These Dreams
by Abaddon

Little Whinging is a quiet area. Nothing ever happens there, or if it does, no-one blessedly remembers it happening. To have something happen to you is to be different, vulgar, common. Everyone there lives out the same humdrum lives, finding a strange comfort in their shared uniformity, without needing to think or act differently or disassociate one's self from anyone but the wrong sort. And everyone on Privet Drive locks their doors by nine p.m. at night, a strict curfew being maintained as the adults slumber on soundly in their beds. No-one would ever be out of doors, so no-one ever could be out of doors. For one family, however, the smallest of noises sends those responsible for the household lurching out of their bed in fear, frying pans and rolling pins in hand. All too often it would turn out to be the pesky neighbour's cat knocking over dustbins or the like, but still they slept lightly, terrified.

One member of the family slept through these perpetual crises as if he had an internal mechanism for determining whether the alarm was false or not, and simply couldn't be bothered joining in the madness. This, of course, was Harry Potter, and he had no time anymore for false alarms. One hazy July night, however, tormented by the heat and fitful dreams, Harry turned amongst sheets damp with sweat, and in the darkness of the street below, someone walked, hands in the pockets of faded jeans, a tight fitting T-shirt displaying the lines of muscle beneath the skin. The figure approached the household where Harry slept, clearly familiar with the locale, and pulled out a wand, ashen and slender from a pocket as they crept forward.

A light tap to the front door and it fell open. A fluid string of syllables in a language that sounded like it had more vowels than consonants drifted from the figure's mouth and a hazy silence drifted across the house, almost repressive and tangible with its weight. Harry stirred briefly in his half-sleep, but didn't rise, and the figures sleeping in neighbouring rooms snored away the night in slumber. The figure crept to the banister, shutting the door in its wake, not making a sound. Moonlight glinted on long, black hair, as it moved just as quietly up the stairs, skin and clothing revealed as it drifted in and out of flashes of illumination. Male, then, definitely male. He didn't even make a sound when he trod on the second step from the top: notoriously squeaky and a fixture that had Aunt Petunia regularly making phone calls to carpenters of various ilk, without much success. The figure shuffled across the floor, making his way past the rooms where the Dursleys slept soundly, opened Harry's door and closed it behind him.

Harry woke up slowly, aware someone seemed to be calling his name, and the heavy thick pall of sleep and heat still lay upon him as he reached for his glasses, slipping them on. There, leaning against the door stood a vision of his godfather, arms crossed over his chest with a lopsided grin on his face. Sirius motioned for silence, and Harry propped himself up on his elbows, angling back on the bed as Sirius moved forward to bend down by his side.

"I thought you were-"

"It's alright, I'm here."

"But they told me you were-"

"I know, Harry." One of Sirius' hands ghosted across his bare chest to lie flat against his stomach, fingers splayed, the other resting on the bed frame. Harry hadn't worn his pyjama top due to the heat and he barely noticed the touch.

"But you were dead," Harry managed to hiss, angry and sad at the same time, his cheeks coursing with tears as Sirius used his free hand to stroke down his unruly hair and curl against the back of his neck. "You fell and you didn't come back, and everyone told me..." He broke off with a shudder at the memory. "And I had to come back here and know you were gone."

"I know," Sirius murmured, rocking Harry gently in his arms, brushing his lips across Harry's hair. "I know and I'm sorry, to both of you. Things don't always turned out as planned. I did die, Harry. I fell beyond the veil -- it's a strange place, I'm not allowed to tell you how strange, but -- I can return at certain times, for brief periods. There are conditions, but I can always visit."

Harry leaned into Sirius' touch, so warm, so real, how could he not believe him? He tipped his head up, looking into Sirius' eyes. "I'm glad. That you can visit. It's better than nothing, anyway."

"I'm glad too, Harry," his godfather murmured lowly, brushing some stray hair from Harry's forehead, and turned him in his arms before leaning down to kiss him gently, and deepening it when Harry moaned softly, eyes closed, unprotesting.

They spent the next few hours exploring each other's bodies, quiet and slow and gentle, until Sirius moved down and slipped his lips over Harry's cock, sucking hard until Harry came with a cry muffled by both his hands. Soon afterwards, exhausted, Harry slipped off into sleep in the small hours of the morning, and Sirius slipped from the room.

Harry awoke, tired and aching, his muscles sore from the rather graceless angle of his slumber, and found three very angry faces staring down at him. Hauled from his bed still only in his pyjama bottoms, Uncle Vernon frogmarched him out onto the landing where Harry saw that a painting had been knocked from its hanging on the wall. Downstairs, there was a chair upturned, and a vase lying in pieces on the carpet from where someone had brushed it from the dresser near the front door, water and flowers leaving a mess. Angrily, they had interrogated Harry, certain he had done this, and Harry protested his innocence vehemently. Despite his protests, he was assigned the chore of cleaning it up. He did so, muttering under his breath. Harry hadn't done it.

But he did know who had.

That night, once everyone else was asleep, Harry opened up his window and went soaring into the sky on his broomstick. He'd persuaded his Aunt and Uncle to remove the bars from the window -- in part, he suspected, thanks to the reception they'd got in taking him back to Little Whinging at the beginning of the holidays, but technicalities didn't really matter. He was free, at least part of the time, and right now he had somewhere to be.

The street was relatively easy to find, and Harry came out of the landing quite smoothly, if one didn't take the roll across the pavement into consideration. Clearing his mind and reminding the world of the existence of number twelve took little time, and the house battered its way into normal reality.

Harry rang the bell.

Immediately within the house there was a cry of "HALF-BLOOD FILTH, SHAMING THIS HOUSE, TAINTING THE ANCIENT AND WORSHIPFUL HOUSE OF-" "Oh, SHUT UP," someone roared, and Harry grinned, recognising the voice. It was good to see some things had stayed the same, and true to form, Remus Lupin soon pulled the door open. He looked slightly less tired than Harry remembered, and there was a twinkle in his eyes that Harry barely remembered at all. "Ah, Harry. What are you doing here? Someone should be covering you."

"Can I come inside?" Harry asked politely, ignoring all questions.

"Now's not the best time, anyway," but Harry brushed past him regardless.

Sirius was in the kitchen, putting away what looked like the cutlery from a late dinner. When he saw Harry standing in the doorway, his entire form shivered, the fine lines that made up his image breaking and fracturing apart, like a television picture with bad reception. It was only for a second but Harry knew he was right. He turned on Remus who was coming up the corridor, and shoved the memory of last night deep in the pit of his mind where nothing else could touch it.

"How could you?" Harry spat. "How could you defame his memory like that, just replace him?" He moved closer, every angry line of his body attacking the man he once trusted. "You two faced, back stabbing, desperate little-"

"I did it because I miss him!" Remus roared, in Harry's face, and Harry had to rock back, some of his anger dissipating. "I miss him so much, and the illusion is better than the reality, Harry, trust me. Besides I did it in part for you, or I wouldn't have sent Sirius over last night, to give you some of kind of reassurance, some hope."

Harry briefly wondered what Remus had been told of last night. "Don't call him Sirius! He's not. He's not even a he!"

Sirius finally chipped in. "Technically, Harry, metamorphmagi don't have designated genders. We're kind of everything, really."

Harry looked at the imitation over his shoulder. "Shut up." He turned back to Remus. "He doesn't even know Sirius, I'm sure he's not convincing."

"You fell for it," Sirius' voice replied, and Harry flushed, gripping his wand in his pocket and pulling it out. "Besides, you have to pick up some observation skills, and I got to watch Sirius a lot, see how he interacted, plus all the Ministry files on him and his background, and what Remus told me -- Hey!"

Harry had been steadily moving closer, pressing Sirius back against a bench top and like lightening his hand whipped out of his pocket, the other hand clenching around Sirius' neck as he held the wand ready. Sirius' form went fuzzy again for a moment. Harry presumed it was fear. "Don't do anything, Remus, I won't hurt him if you don't do anything," he called over his shoulder, and realised he was calling the false Sirius 'him.'

"Alright, Tonks," Harry snarled. "You've been watching me, haven't you? I bet you've got a lot of files on me to study, right?" He squeezed his fingers, just a bit, enjoyed the flinch that resulted. Of course he'd been watching Harry. Remus had probably sent him over just to give Harry a hug and some reassuring words, but Tonks had seen how Harry acted around Sirius and acted on it.

"Yes, of course!"

"Stuff about me and my school? The students in my year?"

"Yes," Sirius stammered, not sure where this was going.

"Names and faces and all that?"

"Yes, Harry, yes!" Sirius burst out.

His chest tight and heaving, Harry stepped back and let go, wand still held at the ready. "You're going to turn into Draco Malfoy for me. So I can finally put the simpering little shit in his place."

Sirius' form went fuzzy again, indistinct, and folded in on itself before resolving into a shorter, thinner, paler shape with slick blond hair and a sneer. Harry licked his lower lip. He could already feel himself hardening in his jeans. As Dumbledore and even Sirius -- the real Sirius, and the false - had shown him, this wasn't about right or wrong anymore, or truth or justice.

This was about power.


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