phoenixtears: (Sirius/Harry Hug)
[personal profile] phoenixtears
Title: Out of the Mist
Author: [personal profile] phoenixtears
Pairing: Harry/?
Rating: PG (if something that makes my lady parts sing can be PG.)
Words: 100x18 (yes, 18) written for the prompt, "Witch's Weekly", over at the awesome [community profile] harry100!
Summary: Rita Skeeter is on the make again, reporting on Harry's romance with Hermione. But something else may be going on. Something up on the seventh floor....
Notes: Set in the beginning of HBP.




Rita Skeeter Reports
Rigorous, Relevant, Right

Sources within Hogwarts report that the elusive-if-not-completely-insane Harry Potter has been seen secreting away with long-time friend and hopeless dresser, Hermione Granger to places unknown.

I reported long ago that Granger pathetically pined for Potter, but only now do they seem to be giving in to what must be described as the awkward coupling of the ungainly girl’s desperation and Potter’s escalating insanity.

Sources report their disappearance from meals, celebrations, even Quidditch matches to private, sordid activities unknown.

Stay tuned for more on their illicit-yet-unsightly love.

Rita Skeeter Reporting: Rigorous, Relevant, and always, Right.



“Did you bring it?” Hermione whispered over her toast.

Harry nodded.

“We’ll pretend we’re off to the library. Then take the-“

“Third stairwell up to the-“

“Yes, that ought to do it.”

Harry’s lungs felt tight. He couldn’t take another bite of food.

“If you’re late for Defense Against the Dark Arts,” Ron said through a bite of egg, “Snape’ll dock Gryffindor fifty points for each of you and we’ll be at negative three hundred.”

“What are you saying, Ron?” Harry spat.

“I’m saying don’t be late now aren’t I?”

Harry nodded. He and Hermione got up to leave.



“Okay,” Hermione sighed. “We’re here.”

Harry looked at her – her shining face. She really was turning into a most beautiful young woman. Harry thought about hugging her, right there in the hall.

She must have read his mind. “Just give me the cloak and concentrate. Skeeter doesn’t need any more fuel to her fire.”

“You’re right.” He handed Hermione the invisibility cloak, she floated it around herself and disappeared.

The spot where she’d been whispered, “I’ll charm the area and keep watch for you, Harry. Good luck.”

“Thanks,” he said, his heart beating maniacally. He closed his eyes…and wished.



The room was the same: unimportant, uninteresting, except for the soft candlelight and the mist around the edges of the floor. Harry shivered and walked forward. His steps were slow and cautious. He barely breathed. His eyes fought the mist, and he wished with all his heart.

The mist spiraled softly up, disturbed by Harry’s steps or his breathing or a draft. Or him.

Harry squinted into the darkness beyond the mist. He blinked, the hope not yet willing to soar inside him – it held itself aloft, an eagle on a thermal. Harry waited, still, not daring to soar.



Then one booted foot stepped through the mist -- another. The boots looked dusty, so real. Harry thought he might fall to the floor and kiss them.

But then his body emerged, tall and lean, well-dressed as always. And Harry saw his face, his beard trimmed just so, his eyes dancing, alive.

“Sirius!” Harry cried. He rushed forward, into the waiting arms.

They closed around him tightly, yet they lacked warmth. Harry wished harder, and they transformed around him; Harry could feel the heat from the hands against his back. “Sirius,” Harry cried, and the strong arms held him.



Harry pressed himself close. He thought he could feel Sirius’s heart beating against his own. But no breath stirred his hair. He squeezed his eyes shut and tried so hard, but the breath wouldn’t come.

Harry leaned back in his godfather’s embrace. Sirius’s face held all the love he’d ever given Harry, all the pride and humor and grace. But his lips did not move to speak. It had been three months. Harry was starting to forget the sound of his voice.

He began to cry. Harry slipped from this Sirius’s arms and crumpled to the floor and wept.



Harry sat there crying for a long time. Finally, a large, gentle hand stroked his head, and though he knew it wasn’t real, Harry leaned into it. A rough finger came under his chin and tilted his face up. Sirius crouched beside him, smiling sadly. His palm fit against Harry’s face. His thumb brushed away a stray tear.

And it was the moment just after the teardrop touched his skin -- Sirius took a breath – a long, trembling breath – and when he exhaled for the first time in three months he said, “Bugger this being dead, Harry, I miss you.”



“Sirius!” Harry exclaimed. It was really all he could say.

Sirius’s hands grasped his shoulders and pulled him up. Harry had not wished for that. Harry was too dumb-struck by the sound of Sirius’s voice. Something was different. Something was vastly different!

“I missed you,” Sirius said again.

“It’s not…really…you,” Harry told him, as though to break the spell before it broke *him*.

“I think it might be” Sirius argued. His hands tightened on Harry’s shoulders. “I can feel you.”

“I can…feel you, too.”

Sirius smiled, and Harry fought the hope curling inside his heart wanting to bloom.



They hugged again. Sirius rocked him. Harry wept in his arms, not caring that he might look weak. Sirius was *here*. Harry could see, hear, *touch* him. It was all that mattered.

They stayed like that for eons, rocking.

“It hurts so much,” Harry told him.

“I know.”

“You died. I watched you die.”

“I know.”

Harry’s words muffled against Sirius’s shirt, “I love you.”

“Harry… I know.” Still he rocked him. “Words can’t touch how much I love you.”

Harry tightened his arms around his godfather. He never wanted it to end, never wanted to leave this room. Ever.



When the tears dried and the questions arose, Harry pulled back, but Sirius held both his hands in his own still, neither of them wishing to break the contact.

“You can’t be really real.”

“I think you made me real, Harry.”

“Can you leave the room?”

Sirius seemed to be thinking, or maybe just sensing something, like a dog can feel weather changes. “No. I can’t.”

“Why not?”

“I just can’t. I think I live here.”

Harry wanted Sirius’s arms around him again. “Where are you when I’m not here?”

Sirius thought again. “It’s like sleep.”

“Are you…alive?”



Harry did and did not want an answer. He stared up into Sirius’s face, charting the emotions, so similar to his own but better controlled.

“No,” Sirius said, dashing so many of Harry’s hopes.

“But I thought you said I’d made you!” He wrenched out of Sirius’s grip. He backed away. “I made you, Sirius! You’re alive! You’re alive in here, because that’s what I want! That’s what I WANT, dammit!”

Sirius came for him again, calmly, compassionately. He grabbed Harry and held him once more. “I’m more than a ghost,” he explained. “But I’m sorry, Harry. I’m not alive.”



Harry shook against him. “No…no….”

“Shhh,” Sirius crooned. He pulled Harry back by the shoulders again. He looked deep into Harry’s eyes. “Harry, you can’t have what you want. Not even this room works like that.”

“But I love you. I want you. I don’t want anything more than I want you.”

Sirius smiled, then. “I’m here,” he said. “I don’t know what I am, but I know how I feel. I have my memories. I can remember… God, Harry, I can remember everything. And I can feel. I can see you and touch you. I can love you.”



“But you can’t leave the room.”

“But I can’t leave the room.”

Harry sniffed. “So I’ve trapped you in hell.”

Sirius cupped his face again. “It doesn’t feel like hell to me, Harry. Because you’re here.”

“And you…sleep…when I’m not?”

“That’s how it feels, yes.”

“But that’s no life!” Harry exclaimed.

“Yes, well, I’m dead now aren’t I?”

Harry laughed. He couldn’t help it. It just sort of erupted out of him. And Sirius laughed, too – loudly. It was all so strangely, wonderfully real. Sirius grabbed him up and rocked him again, and this time, Harry melted against him.



They talked. They talked for what felt like hours. Cushions had appeared, and they’d sat around and talked. Sirius held him. He couldn’t seem to stop holding him, and that was okay by Harry. He liked Sirius’s hands on him, their warm confidence. He felt at once bound and free. Safe and dangerously giddy.

“Hermione!” Harry suddenly exclaimed, pulling slightly out of Sirius’s toasty embrace on the floor.

“Time can be different in here,” Sirius told him. “Our hours are her minutes. Sort of. You’ll need to go soon, though.”

“But…you’ll be here when I return?”

Sirius smiled. “Always.”



They stood at the door. The mist was gathering again. They held hands, and Harry loved Sirius more than anyone in that moment. He had, he knew, for a long time. He wondered how it felt for Sirius – how he loved him. Harry suddenly blushed. Sirius’s hands had become overly warm, his expression bemused, like he’d read Harry’s mind.

“Can you…read my mind?”

Sirius’s laugh was a low, cautious thing. “Not quite. I just know what I feel.” At Harry’s look, which must have been just desperately imploring from the grin on Sirius’s face, he said, “Not now, Harry.”



Harry blushed furiously and looked down. He wasn’t entirely sure they were even having the same conversation. Could Sirius possibly know? Could he possibly want the same things? What did he feel – when Harry was snug in his arms?

When he spoke, it was as close to an answer as Harry could hope for. “We have, in a manner of speaking, all the time in the world…to explore things. At least, I do.”

Explore things… A thrill went along Harry’s skin.

“You need to go now,” Sirius said.

“I don’t want to,” Harry answered.

“I know,” Sirius said. “I know.”



Sirius hugged him good-bye. Harry felt the solid length of his body, every inch of its power. He felt alive and perfect, and Harry shivered.

When they pulled apart, Harry wanted – wanted so much – for Sirius to kiss him. He wished for it, hoping the Room of Requirement would give him this last thing, even though it had already given him so much.

But Sirius just smiled that amused smile and said, “You don’t control me, Harry. I’m *real*.”

Then he backed away, slowly, their hands touching until the last moment, and Sirius slipped back into the mist.



Rita Skeeter Reports
Rigorous, Relevant, Right

Continued reports of Hermione Granger and Harry Potter’s whirlwind-yet-slightly-disgusting romance sweep Hogwarts! The couple can be seen sneaking around, disappearing, and then reappearing, smug in the putrescence of their afterglow.

They have even been seen smirking and winking over articles about themselves in a way that, frankly, this reporter finds repulsive enough to warrant expulsion.

Mr. Potter, especially, seems to have taken on an exultant air that warrants further investigation.

Only one thing is certain: Love – revolting love – is in the air at Hogwarts this year.

Rita Skeeter Reporting: Rigorous, Relevant, and always, Right.


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