too many memories. Since the Department of Mysteries, Harry’s behaviour had been abnormal. He was reminded of it when looking in his friends’ eyes, but silently argued that he’d never known normal. What was there to compare to how he was acting?
He was by no means tired. He’s used up all sleep he needed on the train, avoiding any conversation with Ron or Hermione. Harry Potter did not want to be involved with a furiously whispered conversation in the sixth year boys’ dormitory. His feet might have taken him wandering, but then Filch and that foul cat would send him into more trouble than he already was.
The Room of Requirement was chiefly different from when he had used it as a room for the DA. Now there was one armchair facing a fireplace in a small, cosy space. Harry sank into the chair and watched the flames, as inanimate as the Whomping Willow when the knot was pressed.
This room could supply him with anything he needed. Books for study, a whistle to attract attention. But what he really needed, what he most desperately wanted, couldn’t be given. There was no way of reawaken the dead, Dumbledore had said.
“Why should I trust what he says?” Harry asked himself venomously.
Dumbledore’s year long silence has been explained understandably, but even so. If the Headmaster had not trusted him, why hadn’t he acted? Why hadn’t he ensured that Harry could be spoken to confidentially?
Harry was now a Quidditch captain, able to fly with the team again, but it wasn’t something he needed. This too was the case with an Outstanding in Potions for his OWLs. There was emptiness, something missing, inside him which no amount of flying or pleasing exam results could fill.
The Boy Who Lived decided to say it right out.
“I need Sirius.”
It was stupid really. No amount of needing could bring his godfather back. Wanting, after all, is not needing. It had become a constant ache. Maybe Harry could have put it aside, had he been allowed t go somewhere on his own. He’d been confined within the walls of number four Privet Drive, and then number twelve Grimmauld Place. He had to be a good boy and not get into any trouble. He had to keep a low profile so no one would recognise him.
Sirius would understand and relate to being closed in like that. Harry didn’t fear death; he feared being trapped. It would have been far worse for Padfoot...Azkaban and then Headquarters. Harry looked deeper into the fireplace and thought desperately how much he needed Sirius. It wasn’t just wanting...no man could understand as well as him.
Harry closed his eyes, hearing only wind on the windows and flames in the hearth. There was a slight chill, though magic stopped the heat escaping. A light breeze, impossible in its own right blew across his face. He put it down to imagination. Soft padding near the chair chose to disagree. Harry cracked open his eyes, hairs on the back of his neck prickling, signalling someone was behind him.
He stood up quickly and turned, wand aimed above the back of the chair. The spell died on his lips.
He managed in a croak, “Sirius?”
Harry almost didn’t trust what he was seeing. It must be a hallucination. There was no spell to bring back the dead, no legal way of going back in time to stop it. But there he was...
“Harry?” said the voice he’d wanted to hear. “What happened, where am I?”
The Gryffindor Quidditch captain explained nothing, only threw his arms around his godfather.