Title: Just a Little Twist
Fandom: Harry Potter
Genre: Action Adventure, Drama, Pre-Relationship, Romance, Slash
Relationship(s): Harry Potter/Draco Malfoy, Ron Weasley/Viktor Krum
Content Rating: R
Warnings: Hate Crimes/Hate Speech, Major Character Death, Torture, Violence – Graphic, Violence – Domestic and/or Against Children, Discussions of Abuse, Murder, Torture. Murder. Character Death. Kidnapping.
Word Count: 166,650
Summary: Remus remembers to take the Wolfsbane potion before he heads off to confront Sirius and Peter Pettigrew. This one thing helps to give Harry something he had wished for in the dark days of living with the Dursley, a family. It all kicks off a ripple of events that take place over Harry’s Fourth and Fifth year that will change everything.
Harry Potter stared Sirius Black down. The crazed looking wizard spat about a rat that had betrayed his parents. Jumping as the creaky door to the Shrieking Shack opened and a worn looking man came in. Sirius looked at him, eyes wide.
“Remus,” he whispered, his voice shaking as he took in the worn man.
“Sirius Black,” he sighed, shaking his head.
“He’s right here, right here, I can make things right!” Sirius said as he glanced towards the bed. Two young wizards and one young witch huddled together.
Hermione stood up, wand pointed at the two of them, “You can’t trust anyone,” she remarked. Sending Harry a quick look, “He’s a werewolf.”
“Clever girl,” Remus muttered, almost snorting. “And how would you know that?” he asked, though he had a feeling it would have something to do with a certain Potions Master.
“The essay Snape set, it was easy to figure out after that,” she replied almost smugly as Harry slowly stood up and pointed his wand at the two of them.
“Well, well,” came a very sarcastic voice as Snape appeared at the far end of the room, “Sirius Black, such a lucky day for me, the dementors will be happy to feed off your darkened soul. And Lupin should have known you would have been helping an ‘old friend’ back into the castle. You haven’t changed,” he sneered at them both.
“Severus, once again you have put your nose into things that you know nothing about,” Remus huffed as he looked towards his colleague, “something more is going on and I am going to get to the bottom of it,” he added, “Now kindly be quiet,” he finished as he kept an eye on the man.
“I think not,” Snape began as he slowly moved around the room, wand pointed at the two wizards, ready to cast a spell at any moment. “You told him where they were,” he hissed, eyes deadly, “you told him where Lily was.”
“I didn’t kill them, I would never, they were my friends, my very best friends, my family!” Sirius protested, almost screaming the words out as he glared at Snape.
“Expelliarmus!” Harry shouted; wand aimed at Snape. the wizard went flying, hitting the wall before falling to the floor. “Tell me?” he asked, “Tell me what happened that night, everyone says that it was because of you that Voldemort went after my parents. If it wasn’t you, then who?” he pleaded with the crazed wizard.
“I was to be their secret keeper, but it was too obvious. Everyone knew how close I was to James, to your father, he was my brother in all but blood,” Sirius murmured.
“I’m keeping an eye on him,” Remus muttered, as he walked over to where Snape was, taking the wand from the floor, where it had dropped and pointing his own on Snape as he started to come around, “Keep quiet and I won’t do anything Severus, maybe you could learn something,” he pointed out to the Potions Master. Snape glared at him but remained quiet.
Sirius turned back towards the young dark-haired teen, “James and I thought we were being clever, asking Peter Pettigrew to take my place as Secret Keeper, it was the perfect ruse, no one would think that James or I would let anyone else take that place. But I let him, I should never have let it happen but I did.”
“You went after him?” Harry asked, taking a step closer to the wizard.
“More fool me, but I did, with revenge in my heart for the death of my brother, I went after him. Leaving you with Hagrid to keep you safe until I could get you later. But he tricked me, he actually did it, he tricked me,” Sirius said, hands pulling at his hair as he thought of that night.
“But Pettigrew is dead, you killed him!” Hermione yelled.
“I wanted to, by Merlin that is all I wanted, but he escaped me, yelling for all to hear that I killed Lily and James. Then… the paper, I got the paper and there he was right on the front page,” he said pointing at Ron, “on the front page was Pettigrew and I knew he would try and go for you Harry, and I couldn’t let it happen, I couldn’t. So, I escaped, went to see you, and then went after him. He’s right here, and now I can finally bring the truth out and he can pay.”
“I’m not…”Ron began to protest, clutching Scabbers closer, the rat struggling in his grasp.
“Not you, your rat!” Sirius snapped at him.
Ron blinked, looking down at his rat, “Scabbers!” he shook his head, clutching his pet closer, “No, he’s a pet.”
“Really long-lived from what I hear,” Remus said from where he is standing.
“He can’t be,” Ron said once again.
Sirius strode over, grabbing the rat, “Let’s see then if it’s a common rat this won’t hurt a bit,” he muttered as he set the rat down on the lopsided piano and took a quick step back. Shooting spell after spell at it, as the rat ran and dodged. Remus stepped away from Snape for a moment and joined in. Within seconds they finally hit the rat as it tried to flee from the room.
“Remus, Sirius, my old friends,” a snivelling voice whined as the rat turned man. “Oh, Harry, such a sweet boy,” he then started to grovel, as he went towards the teenager.
“Don’t even think of going anywhere near him,” Sirius growled at him, getting in the way, “This time, I’ll happily go back to Azkaban after killing you.”
“Sirius, please!” Pettigrew begged, as he looked at Harry and then turned to Ron, “wasn’t I good pet Ron, wasn’t I?” he begged him.
“Stay away,” Ron hissed, as Harry and Hermione went closer to his side.
“Why?” Harry asked, “Why did you betray them?” he repeated as he looked at the man.
“He was too powerful, I had no choice!” he yelled out, falling into a prayer position on the floor of the shack.
“You could have done as we had done, as well all did!” Sirius yelled, “We fought back, we stood up, we would have died for them, for you, for anyone if it means that someone else would live!”
“But nothing, my parents hid to save me,” Harry said, taking a step away from Ron and Hermione. The two reached out to stop him, but he pulled away, “I hear them, I remember the green light, I remember my dad, telling my mum to take me and run, that he would hold Voldemort off. Then Voldemort, telling my mum to get out the way, but she refused, she stood between us so I could live. She begged not for her life but for mine. She screams when he kills her, but she still doesn’t move aside. Instead, the green light hits her,” he finished, taking a shuddering breath. He had pieced it all together from each time he got near the dementors.
“This time, you will finally pay for what you did,” Sirius growled as he raised the wand he had taken from Ron.
“No,” Harry spoke calmly, going over to the man and placing a hand on his arm.
“He is the reason your parents are gone Harry,” Remus clarified bluntly, looking at the teen, trying to gauge what he was doing.
“I know, and he can pay, by being in Azkaban, with him captured, they… they should set you free,” Harry said quietly, looking between the two men.
“They should,” Remus nodded, “They should at least give him a proper trial now,” he said, a soft fond smile on his face, “You are very much like your mother,” he murmured.
Harry just nodded, “We should head to the castle,” he advised, “I… I don’t want to linger here,” he finished, looking over at Ron.
“Might need a bit of help mate,” Ron grinned, though there was pain in his eyes.
“Sorry,” Sirius winced, knowing that he was the cause of Ron’s injury, “I didn’t mean to get you, I meant to get the rat.”
“I know,” Ron said.
“Severus,” Remus said as he looked to the wizard, “You going to fight?” he asked him quietly, “Or are you going to help?”
“I will help,” he sneered as he got to his feet, hand out for his wand.
Remus handed it over “Thank you,” he said with a small smile.
“You are forgetting something rather important, Lupin,” he told him, voice devoid of emotion.
Remus frowned, “What?”
Snape glanced at the window, “you’ve had your potion?”
“Yes,” he nodded, eyes going wide as he realised exactly what Snape was going on about. “Sirius, I suggest you started getting out of here, the full moon is going to be rising soon,” he advised. “I’ve had the potion, and while I know I should be safe, I’d rather not take any chances,” he finished.
“Yeah,” Sirius nodded, not even glancing at the window, he didn’t want to take his eye off Pettigrew at all, “Harry, and…”
“Hermione,” she answered, as the man vaguely gestured behind him in her direction
“You two take care of your friend, Snape and I will be able to deal with this one,” he suggested as he looked to Snape.
“That’s fine with me,” he nodded as he pointed his wand towards Pettigrew.
“Thank you,” Sirius murmured as the six of them slowly went through the passage. Leaving Remus behind as the moon slowly rose.
They emerged from the tunnel and into the moonlit night. In the distance they could hear a howl, knowing that it was Remus. But it wasn’t a sorrowful sound, it sounded more like joy, happiness. Sirius gave a small smile, “You know Harry, you’re parents wanted me to raise you.”
“Yeah?” Harry replied, hope clouding his voice.
“Hmm,” Sirius hummed as he continued, “I would like to get to know you better, I know we’ve only just met. But you are my family, and I am yours.”
“I… I would like that,” he gave a soft smile as he moved a little closer to Ron, helping him over a rock.
“Seriously,” Ron grumbled, “Next time you want to bite someone, try not to get me.”
“I’ll do my best,” Sirius snorted.
Pettigrew fell to the ground, but before he could do anything Sirius and Snape both sent a stunner to him, making sure he wasn’t going to make a run for it. “I’ll levitate,” Snape said, “you help with them,” he gestured at the teens.
“Okay, thank you,” Sirius nodded as he turned and took over from Hermione in helping Ron head to the castle. “You know, when you get to know me better, maybe, maybe you’d like to live with me?” he asked, sounding afraid of the answer that Harry could give.
Harry stopped, almost causing Ron to stumble as he gripped his friend tightly, “You… you really mean that?” he whispered, shocked, “That I… I could live with you?”
Sirius glanced at him, a curious look in his eyes as he replied, “Yes, I do, you’re family Harry, and I would love it if you would. But if you… you want to stay with your family. I would understand.”
“No, it would be great, to live with you, to be with family, with you,” he rambled, hope blossoming even more in his heart as he thought of living with Sirius instead of his relatives. They may have housed him and fed him, but it was always the bare minimum. They didn’t really care for him, they had only done it for appearances only, wanting to seem like the right sort of people to those outside of the house.
“Okay,” Sirius grinned as they took the final path towards the castle. Harry was smiling the whole way, as Hermione followed behind them. Ron winced in pain occasionally as they went up the stone steps that led to the main door into Hogwarts. Snape leading the way with Pettigrew floating behind him.
Snape led the way to the hospital wing first. Pettigrew still floating behind him as snapped out, “Granger, open the doors!”
Hermione quickly ran from where she was behind the group and to the doors, calling out, “Yes Professor.” She opened the doors wide letting the group into the room.
“Poppy!” Snape called out, as he waited for the Hospital Matron to walk into the room, “Poppy!” he yelled again as Ron was helped over to one of the beds and settled down on it.
“What is it Severus?” she asked as she walked in. Freezing as she saw who was now in her hospital wing.
“You have a patient in Weasley there, concentrate on him. Make sure that no one revives this one while I floo for the Headmaster to come through, we will need to get Madam Bones in as well,” he told her as he levitated Pettigrew over to another bed and bound him to it, redoing the stunner that was on the rat.
Harry stood nearby, Sirius next to him as Hermione settled down on another bed. Sirius placed a hand on Harry’s shoulder, smiling at him, “You all right?” he asked him softly.
Harry glanced from where he was watching Pomfrey take care of Ron and then up at the wizard. “Yeah,” he murmured, though in truth he still didn’t know what to feel about it all. He never really knew what had happened to his parents, as to how they had come under suspicion of Voldemort and how they had been found. He now knew the truth of that night, as far as he could tell.
Snape came back, this time followed by the Headmaster and a woman with a regal bearing, and a stern-looking face. Beside her was the Minister for Magic, Cornelius Fudge. Harry pulled a face a little as he looked at the squat man. He wasn’t too sure of him, the attitude he had didn’t sit well with the young wizard.
“That’s… that’s Sirius Black!” he yelled out, pointing in horror at the man that was standing next to Harry, “I’ll get the Dementors, he needs to be kissed.”
“I think not Minister,” Snape said, glaring at the man, eyes narrowed.
“And why not, I am the Minister of Magic!” he huffed, almost as though he was trying to make himself taller with the movement.
“Because over on that bed is Peter Pettigrew, believed to have been dead for the past 12 years,” Sirius said as he gestured to the bed across the room, that held the unconscious and bed-bound man.
“But… But… that’s just not possible!” he was yelling at the end, eyes wide as he glanced towards the bed, not wanting to believe the words coming from the man before him, “You’re a criminal, you made it up, that’s, that is just a… a… conjurations of some kind! Some sort of dark magic!” he finished, seeming to calm down as he thought of a reason for everything going on, “And everyone has just been confounded,” he nodded a smirk on his face as he finished his perfect reason.
“No we’re not, and I would suggest before waking him, that you stop him from being able to transform, he is an animagus, takes the form of a rat,” Snape told them, giving Sirius a look to tell him to be quiet.
Sirius remained silent, as he placed a hand on Harry’s shoulder again, grounding himself a little. Harry looked at the man, “It’s true Minister, we saw it all, and he confessed that he had been the reason why Voldemort had gone after my parents that night,” he added, reaching up and placing his own hand on Sirius, needing that comfort, that reassurance that the man was there behind him. That he wouldn’t just disappear on him.
“Then we shall use some veritaserum before anything is to happen,” the woman said as she took a step forward, giving the minister a look.
“No! I forbid it,” Fudge huffed, “we already know what happened.”
“No we don’t,” the woman said, “When you gave the kiss on sight order, as you know they are supposed to come through my desk first. When I heard you had pushed it through on your own, looked into the case, there is no transcript of a trial.”
“That’s because I was never given one. I was taken from the scene, stunned and then the next thing I know, I was in a cell in Azkaban,” Sirius sighed, a strained look on his face.
“Then we shall make sure there is one, for now, Potions Master Snape, I presume that you have some veritaserum available for me to use in this case?” She asked the wizard.
“I do Madam Bones, it will take me a moment to retrieve it from my private potions lab. I have it securely locked there,” he nodded as he left the room, robes swirling behind him dramatically as he headed to the office to use the floo.
“Well Mr Weasley,” Pomfrey said as she stood up, “You’ll be right as rain in no time,” she told him as she finished her examination.
“How are you, Harry?” Dumbledore asked as he walked over to them.
“I’m doing all right Headmaster,” he answered politely.
“Good,” he smiled, as he looked over to the others, “And you all?”
“I’m fine, Headmaster,” Hermione smiled.
“Yeah,” Ron grunted as he looked at the potion that Madam Pomfrey held. He took it and with a sigh, he quickly downed it in one go. Shuddering as he handed the empty flask over to her.
“In about two hours you’ll be able to walk around again, but I would suggest going easy for at least a week,” she advised him as she took the flask and went to her office, only to have to almost dance out of the way as Snape was striding out of it, a small glass vial with a silvery liquid inside.
“Welcome back Severus,” Dumbledore smiled at the man.
Snape gave him a nod of acknowledgement as he went over to Madam Bones and said, “Here we are,” he handed over the vial.
Madam Bones broke the seal and checked the potion to verify what it was and then nodded, “Thank you, with your assistance and with Albus’, would it be all right for the two of you to help me question Pettigrew of everything?” she asked.
Harry watched as the woman very efficiently waited for the man to return to consciousness and quickly fed him the serum and asked her questions. Fudge was still blustering that people were lying. When the last question was answered. Madam Bones straightened up, as Fudge continued his tirade.
“Minister Fudge, if you do not shut up, I will launch a full investigation into your dealings since you came in office, and I will make sure to turn up every single stone I can think of,” she warned him.
Fudge finally went silent, as he watched the woman, a wary look in his eyes, “Very well, I will leave you in charge of this mess!” he huffed as he went slinking out of the room and towards the floor.
Madam Bones looked relieved with him leaving, “Sirius Black,” she said as he looked at him.
“Yes Madam Bones,” he nodded, taking a step around Harry, though the younger kept hold of his hand as it moved from his shoulder.
“I will have a trial set up for you as soon as I can, I ask that you hand yourself in to me, and me alone, and I will see that you are kept safe and well until your trial,” she advised him, stunning Pettigrew as he started to become aware of himself again.
“Thank you, I will, may I say goodbye to my Godson before I leave,” he asked.
“Of course,” she nodded, “I’m going to send for Shaklebolt to come and take this thing away and get him set up as well. And into an anti-magus containment cell.” With that, she left the room to call for Shaklebolt and another Auror.
Sirius turned to him, holding his hand he smiled, “Well, looks like I’ll finally be able to be the Godfather I wanted to be with you,” he said as he pulled the young wizard towards him, wrapping his arms around him.
Harry held himself stiffly for a moment before he slowly relaxed into the hold. A feeling of safety and family spread through him, and he couldn’t help the soft smile on his face as he wrapped his own arms around the emaciated wizard. “Let’s hope.” His voice was a soft murmur, as though he didn’t want to say anything in case he cursed it.
Sirius let him go and then looked at Snape, “Snape, thank you,” he said, holding out a hand to the wizard, “I know I was a right bastard to you when we were at school, and I have no reason to give, all I can do is apologise, and I am sorry for everything I did.”
Snape looked at the man, his eyes going a little wide at the words, “Black.”
“Look, you don’t have to accept, or anything. I had a lot of time to think in there, and I realised that I had become what I didn’t want to be, just like my mother. I hated her with a passion for what she put me through, and I was practically doing the same to you. So I’m sorry, and I hope we can get past it. I doubt we will ever be bosom buddies, but I respect what you did. I know a little, even after all that time in there. So thank you for the help in making sure they listened and not kissed me on sight,” he said, hand still out.
Snape hesitated for one more moment before he took the hand and shook it, “I don’t know if I can forgive or forget what you put me through. I know I did get my own back at times.”
“You gave back really good sometimes,” Sirius grinned, “I think if we weren’t blinded by our own idiocy, we would have seen what a true genius you were with pranks.”
“Hmm,” he hummed as he noticed that stunned looks from the three students in the room, “You took the pranks too far at times.”
“I know, we did. A prank stops being funny when the person being pranked doesn’t find it funny,” he nodded in agreement.
“It’s good to see you both getting along,” Albus smiled happily, as he watched the two shake hands without being forced.
Their handshake abruptly ended, and the two were about to say something when Madam Bones walked back in with a tall, dark wizard following behind her. “Shaklebolt, take him to the cells, don’t let anyone see him, I want only the two I mention and you on him at all times. And I want the same for Sirius Black as well. The minister may try something,” she warned as she gestured to the wizard unconscious and bound on the bed.
“Yes Madam,” he nodded as he went over to the man and secured him before heading out.
“Make sure it is an anti-magus cell!” she called after him, “Headmaster, Professor Snape, Mr Potter,” she said as she looked at all three of them in turn, “I may be calling on the two of you,” she indicated Snape and Harry, “to come and testify for Mr Black,” she finished.
“We’ll be ready,” Snape said with a sharp nod.
“Sirius, if you would,” Madam Bones said as she gestured for the wizard to follow her.
“I’ll see you soon Harry,” Sirius said as he hugged his godson tightly one last time before he followed the witch.
Harry’s eyes followed him until he was out of sight. Hermione looked at him andRon sent him a reassuring smile. He walked over to Ron’s bed and sat down as Madam Pomfrey began to check over the other two teens as the Headmaster left the room with Snape.
Snape walked behind Harry, three days after the Shrieking Shack, a hand on his shoulder guiding him around the paparazzi that had shown up for the trial. They were shouting at him, questioning him on anything and everything that they could think of. Harry ignored them, feeling safe with Snape since his glare was keeping most of them away. Though one vile sounding woman did try to get too close. But with a few sharp words from Snape, she was scuttling back from where she had come from.
“You will have to learn how to deal with the press at one point Potter,” Snape said as they made their way to their seats in the courtroom. They were both going to be called up as witnesses for both Pettigrew and Sirius.
“I forget that to the wider public I’m known,” he murmured, looking away, embarrassed at the attention he was getting.
Snape looked at him, observing everything he could. “You are much like your mother,” he whispered.
Harry’s head shot around, looking wide-eyed at the wizard, “My… Mother?”
Snape nodded, the barest hint of a smile on his face. “Yes, I knew her well, and while we had fallen out during our fifth year, your father was happy about that,” he muttered, “But we started talking once more before you were born, slowly mending a friendship I had destroyed with careless words.”
“Could you… could you tell me about her sometime?” he asked, “Aunt Petunia, she always told me off for asking about my parents when I was young.”
“Petunia,” Snape snorted, “She hated the fact that your mother had magic and she didn’t, she turned that hatred towards me and your mother after a while. I don’t suppose living with her was… pleasant,” he added, getting a meek nod from the teen beside him.
“No,” he murmured, “She and Uncle Vernon, are not… happy that I’m at Hogwarts at all,” he sighed.
“Well, this should change that,” he said, patting the teen on the shoulder. Snape looked back towards the trial as Pettigrew was brought in first. One by one the two of them were called up to testify what they knew. Ron and Hermione could have also been called, but it was deemed unnecessary for having so many come as witnesses. Harry smiled in satisfaction as Pettigrew was sentenced to Azkaban for the rest of his life. It was then that Madam Bones announced the next case. There were a few shrieks, but not as many as there would be after hearing the testimony from Pettigrew.
Once again Snape and Harry were called up to testify what they had seen and heard in the Shrieking Shack. Watching Sirius’ trial come to an end, Harry heard as Madam Bones called for the vote. Harry spared glanced towards the Headmaster, who gave him a reassuring smile. The man had excused himself from most of the proceeding, as he didn’t feel he could be impartial to all the evidence.
“The Wizimagot find Sirius Black Not Guilty of All Charges, on the Charge of Escaping from Azkaban, that has been dropped in light that Sirius Black had never been charged or found guilty by a court of Law before being sent to Azkaban,” Madam Bones called out, “Sirius Black, compensation will be given to you in light of what you have gone through. Healers at St Mungo’s are going to help you free of charge for all that has happened. Sirius Black, my sincere apologies for what you have been through.”
“Thank you Madam Bones,” Sirius replied with an elegant bow to them all.
“You are free to go,” she smiled as she watched the Wizard as he went towards the gallery. The wizards and witches began to leave, though some remained behind. Most of the paparazzi remained trying to get a picture of the now free wizard and his famous godson.
Harry darted from where he was sitting with Snape and rushed down to his Godfather, over the last three days, they had sent a few letters to each other. Trying their best to get to know one another. “I’m so happy,” Harry mumbled as he wrapped his arms around the wizard and held him tightly. Snape joined them, nodding to Sirius before he placed a hand on Harry’s shoulder.
“Potter, we need to leave,” he told him, his voice almost gentle instead of the harsh growl that he would use when speaking to Harry.
“Go on Bambi, I’ll see you again soon, so don’t you worry,” Sirius smiled and then looked up at Snape, “take care of him for me, and tell Remus I’ll speak with him soon.”
“I will,” Snape nodded, “Come, Potter,” he said as he then waited another moment as Sirius and Harry hugged tightly one last time. The Potions Master directed them to the floor office so they could head back to Hogwarts. Once more paparazzi were shouting questions at them and taking pictures as they kept quiet and walked to the office.
“Thank you for bringing him back Severus,” Albus said as soon as the two of them appeared in his office. The old wizard had beaten the two of them back to the castle since he had taken his office floor instead of the public one back to the school. “I would like to speak with Harry for a moment, I’ll let him go back to his dorm a little later.”
“Very well, and Albus, you made a mistake when you sent him there,” was all Snape said as he then left the office.
Albus looked a little startled, but then shook it off as he looked at Harry, “Well, Harry,” he said with a smile, “Sirius has been writing to me, about things that are happening now that he is free. And I fully endorse them,” he added.
“What… what would that be sir?” he asked, blinking as he sat down.
“Lemon drop?” Albus asked first, holding out a small bowl full of them.
“No thank you,” he answered, “What’s going on?”
“Well, Sirius has, of course, mentioned that as soon as he was freed, that he would be taking custody of you. I have agreed that it is a wonderful idea,” he answered him finally, putting down the bowl.
“Really?” he asked, a slow smile spreading across his face.
“Yes,” Albus nodded, “I know that living with the Dursely’s was… not the best,” he sighed.
“Damn right,” Harry muttered, darkly.
“I’m sorry Harry, I know you living there wasn’t nice. But at the time it was the only thing and only place I could think of that would keep you safe. I still didn’t know who I could trust at the time. While there are a few that I would have, I knew that having you in the wizarding world right at the start would have made things difficult. People were trying to find you, some… some wanted you dead Harry, and I didn’t want to take a chance that a family would take you out and you would be murdered in the middle of Diagon Alley,” he said softly, his voice full of regret.
“Was it really that bad?” Harry asked, looking at him, trying to see if he could tell if the man was lying to him.
“Yes, it was, the end of the war when you were a baby was a dangerous time. There were still those out there that believe in Voldemort, as you know,” he answered, “There were many that wanted to take you in, and I didn’t know who I should trust. So I went with the only thing I knew would be able to protect you fully. When your mother died, she did something that protected you, a protective layer that I used when I took you to your aunts. I made sure that they anchored there. When you leave them, they will disappear, but they have done the job I wanted, and that was to protect you until someone I knew would really take your happiness into their heart,” he smiled.
“So you’re okay with me living with Sirius?” he asked, he had been half afraid that something would happen and he would have to go back to his Aunt and uncle.
“Of course. I have several regrets in my life. and sending you to live with them is one of my main ones. I will forever regret not being able to find a family that would be able to take you in and keep you truly safe from the dangers in our world,” he sighed softly, a regretful look on his face.
“Thank you,” he nodded, “I… I know why you sent me there, I never really understood it, a wizarding family would have been able to protect me.”
“But they would have taken you out, to show you off to let the fame that had been heaped on you fall on you at such a young age. I wanted you to be away from that. When I… I defeated Grindelwald, I had that fame heaped on me, it was the worst thing that had ever happened as far as I’m concerned,” he spoke softly, almost hesitantly, “All I wanted was to rest, to be a normal man and to carry on with what I wanted to do in my life.”
“And with the fame, you couldn’t?” Harry asked he was curious as to what the Headmaster could tell him. Nothing had been written down with what happened after Grindelwald’s defeat.
“No, people wanted me for everything. They wanted to show me this, or that. Wanted my help with something. It was demand after demand. It felt like I was being pulled apart. In the end, it was your grandfather that gave me an out. Told me I should travel a little, and I did. let the flame die down enough that when I got back, I could carry on with what I truly wanted to do,” he smiled.
“My grandfather?” he sat up straighter at that.
“Yes, I have no doubt Sirius will be able to tell you a lot about him. He was taken into your father’s home after running away from his parents in his fifth year. Charlus was a good man, a very good man, he was a strong wizard and had a good head on his shoulders,” he smiled, “I have no doubt that Sirius will tell you if you ask him.”
“Okay,” he nodded.
“Now, it will take time for Sirius to get something sorted for you to live in, for the both of you. He has a place, but it isn’t the most pleasant of places. But I know that you won’t want to go back to the Dursely’s, even though there are special wards around the property to protect you,” he murmured, almost to himself.
“Ward?” Harry blinked as he looked at the man, confused.
“When I placed you there, I put up some wards, using what your mother had done to protect you from those that might want to harm you.” Albus was cut off by a snort from Harry, “Yes, I know, they didn’t protect you from anything inside, which is why I will not be sending you back. I’ve no doubt that Sirius is more than capable of keeping you safe and he has protections on the home that you will be staying at for a while before going to a place he wishes to have set up. He has asked Remus for his help in this case,” he smiled, though it was strained as he looked at the young wizard.
“Okay,” Harry nodded.
“Now,” Albus sighed a little, “Why don’t you go and see your friends, let them know what is going on,” he smiled.
Harry gave a small smile back before standing, “Thank you, for telling me, though… one thing I still want to know.”
“Yes?” Albus said, sitting up a little straighter, though he had a feeling what the teen wanted to know.
“Why did Voldemort come after my parents?” he asked.
Albus paused, he was right, “I will tell you during the holidays when you’re settled with Sirius.” He has promised this time.
Harry nodded, giving him one last smile as he left the office. Fawkes flew over to Albus, as the man contemplated how to tell Harry what he knew, he didn’t want to burn the teen, but now understood that Harry wasn’t the child he hoped to be, but a young adult.
Harry led the way down into the Great Hall, other students were looking at him as he entered and he knew why. Since the night at the Shack, the papers had been full of Sirius Black and his innocence as well as the capture, arrest and the persecution of Peter Pettigrew. Harry had never been happier about making sure they hadn’t killed the man for what he had done to Harry’s parents. Entering the hall and heading towards the Gryffindor table, whispers once more broke out. Though this time they were looking at him. Harry glanced towards the paper as he reached his usual seat. There on the front page was a picture of him and his parents along with Sirius and Remus. They all looked so young, but he could see the worry in their eyes.
Sitting down Harry reached for the waiting paper and began to read it as the Owls began to fly into the room. “Looks like they are talking about my living arrangements now that he’s free since he was named as someone my parents wanted to take me in,” he murmured, eyes down as he tried to avoid the stares of the others in the hall.
“Harry,” Ron nudged him as a beautiful barn owl began to head towards him. Landing neatly beside Harry’s plate.
Putting down the paper the teenage wizard took the letter from the bird, giving them some bacon, “Thanks,” he smiled. quickly stroking a hand on the feathered breast.
“What’s it say?” Hermione asked as she leaned closer, almost ready to take the letter from him as he was opening it too slowly for her peace of mind.
“Hang on,” he huffed as he began to read. Eyes following the words as a smile broke out on his face.
“Good news?”Ron asked, a grin on his face.
“Yeah,” he nodded, grinning back, “Sirius is going to be meeting me at the train station. The Dursley’s won’t be there, and I won’t be seeing them again,” he answered Hermione.
“That’s great!”Ron almost yelled, as he quickly took a bite of the bacon sandwich he had put together.
“Yeah,” he crowed quietly, “I never have to be near them, I’m so happy about that. No more Dursley’s.”
“They are still your family Harry, you should at least respect them for taking you in,” Hermione told him, her voice a little snappish when she spoke.
Harry andRon looked at her, shocked on their faces, “Hermione,” Ron began, “Do you remember me telling you about what happened in second year?” he asked her.
“Come on Ron you had to have been lying,” Hermione rolled her eyes.
“Bars on the window, cat flap in the door. My meals sent through them were only soup and stale bread that I gave to Hedwig, you think I’m making this shit up?” Harry hissed at her, eyes narrowing in anger at the disregard Hermione had for what he had been through with the Dursleys. “They would have happily heard of my death and danced on my grave. They didn’t want me at all. They thought they were being watched by wizards and that’s why they did so. Vernon and Petunia hated me, locked me away and kept me hidden from those around them. Ashamed that I was a wizard, so no, he wasn’t lying. Just people ignoring what children had to say, and once again we see that you think more about the adults than your own mind.”
With that Harry turned away from her, not wanting to look at her after she had just called him a liar. it was one thing he hated being called, as his so-called family called it him all the time. Knowing that he was in the right and Dudley and them were the liars. Ron gave him a nod, and the two of them turned to tune Hermione out as she tried to backtrack on what she had said. The two wondered who she was listening to, as Ron and Harry had talked about Dumbledore and how he regretted letting him live with his aunt and uncle.
“Malfoy, coming this way,” Ron hissed quietly, getting Harry’s attention as he nudged the younger.
Harry glanced up a little, trying not to let the wizard know that he andRon knew he was coming. “Thanks for the warning,” he murmured back as Hermione once more tried to talk to the two of them.
“Potter,” Malfoy said, causing the three to stop what they were doing and look up at him. Harry paused before saying anything. The tone of voice was different than normal. there was no direction or disgust within it. It was just toneless almost.
“Malfoy,” Harry greeted back, giving the other a nod.
“Malfoy,” Hermione growled, “Haven’t you done enough, why don’t you go back to the hole you crawled out of and bugger off,” she snipped. Her anger bubbled up inside her as Ron and Harry ignored her. She was trying to tell them that Harry needed his family in his life. Like any child needed their family.
“I’ll say,” Ron muttered, as he looked away when Harry gave him that look of disappointment. Harry had been telling them that they should try and react less when Malfoy comes near to try and lessen what he does. Or rather tries to do to them, as they normally got in trouble when they retaliate against the Slytherin.
“Sorry to interrupt your meal, but I ask that you pass on a message from my mother to her cousin when you see him,” Malfoy said quietly, his tone remaining polite and refraining from saying anything to Ron and Hermione and their attitude.
“Cousin?” Harry blinked, wondering who the other teen was talking about.
“Sirius Black, he and my mother are related, their fathers were brothers,” he answered him, clearing things up.
“Oh,” Harry nodded.
“You should take the time to learn about the Black Family. Your grandmother was a Black as well. She was sister to Sirius Black’s father,” Malfoy explained to him a little more clearly, “a lot of the families of the wizarding world are connected in some way,” he finished.
“Right,” he said slowly as he saw Ron nodding from beside him.
“They are,” the redhead said, “even though I’m related to the Black somewhere along the line,” he muttered.
Harry looked from his friend back to the blond, “Okay, so what is the message?” he asked the Slytherin.
“That my mother is happy that he is free as he should have always been. That she remained on his side, knowing he wouldn’t do such things, and that I believed in him as well,” he said softly, looking at Harry, not even sparing the brunette’s friends a look.
“Like you would believe something like that,” Hermione snorted, “You were goading Harry about Sirius throughout the year!”
“I did as I had to,” Malfoy turned to her for a moment before looking at Harry, “Some of us have no choice but to follow the family line on things. Some of us don’t have anyone to back us. Not everything is so black and white Granger,” he finished, glancing at the young witch.
“I’ll tell him,” Harry nodded, giving into Malfoy’s request easily. He could see the sincerity in the silver-blue eyes.
“Thank you,” Malfoy gave a bow as he then left the table and headed back towards the Slytherin one.
“You’re not really going to pass it on are you?” Hermione asked him.
“Why not?” Harry gave a little shrug as he started to eat once more.
“Well, it’s Malfoy, he doesn’t ever do anything good. He’s just trying to get to you again,” she answered him, in that all-knowing tone she liked to use.
“Not a good idea to ignore it,” Ron murmured, though it sounded forced.
Harry glanced from one to the other, “What do you mean Ron?” a little frown marring his face.
Ron sighed, “he is asking for you to pass on a message to someone in the same family as you, and as himself. While neither of you carry the Black name, you are both part of the family. I’m too far removed from the Black family for it to count, but both of you are within three generations of being a Black.”
“What are you on about Ron?” Hermione frowned, leaning a little closer, “Nothing like that should matter at all.”
“But it does. There is one thing the wizarding world values more than magic, and that’s blood. Family lines are very important. With Harry and Malfoy both having those lines, and with Harry being a Godson to a Black as well. He should pass the message on as it’s to do with family,” Ron ran a hand through his hair as he put down his knife and fork, “ugh, I hate this stuff, never learned it right,” he muttered to himself.
“So I should then,” Harry murmured.
“Yeah,” Ron nodded, “I think Sirius would be able to explain it all better than me, I didn’t pay that much attention,” he said ducking a little, “The families were mostly tied to are the Prewett family. My grandfather married someone from the Bones family. The Black that married into the family was my Great grandfather that married them. So If it had been my grandfather, then I would have been beholden to pass the message as well.”
“Right,” Harry nodded, not truly understanding, but getting enough to at least hold any more questions.
Hermione snorted, “Really, it’s stupid,” she muttered, “You should do as you want Harry, ignore it.”
Harry just gave a non-committal nod. As he knew he would be following Ron with this. He knew the wizarding world better than he did. “We should hurry and finish our breakfast, the coaches are going to be leaving soon,” he murmured.
Ron nodded, “Shi-” he began, only to be cut off as Hermione reached around Harry and smacked him on the back of the head. “Ow!”Ron said, glaring at the witch, “What was that?”
“Language, honestly Ron, you can be such a… a, ugh,” she muttered, not even able to think of a word to call her friend.
Harry grinned a little, “Okay, let’s eat.”
The three finished their breakfast before heading to the carriages that would take them to the station. Walking through the throng of early arrivers to the station they were able to find a compartment, though once again it was occupied.
“Don’t mind if we join you, Professor?” Harry asked, a smile on his face as he saw tired amber eyes glance up at them.
“Of course not Harry,” he smiled, “Settle yourselves in.”
“Thank you Professor Lupin,” Hermione said primly as she walked into the compartment as she took a seat by the window, opposite Remus. Harry took the one beside the werewolf and the last seat was taken by Ron, the two teen wizards muttering their thanks as well.
“Professor,” Harry began.
“You don’t have to call me that anymore,” Remus said, “Especially since we’ll be living together. so call me Remus,”
Harry grinned, “Okay, Remus,” he glanced around a bit, and took a breath, as though he was trying to gather his courage, “Would. Would you be able to tell me a little of what school was like when you were there with my dad?” he asked quickly, almost rushing the words out, afraid of how the older wizard would respond.
“Of course, I don’t mind talking about them at all,” Remus smiled at him, as he thought back trying to figure out which story of the many he had that he should tell first. he opened his eyes, “Right,” he began, “I’ll tell you of the time that your mother, Lily was able to get your Father to dance in a clown suit in the great hall,” he said as he started to tell the tale as the train continued to fill up.
The train pulled into the station and Harry eagerly looked out of the window, trying to spot Sirius on the platform. Remus chuckled as the teen was leaned over him to look. With a hand on his back, he pushed the teen back into his seat. Harry looked at him, a frown on his face.
“He’ll be there,” Remus told him, his voice gentle, “Don’t worry, he isn’t going to leave you.”
Harry gave a shaky nod, “yeah, he… he said he’ll be here,” he murmured. There was a part of him that was scared he would be left behind. Left alone like he had been for so long with his relatives.
“Come on, let’s get ready to leave,” Hermione said as she stood up, already reaching for the trunk that had appeared above her after they had settled into the compartment. She had already put Crookshanks into his carrier, the cat wasn’t happy, but knew he wasn’t going to get out anytime soon.
Ron jumped up and helped the witch with her trunk before he and Harry got theirs down as well. “Mum should be waiting,” he murmured, wishing that it would be his dad for once. His mother had a tendency to embarrass them all with her actions and cooing she would do when she saw them all.
“Hmm,” Harry nodded, grabbing his trunk as they all started to leave the compartment, the throng of students heavy in the corridor, though they were a lot more polite when Remus joined them in leaving. Harry took the lead towards the door and stepped down from the train and onto the platform. His green eyes darting from one side to another, trying to spot Sirius.
“Harry!” came a joyful shout from the left of him.
Harry turned quickly, eyes lighting up as he saw the man waving his arm to get his attention. “Sirius!” he yelled out, rushing towards him, weaving in and out of the other students. Letting go of his trunk he wrapped his arms around Sirius’ waist, it was still a little thin. But it wasn’t as bad as the first time he had hugged the older man.
“Good to see you again Harry,” the wizard said softly as he hugged the teenager tightly.
“Yeah,” Harry whispered, eyes closed and letting the warmth of the hug fill him.
“Harry,” came a female voice.
Harry opened his eyes and glanced at the red-headed witch that was making her way towards them. “Hello Mrs Weasley,” he greeted, though not letting go of Sirius at all.
“How are you, dear?” she asks gentle, a smile on her face as she glances from him and up to Sirius.
Harry watched her a little, seeing the distrust in her eyes when she was looking at Sirius, “I’m fine, going to enjoy living with Sirius,” he grinned widely as Remus, Hermione and Ron caught up with him.
“Really Harry, did you have to rush off like that,” Hermione huffed as she settled her wheeled truck beside her, Crookshanks carrier being settled on top of that as well, “My parents will be waiting on the other side, so I’m going to go now, we might be able to leave before the traffic really hits,” she added, as she went over to Harry, “You write as much as possible,” she warned him as she pulled her friend into a hug, pulling him away from Sirius.
Harry let the witch hug him, “I will Hermione, and make sure you tell me when you go on holiday again. I know you’ve been talking about your parents taking you somewhere for the last month.”
“As soon as I find out, I will try and convince my parents to let me get an owl for the family. So I don’t have to wait for Hedwig or Errol,” she told him, letting him, “Bye Ron, and do try and get your homework done before I come and see you,” she added, giving the redhead a little glare.
“Yeah, yeah,” Ron muttered, rolling his eyes. He wanted to have fun in the summer. And with Harry now with a wizarding family, he might be able to visit and have some fun with Harry during the holidays instead of having to be around family all the time.
With that, Hermione picked up Crookshanks’ carrier and grabbed the handle of her trunk. Giving her friends one last smile and bye she headed to the exit to the muggle side.
“Oh Harry, I really don’t know if you should go,” Molly murmured, giving Sirius another look of distrust.
“He’s my godfather, of course, I’m going to live with him and go with him,” Harry said, frowning at the woman.
“But he was in Azkaban Harry,” she said quietly, as though she didn’t want Sirius hearing her.
“And I am a free wizard Mrs Weasley,” Sirius said as he placed a hand on Harry’s shoulder, seeing the teenager starting to tense up.
“And while that is wonderful that you are, you need to make sure that you are right to take care of a child, and you aren’t,” Molly said as she straightened up and looked at the wizard.
“That isn’t for you to decide at all Mrs Weasley,” Sirius said once more as he could see that Harry was beginning to get angry with the accusations that Molly was flinging at him, “I will be like any other man that has become a parent, I will learn how to be one.”
“That…” she began only to be stopped when Ron spoke up.
“Mum we have to get home,” he said, giving Harry a look, one that said he was sorry for the way his mother was acting.
“Yeah, have you got dinner started?” Fred piped up as he and George walked over behind their mother. They had heard some of the exchange as well and weren’t happy with what the woman was insinuating.
“Oh, yes,” Molly said as she turned to her sons, “We should head home, oh Ginny dear,” she called out as she saw her only daughter walking towards her.
“Hi Mum,” she smiled, as she glanced shyly towards Harry, “Hi Harry.”
“Hi Ginny,” Harry gave her a nod, “Sirius, would it be all right for Ron to come over tomorrow?” he asked, as he thought about what he would be doing.
“Sure, if that’s all right with your Molly?” he then asked as he glanced at the red-headed woman.
Molly looked at him and then nodded, “Of course, you could have Ginny go over as well.”
“No thank you, Mrs Weasley, I want to spend a bit of time with Ron,” Harry said, shaking his head, hoping that the witch wouldn’t try and force the two together again. It had been the same during the summer as well, always sitting Ginny next to him when all he wanted to do was to spend some time with his friends. She was constantly pushed towards them all.
“Nonsense,” Mrs Weasley bustled, “I’ll send the two of them over.”
“And Harry only wishes for your son to come over, then I will be sending Ginny back,” Sirius said firmly, “I have invited Ron to my home, not Ginny at Harry’s request as he wants to spend some time with his best friend.” he looked at the witch, daring her to keep trying.
“But they are all friends,” Mrs Weasley tried once more.
“Mother,” Percy said from behind her, “It’s obvious that they are being boys at the moment, let them have their time together,” he added, “We should have started getting home if you have left dinner cooking. It might ruin.” Ever the diplomat in the family, Percy could see that Ron and Harry were getting annoyed. IT was something he noticed during the summer as well, that his mother was always trying to push Ginny towards Harry, no matter how uncomfortable the brunette was with the attention.
“Yes, well,” Mrs Weasley said, a frown on her face as she carried on, “I’ll let Ron go, but don’t leave your sister alone all the time. She deserves to spend some time with her friends as well,” she huffed as she started to guide everyone to the Floo exit.
Harry sighed as soon as she was out of sight. Ron gave him one last look before he went out of sight. “Thanks,” he said quietly as he glanced up at him.
“Don’t worry,” Sirius smiled, “Though what was all that about?” he asked.
“Mrs Weasley keeps pushing us together all the time. I know Ginny has a crush on me, but… she’s…” he gave a weak shrug, like he wanted to say something but couldn’t.
“But what Harry,” Sirius asked gently, turning the young wizard around to face him, a serious look on the older wizard’s face.
“Can we talk about it later?” Harry whispered as he looked around, seeing some people watching and staring at them.
Sirius glanced around as well and then nodded, “all right,” he smiled, straining up. “We’re going home via portkey, as it’s the quickest way, and I’ve tied this one into the wards so we’ll get through as it’s locked to us only,” he said as he pulled out a small stone disc, a crest was on it. “You need to touch it and keep a finger on it at least to get to your destination. I’m going to hold onto you as well Harry, just to make sure,” he smiled at his godson as the three of them reached out and touched the emblem. Sirius put an arm around Harry as he activated it.
Moments later they landed with a wobble in the middle of a dark living room. Harry looked around, seeing a house-elf nearby grumbling and glaring at the three of them as they arrived, “Who?” Harry asked, gesturing slightly to the elf.
“Kreacher, he belongs to the black family. He isn’t too friendly to us. Doesn’t like the fact that I turned my back on most of the family when I left,” Sirius answered with a shrug, “If you give him an order he might follow it, I tend to just let him do as he needs to keep the place tidy and I’ll deal with food. No doubt he’d try and poison it,” he muttered darkly, glaring at the elf back.
“Okay,” he frowned slightly as he watched the elf. So different from those he had met before in the kitchens and Dobby.
“I’m going to take our things to their rooms,” Remus said, he already knew which rooms they were going to be staying In. Sirius had told him and showed him as he had stopped by a few days ago to make sure that the place was safe enough for them to remain for a while.
“So, what was wrong? What was going on at the station?” Sirius asked, guiding Harry over to the sofa and sitting the both of them down.
“She’s a girl, I… I don’t like girls,” he said, his voice shaking. He had been keeping that to himself for the last few months. Not wanting to tell Hermione or Ron in case they didn’t like it. He didn’t want to be abandoned, and he was scared that Sirius would do the same thing. He had just found the man, but he didn’t want to keep hiding who he was.
“Oh Harry,” he murmured.
Harry tensed as arms went around him, “Sirius?”
“It’s fine, don’t you worry about that, there is nothing wrong with liking the same gender,” he smiled gently and he held his godson tightly, reassuring him that everything was fine.
“There is one more thing I need to tell you about, Malfoy, he asked to pass on a message,” Harry said, remembering the blond.
“Oh?” he murmured curiously.
Harry nodded rapidly, “yeah, he said that he and his mother believed in you and that they are both happy you’re free once more.”
“Thank you, for telling me,” Sirius said, a tight smile on his face. “I should send her a letter, it has been a while since I was able to talk with Cissa,” he sighed as he let Harry go.
“Okay,” Harry nodded, expecting Sirius to start doing so.
“But first, let’s take you on a tour of the place so you don’t get lost. there are some rooms you need to avoid because of magical reasons, I’ll tell you about them so don’t worry,” Sirius grabbed his hand and pulled him up before taking him around Grimmauld place for the first time.
Harry stood by the fireplace. Ron was going to be flooding in soon. The fireplace lit up, quickly turning green as Ron came out with a sour look on his face. Before Harry could even ask what was wrong Ginny followed him. Harry’s heart sank at the sight. Ron gave him an apologetic smile.
“Sorry Harry, mum wouldn’t let me go,” Ron said softly.
“It’s okay, I understand, I’ll just get Sirius to take her home,” Harry smiled at him, ignoring Ginny as she tried to move closer to him.
“But Harry, I can all this way to see you,” Ginny murmured, her voice going a little shy, but Harry could see that shyness was put on. That it was fake.
Harry ignored her and called out, “Sirius!”
It didn’t take long for said wizard to walk into the room. He gave a heavy sigh when he saw the redhead standing there, “I’m going to take you home now Miss Weasley, Ron, Harry why don’t you go off to Harry’s room.” He smiled at the two teens as he went towards the floo and activated it.
“But I want to stay, I should be able to stay, Harry is my friend as well,” Ginny protested as Sirius tried to get her to the floo.
Harry grimaced as he glanced at Ron, he didn’t want to upset his friend but he needed to set the girl straight. “Ginny, I think of you as Ron’s little sister. I don’t know you, you’re… not a friend, you’re just someone that is around when I’m with Ron.”
Ron winced at the honesty his friend was speaking. He hated the fact that his mother and Ginny were always trying to push him away from his best friend all the time. He thought with being away from the Burrow, he would be able to leave those worries behind.
“But, you saved me, you come to the Burrow as well?” Ginny said, tears welling up in her eyes.
Harry shook his head, “I saved you because you’re Ron’s baby sister. I wasn’t going to let him down, he’s my best friend. I know he would be devastated if something happened to you. So I did it for him, not for you. I don’t know you,” he said, shaking his head, looking at Ron, “I know that sounds bad, but…”
“No, I get it,” Ron nodded, “If it was someone else, you most likely wouldn’t have gone,” Ron nodded with a heavy sigh. A pit of something in his stomach, weighing it down.
Harry gave him a weak smile, “Thanks.”
“Now, let’s go,” Sirius said as he gestured to the floor, “I need to have a word with your mother about uninvited guests.
Harry watched them go, feeling a little freer without Ginny there, “So, shall I show you my room, it’s amazing!” he grinned as he headed out of the living room, Ron following behind him.
Ron walked into the room behind his friend and grimaced a little at the colour. It was dark green, with areas of blue here and there. “Slytherin colours?” he asked, wondering why it hasn’t changed.
“Well, Sirius was going to change it all to red, and while I love being in Gryffindor…” he trailed off, sitting on his bed.
“because you were meant for Slytherin,” Ron sighed heavily.
“How?” Harry’s eyes went wide, he had never told Ron about what the sorting hat had said. The only person that knew he could have been in the house of snakes was the hat and Dumbeldore.
Ron snorted, “I can put two and two together. And you behave more Slytherin-like at times. And you’re not the only one that was meant for the house of snakes and got the lion,” he shrugged as he walked over to the bed and sat down beside his friend.
“You?” he asked quietly.
Ron shook his head, “No way, I’m way too brash for Slytherin. Fred and George, I found out, and I know why they pushed for Gryffindor, Mum would have killed them.”
“Thanks, Ron,” he smiled, getting one back, “I just didn’t want people to link me to Slytherin and Voldemort all the time if I went there. And I had met Draco and he reminded me of my cousin too much.”
“Yeah,” Ron grinned.
Sirius walked into the room moments later, “Hey,” he smiled as he held a small cage, “I wanted to say sorry for you losing your pet, I brought you something to replace it.”
“Oh, you didn’t have to do that, I understand why I don’t have… Him any more,” Ron said, wrinkling his nose in distaste as he thought of the rat.
“I know, but I still feel bad,” Sirius said as he opened the cage and a small spitfire of an owl darted from it and began to fly around the room, “sorry, was hoping he would calm down now that he was out of the store,” he sighed as the bird dive-bombed Ron and Harry before grazing the top of their heads before flying around the room.
“Wow, he’s so fast!” Harry laughed as Ron and he jumped up.
“Yeah, so much faster the Eroll,” the redhead grinned as the two started to try and catch the small bird.
It took a few moments before the owl finally landed on Ron’s head, preening the red hair as he settled down on his new perch. “Well,” Ron grumbled, though there was clear amusement in his eyes.
“Looks like he likes you at least,” Harry grinned as he reached up a tentative hand and stroked the head.
Ron nodded, and then winced as he felt the birds claws dig in a little to keep himself on Ron’s head, “Yeah,” he sighed, reaching up and taking hold of the owl before settling him on his lap, “Think I’ll call you Canon,” he grinned.
“Good name for him,” Harry snorted, “he blasted around the room like a cannonball.”
Ron grinned, “Yeah, though I named him for the Ch-”
“Chudley Cannons, I know, but the name suits him in another way as well.”
Ron grinned and nodded as Sirius left the two of them alone. Letting the boys have a bit of fun before Ron had to return home.
Harry grinned as he threw another garden gnomes over the garden fence and into the field next door. He was once more at the Burrow. Though he was only there as Sirius was trying to get their new home sorted. Last few things that they needed to do before they could move in. Grimwalds Place was dark and dank. It gave Harry the shivers most of the time that they were there.
“Nice Harry!” Ron yelled out as he swung around with his own gnome and tried to make it go as far as his friend had managed.
“That was really good Harry,” came a feminine voice from behind him.
Harry closed his eyes and made a wish that he knew was futile. Turning around he saw Ginny standing there, wearing a nice yellow sundress, her hair done up special as well. Harry knew she was trying to draw attention to herself again. Ever since he had a go at her she had been the same. Molly had been even more determined to try and push the two of them together when he had first arrived. If it wasn’t for the twins pulling a prank and taking their mother’s attention away, he would have been stuck in the house with Ginny and not outside with Ron throwing the garden gnomes over the fence.
“Ginerva,” Harry greeted politely, no longer using the nickname she had. Sirius had said it might be a way to show how distant he wanted to be with her. As using her nickname may give her the wrong impression.
“You know you can call me Ginny, Harry,” she said shyly as she played with the light cardigan that she was wearing over the dress.
“I am not that close to you, so I would prefer not to,” he told her, making sure to remove any of the annoyance he had in his voice.
“Ginny, go away, we’re trying to have some fun,” Ron told her bluntly.
Ginny turned towards her brother, “And you’re hogging my friend!” she yelled at him.
“He isn’t your friend!”Ron yelled back, “he has told you twice now to leave us alone, so just do so. You-”
“I’m telling Mum!” she yelled back, whirling around and rushing towards the house. It didn’t take long for a loud yell coming from the kitchen.
“Ronald Weasley!” Molly was standing at the door glaring at her youngest son.
“Mum,” the redhead sighed deeply, rolling his eyes and wondering what lies that his sister had told. Though it might not even be a lie.
“You dare tell Ginny who she can be friends with. You might not want to share Harry, but that doesn’t mean he can’t have any other friends.”
“It’s fine to have other friends’ mum, but she’s making him uncomfortable. She won’t leave us alone. He already told her to go away and we want to have fun with just us,” Ron said, gripping his temper as best as he could when she saw Ginny look around his mother, a smirk on her face.
“Mrs Weasley, Ginerva isn’t my friend, she’s just Ron’s little sister. And that would be fine, but she keeps trying to stop me andRon from having any type of fun,” Harry said as he took a step or two to beside his friend.
“Oh Harry dear, we know that you’re just a little shy, but really, there is no need to call me Mrs Weasley at all, you can call me Aunt Molly, or even mum,” Mrs Weasley said as she went closer to the teen.
Harry took a step back, almost glaring at the audacity of the woman before him.
“I don’t need a mother, I had one, one that gave her life. So you’ll have to forgive me, Mrs Weasley, if I refrain from calling you in such familiar terms,” he said, his voice shaking as Ron reached out to him and put a calming hand on his arm.
“You okay?” he asked, seeing that his friend was physically shaking.
“Yeah, I think I want to go home,” he said.
“Yeah, I’ll make sure you do, Sirius should be finished by now,” he smiled softly as he guided his shaken friend past his mother and sister, even though they protested.
“Grimmauld Place!” Ron yelled out, hoping that the floo would be answered.
“Yeah?” Came Remus’ voice through it as his head appeared in the fire.
“Remus, Harry needs to come home,” Ron said, “Just let him go to Sirius and I’ll explain,” he added, seeing the concerned look on the werewolves face.
“Sure,” he nodded, moving aside and letting the two come through.
Harry darted off as soon as he got in to find Sirius. Ron quickly explained to the two of them as Sirius walked back into the room with Harry, what his mother had done.
“Thanks for telling us, I think from now on, you might have to come here more than Harry going there. Hope you don’t mind,” Sirius said as he held Harry tightly. The teen had never been given the chance to grieve for his parents, and being reminded that he had lost them, wasn’t easy now that he could have that time.
“Yeah, I think it might be best. Ginny and mum are getting worse,” Ron nodded as he went back through the floo.
“It’s okay Harry,” Sirius said as he guided the teen over to the sofa and they cuddled for a while.
“I… I know, but she was… it was like she was trying to tell me that I could replace mum,” he said, tears in his eyes as he-is voice wobbled.
“I know, and she will never be able to replace Lily, never, and she can say whatever she wants but you and I both know it won’t happen,” he rescued the young wizard.
“Yeah,” he said as he curled closer. Remus had left the two to do some lunch as Harry was going to have some there for a while before coming back. As the two older wizards were going to be sorting a few things out to move to the new place ready for when they had the main move in about a month.
“Harry!” Sirius called from the living room, where the floor was located.
“Yeah?” Harry answered as he walked into the room, smiling as he saw his godfather, the man was dressed in a nice looking suit. He had been wearing a lot of them over the last few days. Meeting with people concerning the house and then family members that he needed to speak with. Today was no different. He was going to be having Narcissa and Malfoy this afternoon for tea.
“Narcissa is going to be bringing Draco over as well, do you think you can keep the peace?” he asked, grimacing a little. He knew that if he had been Harry’s age and told him he had to behave with Snape, he would have not reacted well.
“It’s fine,” Harry nodded, a smile on his face as he saw the grimace. “I know that you said he was doing it mainly to keep in his dad’s good book and not cause waves,” he added, thinking about the talk that the two of them had the day before.
“Yes, well, I know I wouldn’t have been happy to have my school rival in my house at all. Let alone his mother as well,” Sirius muttered.
“We need to grow up at some point,” Harry grinned cheekily as he darted from the room.
“I am a grown-up!” Sirius yelled after him.
“No you’re not,” Remus said as he walked past the room, “you’re still a teenager,” he muttered, running a hand through the bright blue hair that Sirius was charmed on him that morning. He still hadn’t been able to get it back to normal and the animagus was being tightlipped on how he had achieved it.
Sirius just grinned at the werewolf, “You asked for it,” he shrugged.
“How?” Remus deadpanned, eyebrows raised at him.
“You wanted a change,” he shrugged.
Remus snorted and rolled his eyes, “Not what I wanted to change Sirius,” he muttered as he left the room with Harry. “Don’t forget, if you’re going exploring to be very careful, and keep your wand on you at all times. Don’t touch anything, and any door with a red mark you do not touch as the room is cursed.”
“I won’t, I’m only going to the drawing-room over there, there were some books that Sirius said were safe to read that he put in there for me,” Harry smiled at him as he then left Remus to go back to the library to try and figure out what else he could try to get rid of the brilliant blue hair.
“Okay,” he nodded, “Yell if you need something. Narcissa and Draco should be arriving soon,” he added as a small warning, though he knew that Harry would be well behaved.
“I know,” Harry said as he then went to the drawing-room. He walked inside and over by a chair was a side table with the books that he wanted to read. They were about the families in the wizarding world, something that Sirius wanted Harry to learn. Though it was mainly so he would be informed about why some people acted weirdly around him now that it was known that he was under Sirius care. Something like Draco happening again. There were a number of families that were linked to the Blacks enough to mean something.
Harry settled down, he heard the floo go and then light talking going on. He ignored it as he picked up the book and started to read. It was a few minutes later when he started to shift around in his chair. Feeling something odd in the room, he hadn’t been in there much. No one had really. Blinking as he felt a fog descending on him, he tried to push it away. Harry glanced around, wondering what could be causing it. His mind slowly started to go blank as he got up from his chair, the book he had been in the middle of reading falling to the floor as he moved towards a cabinet on the far side of the room.
Harry was almost in a trance as he walked towards it. He didn’t even notice when the door to the room opened. A hand was reaching out towards a locket that was sitting innocently on the shelf, it was calling to Harry, to come and get it, take it and wear it. Open it. He heard a muffled yell of his name, but it was like he couldn’t answer it, like his body knew it was on a certain course and it couldn’t change. Arms went around his waist before he could touch it. He struggled in the grasp for a moment before the trance-like state he had been in broke and he found himself in the arms of someone that was shaking badly.
“Harry, can you, can you hear me?” the voice behind him was familiar but he couldn’t place it, his mind was still slightly foggy. “Harry, please, you need to answer me?” the voice asked again as Harry’s head was moved around. He came face to face with worried silver-grey eyes and blond hair.
“Ma… Malfoy?” he blinked, finally breaking free of the fog at last.
“Thank Merlin,” Draco breathed out as the door to the room opened.
Sirius and Narcissa took in the sight. Draco kneeling on the floor, shaking with Harry in his arms, who looked a little uncertain as he looked around him. “What happened?” Sirius asked he went over to them, kneeling down beside them, he placed a calming hand on Draco’s back, and ruffled Harry’s hair, trying to get the youngsters attention as Harry was looking around the room in puzzlement.
“I don’t know, I was in the chair and then… here?” Harry said, his voice beginning to shake as he realised he couldn’t remember what had been going on and why he was now in Draco’s arms.
“I found him walking towards the cabinet,” Draco said.
Sirius glanced at it, eyes narrowing, it was the one thing that they hadn’t checked in the room yet. Which was why Harry had been told not to touch anything in there. “What was it?” he wondered, thinking on what could be in there that would have called to another wizard when he felt nothing.
“The Locket,” Draco murmured, “he was reaching towards that. I can feel something really dark from it. I don’t know what though,” he added, his voice levelling out now that he knew that his mother and cousin were there to help if Harry tried to go for it again. He could sense that the locket was bad news that it would cause harm to anyone that touched it.
Narcissa went closer, “It feels deadly,” she said quietly, “Like it would harm the very soul of the person who touched it. But there is something else around it,” she added as she refused to even touch it.
Sirius stood up, leaving the teens on the floor, at the moment Harry was safe with Draco. The blond-haired teen didn’t look like he was going to be letting go of his godson any time soon with how tightly he was gripping him. Going over and glancing into the cabinet, he could feel the evilness coming from the locket. It was stronger than the others, but it blended in well enough that he wouldn’t have sensed it if it hadn’t of called to Harry at all. Casting a charm he tried to get a read on it. Casting several others he went pale as he murmured to Narcissa what it was.
“It… you need to talk to the bank, they’ll be able to sort it out,” Narcissa said, her own voice now shaking after learning what the object was.
“I will, but I need to know how it got here and who it once belonged to,” Sirius muttered as he called out, “Kreacher!”
A pop echoed in the quiet room, “What does nasty , shameful master need with poor Kreacher?” the elf asked, bowing a little to the man.
“Where did this come from?” he asked as he gestured to the locket.
“Won’t speak, won’t tell,” Kreacher tried to fight him.
“You will tell us Kreacher,” Nariccisa said, causing the elf to look at her.
“Yes, kind Mistress Cissa, one that mistress loved,” he bowed a few times before he answered, “Master Regulus, the kind master let the nasty man, the unspeakable man, you know who took Kreacher to the cave. When Kreacher came back kind master helped this miserable creature and I took him there,” he said, as he began to tear up thinking of his late master, “he ordered me, he ordered me to take him there and leave him. I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t do it.” He wailed loudly.
“Do what Kreacher?” Sirius asked, his voice shaking as he thought of his baby brother.
“Destroy the locket, I couldn’t do it, master Reggie asked me, and I failed master Reggie,” he continued to wail.
“Okay Kreacher, I’ll do it for you. I’m going to have to take with the Goblins about it, they might be able to shed some light on how to destroy such things,” Sirius shuddered as he glanced to where Draco and Harry were still on the floor, “Draco, can you take Harry out of the room, I don’t want him in here. Looks like he might be susceptible to the magics in this,” he muttered.
“Of course,” Draco nodded, stable now that he had some time to settle his nerves after he realised that something really bad could have happened to Harry if he hadn’t stopped him. Helping the younger wizard up off the floor he guided him to the living room where the floor was.
“Than… thank you,” Harry said, his voice shaking a little as he thought of what could have happened if he hadn’t been stopped by Draco. From what he could tell with the conversation it may have already taken a life.
“Welcome, and I’m… I’m glad that you’re alright,” he smiled softly, as he sat down on the chair beside him.
“Still, thank you, I don’t know what would have happened, but from the way it sounded, it would have been bad,” he said, feeling more like himself the longer he was out of that room for.
“Hmm,” Draco nodded, “I could tell that there was something really bad about it, I just don’t know what. Something to do with the soul I think,” he shrugged, “maybe my mother would be able to tell us better when she comes back.”
“Yeah,” Harry nodded, looking away.
“Sorry for just holding you all the time,” Draco said, a little awkward, a light speckle of red adorning his cheeks as he spoke.
“Oh, erm yeah,” Harry gave a nervous laugh, “It’s fine, I know you only did it to keep me away from it. Now I’m out of the room, I’m fine,” he smiled, though Draco could see he was still shaken by what had happened to him.
Draco nodded. The two went silent as they waited for Sirius and Narcissa to come back to the room. It didn’t take long for them to come in and Sirius to go over to Harry.
“How are you feeling?” he asked, checking the young wizard over.
“I’m okay, not I’m out of the room, I’m really fine, honestly.” He said with a smile on his face as he tried to reassure his godfather that he was okay.
“Are you sure?” he asked again, still checking him over.
“I am, really!” Harry said as he started to move away from the hands that were patting him down.
“Sirius,” Narcissa called to her cousin, “he is fine, listen to what he says. He didn’t touch it and Draco was able to hold him away from it and get him away from the influence of the locket.” She rescued him.
Sirius checked him one last time before letting him go. “Okay,” he sighed, taking a breather a little as they started to talk about something else. Anything to get their minds off what could have happened.
Harry grinned as the floor lit up once more. Since the day that Harry had gone from the burrow early, he hadn’t been back there. He didn’t want to talk with Mrs Weasey at all. And Ron understood that. The last time his friend had been able to come over, Ginny had once again been sent with him. This time in another little dress, that showed far more leg than should be allowed on a twelve, almost thirteen years old. It wasn’t right in Harry’s eyes. He also wanted to tell Ron what had happened two days ago when Draco and Narcissa came over. The two teens had talked a lot more and he had learned more about why Draco had been mean all the time.
“Hey Harry,” Ron grinned as he saw his friend looking off into space.
“Oh hey Ron, sorry,” he laughed, eyes bright and mouth turned up. He looked behind him, waiting for the floor to activate again. When he didn’t he turned hopeful eyes towards Ron. “No Ginerva?” he asked, still refusing to use her nickname, even if it was just Ron around him.
“No, she and mum are away for the day. So Percy said it was fine for me to come on my own,” he grinned widely as the two then headed to Harry’s room.
“Boys!” came Sirius yelled from downstairs as they opened the door to the bedroom.
“Yeah!” Harry called back, glancing down the stairs and seeing Remus and Sirius there.
“We were hoping that the two of you would be able to go to the burrow for a bit. Remy and I need to head to the other house, something up with some of the work we have done with the words,” Sirius said as the two of them started to head down the stairs.
“Well, mum and Ginny aren’t there, so you should be fine to come over?” Ron suggested as he glanced at his friend.
Harry thought for a moment and then nodded, “Sure, we can go flying for a bit?” he asked, a grin on his face as he wasn’t able to go flying where they were at the moment.
“Yeah, Ron answered, “We could get a bit of practice in. I want to try out for the quidditch team now that Wood is gone. I want to try for keeper. I need some practice.”
“Sure, we can work on that,” Harry nodded, turning to Sirius and Remus, “Sure we can go there, just come and get me as soon as you get back, I don’t want to be there for long in case they come back.”
“Okay,” Sirius agreed with an easy nod. He knew his godson was avoiding the two Weasley women and he didn’t blame him.
It didn’t take long until the two teenagers were flying in the air around the burrow, with Ron practising against the goals that the older Weasley children had added some years ago to play some pickup games. The two were having a lot of fun, though almost an hour later, they saw Ginny hanging around the garden, watching them as they flew around. Harry shuddered a little, he really didn’t want to land, though Kreacher had made them both a lunch to have when they did so.
“Come on,” Ron said with a frown, spotting his sister waiting for them, “We should get it over with. I’ll try and get us to my room,” he suggested, “we’ll eat in there.”
“Yeah,” Harry said as they headed down to the ground. As soon as they landed Ginny was over to them like a shot.
“Hey Harry, I’m sorry that I missed you coming over. If I had known I would have dressed a little nicer,” she said, as she gave him what Harry supposed was a shy look, though it was anything but.
“Hmm, I’d rather not know Ginerva,” he said with a shrug as he walked with Ron towards the burrow and into the crooked house.
“You should hang around me for a bit Harry, I bet we can have a lot more fun than you would with Ron. He’s so boring, always thinking about food or quidditch,” Ginny said with a sneer, as she looked at her other brother.
Ron looked at her, frowning even more with the behaviour that she was showing, “Ginny, can you just stop, you’re making Harry uncomfortable and that… that was really nasty,” he told her. Shaking his head at the way she was being. The little girl he had known was someone so completely different now.
“Come on Ron, you have to admit that’s all you think of. You barely do your homework either, Hermione has to do it for you,” she snorted, as she remembered the times that her brother would ask Hermione to check his work before he submitted it.
“That’s because I have trouble with the words. I ask her to make sure I mean what I want to mean,” he huffed, he had always had trouble with reading and understanding a few of the words. He often got them mixed up. Though his grades could improve more if he was honest. He wasn’t always doing his best since Hermione always said he messed up and got a lot of the facts he was putting down wrong.
“I ask her to check my own work as well, she does it because she’s our friend and wants us to do our best all the time,” Harry told her, frowning, “now, please leave us alone,” he said as the two of them headed back to Ron’s room, grabbing the lunch that Kreacher had made for the two of them. Ron got Harry to go in front of him when his sister was following.
Ron closed the door and locked it with the muggle lock before using something Bill had given him and magically locking it as well. Bill had said that his mother wouldn’t be able to unlock it, but Percy and twins would. Just in case something happened. “Okay, we’re safe here now,” he sighed as he flopped down on his bed.
“Yeah,” Harry grinned as he put down the small basket and began to get out the food that Kreacher had packed for them. As soon as Sirius had said he would be carrying out Regulus’ last request, the elf had started treating them a lot nicer. Though there were still moments when he was a little nasty, especially towards Remus, he a lot better behaved now.
Ron and Harry dug into the food, they could hear Molly and Ginny whining and calling to the two of them as they ate, but the two teens ignored them. Enjoying their meal in peace without the two harridans around for a bit.
“So,” Ron said as he ate the last bite, “you wanted to tell me something?” he asked him, letting Harry put away most of the plates, passing the few that he had.
“Yeah,” Harry nodded, as he concentrated on packing things away for a moment before sitting down on the camp bed and then taking a breath. “Part of me knows that you might not like what I have to say, but I need to.”
“Okay, I really don’t like this at all,” Ron muttered, rolling his eyes. He would have to try and keep his temper. He had been working on it when Harry had called him out on it a few months ago. That he should try and learn to hold it and let things go easier.
“Well, you know that Malfoy and His mother are related to Sirius, and you were right about telling him. It was a good thing I did. Been reading a few books. They are part of the Black family, meaning that they are somewhat my family as well.” He sighed a little as he saw Ron grimace.
“Yeah. I… I know that,” he nodded, “So what happened? I know they were to go over the day after I was last at Grimmauld.”
“They did. I went into another room, wanted to read through some of the books that Sirius recommended to read about the families in the wizarding world,” he told him, “So I was in the room, and something was pulling at me. I don’t really remember much. But the next thing I know, I’m being held in Draco’s arms and he is keeping me from reaching for something, asking if I’m okay.” He finished, eyes wide as he then added a few more details of what happened when Narcissa and Sirius entered the room.
“Wow, he… he saved your life basically,” Ron whispered, eyes wide as Harry finished.
Harry nodded, “yeah, I think he did, he even made sure that I was okay when we were done,” he added.
“That’s, really good,” Ron said slowly and carefully, “I still don’t like him, I know he’s your family and you’ll have to be nice to him. But well….”
“I know Ron, I would never force you to get to know someone. He did tell me that he had no choice but to follow the normal Malfoy family rules. But now that Sirius is back, he can go back to Black family rules and views. And since Sirius is in charge of that, they aren’t lining up with the Malfoy ones, so he can be more himself now and not a copy of his father,” he said as he thought of what Ron had told him about what it was like in the Malfoy family and why he wanted to follow the Black family under Sirius.
“Okay,” he nodded, taking a breath now and then to make sure he kept the rant that wanted to get out in. He had been trying so hard, but hearing Harry talking about Malfoy like that was riling him up. He didn’t want his friend to be near the snake. Even though they were family and looked like they might be closer because of it.
“Thanks, Ron for being so understanding,” he smiled, he could see the flare of temper in the blue eyes and changed the subject, “So is it like this with Ginerva all the time?” he asked, wondering about the words spoken.
Ron nodded, “yeah, she’s been snapping at me any time we’re alone. Or rather away from mum and dad. The twins and Percy have heard what she’s been saying to me as well, but mum always takes her side and says that all of us are lying. Percy is getting really pissed off. He’s thinking of moving out. He’s sick of being called a liar when he tries to stand up for me,” he sighed heavily.
Harry nodded, “Right.”
“It’s only been after she got back. When you saved her from that basilisk, well… She is so horrible now. She goes to everyone in the family that she was the one that you saved her, that it meant that you liked her and things like that all the time,” he huffed, pulling a face.
“Yeah, I wonder if she has been able to see someone about what she saw and went through. I know that if we were in the muggle world she would be required to see someone. I know I could have done with someone to talk to about what happened. Though I’ve been talking to Sirius about a few things. I’ve only just started,” he added.
“No, she didn’t, I didn’t even think that could be a problem.”
“She was possessed by Voldemort Ron, he could have been doing anything to her head. Are you sure your parents didn’t let someone see her and make sure that it didn’t harm her?” Harry asked, eyes wide at the thought of Ginny not being able to heal from what she had gone through.
“I’ll talk to mum,” he nodded as there was a sudden banging from the door.
“Ron. Harry,” came a shout.
The two grinned, it wasn’t Mrs Weasley or Ginny. This time it was Sirius. Finally, they could go back to Grimmauld Place.
Ron unlocked the door, smiling as he saw Sirius standing there, “Have you come to take Harry home?”
“I want to talk about something I just heard,” he said as he walked into the room.
“Oh?” Harry murmured as Sirius sat down on Ron’s bed. His friend, going over next to him to sit down.
“You talked about the chamber and Ginny?” he asked them both.
“Yeah.” Harry nodded, “My second year, Ginerva was possessed by a shade of Voldemort. She took control of the basilisk that was in the chamber of secrets, set it on the school. We know she wasn’t hurt, but Voldemort took her over. She almost died,” he added.
“What happened exactly?” he asked, leaning closer.
Harry and Ron shared a glance, “Well, she wasn’t really herself. She had part of her memory missing when Voldemort took over,” Harry began.
“The diary had a hold of her and she couldn’t let it go. She did figure out the diary was responsible and tried to throw it away,” Ron added, remembering what Harry had shown him.
“Yeah, but she stole it back,” he nodded, sighing.
Sirius sighed and closed his eyes. “Right,” he murmured, “I need to talk to Molly,” he added getting up and heading out of the room.
“Wonder what that’s about?” Ron grumbled.
Harry got up, “Let’s follow and find out,” he suggested.
With a nod, Ron got up and followed his friend out of his bedroom and headed towards the kitchen. His mother was already at the stove. Sirius called out to her.
“Yes?” she queried not even turning from what she was doing.
“I need to talk to you about Ginny,” Sirius told her, walking a little closer. The two boys hanging by the door to listen in.
“You’ve already told me that she’s not welcome in your home,” she snipped, sparing him a quick glance.
Sirius sighed, rolling his eyes, “That’s not what I want to talk to you about,” he told her, “Look, please sit with me and talk for a moment,” he suggested as he went to the dinner table and sat down.
Molly huffed, but did so, turning the stove off as she then wandered over and sat down. Her eyes were hard and glaring at Sirius, “What is it?” she asked, impatiently.
“Her first year, something happened right?” he asked her, getting a nod in return.
“Yes, she… I almost lost my baby girl,” she said, voice shaking as she thought of what could have happened to her.
Sirius nodded, “I heard Ron and Harry talking about it. I know dark magic and that… that is some of the worst out there. I just need to know if you took her to a healer, a true one at St Mungo’s to make sure she was okay after it all,” he said, almost blurting it out.
“Why would we? It was over and all it would have done was to make Ginny feel different and off with everything. It was best that we put an end to it,” she said, shaking her head.
“Molly, I think you need to get her checked out. The type of dark magic that was used, it could cause problems that you wouldn’t see unless someone checked her over. A proper full healer and not just a medi witch like Poppy, she wasn’t trained for that type of magic,” he tried to push her a little.
“Albus would have told us if we needed to take her to see someone,” she frowned, getting up, “now stop talking about it. I don’t want to remember it and I don’t want Ginny to even think of it!” she warned him. She returned to the stove.
“Molly, please, she could be being harmed even now. That is some really bad dark magic,” he told her, not wanting to explain what it was as he didn’t want to scare her.
“Sirius Black, I will not have you talking about it in my home. Now either shut up about it or leave!” she demanded, turning around and waving the spatula that was in her hand in his face as he walked towards her.
Sirius closed his eyes, taking a deep breath, “Fine,” he said, “I’ll stay for a bit longer, hope you don’t mind,” he said, though the pleasant tone was forced. He looked back and saw the two boys. Gesturing to them, he walked outside burrow into the garden.
“Sirius,” Harry said softly, “What’s going on?”
“The magic used is really dangerous. What you came across in Grimmauld place is the same type of magic. You felt the same type of pull that Ginny would have done. That’s only the beginning of that ‘type’ of dark magic. It’s… bad, very,” he told him, his voice sounded worried.
“I think you should wait for dad to get back. You should be able to talk to him better than mum. Mum never wants to listen to anyone other than Dumbledore. We all know that he wouldn’t know that much about dark magic,” Ron said, wrinkling his nose a little.
Sirius nodded in agreement, “That’s what I thought as well. Molly doesn’t know what dark magic can really do. Your dad, on the other hand, he would,” he sighed softly.
“You okay?” Harry asked him, a small frown on his face at how defeated his godfather looked.
Sirius smiled softly “I’m fine, just didn’t think I would find out that there was… another of those things floating around. It just makes me curious about it,” he murmured, more to himself. Shaking his head, “Why don’t you two go and have a bit of fun. Ginny’s in her room at the moment. And I’m here to play buffer,” he added, seeing Harry’s worried look towards the burrow.
“You sure?” he asked, thinking that they could go flying again for a bit.
“I am. Now go and have some fun,” Sirius laughed lightly.
Harry and Ron shared a look and rushed to get their brooms again. Both of them wanted to fly a little longer. It wasn’t like they could do it in the middle of London without the Muggles finding them. Sirius watched them go, quick to return as they took to the air. He watched as the two of them passed an old quaffle between the two of them, though they mostly just raced around the burrow.
Sirius smiled as he watched. His godson was good in the air. Better than his father. The young, green-eyed wizard dived a couple of times, easily pulling out and skimming the ground a few times. Sirius’ heart ended up in his throat a number of times as he watched.
“Hello Sirius,” came a friendly voice from behind him as he continued to watch.
Glancing behind him, he smiled warmly,” hey Arthur,” he greeted the older wizard, “How are things?” he asked him.
“They are fine. Molly was going on about you being disrespectful,” he said, almost singing at the words, but able to hold it back.
“Yeah, though I’m not. Albus doesn’t know dark magic as I do. And especially this type,” he began.
Arthur was confused, “What do you mean?”
“She didn’t mention anything more than that?” Sirius frowned, sighing heavily and shaking his head.
“Explain?” he demanded, looking serious as he stepped closer to the young wizard.
“Right, so I heard from Ron and Harry what happened to Ginny in her first year. The magic she was exposed to can have long-lasting effects on someone. And she was exposed for a long time. Harry was recently as well, and while he was fine, it still took a few hours for him to stop feeling like he needed to search out the object that tried to possess him,” he explained, giving a very basic explanation. There was no need to get into the details and scare the man even more.
“Wh… what does that mean for Ginny?” he asked, worry lacing his voice as he thought of something being wrong with his baby girl.
“It could be influencing her personality a bit, or even a lot. It could also change some of her morals even. Twisting who she really is into the thing that possessed her,” he answered, trying to keep his voice gentle.
Arthur glanced towards the house, “Surely Albus would have seen this as well?” he asked, wondering if the older wizard would have done, but already the doubt was in his mind.
Sirius shook his head, “I don’t think he would have realised how deep this… that would have gone. Even if the object is destroyed and the things stop possessing someone, the damage has been done. And it needs to be healed. Just like everything else. She would need to see a healer trained in healing dark arts damage,” he told him. Thankfully, the damage that would have been done would be the same as a few other dark artefacts. There were many objects that mimicked the possession made from a Horcrux.
“Right, I’ll… I’ll take her to St Mungo’s. Hopefully, they’ll be able to tell us if that thing is still hurting her,” Arthur said, not wanting to take a chance that Ginny could be hurting and not do anything.
“Do so, please, keep me informed of what’s going on. I’d like to know if she’s okay. It’s harmful magic, and I really don’t like the thought of her going through so much. She’s still only very young,” he added softly, patting Arthur on the shoulder.
“Thank you, for telling me. I take it Molly didn’t want to listen about it,” he sighed, glancing towards the kitchen window. He could see Molly watching him.
“She didn’t want to listen at all,” he agreed. “Thinks that Albus would know about all this and would have told you,” he added.
Arthur shook his head, sighing, “No, he really wouldn’t. He is a great wizard, we all know that. But there are some things that he has never developed into, healing the damage caused by dark arts is one of the big things he has never picked up,” he added, understanding what Sirius meant.
“Right, I’m going to call Harry down, I was going to take him to see the new place. But I think I might leave that for tomorrow,” he sighed, turning to the skies and yelling, “Harry, we’ve got to go now!”
Harry stopped and hovered as he then nodded, “Okay!” he yelled back, diving towards them and coming to a halt a few feet from them. Jumping off the broom he waited for Ron to join him on the ground.
“Wish you could stay for longer mate,” he grinned, shouldering the broom he had been using.
“Yeah,” Harry nodded “but maybe we can do it again,” he added as he then started to head inside.
“Of course,” Ron snorted, and then laughed as though they wouldn’t take to the air at least a few more times before they headed back to Hogwarts.
Arthur led the way into the burrow going over to Molly, “I’m taking Ginny to St Mungo’s in the morning to be checked out for dark magic damage,” he informed her.
Molly turned to him, “No you’re not, there’s no need!” she yelled.
“Yes, there is,” Arthur didn’t back down, “I’m taking her and you won’t stop me, Molly. She needs to go, just in case there is something wrong we need to make sure that she really is over after all she has been through molly,” he tried to reason with her.
“Albus would never steer us wrong,” she added.
“Albus never said we shouldn’t. He never even told us what to do, so why are you against it?” he asked her as the two of them started an argument.
“I think we should go,” Sirus whispered as he and Harry went through the floor, “Ron, make sure your dad takes ginny, don’t let Molly brown beat him,” he warned him.
“I’ll make sure. If I have to, I’ll call Bill and Charlie to help,” he nodded as the two left the burrow andRon continued to listen to his parents argue.
“Harry!” came a yell from downstairs.
Harry stopped what he was doing and left his room. He went down the stairs, jumping over the last three as he wandered towards the living room. “Yeah?” he asked, a little puzzled as to why he had been called.
“Your results for the year arrived,” Sirius smiled at him, “I’ve looked at them and I have to say they’re not bad, but they could be better.”
“I know for a fact that you got a bit wrong on your essays for DADA, but when I talked with you beforehand, you knew the answers already,” Remus said.
“I’ve been trying my best,” Harry protested, going to sit down. He had never had to talk with someone about his grades before.
“I’m just wondering why you were getting things wrong when I know you knew the answers,” Remus puzzled, he had noticed it on a number of essays that Harry had given in. And when marking the exams he had put down the answers that had been from the essay and not what he had talked about before.
“I… well… I noticed I wasn’t doing well, and neither was Ron,” he began, “We both asked Hermione to help us in making sure we got things right. She always tore our homework apart, telling us that most of what we have put was wrong and that she had mentioned the corrections that we needed to do.”
Sirius sat up at that, “Harry, do you happen to have all your essays, the ones before Hermione edited them and the ones afterwards?” he asked him, keeping his voice level.
Harry nodded, “yeah, I do, so I can see where I went wrong when I revise,” he told him.
“Good, can you bring them here please, all subjects,” he told him.
Harry frowned, but got up and rushed up to his room. He searched around and quickly found the essay for the last year and brought them down. Handing them over he asked, “Is something wrong?”
Sirius looked up and answered, “I don’t know until I read them,” he said as he split the pile and handed some over to Remus, “here, you can check a few as well.”
“Sure,” he replied, taking them and settled down to read through them. It didn’t take the two of them long to be able to see what was going on.
Sirius put them down, after only reading two essays, it was obvious as to what Hermione was doing.
“She really is…” Remus trailed off, shaking his head and putting his own set down. He had gone through three, and all three of them were the same.
“What?” Harry asked, a little more forcefully, “What’s going on?”
“Right, I’ve looked through the essay that you’ve written first, before Hermione looks through them,” Sirius said, “And out of the two of those I read that you wrote, well, they were really good, would have got you some high grades.”
“He’s right, on the one I read, I would have given it an O,” Remus told him.
“Then why am I getting E or A’s then?” Harry asked, frowning and even a little upset that he hadn’t been able to get a proper grade.
“When I look at the ones you wrote after Hermione’s suggestions,” Sirius started, picking one up and glancing through it.
“It’s like she’s taken almost half of your right answers and changed them to wrong ones,” Remus finished, “I’m sorry Harry, but she’s sabotaging your work. When you asked her to look it over, how long into your first year did it happen?” he then asked, wondering if he could get an idea on how Harry’s first year went with his grades.
“Erm, near Christmas,” he said trying to think back, “I… I have my essay from before she started to look at them,” he added. There was a pit of dread in his stomach at the thought of Hermione doing such a thing. “She really couldn’t be doing that… could she?” he asked, almost pleading with them to tell him they were joking and that there was nothing like that going on.
“It looks like it, Harry, I want to look at some of your work from your first year before you became friends with Hermione and then I might be able to see if she really did start right then,” Sirius asked him.
Harry got up, a little shaky at the thought of such a betrayal. Rushing to his room, he searched through his drawers for all his first-year things. It took a few, but he found them and took them downstairs. Along with some that Hermione had redone with him.
“Thanks,” Sirius smiled to him, Harry didn’t smile back, just went back to the sofa and sat down. It didn’t take him long to see that he had been right, “Before you became friends, you were scoring high. I would say that you would have easily been second in Gryffindor, maybe in the top ten, or five in Hogwarts if you had continued.”
“I… I worked so hard, and she always tore them apart telling me how wrong I was,” Harry said quietly, looking down at his hands in his lap.
“I know you would have,” Sirius reassured him, “Though I do want to ask why you chose divination?” he puzzled, he had noticed his godson had chosen something so woolly and wouldn’t really help him in any type of career in the wizarding world.
“Hermi-” he cut himself off, “she advised both Ron and I that it would be a good one for us to take, that we would be able to get really good marks in it and it would help us, later on, to have a subject that we were good at,” he slumped in his seat, tears in his eyes as he wondered how many lies Hermione had told him, and told to Ron as well.
“I’m going to see if Ron will be able to bring some of his over as well. And Arthur,” Remus said as he got up to floor the Weasleys.
Sirius got up from the chair and went over to Harry, hugging him and rocking him,” I’m sorry to tell you this Harry,” he murmured.
“I… I needed to know,” he sniffed, wiping his eyes and feeling like a baby.
“Maybe, but I suppose we should have been more gentle about it,” he added.
“Harry?” came Ron’s worried and questioning call.
Harry looked up, “Hermione’s a bitch,” was all he stated as Ron blinked and went over to his friend.
Arthur followed, “So what’s going on?” he asked.
Sirius quickly explained what they found. And Remus looked up from where he had been standing and looking through Ron’s own essay.
“It’s the same, he may not have been getting O’s all the time with his spelling, but that can be rectified,” he said.
“I’ve always had trouble with spelling. It’s why I asked Hermione to look things over in the first place,” Ron said with a shrug.
“Hmm, your mother told me that,” Arthur said with a nod.
“It’s fine Dad,” Ron shrugged, he had dealt with it all the time. “So… Hermione she was changing our answers to wrong ones?” he said, embarrassed about his little spelling problem.
“Yes, and I want to talk about taking Divination,” Sirius began, “Ron, you should know that no one in the wizarding world would be looking to that as a qualification,” he said as he looked to the redhead.
“Herm-” he huffed, “you know, I’m just going to say I thought it would be easy as well. That I wouldn’t have to do as many essays and writing. She put that in my head a lot,” he added softly.
“Okay, I think the two of you should drop it, it’s not going to help you. There are other ones you can take. I don’t mind helping hand tutoring you in the subjects that you chose. To make sure that you can catch up with your year group” Sirius suggested.
“I don’t mind either,” Remus added, “You may spend a few months in the year below you to make sure you have an idea of the course. But they’ll give you a test in October to make sure you’re ready for the year above. This does happen often after all,” he reassured them as he saw their worried looks.
“Okay,” Harry nodded, “I… I would like to change. She keeps predicting my death,” he muttered.
“Then yeah, I’ll do the same,” Ron nodded, looking at Harry, “I don’t know what to, though. I’m not really good with other things.”
“Well, Harry I know both James and Lily took Arithmancy and Runes, you can choose one or both of those. If you want you can continue Care of Magical Creatures, but unless you’re going for a job that needs it, you don’t need to take it as the creatures that you need to pay attention to will turn up in other subjects,” Sirius said, turning to Harry.
“I myself did Arithmancy,” Arthur added, a smile on his face, “I know we still have books from when Bill took those two courses as well,” he added, hoping to know that his brother took them that would persuade Ron to do the same. He had been disappointed when he had learned that Ron had chosen Divination and Molly hadn’t talked him out of it.
“Oh, erm,” Ron said, hesitantly.
“I’ll take them, And I think I might drop creatures. Hagrid is great, but… I know I won’t really use it after school,” Harry added, “I’m not too sure of what I want to do, but I know it won’t be working with creatures.”
“That’s okay,” Remus smiled at him, “So which one do you want to take?”
“Both,” Harry murmured softly.
“You sure?” Sirius asked him, “it will be hard work to catch up to both of them?” he reminded him.
“I know, and I will,” Harry said, more determined to put aside what Hermione did and really knuckle down and make Sirius and his parents proud of him.
“Okay then,” Sirius smiled, “the two of us will be happy to help get you up to speed.”
“Dad,” Ron said quietly, “Do you think I could do the same?” he asked him. Unsure if he would be torn down and told no. His mother had done that when he suggested taking Arithmancy the first time.
“I think you could, Ron, You may not think you’re smart, but I know you are if you let yourself be you,” Arthur reassured him, patting him on the shoulder before hugging him.
“Okay, I’ll do both as well,” he said, breaking the hug and smiling, looking at Sirius and Remus, “Do you think you could help me as well?” he asked.
“Sure, we’ll work with the both of you over what you should have learned this year,” Remus reassured him, “you’ll be working hard, but from what I’ve seen in these essays, you’ve got good minds, the both of you.”
“Okay,” Harry nodded, sharing a grin with Ron, “Though… I need to speak with Hermione one of the days about what she has done. But at the moment I’m too… angry… hurt by it all,” he added, looking at Sirius.
“Same here, I don’t know if I want her at the burrow. I know that we are going to have her there soon, as you promised her parents. But I might not talk to her much when she is,” Ron told his dad.
“That’s fine. I’m no longer sure I can trust her,” Arthur sighed heavily. Hermione seemed like such a good girl. He wondered why she had done it.
“I think we should take a few days and then talk to her. We don’t want this over our heads for a long time,” Harry said to Ron.
Ron nodded after a moment of thought, “yeah okay, in a couple of days we should have her come to the burrow and talk to her there.”
Harry nodded in agreement, as Sirius and Remus then sat the two boys down going over what they would need to know to catch up in Arithmancy and Runes.
Ron and Harry sat at the dinner table in the burrow. They were working hard on some work that Remus and Sirius had sent them. It was also the day that they were going to be confronting Hermoine on what she had done. To them, there was no good reason for her to do what she did. There couldn’t be. She had ruined their trust in her, and the betrayal that the two of them were still feeling was still painful to think about. It was going to be hard, but for now, they had a few before she would be arriving.
“Ron, Harry, why don’t you go and play with Ginny?” Molly suggested as she tried to take the work they were doing away from them.
“No,” Harry answered bluntly, “I’m sorry Mrs Weasley, but I have work I need to do. And so does Ron, and then we need to have a good talk with Hermione about something private,” he added, glancing up and taking the book back that the woman had taken from him.
“It’s summer, you should be out playing and having fun, and Ginny is lonely. She’s all alone,” Molly said, trying to coax them into going with her daughter.
“Mum, we’re trying to work, I’m changing classes, we both are, and we need to go,” Ron sighed.
Molly looked at him, “And why have you changed? Really why would you do something like that? I thought you were happy with your choices.” She questioned.
“Because I wasn’t doing well. If I want to do something worthwhile, I need to have the right subjects. Someone told me a few falsehoods that I should have realised was that,” he said, berating himself as he looked to his work.
“Divination was just fine,” Molly said, though there was something in her tone that said not even she believed her own words.
“Well, I’ve changed, and so has Harry. We both have a lot to catch up on. So we’re not going to be playing today. We’re also waiting for Hermione to arrive,” Ron said as he tried to continue with his work.
“Ron, you will play with Ginny. And you as well, Harry. Work can wait,” she tried once more to demand what they do.
“No,” Ron said, standing up to her, “Mum, we’re trying to work, I don’t care what you want, I’m doing this,” he added.
“Ronald, you will do as I say!” she demanded, almost looking and sounding like a spoilt child when they weren’t getting their way.
“I won’t, and if you carry on, we’ll go back to Harry’s instead. Now stop it,” he shouted, having enough of what she was trying to do.
“Mrs Weasley,” Harry said before she could start a tirade against her son for his behaviour. “We really will leave and go back to my home, now please, let us do our work,” he told her, keeping his voice calm as he looked at the woman that had been doing nothing but causing trouble with him since the moment she had learned that he was to be living with Sirius. She had been snipping at the man, trying to be subtle in her words of derision against him.
Molly huffed but moved away, keeping an eye on them as they carried on their work. It was almost an hour later when the floo flared up as Hermione stepped through.
“Hello Mrs Weasley,” she smiled at the motherly woman.
“Hello Hermione dear, the boys are at the table,” she said, gesturing to the two who were still working hard.
“Oh, what are you working on?” she asked them, as she stepped over and began to look, “Why are you studying arithmancy?” she then asked, puzzled.
“We’re both dropping divination and maybe care of magical creatures as well,” Ron told her, not looking up from his work. He was scared, scared of what he would see if he looked at her.
“Really?” she frowned, “I don’t think it’s a good idea, it will be-”
“A lot of hard work. I know. Sirius and Remus are helping us in catching up. We will have to take a month or two with the third years, and then we can take the exam and see if we can move up to fourth year,” Harry told her, finally looking up from his work. He felt the sting of betrayal once again.
“Well…” she trailed off.
“I want to know why you did it, Hermione?” Ron asked quietly, looking up as well.
“Do what?” she stood up straighter.
“You sabotaged our work. Every single essay we wrote would have gotten better marks had you not butchered them. And please, don’t tell me that you were getting the same answers as ours. Remus talked to me about how your answers had all the information that ours didn’t,” Harry answered her, explaining a little more.
“You made our work be downgraded each time we asked you for help. I asked you and trusted you,” Ron said, his voice getting a little loud.
“I didn’t!” she protested, “I wouldn’t do such a thing!”
“Hermione,” Harry said, “Sit down,” he ordered. Going into the bag he had brought with him and pulling out one of the examples that he had, one of his own essays, and the marks on it from Hermione and the one he had handed in. “Sit down,” He repeated when she didn’t move.
Hermione moved slowly, but she sat down and then looked at the two easy that were pushed towards them. She looked them over, going a little pale as she noted that there was a third set of writing on the first one. The one that she had changed. “I…”
“Please, why?” Harry asked her, eyes begging for her to give him a reason, one that would explain and lessen the betrayal.
“I wanted to be needed,” she said, sniffling a little as she began to cry. “If you were always so smart then I wouldn’t be needed and I’d be alone again,” she told them, “I…”
“That’s no excuse, you could have done a lot of damage, hell you did. I thought the wrong things for almost all of my classes and that could have ruined my future and could have left me vulnerable in certain classes,” Harry told her, shaking his head, a frown on his face.
“I just wanted to be useful,” she cried, arms on the table and her head buried in them as she sobbed.
Ron looked at her, feeling sorry for causing her to cry. He closed his eyes, he had to fight against the need to soothe her, “Hermione, I don’t know if we can ever trust you with anything. You go behind our backs with things, without telling us anything. How can we come back from this?” he asked looking at Harry for some form of guidance.
“She said she was sorry,” Molly popped up from where she was listening.
“Sorry isn’t good enough though, Mrs Weasley, she did something that could have really harmed us. And it has harmed our standing in the school, and the belief that people have of us, we are laughing stock at times,” Harry pointed out, “We always knew the wrong thing and were laughed at, and we thought we were right because of information that she had given us. WE could have easily died if we had come across something that she had given us false information on,” he finished the small rant at the woman.
“He’s right mum,” Ron told her softly, “She could have put us in danger, you know the type of things that have been happening at the school,” he added.
“I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, please…” she trailed off crying even more.
“I… I think we need a bit more time to think about it. It hasn’t been long since we found out what you have done. But it hurt Hermione. It hurts so much that you would betray the trust we had in you,” Harry said, a little softer as he looked to his… friend.
Hermione looked up, her eyes were red as she turned to Harry, “I’m so sorry Harry, please, please don’t leave me alone,” she begged him.
“We… we need time. I can’t say that we’ll be as close as we used to be. We might not ever be best friends again but maybe we can be friends after a while,” Harry said, giving her a little hope. He didn’t know if he could be close to her again.
“I agree with Harry,” Ron said as Hermione turned to him, “I need time to think about it, to know what I feel about all this. As he said, you betrayed us. We trusted you to help us with something we thought we were struggling with. My spelling and the words I use get mixed up and I asked you to help me and you turned that against me. My grades were so low in my first year, that if I hadn’t done well on my exam particles then I would have failed my first year, you… you were responsible for that. Because of all the false information you gave me and stupid me that should know better, believed it,” he said, berating not only Hermione but himself for believing in her. He was a wizard born, he should have known better.
“I… Okay…” she said, sounding small and vulnerable, she kept looking at them, trying to get them to let her stay.
“I think you should go home, I’m sorry Hermoine, but it hurts,” Harry said quietly. And he and Ron both had to look away.
“I will, and I’m still so sorry, once I started I didn’t know how to stop. And it was always nice to be needed. No one else wanted that of me and I… I liked being looked up to,” she said, trying to defend herself once more.
Ron and Harry just nodded, “yeah,” they said, non-committal about what she had said. It hurt, and they knew it would for a while as well.
Hermione then walked away, leaving them alone as she said, “Goodbye Mrs Weasley,” she then left through the floo, an air of defeat around her.
“You should have just let her apologise and made up,” Molly admonished the two of them.
“Like I said Mrs Weasley, what she did could have caused us a lot of major problems. This is something that Ron, Hermione, and I have to work out between us, you do not need to… butt into our business,” Harry told her, keeping his voice calm and even.
“You are getting so rude,” Molly told him off, “I can’t believe that Sirius Black is looking after you now. He is such an irresponsible man, you need a firm hand because of him,” she added.
“I don’t, so far you have insulted Sirius, told me what I should be doing, that I should leave my education up to chance. That I should forgive someone that has been telling me falsehoods for the last three years. You are also trying to force me to be friends with your daughter Ginverva. She is my best friends little sister, and that is all she is,” he added, standing up, “I’m sorry Ron, but do you want to come with me back to Grimwald? We should be able to get more work done there.” he suggested, not able to be around Molly for a bit, he was going to lose his temper with her if she continued to spit insults towards Sirius.
“Yeah, I’m coming with you,” Ron said as the two of them quickly packed up. Molly protested to them all the way to the floo. “See you later mum,” he told her as he was the last to go through. He slumped on the other side, seeing a smile on his friends face the two went to Harry’s room to continue working on their school work for Remus and Sirius. They were more determined to work hard and prove to Molly and Hermione that they didn’t need the help.
Albus looked up from where he sat on his sofa in his home. It wasn’t often that he gave away the address of where he lived. He had guarded the place as much as he could over the decades since Grindlewald. Not wanting the chance of the one place he could rest and relax to be disturbed by just anyone. “Sirius,” he greeted the wizards. The young man had wanted to meet with him as soon as he could. So Albus had sent him the letter to be able to get in.
“Afternoon Albus,” he smiled as he walked over, “sorry to disturb you during the holiday, but I found something that I thought you should know about.”
Albus nodded, “Oh?” he asked, as he then poured the two of them some tea, “one Sugar and Milk if I remember correctly,” he added, glancing at the other.
“Yeah, that’s right,” he told him, sitting down on the sofa opposite the aged wizard.
“So what is it you wanted to talk to me about?” he asked as he finished pouring the tea and handed it over.
“Thank you,” Sirius said, taking the cup and saucer, “right, well in Grimmauld Place Harry came across a dark artefact that I’ve had the goblins look at. It’s Slytherin’s locket, the original.”
“Really?” Albus frowned, “That has been lost to time for almost four hundred years,” he murmured, sipping his tea.
Sirius took a small drink of his own before he added, “Yeah, that’s what I remember of it as well, but what I know is that this had a hold of Harry, trying to make him open it. It contained a part of a soul. Voldemort’s,” he told him.
Albus almost dropped his cup when he heard, “A Horcrux?!” He asked, startled at the information he was getting.
“Yes,” he nodded, “It is one, that’s what the goblins have told me, they said that the fragments are an eighth of his soul, which means he had two more before that one.”
“We need to think if he would have made any more,” Albus murmured, already thinking when they could be hidden if there were more out there.
“Albus,” Sirius called the man out of his thoughts, “I think that the diary that was in Hogwarts, that Ginny Weasley was enchanted by, I think that might have been one as well.”
Albus paled at the thought, “I didn’t even think it could be one of those. I didn’t think he would go that far…” he tried as his eyes widened in horror, “What about Miss Weasley, something like that influencing her for practically a whole year. It would have done some sort of damage to her mind. I don’t know if she was checked out, I left it to the Weasleys to decide what to do.”
“They didn’t, or rather, Molly stopped them from taking her. I have already talked to Arthur about it and he’s going to take Ginny to see someone.” Sirius said, reassuring him that something was already being done.
“That’s good, thank you, I’m going to start looking more into Voldemort’s past, to see if I can find anything more about what he could have used,” Albus said softly.
“Right, I’ll look into things on my end as well,” Sirius said, getting up, “thanks for the tea, I should get back. Narcissa and Draco are coming over.”
“How are things going on now that you are Lord Black?” Albus asked as he stood as well.
“The house of Black is a mess. My mother did a lot of damage to it. But I’m starting to get it all in order. Might take me awhile, but I will have a house I can be proud of once more,” he answered, “Thankfully, Narcissa is still the same woman I remember, she just had no choice but to cow toe the Malfoy line since my mother wouldn’t back her up. And with no one there that she could turn to, Draco didn’t have a choice as well,” he sighed softly, “There are so many things that are messed up,” he muttered.
“At least you’re able to do something about it all now,” Albus tried to console him, unsure if it would be welcome.
Sirius gave a nod, “Right, I’ll talk to you soon about this problem,” he added as he then left the small cottage.
It didn’t take him long to reach Grimwald place, they would be moving soon, and for him, it wasn’t soon enough. He hated the place so much. Each time he had to walk in, all he could hear was his mother. And while she was still on the wall, he and Remus had been able to find an enchantment to soften her voice thanks to Kreacher.
“Hey Sirius,” Harry greeted as he walked past him towards his room, in his hand was a plate of food.
“Food in the kitchen Harry,” he reminded him, not wanting the same trouble his own parents had with rotten food being left in rooms.
“Please,” he begged, “I just want to get some more of that work done,” he told him.
“There are rules in place for a reason,” Sirius reminded him.
“I know, and I’m not the type to leave old food around, just give me a chance to prove it,” Harry told him, trying to bargain since he could see that begging wouldn’t work.
“One week, and if any is found I won’t let you again,” Sirius gave in, “I mean that Harry, I won’t stand for it,” he added as Harry darted towards his room.
“I won’t, Sirius!” he called out behind him.
“You give in too easily with him,” Remus sighed from behind him as he had walked in not long after Sirius.
“Well… he can prove himself to me. I know what Regulus and I were like when we were kids, and it wasn’t pretty,” he sorted, thinking of all the things that Kreacher and the other house-elves had found in their rooms when they cleaned it out.
“He is a bit more mature than you were,” Remus admitted, “A little too much I think,” he gave a soft sigh.
“Yeah, I heard about his adventure in his second year, fighting a basilisk and living to tell about it,” he closed his eyes, shuddering at the thought of what Harry would have gone through.
“Yeah, I heard it in the staff room, a warning not to cross Harry,” Remus snorted, “or something will happen to you.”
“Well, you quit, you’re the only one that’s been able to do that in almost fifty years.” Sirius pointed out to him.
“I only quit because I was constantly on edge about someone finding out, or I forget the potion,” he added, “it gave me nightmares,” he admitted softly.
“I know you had a number of them during school as well, that you would get out and find someone and bite them,” Sirius remembered how fearful Remus had been throughout most of their school years.
Remus just nodded, “Narcissa should be here soon, you should go and wait for her.”
“Yeah,” Sirius smiled, he already had plans to try and talk with Andromeda as soon as he could get her to answer his letters. The woman was a stubborn one. He wanted to bring her, Ted and their daughter back into the House of Black.
Remus went to the library, and Sirius couldn’t help but grunt at him, “always a bookworm,” he muttered to himself as he walked into the floo receiving room just as the floor started to activate. It didn’t take long for him to accept the connection and for Narcissa and Draco to come through.
“Hello cousin,” Draco bowed politely to him, a softer look on his face.
“Hello Draco, if you want to talk with Harry, he’s in his room doing some work. He’s going to be changing his third year electives, so he might not want to talk,” Sirius warned him.
Draco looked up, parking at the news, “Oh, what’s he changing it too?” he asked.
“Why don’t you go and ask him? Your cousin and I have some things that we need to talk about,” Narcissa told her son as she began to shoo him away.
“Okay,” he nodded, “thank you for having us,” Draco said again as he then went off towards Harry’s room. Having been shown where it was the last time he had been there.
Narcissa and Sirius went to the living room, “thank you for having us over again Sirius, Lucius is getting unbearable,” she huffed a little, sitting down as Kreacher served the two of them some tea.
“Have you told him that if he doesn’t shape up and follow the Black family line, or rather my line, then I’ll annul the marriage and you and Draco will be part of house Black and no longer of house Malfoy?” he asked her.
“I haven’t, I was going to wait until I know it would be more effective, I’m going to have him sprung up by the short and curlies,” she muttered, feeling a little vindictive after all Lucius had put her through. Not letting her keep a number of her friends, because they were Half-bloods and Muggleborns. As soon as she had married him, everything had been taken from her. Her aunt and mother backed him up. But now, the tables have turned.
Sirius grinned, “nothing like a woman of House Black out for vengeance,” he said softly.
“Exactly,” she smirked, “Though I have thought of something, concerning the locket,” she said, “though, has it been destroyed?” she then asked.
“Working on that at the moment, thinking about talking to the Goblins more as to see if they have a method of doing so,” he sighed softly, “I’ve got it locked away at the moment, though I’ve found another one, or rather one has already been destroyed.”
“Oh,” Narcissa sat up straighter, “and what is that?”
“Lucius slipped Ginny Weasley a diary, a Horcrux into her cauldron her first year. I think she might still be suffering from some of the effects of it as well. Told Arthur to get her seen to, to make sure that she has healed from it, but with her behaviour, I doubt it,” Sirus said, and then noticed that Narcissa had paled.
“The poor child… to have to go through that. Draco told me about it opening, but I never even thought that Lucius… just wait until I get back to the manor, that man is going to wish he wasn’t born,” she growled, the thought of a child going through something so horrendous was abhorrent to her, and she would make sure Lucius paid for it. She wasn’t going to shy away from causing him some serious problems. She shook her head, “I have something myself to tell you. I remember Bella often talking about being trusted with something. I think it was a cup,” she told him.
“It might be one of the Horcruxes, We know he made three for a fact, but he could have done a number more,” Sirius said softly.
“You should be able to get it since you’re Head of House Black, and there is no one for the Lestrange family, you could go in there to sort the account out as well,” she reminded him.
He grinned at the thought, “We can take away his most valuable people,” he laughed, “We could make it even harder for him to recruit if he ever returns.”
“And with these things, there’s a chance he could,” Narcissa nodded.
“Right, so we have another, let’s try and get an appointment with the goblins in a few days to see if we can get to it,” Sirus said as he heard some loud laughter coming from upstairs.
“Wonder what they are up to?” she asks softly, a fond smile on her face.
“Don’t know but at least they are having fun,” he smiled.
Draco left his mother and Sirius downstairs. Taking them two at a time, he came to Harry’s door and knocked on it. It didn’t take long for Harry to open it, smiling when he saw Draco. “Hey, sorry, I don’t know if it was all right for me to come up here. I just think my mother and cousin would like to talk about something without me there,” he added.
“Yeah, it’s… fine,” Harry shrugged as he let the slightly older teenager into his room. He closed the door as soon as Draco was inside and went back to the large oak desk that dominated part of the room.
“Cousin Sirius said that you were changing subjects,” he mentioned, hovering near the door, unsure of what he should do. There was only one chair in the room, and he didn’t want to be rude and sit on the bed.
“Yeah, arithmancy and runes. Divination is a joke,” he snorted, “She predicted my death each lesson.”
“I heard about that,” Draco laughed a little.
“Yeah, I’ll show you some of the things Ron and I came up with to get good grades in that lesson.” He said as he turned to his work again, “I just want to try and understand this first.”
Draco walked over and looked over Harry’s shoulder, “oh, I know this,” he said with a smile, “want a bit of help? The book really doesn’t explain it right on how to put them together. It just assumes that you already know,” he said as he leaned over and took up a pen, looking at it, “This a pen?” he asked.
Harry glanced at it, “yeah it is,” he nodded.
“I’ve heard a few of the students talk about them, always sounded like a dream to me,” he laughed lightly.
Harry laughed as well, “yeah, they are so much easier to use than a quill. Less mess as well, wish we could get the school to accept them for everything else. Though I don’t mind that we have to use quills for homework and exams, but for note-taking… I sure make a mess of mine, so much so that I can barely read it when I’m done,” he sighed as he pulled some of his notes from his Charm class to show.
“Wow, yeah, really messy, took me a number of years to be able to make notes without making a mess. So you’re about normal, I bet your first-year notes were even worse,” Draco pointed out to him.
Harry thought about it for a moment before he nodded “yeah, you’re right, they were,” he put them away again and then to his surprise Draco began to tell him an easy way of learning the different setups for runes to make them all easier to remember.
“So, you see, just remember that little rhyme and you’ll remember all nine ways that runes can be set out,” he said as he finished writing down the last set up.
Harry looked through them all, “yeah I can see where it works,” he grinned, “you know, I think… I think we should have had Ron over as well.”
“I don’t mind helping him as well,” Draco said, a little hesitant, “I know that there is some bad blood between the Malfoy family and the Weasley family, but…”
“But he might not want to come over,” Harry nodded, he thought the same, “well we can ask about it in a bit,” he added, not sure if he was going to ask Sirius to talk with Ron and bring him over. Harry knew that the two of them would be able to learn from Draco better. As he explained everything so much easier.
“That’s fine, I know he might not want to, I don’t blame him, I’ve been rather horrid to him and Granger as well,” he added.
“Yeah,” he murmured, slumping at the mention of Hermione, “I… Hermione is… not in our good books at the moment,” he told him, being honest.
Draco looked down at him, “What’s going on?” he asked, placing a hand on Harry’s back.
“She was sabotaging our work, changing the right answers to wrong ones and making us believe that they were right,” he answered him, giving the short version. He didn’t want to talk about it.
“Right,” he nodded, “That’s rather…”
“Yeah,” he sighed, “I’d rather not get into it anymore, to be honest,” he told him.
Draco nodded, “that’s fine,” he said, a small smile on his face, though it wasn’t a happy one, but more like sympathy.
“Anyway, want to see some of the answers we came up with?” he asked, glad that he had a change of topic at hand.
“Yes, please,” he smiled warmly as Harry got up.
“Oh, and sit down on the bed, you don’t have to hover,” Harry told him as he went to grab a few of the examples he had made.
Draco took them from him as soon as he sat down and started to read through them. Eyes wide, “you really submitted this?” he asked.
“Yeah, each time, and you can see she was giving us high marks for them as well. She loved it when we put down that we were going to suffer or death was in our dreams,” he sorted at how morbid the divination teacher was.
“You said that you would die while choking on a snitch,” he snorted, “Did you do that first year?” he asked.
“I did, that’s why I used it,” he grinned.
The two laughed as they carried on reading through them, “These are brilliant, I should tell those that take divination to do the same,” he snickered, having to lean on Harry as he laughed.
“Yeah, just tell anyone that you know does divination,” he nodded.
The two went silent for a while before Draco asked, “you want to try and talk with Ron?” he asked.
Harry gave a small nod, “yeah, I think I should. He knows that you’ve been around but not that we’ve actually talked more than a few words.”
Draco nodded, “I’m sorry,” he murmured.
“Why are you sorry? There’s nothing wrong with me being friends with you. I’m fine to have friends outside of Ron,” he added.
“I know that, but I know that being friends with me can cause you problems, So I’m sorry about that,” he told him.
“Okay,” he nodded as he got up, “well, no time like the present,” he walked to the door, Draco quickly getting up and following him downstairs.
“Hey Sirius, Draco really helped me with Runes and the layouts. I think he might be able to help Ron and I in learning things better,” Harry said.
“LIke a tutor?” Sirius asked as he thought for a moment, “that could be a good idea,” he nodded, smiling at the two of them.
“Yeah, but I don’t know what Ron is going to think about it,” he murmured.
Sirius nodded “yeah, the bad blood between the two families is… bad, though that might be because they were on opposite sides this time.”
“This time?” Harry and Draco asked.
“The Weasley family is neither light or dark, they will choose when the time comes, but most believe that they are a grey family. But the last large conflict between light and dark, they were on the side of the dark I believe,”
“They were, it’s only been in the last 100 that they have sided with light,” Narcissa nodded, she remembered her lessons on the families better.
“Right,” Harry said, “I suppose I’ll be learning most of this?” he asked.
“You will,” Draco nodded, “I’ve been doing so, I’ve no doubt you will as well,” he smirked a little when Harry sighed.
“Right…” he mutters, “So can I call Ron?” he asked.
“Of course,” Sirius told him, “you know where the floo powder is,” he added.
“Thanks,” Harry smiled and headed to the floo room. Draco was unsure for a moment if he should follow him.
Harry knelt in front of the fire and made the call, “Hello Mrs Weasley, is Ron there? I’d like to talk to him please?” he asked politely.
“Of course,” she said and was soon replaced by Ron.
“Hey Harry, everything okay? Wanna come over?” he asked, a joyful smile on his face.
“Actually. Draco is here,” he said, wincing a little as the look on Ron’s face dropped, “before you say anything,” he began, “I’ve been working on my runes and was finding it difficult about the sets that we have to remember. Draco came in, he… he showed me a really easy way to learn it. I was wondering if you want to come over and we can both get a little extra help, he’s done all this recently, so he might know a better way to learn,” he explained quickly, not wanting to take the chance of losing Ron before he heard him out.
“To… learn from him?!” Ron explained, there was anger in his voice, but Harry could detect the hurt in there as well.
“Please Ron,” Harry said, begging him to listen to him and come, “Just come over, get to know him,” he said.
“I told you that I don’t think that would happen. You go and be all chummy with him. I told you that I don’t want to be part of this at all. I would let you be with it. But don’t talk to me about him. I… I can’t stand him, he’s… he just…” he paused for a breath.
“Ron, he really is different than we think,” Harry tried to reason with him, “if you just gave him a chance you’ll see that,” he added.
“No, I don’t want anything to do with him, fuck Harry, knowing that your all chummy with him and… that hurts you know its bad enough with Hermione but you as well,” he muttered darkly as he then closed the floo connection.
Harry reeled back, eyes wide as they began to fill with tears at Ron’s words. “He thinks I’m like Hermione?!” his voice shook as Draco entered the room.
“What happened?” he asked, Sirius right behind him.
“Ron…” he began, and then shook his head, getting up and rushing out the room.
“Don’t worry, I heard enough,” Sirius said, shaking his head a little, “Ron needs a rain check,” he muttered.
“I’m… I’m going to see Harry,” he said as he darted after the brunette.
Sirius sighed, knowing that he would have to talk with Ron one of the days. He knew that most of the kid’s hatred for Slytherin was from his mother and her influence on him. But he could see that it was listening as time went by. He would just have to make sure that Ron knew what he was doing and that the last of Molly’s influence on him would leave.
Sirius walked back into the living room with Narcissa, “So Ron needs a rain check.”
“Hmm,” she nodded, “Is Harry all right?” she then asked, seeing the concern look on her cousin’s face.
Sirius sat down and shook his head, “he isn’t, but I think Draco is going to be a better help than me,” he said softly.
“Draco will help, he wanted to be Harry’s friend his first year. But then he heard what Lucius wanted and decided to make him a rival,” she said, snorting a little.
“As long as Lucius’ plans don’t come back to bite us, that’s fine,” he said and then asked, “So, where were we?”
“Bella and getting to the cup that she had hidden,” Narcissa promoted.
Sirius nodded his head, “Yes, right,” he murmured as he started to think once again.
The two talked for a while longer, coming up with a stable plan in getting the cup. When Narcissa and Draco left, Remus came out of the library and the little family sat down for dinner together. Both of the adults could see that Harry was in a more subdued mood than he had been that morning.
Sirius looked at Harry as they stood in the floor room, “Sorry Harry, I know you wanted a little more time before you saw Ron,” he said softly, patting the young teenager on the back.
“No, no it’s fine,” Harry said, shaking his head. Sirius had wanted to check with Arthur to see what they were doing. Though Harry had a feeling that there was something more going on with the meeting.
“Come on,” Sirius said as he activated the floo and the two stepped through and into the warm kitchen of the burrow. Harry looked around and saw Ron walking towards him.
Ron looked at him, glaring as he walked out of the room before Harry could even say hello to him. Harry slumped, feeling a hand on his shoulder. He looked up and saw Sirius giving him a sad soft look. The twins saw the exchange and since they didn’t know what was going on, they approached Harry.
“Hey Harry,” Fred grinned at him.
“We’re going flying, come on,” George said as the two of them grabbed his arms, and even though he was protesting, walked out of the kitchen and into the garden with him.
Sirius sighed and then glanced towards Arthur, “I’ll talk about it in a moment, I want to talk with Ron first,” he told the older man.
“That’s fine,” he smiled, “The house is just us, Molly has taken Ginny out for the day. Percy has started work, so he’s at the ministry now,” he added as he wandered towards the backyard as well to watch the three fly.
Sirius nodded, “Right,” he sighed as he headed for the stairs. He could hear the ghoul acting out in the attic, but paid it no mind as he knocked on Ron’s door.
“I don’t want to see you Harry!” he yelled out, thinking that it was his friend.
“Not Harry,” Sirius said as he opened the door, grateful that it hadn’t been locked. But wondered why the younger hadn’t done so when he didn’t want to talk to his friend.
“Oh,” Ron said, moping on his bed.
“Look, I just want to talk for a bit, I know that you feel like you’ve been betrayed now that Harry is somewhat friendly with Draco. But you have to understand that they are also family. Much like you’ve become for Harry,” Sirius began.
“Harry always gets anything he wants. New friends, new things, but me? I’m dirt poor. Don’t really have anything to myself, and the only friend that I really have is Harry,” Ron grumbled, though he sounded hurt and alone.
“But what has he had to lose to have things like that?” Sirius asked him, “You really need to think about what he has that you want, and then look at what he wants.”
“He… he wants a family, but he has you and Remus now,” Ron protested.
“Yes, but for most of his life he had people that would rather see him dead,” he told him. “As for Draco being friends with him, he no longer has to follow what Lucius says. He’s free to be who he truly is and not the carbon copy of Lucius Malfoy. Narcissa and Draco don’t have to toe that family line because I’ve taken over house Black. If I hadn’t, they would still be alone, fighting against Lucius to remain true to themselves.”
“But they’re Slytherins,” Ron added, glaring at Sirius, daring him to change his mind about that.
“They may be Slytherins, but it’s not a bad thing. I used to think the same thing all the time when I was a child. But I grew up, I grew up because I had to. In a time of war, we thought anyone in Slytherin would become a death eater and would side with Voldemort. It wasn’t until we were out of the school that we saw that no matter what house they were in, people from all four houses were death eaters. You met a Gryffindor one recently, remember,” he pointed out, reminding him of Pettigrew.
“He was your…”
“Friend,” Sirius finished, “yes, and he betrayed us. He decided that he would sell out to the highest bidder, and he cost Harry his family. The chance of having siblings, like you. James and Lily wanted a few more children. Harry will never have that chance. And while you might hate the fact that you have brothers and such, he would love nothing more than to have that connection to more blood families,” he sighed softly. “You need to think of what you have that makes Harry jealous of you.”
Ron was silent for a moment, going over the words that Sirius had told him. He knew that Harry was jealous at times, could see it in his face as he talked about his brothers and even about Ginny and his parents. “He wants my family,” he said, “Or a family of his own, that’s all he ever wants,” he murmured.
“Exactly, you have what he craves, and he’ll never really have that until he is older,” Sirus told him softly.
Ron nodded, “I’m sorry,” he muttered, “I just… I just see Harry doing something without me and it hurts. It’s like I’m being left behind again.”
“He doesn’t want to leave you behind, he wants you to join him. It is a new friendship, and he wants you beside him. He knows you care about you and thinks very highly of you. But sometimes he just needs to branch out a little more. You also have to remember that he isn’t just going to go out into the wizarding world as an unknown. He is the heir of house Black and of house Potter. He’s going to have to learn a lot that you won’t need,” Sirius told him, “All the traditions that you grew up with have relaxed, but a lot of people still follow them. I know I do, it’s hard since I know Harry doesn’t,” he added, sighing softly.
“He… he might not know about them,” Ron said softly, “And I’ll… I’ll try but just give me some time. I’m..”
“Having to overcome your prejudice against a whole house of people that you’ve been conditioned to hate because of the symbol and what people thought they represent,” Sirius nodded, “I know that, and I really understand it. I felt the same while I was at school, anyone that was in Slytherin was automatically in my bad books and I hated them. It wasn’t until afterwards that I realised it doesn’t mean shit,” he said, getting a small smile out of Ron with the curse word.
“Yeah,” he nodded, flipping back onto his bed and glaring at the ceiling.
“Have a good think about what type of friend you want to be with Harry, he cares about you a lot, you’re his first friend. Don’t ever forget that. You are the one closest to him,” he said as he got up from the camp bed that was set in Ron’s room.
Ron glanced at him, “okay,” he nodded, then once more looking to the ceiling. He knew he had some things to think about, he just hoped that it wouldn’t strain his friendship with Harry even more. He had been wrong in what he had said yesterday, he knew that. But in that moment he had been hurt, feeling left behind like he always was as he grew up.
Sirius walked out of the room and down the stairs. Heading out into the yard he signalled to Arthur to call him inside. He still wanted to talk to the older wizard after all. “Sorry Arthur,” he smiled.
“I heard that there was a little thing going on between Harry and Ron,” he said casually.
“Draco is part of the Black family and has been coming over; he and Harry have struck up a bit of a friendship. Ron is feeling left behind,” Sirius said, repeating a little of what Ron had told him.
Arthur nodded a tight look on his face, “I understand, not keen on the Malfoys either, but that is more Lucius than Narcissa and Draco,” he added.
“They had no choice but to follow the blond prat,” Sirius snorted, he was no fan of Lucius Malfoy, not many were if they knew what he was truly like and didn’t see the manipulations that he did with those around him.
“I know, he nodded, “I know what family is like,” he sighed, “come on, my office would be a better place to talk,” he said leading the way to the other end of the house and to a small room that he kept locked only for himself to be able to enter. “Come and sit down,” he finished, gesturing to the chairs in the room. Taking one himself he waited for Sirius to talk.
“Right, so how are things going when it comes to Ginny?” he asked, “did you take her?”
“I did, the day after we talked. There is something lingering around. And she is to go on a potion for about a week before we will see anything like her true self to come through. It’s going to take a while for her to really recover. Molly is trying to stop it all,” he sighed heavily, not understanding why the woman was trying to keep Ginny’s true personality under.
“Get her to talk to Albus, he now knows what caused the trouble and he agrees that she needs to be seen too. Get him to tell her,” Sirius told him softly.
“What was it, Sirius?” he asked, “what hurt my baby girl?” he needed to know.
Sirius thought for a moment and then sighed, “I’m only telling you this because I think you have a right to know. But… do not tell anyone else. Albus and Narcissa know what they are, but that’s all,” he said to him, his voice taking on a forceful tone.
Arthur nodded, “that’s fine,” he agreed easily.
“A Horcrux,” Sirius finally told him.
“Oh, my word!” Arthur said, hand covering his mouth, “Bill…Bill has come across a number of those, he told me what they are and what they can do, they are… they are…”
“I know, trust me I know. Came across one in Grimmauld Place, enchanted Harry into trying to open it,” Sirius shuddered, “Draco was able to see what was going on and stopped him. I think he might know what they are as well, I’m hoping not. But there is always that possibility with Lucius as a father,” he muttered, not liking the thought of Draco being exposed to the information on Horcruxes.
“So that’s what Ginny was writing in, was one of those?” he asked, “she told me something about a diary,” he added seeing the look Sirius was giving him.
“In her case, yes, the Horcrux she had was a diary, when she started to write in it, it locked onto her and started to transfer itself to her and then drain her of magic and life,” he said, a little more bluntly than he intended to.
Arthur shuddered “my word, who, who was it?” he asked, voice shaking as he wanted to know the bastard that he needed to go after for hurting his baby girl.
“Voldemort, he is the one that created that one nad the one Harry almost got grabbed by,” he answered him.
“Right,” Arthur nodded, voice tight, he had gripped the arm of his chair even tighter. “That bastard, he could come back.”
“Yeah, we need to prepare, now that we know about these things. We need to find them, destroy them and find the shade that’s still around. As soon as we do that, then we can get rid of him for good,” Sirius smirked, eyes alight with fire. He needed that bastard destroyed for what he had done to those in his life and he would do his damndest to make sure that Harry remained safe. Getting up, “Right, I’m going to watch Harry and suffer a few heart attacks with those dives of his,” he snorted as Arthur got up as well.
“He is a supreme flyer,” the redhead grinned.
“I know, but that doesn’t stop my heart leaping into my throat,” he said as they walked out and into the garden, Arthur chuckling at him.
Ron got up from his bed, he had been laying on it for almost an hour after Sirius had left him alone. He walked to his window and watched for a while. Harry was flying with the twins. The two brothers were diving and dodging as they went for the smaller wizard. Ron couldn’t help the small smile on his face as he watched. His friend was amazing in the air, and it was always fun to fly with him. You never really knew what would happen next with the green-eyed wizard.
Ron’s smile dropped when he got a good look at Harry’s face. There was sadness in it, and Ron knew that it was because of him. He had caused that by acting like a spoilt brat. He knew he was being stupid, but it had hurt, at that moment it was painful to feel like he was being left alone again. It happened with his brothers all the time. And Ginny being a girl did her own thing. Ron had older brothers, but none of them ever wanted to play with him. So when he made a friend, he was jealous of anyone that got near him. Not wanting to be left behind. Sirius had told him that Harry wanted Ron with him, not left behind, but beside him.
“I’m so fucking stupid,” he cursed himself as he left his room and headed downstairs. He needed to explain a few things to Harry. Maybe if he could make him see where he was coming from he would be forgiven for being a prat.
Sirius and Arthur turned as the back door opened and Ron stepped out. “Hey,” Sirius greeted him.
Ron gave him a small smile as he walked over and past them, looking up at the sky he yelled out, “Harry!”
As soon as Harry heard the voice he stopped and looked down, diving to the ground he jumped off the broom as he levelled out, running a little to slow down his momentum. “Yeah?” he asked, sounding a little eager to talk to his friend.
“I’m sorry, Harry,” Was the first thing past his lips, “but, can we talk, alone, I really want to explain a few things to you.”
“Sure,” he nodded, handing his broom over to Sirius, “hold that for me?” he asked him.
“Of course,” he nodded watching the two of them ran towards the burrow.
Ron led the way back to his bedroom and walked inside, “Sorry for being a prat,” he apologised again.
“I… I don’t know why you would think…” Harry began but trailed off.
“Okay, here’s the thing, I’m the youngest of six boys. I had no friends at all. I tried to hang out with them and they would always leave me behind, push me away. I’d try and play with Ginny but she hated doing that. I was a boy and not a good person to play with. So I was always alone, every time something came up, I was alone,” he said as he tried to explain what he was feeling, “And then I made a friend, with you, and I finally had someone I could hang with, play with, have fun with and it was great, awesome, magical,” he snorted.
“Because I thought you were leaving me behind like they always did.” He answered him honestly. “Then you said that Draco was there, helping and being friendly with you and it was like I was alone, but it was more than that, he has money and I know you do as well. But the thought of you two being able to do things that I’ll never be able to do, like going out and shopping or anything really,” he added softly.
“It’s not the fact that you have money, it’s the reminder that I’ll never be able to have new things. Did you know it took me three weeks to talk mum and dad into letting me have a new wand? Three weeks and part of why they gave in was because of all the wands we have, none of them even gave a spark,” he said. “When I get a gift from family, it’s always something that has been through at least two or three brothers before me. Clothes especially. The jumpers at Christmas are the only new thing I get. The rest is something that Bill or Charlie owned, and that’s because I’m built like them. I’ve no doubt that if I wasn’t so stocky at times that I’d been getting Percy’s and twins’ stuff as well. And I can’t go out and get something nice or a treat while out, we have to watch the galleons all the time. The trip to Egypt was because of Ginny, she wanted it and mum and dad let her choose. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have gone,” he sighed.
“I know what it’s like to not have anything Ron, you forget that I lived with the Dursleys nearly all my life. I never had a Christmas present until your mother sent me that jumper. It was the first time I got something, something that had a little meaning to it other than being spiteful,” Harry told him, “I know what it’s like to get nothing but hand me downs, I had Dudley’s all the time. Tucked in and sewn up so they would fit better, and that was only until I was able to sow for myself did something fit me a little. I know how to do things the muggle way, to make sure I look at least a little presentable. The clothes you found me in were Dudley’s that I have sown to fit me a little better,” he added, feeling a little ashamed of how he had dressed back them. It was only before third year he had been able to actually get some clothes that fit him. Before then he had been made to keep to certain places.
“I… I know Harry, but my mind went to jealous town straight away, knowing that the two of you would be able to do a lot more than I could even dream of,” he sighed, flipping on his bed, “I’m Really sorry Harry. I know I have trouble with Slytherins, and out of the school, it doesn’t mean shit. But mum, she always went on about Slytherins and how they killed our uncles and that they were the cause of the war and all things like that.”
“So she is the one that put that stupid nonsense in your head,” Harry snorted, not surprised, “Look, Ron, I was supposed to be in Slytherin, I really was, you know that. Would you have hated me?”
Ron winced, “I think I would have, I know mum would have made sure I was reminded again of Uncle Fabien and Uncle Gideon and how they were killed by death eaters.”
“Death eaters aren’t just from Hogwarts though, Ron,” Harry reminded him, sitting down on the camp bed.
Ron turned and faced him, “I know, Sirius pointed that out to me, I need to get over it, and I’m going to try, I just..”
“Not sure on Draco,” Harry nodded, “I get that, I was as well. I remember what he was like in school, and the person I’m getting to know now is totally different. There is no trace of him at all,” he told him.
Ron thought for a moment, “okay, tell me about him, tell me what he’s like and what he has done and everything,” he told him, sitting up and leaning against the wall. Legs crossed in front of him.
“Okay, first, I was sceptical though to keep out of his way when he came over. I did. Went to the den and was going to read. Something enchanted me and he stopped me from touching it. From what I learned it was like a diary. If I had opened it and put it on, it would have drained me,” he shuddered. Sirius may have only told him a little of what could have happened to him. He realised quickly after that, that was what Ginny had gone through.
“So he saved you?” Ron asked him.
“Yeah, he saved me,” he nodded, “He took me out of there and he just held me. I was shaking so badly Ron, so badly, and he just… held me,” he blinked, feeling a little odd with the thought circling his mind.
“Okay, I’ll give him that, but holding you?” Ron’s eyes narrowed, “What do you mean by that?”
“He rocked me, held me, comforted me. I was shaking and he was just there,” he added, looking at his friend.
Ron nodded, eyes still narrowed as he wondered why Harry was stuck on being held a little, “What else can you tell me?” he asked him.
“I was doing my runes the one time and he helped me learn the rune setups, really easily as well. I want to teach you that, that’s why I called you yesterday. I wanted you to come over so that he could teach us both. He’s really good, he was telling me of some of the things that we can do to make learning the rune sets easier and then the runes themselves,” he said, as he started to tell Ron more and more about what Draco had told him.
Ron watched him, seeing how animated the younger was and shaking his head. He had a feeling he wasn’t going to be losing his best friend status, but Draco would be taking another, “okay,” Ron told him, stopping him mid-sentence as he had a feeling that Harry would have just carried on and on if he hadn’t.
“Sorry,” Harry grinned a little sheepish, “I don’t mean to say that he hung the moon and stars, but he was really helpful,” he finished.
“That’s fine, and well… I,” he paused for a moment, gathering his thoughts and putting them in some sort of order.
“You what?” Harry puzzled.
“I’ll try, I’ll give him a chance,” Ron told him finally.
Harry’s smile went wide, “really, you will? I think the two of you would really get along now that he doesn’t have to think like his dad anymore. He’s his own person, but that’s only because he can tell Lucius Malfoy to fuck off,” he snorted at the thought of Draco doing such a thing.
“You think he would?” Ron asked him, a little curious.
Harry nodded, “yeah, he said as much. That if his dad steps out of the line that Narcissa has drawn for him, he and his mother are going to be leaving. If that happens, from what I learned…” he paused a moment, making sure he got it right in his head.
“His social standing, Malfoy’s, Lucius Malfoy, that is, well, it would drop. It’s because he married into the Black family that he went so high in the ladder,” Ron nodded, “With a divorce and a breaking of the betrothal, which would have to have a good reason behind it, then yeah, it would put him down a lot. He wouldn’t have half the influence he has now,” he snorted, “that is a nice thought, couldn’t happen to a nicer bloke either,” he grinned at Harry.
“That’s what Sirius said,” Harry laughed, “Though he did say that Nariccisa is going to hold him by the short and curlies for a while.”
“Wow, don’t ever cross a Witch from the Black line, they will devour you. A lot of the women in that line have the nickname black widows, not because they kill their husbands or that, but because they are deadly if crossed and angered,” Ron said, remembering something that Bill had told him.
“Yeah, I’m learning,” Harry nodded.
Ron grinned, “So, what are you doing for your birthday?” he asked him.
“I… I think Sirius has something planned for it, he won’t tell me,” Harry pouted.
Ron laughed lightly, feeling a lot better than he had when he first got the message from Harry that he was with Draco. Harry and Ron came up with a few wild theories, though Ron had a feeling that he would be learning the truth soon. There was only a week to go after all.