For the first time, Harry knew that Black actually used to be his father’s best friend back when he was alive.
Before now, Dumbledore, Hagrid, Mr. Weasley, Cornelius Fudge… none of them had ever mentioned the fact that Harry’s parents had died because their best friend had betrayed them.
Harry felt most angry thinking that his parents probably did not believe until they died that it was actually their best friend who betrayed them.
He tried to imagine their feeling. If Evan, Ron or Hermione ever sold him out to Voldemort, that would be the saddest way to die.
He felt distressed and broken, and wondered if his father felt the same before he died.
He spent the rest of the afternoon in his empty bedroom. He found the photo album Hagrid had given him two years ago, which was full of wizard pictures of his mother and father. He sat down on his bed, drew the hangings around him, and started turning the pages, searching, until…
He stopped on a picture of his parents’ wedding day. There was his father waving up at him, beaming, the untidy black hair Harry had inherited standing up in all directions. There was his mother, alight with happiness, arm in arm with his dad. And there… that must be him. Their best man… Harry had never given him a thought before.
If he hadn’t known it was the same person, he would never have guessed it was Black in this old photograph. His face wasn’t sunken and waxy, but handsome, full of laughter.
Harry couldn’t help but wonder if he had been already working for Voldemort when this picture had been taken? Was he already planning the deaths of the two people next to him? Did he realize he was facing twelve years in Azkaban, twelve years that would make him unrecognizable?
But those Dementors didn’t affect him. Harry tried to carve the handsome smile on the photo in his mind.
Immediately afterwards, he flipped the page. He saw a photo of his father’s graduation. Four people appeared on it.
In addition to his father, a young Professor Lupin, and Black who still had that smile on his face, there was a small, fat, cowardly-looking boy hiding behind them. He looked a little like Neville Longbottom.
He should be Peter Pettigrew, the wizard who had been killed by Black.
Professor Lupin told him that after his father’s death, only Peter Pettigrew went after Black everywhere. He wanted to avenge his parents, but he was no opponent of Sirius. He paid the price with his life. After killing Harry’s parents, he followed by Killing peter.
“Filthy, stinkin’ turncoat!” Harry clenched his fist.
A hatred such as he had never known before was coursing through Harry like poison. He could see Black laughing at him through the darkness, as though somebody had pasted the picture from the album over his eyes.
He watched, as though somebody was playing him a piece of film, Sirius Black blasting Peter Pettigrew into a thousand pieces. He could hear a low, excited mutter. “It has happened, My Lord… the Potters have made me their Secret-Keeper” and then came another voice, laughing shrilly!
It was when the Dementors drew near, when he first heard that voice, Voldemort’s laughter!
Harry knew what he wanted to do. He wanted to find Sirius Black. He wanted to avenge Peter Pettigrew and his parents.
Although Professor Lupin repeatedly warned him not to look for Black, and he promised him not to; but when he thought of Black’s impunity, the idea of sitting there doing nothing almost made him sick.
Harry secretly made his decision at that moment. But then, he suddenly heard a loud noise coming from outside the Great Hall.
In a few moments, people ran in pale.
They were all students who had just returned from Hogsmeade. They went in one by one, with their faces devoid of the usual Joy that accompanies returning from there. The expression on their faces made it clear that something terrible had happened.
Harry felt his heart in his throat. Could this be that Sirius Black had appeared in Hogsmeade?!
He saw Neville panting in front of him with a flustered face, a slanting big scarf around his neck, a few bags of Honeydukes’ candies in his hand, and even his cloak which he had not found time to take off. Harry hurriedly held him by the shoulders.
“What happened?” Harry asked eagerly.
“It was a werewolf!” Neville gasped, trembling and saying, “There was a werewolf in Hogsmeade, and it attacked Evan and Hermione.”
“What?!” Harry’s heart sunk to his stomach. Evan and Hermione faced a werewolf? He could not imagine what happened next.
“How are they?” Harry looked into Neville’s eyes. “Did anything happen to them?”
“I don’t know, Harry!” Neville was almost out of breath. “I was in the hall just now and saw the professors running with both of them to the school hospital. Hermione kept crying, but she looked fine. But Evan was unconscious in Hagrid’s arms. His robe was stained with blood.”
Hearing Neville’s words, Harry felt cold all over his body.
He didn’t have time to think about Black anymore. He should go to the school’s Hospital to check on Evan.
“Although Evan is very powerful, it is impossible for an underage wizard to defeat a werewolf. I hope his injuries aren’t too bad.”
As soon as Harry stood up, he saw Hagrid’s huge figure bursting into the Great Hall.
Hagrid’s face was full of tears. Ever since he received the letter from the Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures, telling him Buckbeak might be executed, Evan never saw Hagrid be so sad.
He shouted his name and tried to reach him to ask about Evan and Hermione. But in vain, the entire Hall was so messy. Everyone was talking loudly about the werewolf attack in Hogsmeade.
Hagrid stormed to the Professors table and talked to Dumbledore who quickly got up and walked down. Everyone looked at him and hoped that he would have a few words that explain the current situation.
But he didn’t. Dumbledore just whispered a few words to Percy while he passed by his side. He then followed Hagrid and hurriedly left the Great Hall. It looked like he was heading towards the school’s hospital.
“Silence!” When Dumbledore and Hagrid left, Percy shouted at once. “As Head Boy of the student body, I can assure everyone’s safety. Please believe me; no monster can enter the castle.”
No one listened to him, and the chaos continued.
Everyone suddenly noticed that there was not a teacher in the Great Hall tonight and the Headmaster had just followed Hagrid. Professor sprout went back home early to take care of some familial problems. Professors McGonagall, Flitwick, Snape and Lupin all weren’t there. It was as if they had agreed on this in advance. They all disappeared.
Without teachers maintaining order, the noisy arguments in the Great Hall were louder than ever. Percy could do nothing to control the scene.
However, a few minutes after that, something happened. It immediately calmed them down, and everyone was silent.