That first week with Mrs. Weasley there was fairly uneventful. A broken nose was the most interesting thing to have happened, and after that the three settled in fairly well, although Snape and Harry tried their very best to avoid each other. Mrs. Weasley ended up being there mostly to keep them company and to cook, for they found that they could manage on their own fairly well. Harry enjoyed having her around though, and let her tuck him in every night because, while he also enjoyed it, he was sure she enjoyed it more. The weather had cleared, and Harry had spent many hours wandering the shoreline looking for seashells, trying to distract himself from thinking of Sirius. He kept the prettiest of the shells in a jar on the kitchen table. Mrs. Weasley had crocheted a nice doily to go beneath it.
In retrospect, that first week was the easiest. Mrs. Weasley was constantly there to give them a hand, although both Harry and Snape were reluctant to accept it. Harry noticed that Snape especially was this way. He couldn't help but admire the man's stubbornness. But, all too soon, the week ended. It had been decided between Mrs. Weasley and Dumbledore that Harry and Snape would be able to live without help, and if there was anything they needed done that they could not do themselves, they were to wait until Madam Pomfrey came to ask her, as she had been coming daily to do physical therapy with Snape for an hour or so (something that happened while Harry was well out from underfoot). So, Sunday night they ate in silence for much of the meal, contemplating the days to come. It was only when Mrs. Weasley began serving treacle tart that anyone spoke.
"Dobby will drop off some breakfast for you two tomorrow, at eight-o-clock," said Mrs. Weasley, breaking the stillness. "Lunch will be brought at twelve, and supper at six. I do not know when I can be here next, but Poppy will still be here every day for a few hours for your physical therapy, Severus. If you need anything Harry, don't hesitate to ask her as well."
"Yes, Mrs. Weasley," Harry said when she set his treacle tart before him.
"Severus?" she asked, waving her serving spoon at the treacle tart.
"No, thank you," he said rather quietly. "I think I shall excuse myself to go sit on the porch for a while."
"Alright," she said with a smile. "It will be on the counter if you would like a little later."
He nodded and got up stiffly, limping out of the door. He looked strange to Harry in muggle clothes. For the past few days he had taken to wearing blue jeans around the house, and muggle t-shirts. Harry wondered if his Professor always dressed this way during the summer, or if it was just because there was no reason to wear hot robes in such weather. He had not had the guts to ask, however.
"And what are you going to do this evening Harry?" she asked after some time.
"Collect more shells?" he said, pausing in licking the last bits of treacle tart off his spoon. "The jar's only half full."
"Well, that sounds lovely," she said.
"You're going back to the Burrow this evening, aren't you?" asked Harry curiously.
"Yes," said Mrs. Weasley, looking a little bit melancholy at the thought. "I daresay I miss my brood, although I have enjoyed spending some time with you, Harry."
"I'll bet they've missed you, especially your cooking," said Harry with a half-hearted smile "Or at least Ron has."
"The way that boy eats, you'd think he'd been starved," said Mrs. Weasley with a laugh. "Of course, you're not much better."
Harry blushed, and Mrs. Weasley's smile slid away as she stared off into nothing.
"Well," she said, clearing her throat and breaking the rather heavy silence, "I'll start the dishes. You go out and collect shells, dear, I don't need help tonight."
"Okay," said Harry, relieved to get away.
Going to the door, Harry grabbed his shoes and slid them on. Clumsily, he did up the laces. It took him a few tries due to his lack of coordination, but he got them tied in the end. He reached up to push open the screen door, and stepped out onto the porch. It was a beautiful night, the damp ocean breeze perfuming the air. Harry took note that the rocking chair on the porch was occupied. Snape sat in it, staring out into the distance. It took Snape a moment to realize that someone was watching him.
"What, Potter?" he said, his voice lacking the usual heat and anger.
"Sorry, sir," Harry said, not realizing he had been staring. "I just can't get used to you in muggle clothes. It's ... strange."
"I cannot get used to it either," said Snape, much to Harry's surprise, seeming like he felt the need to explain his unusual appearance. "I usually only wear muggle clothes when going to the market during the summer, or if it is too warm for robes."
He didn't sound too keen on this thought. Harry wondered just where Snape's lived ordinarily during the summer, but thought not to ask.
"Then why are you wearing muggle clothes now if you don't like them much?" Harry asked instead.
Snape frowned for a moment, as though trying to decide whether or not to reply.
"Less buttons," he mumbled at last. "They are a right pain to do up."
"It's okay sir," said Harry, noticing the slight flush in his Professor's cheeks, "I can't do buttons either."
"Well, of course, you are four," he said, looking halfway amused.
"Well, physically," scowled Harry. "Even if I'm physically four, it's still really annoying not being able to do buttons."
"Indeed," muttered Snape. He frowned for a moment and then added, "Well, just be glad that you will grow out of it when you change back. I am stuck like this forever."
"Maybe not ..." said Harry thoughtfully, piping up with a sudden thought. "My neighbour had a stroke once, and his hands were messed up too, as well as one of his legs, and he did a lot of rehabilitation and stuff, and he ended up gaining a lot of movement back so he could do normal things again, even buttons I think. And with magic, who knows how much you'll improve?"
Snape raised an eyebrow.
"But tell me Potter," said Snape in a tone of utmost seriousness, "when all of this is through, will I be able to play the violin?"
"Er," said Harry, bewildered, "maybe ..."
"Well, that would be incredible," said Snape, eyes suddenly snapping with amusement, "considering I could not play it before all of this."
Harry was almost too surprised to laugh. He couldn't think of a time when he had seen Snape look ... well, mischievous.
"Contrary to what others believe, I do have a sense of humour, Potter," he said, "It is just a little dusty from disuse."
"Huh," said Harry, amazed.
"Now go away, I was enjoying the view," Snape said, although not cruelly.
Feeling rather punch-drunk (and convinced that Snape must be extremely bored if he was making jokes around him) Harry walked down the steps from the porch and down the narrow dirt path to the seashore. At the edge of the path Harry took his shoes and socks off and the walked out onto the warm sand, stirring it up with his feet.
In the orange light of the sun falling in the sky he began to comb the beach for shells, wondering what creatures had called each of them home. Washed in golden light he picked up a speckled conch the size of his palm and held it tightly in his hand. He looked back at Snape, whose sporadic moment of cheer had gone to be replaced by a sad, melancholy look, one that he wore most frequently. He looked rather forlorn, sitting there on the rocking chair, his good arm resting on the chair arm and the other in his lap. Harry looked back at the shell, the inside rimmed with a pale pink. Perhaps a hermit crab had once called it home, just as Harry called Hogwarts his. Glancing at Snape, he wondered where the place was that he called home, or if such a place even existed for Snape. Perhaps he too felt displaced during the summers, having to be away from Hogwarts. Of these things Harry wondered as he turned the shell over in his hand.
The sun was falling fast, so Harry, with his pockets full of shells, wandered back up the path, his shoes in one hand, the speckled conch in the other. The grasses waved on either side of him, and soon enough his bare feet were travelling up the two steps and onto the porch. Snape still sat on the rocking chair, staring into the distance. The expression on his face told a tale of a thousand sorrows, and for a moment, Harry could feel his pain. On a whim, Harry approached Snape, who did not seem to notice him.
Biting his lip, Harry set the conch on Snape's lap, and before his Professor could turn his surprised face toward him, Harry ran into the house. He paused, standing behind the screen door where he could just barely see Snape at this angle. Snape looked puzzled as he picked up the shell with his good hand, examining it with curiosity. As he looked at the pattern on the shell he gently rubbed his thumb against it, and for a moment, the look of sadness lifted. Harry darted away from the screen when Snape looked toward it.
Mrs. Weasley entered the living room a moment later, and she came over to give Harry a hug and say goodbye.
"I'll be seeing you soon," she said to him fondly, releasing him from her embrace and staring down at him with a small smile, a hand on his head. "I will try and visit when I can."
"Okay," said Harry. "Thanks for everything, Mrs. Weasley. You didn't have to take so much time to spend with us."
"I was needed, so I came," she said. "It was a pleasure Harry. Now, don't hesitate to send me a letter, I know you aren't very good at writing right now, but even if it's just a few words that are really messy, I should be able to understand it anyway. I've had to learn to decipher the writing of seven children, after all."
Harry smiled a little, and she lifted her hand from his head and picked up her small suitcase. She hesitated before launching into a hasty speech.
"Before I go Harry, promise me to go to bed on time, and brush your teeth, and bathe regularly, and eat lots -"
"I will Mrs. Weasley," said Harry a little exasperatedly, cutting her off.
"Oh, I don't know why I worry," she said with a little laugh. "Of course you will."
Then she went out onto the porch to say goodbye to Snape, and Harry followed her out after a few moments, making sure they were done their conversation. He didn't want to eavesdrop. When he went out Snape was standing shakily by the porch railing, watching her walk down to the rocky outcrop to apparate away. Harry crept forward and peered through the wood rails. She disapparated.
"Well, I guess it is just you and I now," said Snape heavily.
Harry frowned. He didn't know what to think about that, and by the looks of it, neither did Snape.
Leaving Snape on the porch, Harry soon went inside and made a beeline for the kitchen. He climbed up on a chair by the kitchen table and dropped the shells one by one in the jar, leaving all but the largest in his palm. He held it up to his ear and listened. Harry let out a sigh when he heard the sound of the ocean. Even if he knew the ocean sounds weren't really trapped inside the shell, it was strangely comforting anyway. He dropped the last shell in the jar, and still thinking of the sea, he licked his lips. They were dry from spending the evening outside. Feeling very thirsty, Harry dragged the chair over to the kitchen counter and climbed up on top of it before reaching his hand onto one of the shelves for a glass. Sitting on the counter he lowered the glass into the sink and filled it with water. It was nice and cool, and he gulped it down thirstily as he stared out the little window above the sink. The sunset was breathtaking, but the pale pinks and oranges somehow made his heart quake. Maybe it was the beauty of it, or maybe it was because he was wondering if Sirius- wherever he was - could see what he did right now. Sighing slightly, Harry put the empty glass in the sink and slid off the counter, careful to put the chair back where it belonged.
Rubbing his eyes, he went through the hallway at the base of the stairs and into the bathroom, where his toothbrush sat in a little cup by the sink. Standing on the footstool he reached for it and began to brush his teeth. He gargled with water, and then got off the footstool and slid it out of the way so Snape wouldn't trip. Weary from a long day, the stairs seemed like a laborious task. With shorter legs, and less coordination, he had to grip the handrail and watch every step. He was very glad when he reached the top.
When he got to his room he put on a pair of Chudley Cannons Pyjamas that had large paisley patches on the knees, and pulled his covers back. He made to crawl in before realizing he would have to turn off the light. With a pang in his stomach he realized fully that Mrs. Weasley had gone back to the Burrow.
Trying not to think too hard about that, he dragged the colourful child-sized chair across the room until it was beneath the sputtering oil lamp. Carefully climbing up, he turned it down all the way until, with a little hiss, it went out. In the blackness, Harry leaped off the chair and dove into his bed and pulled the covers up to his chin. He turned onto his side, and felt something brush against his face. He almost cried out, but he soon realized that it had been the stuffed lion. He pulled on its paw and brought it under the covers with him, just like he'd been doing for the past few nights. He buried his face in its yarn mane, which smelled dusty, but sweet. As he drifted off only moments later, he heard the sounds of Snape downstairs as he came inside from the porch, his uneven steps echoing through the little cottage.
It was still night when Harry awoke, a feeling of panic keeping him from falling back into his slumber. For a moment in his groggy state, he wasn't sure what it was. Then, like a lightning bolt from above, it hit him that he really needed to go the bathroom. He rocketed himself out of bed and sped through his room and toward the hallway, which was washed in a dim, orange glow from a little charmed light fastened to the wall. It was in the shape of a phoenix, and Harry knew from watching it that every once and a while it flapped its wings. He did not stop to observe it now like many times before, but instead turned into the hall quickly and hurried to the staircase. Biting his lip and dancing on the spot he reached out for the hand rail, silently furious at how small and clumsy he was. The feeling of urgency increased as he went down the stairs, having to put both feet on each step before he could go to the next.
As he descended he could see the sitting room through the gaps in the wood banisters on his left. It was very dark. It had to be around midnight, Harry thought. Finally, he got to the bottom of the staircase and turned into the little hall on his right that led to the bathroom. Harry took a step down the hallway, barely able to see with the oil lamp at the end turned down to its very lowest. The light pooled near Snape's bedroom door at the end of the hall, but was enough to illuminate the open bathroom door halfway down the hall, on Harry's left. With much relief, Harry increased his pace, taking a big step forward. His foot was at the door, and then to his alarm he felt the front of his pyjama trousers grow warm. He stared in horror at Snape's closed door down the hall as he felt the warmth dribble down his leg.
"No, no no no," he mouthed, standing stock still in front of the bathroom, mortified. He had been so close! Why did this have to happen now? How could he have done this?
His eyes screwed shut, he thought hard what to do, and then it hit him. Snape didn't have to know about this at all. The laundry room was directly across from Snape's door, on the left side of the hall. If he could creep into it and grab one of the cleaning rags he knew were kept there, he could wipe this up without anyone knowing, and he would put his pyjamas in the wash-tub, which had been charmed to wash without the tap of a wand so that he and Snape could easily get their clothes clean with Mrs. Weasley gone. Then, all he would have to do would be to retrieve his clean pyjamas and instead of hanging them inside to dry, leave them in the spare room upstairs with the window open, and Snape wouldn't ever know.
Taking a gulp of air and blinking away the tears threatening to fall, Harry tiptoed down the hall. He reached Snape's door, and as he stood there he did not dare take a breath. The door was shut, the lights off, no sound coming from the room. Heart beating frantically, Harry turned left into the laundry room and shut the door until it was only open a crack so that the sound of the squeaky handle turning would not wake Snape. Then, he stood on top of a laundry basket to reach the magical oil lamp in the laundry room, which ignited itself as he turned it up just enough to cast shadows.
Harry looked around the room, and finally located the basket of cleaning rags. They were next to the spare sheets, high up on one of the shelves. Harry shivered a little, cold and wet as he stared up at them. How was he to get up there? It was on the very top set of shelves fastened to the wall. He hastily glanced back and forth in the room for something to stand on. Eventually his eyes landed on a rickety, hard backed wooden chair with rigid arms by the wash-tub. He carefully moved it over beneath the shelves, moving it in such a way that it did not make a lot of racket. Even with the chair, however, he could see he was still not going to be tall enough. Frowning and shifting uncomfortably from side to side as his skin started to sting where his pyjamas were wet, he decided that he would have to climb up the two shelves beneath it to reach the top. He swallowed, and then clambered up on the chair, reaching up to the shelf with conviction. He grabbed a hold of the shelf up above his head, and then put his right foot on the chair arm. He pulled with his arms and slid his other foot onto the chair back. Carefully, he put his right foot up too. Then, he made to swing his left foot onto the shelf, but the chair wobbled beneath his feet, and then suddenly it was not there and with a huge bang it hit the floor, leaving him swinging from the shelf. Harry's hands slid on the dusty surface and he landed hard on the floor.
"What the -" said a voice across the hall loudly.
Harry felt his heart jump in his chest, and knowing the game was up, his instincts took over. He frantically looked around the room, and ran for the safest place he could think of. It was a beaten up old wardrobe at the back of the laundry room. He threw himself toward it, wrenched the door open and darted into it. There were a few clothes hangers above him, and he was plunged into darkness as he closed the door and sat down, pulling a clothespin from beneath him before curling up as small as possible. If he could just lie low for long enough, perhaps Snape would not be quite as angry with him. If it worked with Uncle Vernon, reasoned Harry, it might work with his Professor.
After only a few seconds he could hear noises from the other room. Eyes closed tightly, Harry burrowed his face in his arms, which rested on his knees.
Tha-thump, tha-thump, came the unsteady sounds of Snape's dragging footsteps, followed by the creak of his bedroom door opening. The hall lamp had been turned up now and was coming in from under the laundry room door and shining through the cracks in the wardrobe, for through his eyelids Harry noticed the subtle change in lighting. It sounded like Snape was coming directly into the laundry room. With any luck, he would not see the wet floor by the bathroom.
Tha-thump, tha-thump, squueeaak. The laundry room door was opened, the light turned up here too. Shivering and shaking in his wet pyjamas, Harry bit his lip to stop the tears from spilling from his eyes. He was going to get it. He knew it. His hiding spot had not been well thought out in the least.
"Potter? Are you in here?" came Snape's croaking voice, tired and annoyed.
Harry tried not to make a sound, though he was trembling from head to foot.
Quite suddenly, Harry heard another noise, very different from the ones Snape was making as he searched the room. It was the sound of rattling breaths being drawn. In the semi-darkness Harry could just see the outline of something across from him in the wardrobe. It was hunched over, and he could just discern the figure of a man. Too shocked to move, Harry kept staring, and as his eyes adjusted, he was amazed to see the emaciated face of his godfather. Harry didn't know what to think, but his heart leaped for a moment, and then began to pound with unholy terror as the figure grew thinner, becoming bony and skeletal-like before him.
And Sirius spoke, in a rattling, gasping voice. Yet, Sirius' lips did not move, those pale, lifeless eyes staring into Harry's as the words echoed through his head.
"It is all your fault I died. You could have saved me, but you chose not to."
"No," mouthed Harry, no sound coming from his lips.
"I never loved you. It was all an act, and after what you did, how could I?"
Harry's heart seemed to stop as he stared at those horrible, cold black pits for eyes.
"ROT WITH ME!" the voice screeched in Harry's head as fury like he had never seen before lit up the corpse-like face of his godfather, those grasping, dead hands reaching for Harry's throat.
"AHHHHH!" Harry screamed, shoving the wardrobe open with all his might, tears streaming down his face. The door opened as far as the hinges allowed it, coming to a stop with a bang and shutting again with the force that Harry had thrown it open, leaving the boggart trapped. Still yelling like he had never done in his life Harry blindly ran forward, and ran headlong into something solid, but living. He pummelled the figure, screaming and crying as he tried to get around it.
"Potter," said a shocked voice, but his terrified mind could not make sense of the sounds. Hands latched onto his wrists, stopping him from going anywhere or hitting anything. Harry easily wrenched his left wrist away from the slack grip. "POTTER!"
But he did not respond. The hand tried again to grab his left wrist, but it could not get a firm grasp. Only his right wrist remained trapped. His name was called over and over again but Harry could only sob in terror, still fighting for all he was worth. Then the figure swore heavily. Harry paid no attention to this, and as far as he was concerned, the figure's words were just meaningless noise in a world of terror. As his fear increased, objects around the room started to shift and rattle. In a foggy daze Harry realized that he was doing this, but he could not stop it, and it only made him more frightened. The clatter increased as his cries grew louder.
Suddenly, Harry felt himself pulled into the figure's legs, one hand on his back and holding him in place, firm but gentle. The other hand rested on the back of his head. Harry's arms stopped flailing as he was held still, and the laundry room grew silent but for the sound of Harry's sobs.
"Shhh," came the same voice, firm, yet softer, and tired. This time Harry heard it properly. "You are safe. Stop crying ... please."
Despite the calming words, Harry continued to sob with gusto into the soft grey material his face was pressed against. The sobs were not as frantic as they had been, however, and the terror was slowly leaving his limbs as the warm hands remained in their places. He tried to stop crying, but he only succeeded in giving himself the hiccups. It took several minutes for Harry to properly register the fact that there was only one person in this house whose nightshirt he could be crying into, and even when he realized full and well that it had to be Snape's, he did not immediately pull away. It was only then that Harry was able to get himself back under control, and stop the tears. But he let himself stay where he was, not quite realizing that his hand was clutching the fabric of Snape's nightshirt.
"Was it a boggart?" came Snape's voice from above as the shut wardrobe behind them emitted a slight clunking noise of its own accord.
Harry nodded into Snape's legs.
"What form did it take?"
"S-Sirius," muttered Harry, too terrified to lie. "S-Said it was my f-fault ... tried to take me w-with him for what I did."
Harry thought he heard Snape sigh, but he could not be sure.
"It is not your fault he died," said Snape sternly, sounding like he was instructing Harry on a particularly difficult potion. "The blame rests on Bellatrix Lestrange. She cast the spell that knocked him through the veil, not you."
Harry could only let out a small sob, and Snape gently extracted him from his legs, standing back to survey Harry, who looked up hesitantly at him. Snape looked pale and worn as he took a step back toward the fallen chair, righting it clumsily with his good hand and taking a seat, tired from having remained standing while Harry had cried. He looked strange to Harry in his long faded grey nightshirt, his feet bare and his leg brace showing where the hem ended.
"Did you wet your bed? Is that why you were hiding from me?" he asked softly as Harry trembled before him, trying to figure out what had just happened. There was no anger, nor laughter in Professor Snape's voice, which both surprised Harry, and scared him. His stomach gave an unpleasant flop anyway.
With a hiccup Harry shook his head, not meeting Snape's questioning eyes.
"Potter," he said with a warning tone, eyebrow raised as he stared at Harry. "Do you take me for an idiot?"
"No, sir," muttered Harry, barely stifling a sob.
"Then if you did not wet the bed, where did you have the accident?"
Harry tried to answer, but he felt himself flush with shame and his answer got stuck in his throat.
"Did you simply not make it to the toilet in time?" inquired Snape with a small air of impatience about him.
"I-I was so c-close," he said, voice cracking as he started to cry again. "I was right outside the bathroom. I didn't want to get in t-trouble so I came here to get stuff to clean it up. I'm too old for this! I should be able to m-make it to the toilet!"
"You are a four year old boy; these things happen," said Snape, definitely impatient now.
"But I'm older than that, really," said Harry, wiping away tears angrily.
"Potter, you're stuck in the body of a little boy. You are just going to have to expect things like this to happen sometimes. Your mind may know better, but your body doesn't at this age. I understand your frustration, but you will simply have to learn to live with it for the time being."
"No!" stormed Harry, fury rising within him as he clenched his fists, his sadness turning to anger. "You don't understand! I should have woken up earlier! My stupid body should have realized I had to go sooner! STOP PRETENDING YOU KNOW HOW I FEEL RIGHT NOW!"
Snape's brows furrowed, suddenly beginning to look angry.
"Fine, if you are going to be that way. Not a word will be spoken about anything that happened or was said tonight, got that Potter?" Snape began coldly, his cheeks gaining a tinge of colour, anger snapping in his eyes.
"Okay," said Harry, confused but relieved.
"Good. Now, shut up and listen. You may think your body should have realized you had to go sooner, but, as I said, the fact is that you are physically a little boy, and little boys do not always have that ability," he spat, and then, he paused, as though teetering on the brink of something. After a moment, he dove over the edge, anger still raging in his eyes. "And, you might think I do not understand at all what you're going through, losing the ability to do some things, but you are forgetting without the use of my right hand, I have lost the ability to do so many more things than you have! I am an adult, have been able to do buttons up since I was five, and cast spells since age eleven, but I can do neither of those things now! It is infuriating having to leave my wand in a drawer, and wear things that have no buttons like I am a little boy again! And that is only two things - there are a whole host of things I cannot do anymore. Hell, I can barely even dress myself! So don't you dare think that I know nothing of your problems! I know perfectly well how you feel, being trapped in a body that does not work the way you want it to! You are not the only one having a hard time adjusting, so quit acting like it!"
He was left panting angrily, cheeks sallow and tinged with red as he gripped the handles of the chair, daring Harry to make fun of him. But there was no humour in the situation for Harry. His anger was gone, leaving him feeling cold, sick even.
"Sir, I didn't mean ..." began Harry, wiping his eyes.
Snape shook his head, dismissing Harry's apology as though he was indifferent to it.
"Where did you have your accident?" he asked, his voice suddenly taking on a forced calm, as though he wished to forget about what had just been discussed as quickly as possible.
"By the bathroom door," whispered Harry, feeling deeply ashamed of himself.
Snape got up silently and reached for one of the cleaning rags with his good hand, his right at his side. He grabbed a small wash bucket by the rusted faucet and filled it with hot water and soap, the rag already in the bucket.
"Go get some dry pyjamas and quickly get yourself washed up with a wet flannel in the bathroom," he said tiredly, frowning. "I'll clean up the mess."
"I can do -"
"No, the most useful thing you can do is get changed before you track your mess all over the house," he said firmly. "Your bed is still dry?"
"Yes," Harry muttered, pausing before meekly going upstairs. "Sir, I'm sorry. I should have thought that you weren't having an easy go either. I just ... I didn't think."
"Save your breath, Potter," said Snape wearily.
"Yes sir," he said awkwardly. "And ... thank you, for ... well, you know."
All that he received was a rather irritated snort in return, but Harry was not fazed by this as he went upstairs to get new pyjamas. He felt ashamed of himself, in so many ways, and he looked anywhere but at Snape when he came downstairs with the new pyjamas, and went into the bathroom to wash up a bit. His eyes filled with tears when he remembered the boggart, but he blinked them away as he rinsed out the flannel in the sink. It had been a nasty shock to him that his boggart had changed. Seeing his godfather like that had taken its toll on him, and he let out a soft sob, which he stifled quickly. It made him miss the way Sirius had been when he was alive, for he was so different than the boggart. Then again, that was before Harry had led him to his death. Thinking of how much he missed Sirius, Harry had to forcibly remind himself of the vow he made about crying for him as he got washed up and changed into the clean pyjamas. It took a great deal of effort, but he pulled himself back into control. He scrunched up his face up as he thought of Snape's declaration that it had not been his fault Sirius died. Harry had never expected to hear those words from Snape. He just wished they had been true.