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Kjkit - Harry Potter and the Marcello School
Chapter 50 - Out of the Ashes
Chapter 50: Out of the ashes.
Remus held Harry's left hand lightly, staring silently into the pale face that looked so peaceful in death.
It had been just over twenty-four hours since the battle had ended with the tremendous lightning bolt that had been initiated by Harry. The occupants of the castle had been well protected from the blast of energy from the elemental-induced phenomenon, though some walls of the castle had experienced minor structural damage, and Hagrid's hut and the Quidditch pitch would need some serious repair.
Those who had been close to Harry had been the first to break through the wards that had been wrapped around the castle, and had rushed to the smouldering crater where Harry and Voldemort had last been seen. There had been no remains of Voldemort, though Harry's broken body was easily distinguishable from the well sodden earth.
Many of those who had rushed to see if Harry had survived had gagged or even vomited at the smell of the burnt flesh that had once been Harry's right arm. Those who were fit enough had formed a corridor of weeping or numb people as they watched Dumbledore quickly transfered Harry's body onto a stretcher and hover the boy into the castle, a black blanket covering the body from public view as they made their way to the Medical Wing followed closely by his friends.
Madame Pomfrey had immediately placed the body in a private room at the back of the ward, letting those who had known Harry the best a few minutes before shooing them out to have the other Healers deal with their injuries whilst she cleaned up the body as best she could.
Now Remus sat alone, in deep reflection about the times he had spent in Hogwarts with Harry's father and Sirius. He wished that he could change the way things had turned out, but deep down he knew that Harry's death was meant to be. Not that the thought of Harry dying for the sake of others made his loss any easier.
Behind him, he heard the door to the private room open and close softly, and soon after he felt a soft hand fall onto his shoulder.
"You still here, Remus?" Leo asked softly. "It'll do you no good to stay cooped up in here for too long you know."
Remus nodded. "I know" he sighed lifting Harry's left hand and gently rubbing the back of the waxy fingers with his own. "But he has done so much for me. He never asked for this. I just feel that I owe him something, that's all."
Leo nodded. "I understand. He gave me a lot, too." Remus looked up questioningly. "He and Kat were a constant reminder to me that there was more to life than Marcello and it's ideals. That there is a better way to live." He shook his head sadly. "Pyro would have had some good plans for that school, had he been given the chance to see them through."
"You're going back then?"
Leo shrugged, perching himself on the edge of Harry's bed and smoothing its sheets. "Maybe someday." He said. "The knowledge that is taught there cannot be allowed to die out. And where else is there for gifted young wizards to disappear to?"
Remus smiled slightly and gently placed Harry's hand back on the bed as he heard the door open and shut once more.
"Albus." Leo acknowledged with a nod. Remus looked around to see a flash of red pass him before his gaze met that of the Hogwarts' headmaster.
"How's the leg?" Remus asked as the aged wizard walked towards him with a slight limp, his weight resting heavily on a carved cane.
"Healing nicely," was Dumbledore's reply. "Poppy is still trying to make me bed bound, but I feel this limp is going to be around for a while."
As he said this, Remus noticed the headmaster's eyes fall onto the bed and its occupant. He nodded, understanding that Dumbledore also owed Harry a lot, and keeping the limp was a reminder of a boy no one wanted to forget.
A low whistle from Fawkes broke the silence that followed as he settled on the bedpost at the foot of Harry's bed. The whistle was quickly repeated, and developed into a sorrow filled song that swelled the hearts of the three wizards in the room with warmth, yet also made them painfully aware of the emptiness they all felt.
Remus felt his eyes fill with tears as he looked at the phoenix. The song was beautiful, yet seemed not to come from the fiery red bird that stood at the end of the bed, its wings widespread and his head cocked to one side with a look in his black eyes resembling… joy?
"What's going on?" Remus tried to locate the origins of the phoenix song and found his eyes being drawn to the prone figure of Harry.
Remus felt Leo push past him in an attempt to reach the boy's side, but was denied his goal by a sudden blast of heat that engulfed the room. The three wizards raised their arms in an attempt to protect their faces, and the phoenix standing at the end of the bed rose into the air, his wings widespread as he released a whistle of what could only be described as pure elation.
"Harry!" Remus peered through his arms to see the once peaceful body of the teenager arching against the mattress, his pale face flushed red and reflecting the pain his convulsing muscles were causing him.
The ex-werewolf made an attempt to get to the bedside, but was also prevented from doing so by the intensity of the heat radiating from Harry's body.
Before much time had passed, Harry's body snapped into an upright position, his emerald eyes open wide and his body letting in it's first lungful of air for over a day before collapsing back onto the bed in a coughing fit.
"Kat." Remus watched, paralysed by shock as Harry's right hand reached towards the door. "Sirius. Don't leave me."
"Harry!" Remus knelt in front of the choking boy and took hold of the hand that reached out into the room. "Harry, it's okay. Everything is going to be fine."
"Remus?" Harry coughed again and Remus felt helpless as he watched another wave of pain etch itself onto the boy's face. The boy that had previously seemed so strong against the Dark Lord now looked into his father's friend's eyes, tears flowing freely down his young face. "It hurts." He cried weakly. "It hurts so much."
Remus automatically perched himself onto the edge of the bed, pulling the sobbing figure against his chest and gently patting his head. "Shh, Harry. It's over. Everything will be fine. I promise. Just get some sleep now."
Harry slowly calmed down to the sound of Remus' words, falling into an uneasy sleep against Remus' chest, still hiccoughing slightly.
The ex-werewolf looked at the hand that he had clasped firmly in his own and his eyes opened wide as he realised all the burns from where the lightning had hit the arm had disappeared. Not one scar was left to indicate the hardships the boy had been through over the past year.
He looked up at Dumbledore and Leo, who were standing in shock and staring at the figure Remus held in his arms. "What just happened?" He asked quietly, still rocking Harry's body slightly.
"I believe Mister Potter has just discovered his inner-phoenix." Dumbledore said, sounding as if he hardly believed his own words. "I think Harry has just experienced his first burning day."
There was a burst of song from the end of the bed where Fawkes had resumed his perch, and Remus felt the boy in his arms relax even more. His once jagged breathing became more regular, though his lungs still contained a small rasping sound that indicated their lack of use.
"But it looked so painful." He said.
"What do you expect?" Remus looked up to see a bright sparkle in Leo's eyes, almost of as if the Marcello Master was about to break into song and dance around the room. "It was his first burning. Fawkes here has probably had centuries to get used to the process. A process which, I might add, is likely to have been a lot easier if he had been in his phoenix form."
Remus felt a strange pressure building in his chest and he looked down at Harry's now sleeping form. With each breath the boy took a small strand of hair that fell across his face moved, indicating the life that once more coursed through the boy's body.
"He's alive!" The words felt good as they left his lips and he looked up to see Dumbledore and Leo hugging each other tightly. A tear fell down his face, but he let it fall unhindered, and it didn't stop the grin that spread across his face. "He's really alive!"