Title: A Day at School

Author: CR

Disclaimer: Not mine.obviously. If it were, I'd have that fifth book out to spare the agony of waiting for millions of fans.

Summary: Sirius Black visits Petunia with a request. Sirius hasn't had his name cleared yet. It's from Petunia's POV

Author's note: First HP fic..please be kind!

Feedback: If you feel like, please feel free! But be gentle.



Petunia Dursley was sure that there must have been at least one day in her life that was worse than this one. Trouble was, she couldn't remember just when that may have been.

The day she'd opened the front door to find her nephew on the porch, perhaps. But no, that didn't even compare to this day's events.

The day had started out normally enough, and normality was something both she and Vernon had always taken great pride in. Until Lily's strange offspring arrived at their doorstep anyway. At least with the boy away at school, they could pretend that nothing was amiss.

Then she'd opened the door to yet another unpleasant surprise.

"Mrs. Dursley?" The man in question looked normal enough, even if his dark hair was a little on the lengthy side, and he was certainly polite. Her first impression was that he was a salesman of some kind, so she pasted on a fake smile and reacted accordingly.

"Thanks, but we're really not interested in anything you might have."

An unexpected look of distaste crossed the man's features. "Somehow I gathered that." She had little time to register the odd choice of words before he spoke again. "May I come in for a moment? I don't think you'll want to discuss this on your front porch."

"You certainly may not."

In response the man pulled a thin wooden stick from his back pocket and twirled it between two fingers. She'd seen Lily carrying hers around the house often enough to know what it was.

"What do you want?" She tried to keep the tremble out of her voice, or at the very least to pretend that it was only from indignation and not fear, but she suddenly had a very nasty idea about who it was that stood in front of her.

"I believe my godson may have mentioned me." She gave up all pretense of bravery, and knew the fear was now showing through. The man just sighed deeply. "I assure you, Mrs. Dursley, the last thing I want to do right now is attack anyone. I just want a moment of your time, that's all." A grin suddenly flitted across his face. "Though now that I think about it, a few fireworks might be just the thing." He began waving the wand in little circles, brightly coloured sparks flying from the end of it.

She could manage only a strangled screech before opening the door wider, and gesturing dramatically for him to come in, all the while looking around to make sure no one had been watching, that no one had seen.

He entered slowly, taking a long look around, eyes lingering just a moment too long on the door to the cupboard that Harry used to sleep in. Then he turned towards her with a mysterious glint in his eyes. "Perhaps I should properly introduce myself. My name is Sirius Black." He didn't extend his hand towards her, for which she was both grateful and afraid. She wouldn't have to reject the gesture; but also knew what it implied.

He knew. He knew the disdain she held for his kind and therefore for Harry. Harry, whose happiness meant the world to this man, this murderer.

"I would like you to do something for me." Having expected a threat, these words came as a shock to her, enough that her natural disgust for anything magical almost eliminated the fear.

"I beg your pardon."

He chuckled dangerously. "It's not my pardon you should be begging for, but I'll let that pass for the moment." Here his good humour fled. "It's my understanding that you have little regard for what happens when Harry is away at school." Her silence seemed to be enough of an answer for him. "I think it's time we changed that, don't you?"

Her mouth went dry, and she had to swallow several times before she could speak. "What are you going to do? Kill us?"

Black smiled humourlessly. "Haven't you heard? I'm innocent, always have been." A sudden awareness dawned within her, and she recalled the smirk that had always crossed her nephew's face when he spoke of his Godfather. Black studied her face for a moment before laughing. Somewhere amidst the laughter she thought she discerned the words 'that's my boy', but didn't care to ask him to repeat himself.

The laughter quickly died, as if he didn't have the energy to keep it going for long. She wasn't sure why she thought so, but laughing didn't seem to be something he did very often.

"No, I won't kill you, I won't even hex you, tempting though it may be." The smirk had returned. "No, what I have in mind for you is much worse.nothing like a little magic to brighten up a neighborhood. That is, unless you are willing to hear me out."

Then she remembered. "Bumbledorf.the one who sent the boy here to begin with. I demand to speak to him before doing anything you say."

Black rolled his eyes, clearly exasperated. "It's Dumbledore, and who do you think sent me here in the first place, how else could I have gotten inside? You muggles can be so dense sometimes. Here, read the letter he sent for you."

She looked at him doubtfully, but took the letter from him anyway, frowning at its contents.

**

Which was how she found herself reluctantly tagging along with a clearly not-so-sane wizard, though truthfully she doubted any of them were in full control of their faculties.

"Where are we?"

Now that he was back in seemingly familiar surroundings, Black seemed more at ease. "Harry's school."

"I knew it, he arranged this whole thing, didn't he?"

Black gave a disgusted snort and turned back to look at her. "He wouldn't think it worth the bother. And frankly, either do I. It's the headmaster; he seems to think this will give you some kind of spiritual awakening in regards to your nephew. Lord knows you need one. The letter should have made that clear enough."

"Well, he won't be pleased to see me, in any case."

"I wouldn't blame him. However, he won't see or hear you, no one will, not unless I want him to. Which I don't." Here she knew she must have looked panicked. Sirius Black was not amused. "Don't worry, I'll take the spell off before you go home. Now where to first?"

Where turned out to be a dark, dreary looking classroom full of bubbling cauldrons, terrified students and a very sour looking professor. A professor who was currently engaged in one of Petunia's favourite pastimes; making Harry miserable. Maybe this school was good for something after all, especially if all the classes were like this.

"Greasy git.." It was said so quietly that she wasn't sure she'd really heard it. But there was no disguising the look of hatred on Black's face.

To her surprise, her nephew wasn't backing down as he so often did at home. Apparently he had even less respect for his teachers than he did his guardians. Typical.

"Twenty points from Gryffindor" was the professor's only response. Hating it though she did, she gave in to her curiousity and looked up at the wizard standing beside her.

Correctly interpreting the look on her face, Black supplied the answer. "It's Harry's house while he's at school. Losing points is a punishment."

As punishments went, she found it more than a bit disappointing, but felt it wiser not to mention this.

After what proved to be a long potions class, as Black had explained it, they went to the (very large, she thought) dining area. Fully expecting Harry to have to eat by himself as he always did at his old school, she was surprised to see him accompanied by a familiar red headed boy, and a girl with long, bushy brown hair. Greetings rang out as he approached a table.

Friends? He actually had friends?

The red haired boy she'd known about (how could she forget, after all that family had done to her Duddykins) but she'd thought that was a freak occurrence, that both were outcasts and as such the only choice for companionship that each had.

Black had clearly been watching her reactions closely, and even more frightening, read them accurately. "Did you honestly think that he'd be so eager to return to a school where he was as despised as he was at home? With a few exceptions, your lot seems to be the only ones who refuse to admit that he has any worth."

Lunch passed quickly enough, with more food being passed around than her Dudley would be able to eat in a month. If it weren't for the source of the food, she'd have admitted her own hunger at that moment. (After all, who would want to eat food that just appeared out of nowhere?)

What mainly caught her eye, though, was her nephew. Unlike the quiet boy she was familiar with, this one laughed and spoke to those around him. For a moment, she was reminded of Lily, and how close they'd been before all of this entered their lives. The only time his spirits seemed to dampen was at a reference to someone they would only call "you know who". For some inexplicable reason, Harry looked guilty at those three words, only smiling again when that awful white bird of his flew in and landed on his shoulder.

She again looked to the man.no.freak that stood beside her. He couldn't even seem to find it within himself to look put upon. Rather, his face carried the same look of shame that Harry's did. "Voldemort." The name was whispered, but seemed to convey a world of sorrow and guilt.

"It sounds familiar."

Here his anger returned. "It ought to, he's the one who killed your sister." Black pointed now to Harry. "And he's tried to kill Harry a number of times, come fairly close to succeeding, too." His look hardened even further now. "If you thought to take any interest in 'the boy's' life, you might have been aware of that. Didn't you notice anything different about him when he came home last summer?"

Now that she thought about it, he had been far quieter than usual, and much harder to provoke, as if something had happened which forced him to toughen up. She didn't want to think too much about the pangs that went through her at the thought of his near death experiences. She didn't pretend to like him, but the thought of Lily's child dying still affected her more than she wanted to admit.

"Why wasn't he able to kill him? Harry's just a kid." She barely noticed that she'd used her nephew's name, and the question was an honest one, not meant to provoke.

Black seemed to realize this, gazed at Harry and smiled proudly. "He's more powerful than he looks and, I suspect, more than any of us really knows yet."

She glanced at her scrawny nephew doubtfully. "He doesn't look like much even here, and he's good for even less at home. What can he do that's so incredible?"

Irritated, Black nudged her towards the exit of the dining hall. "He's got Defense against the dark arts next. You'll be able to see then."

The lesson turned out to be something that even Black was uncomfortable with, though his reasons were obviously different than her own hatred of anything magical. With so much happening around her, she caught only snippets of the lecture the teacher was giving them; Dumbledore's orders.Dementors.Azkaban.Expecto something.

It wasn't until Harry was called to the front of the class for his turn that she was even remotely interested. Where the other students had all either failed to produce the expected result or produced only small wisps of silver threads, Harry produced something beyond belief, something which made her think this wasn't the first time he'd had to do this. The teacher looked equally impressed, as if this wasn't the sort of thing expected from a 15 year old boy on his first attempt.

It was so bright it was nearly blinding. A large silver animal, a deer of some sort, which burst from the end of his wand and seemed to look around the room before turning back to its creator and bowing respectfully. Tears were glistening in Harry's eyes as he reached out to touch it, only to have it vanish right before he made contact.

"Prongs.."

The whisper came from the man beside her, who looked equally as awed by Harry's display. "So that's how he did it."

She looked back at the boy, suddenly not sure if she should be afraid of him. She'd always been afraid of what Harry represented, but she'd never feared *him* before.

Indeed, even his classmates seemed unaware of how they should react; though she had the impression this wasn't unusual when it came to her nephew.

Twenty points were given to Gryffindor (nullifying the earlier punishment, much to her annoyance) and class resumed, but Black lead her out of the room and out towards an empty field.

She barely listened while he explained the ins and outs of a game called "Quidditch", though what she did hear reminded her a little bit of basketball, until he got to Harry's position on the team.

"What does a "looker" do?"

He heaved a sigh. "Seeker. And he's got to catch the snitch." When she still didn't look impressed, he shook his head. "I forgot, you don't talk to him. It's the size of a golf ball, and he's got to catch it."

It still didn't sound all that impressive to her. Who couldn't catch a golf ball?

It wasn't long before the stands started to fill up with students and teachers, all dressed in those funny looking robes that she'd found in Harry's trunk and refused to wash. She didn't see Harry until a set of doors opened not too far from where she stood, barely managing to catch a glimpse of him before he soared into the air on his.she wouldn't acknowledge the word, even as her nephew went higher into the air riding it.

Sirius Black was ignoring her now, all his attention focused on the dark haired boy who was now sitting high above the ground. The game had started, but Harry still didn't move.

"Oh yes, I can see how that position is such a difficult one." She decided to ignore the fact that Harry's position on the team required him to defy the laws of gravity. Black looked down at her as if he'd just remembered that she was there.

"Wait and see."

The words were barely uttered when the boy suddenly took off in a red blur, chasing after nothing. This was curious enough, but when a blond boy in green robes quickly followed, roughly shoving Harry out of his way, she was even more confused. To her surprise, he shoved right back, glaring furiously at the boy. This struggle went on for quite some time before something else seemed to catch Harry's attention. He dove straight for the ground, not bothering to slow down as he reached out and grabbed whatever it was out of the air. The mother in her almost gasped, before she remembered that this wasn't her Dudley she was looking at. Even so, she could picture what Lily's reaction would have been. Or maybe she couldn't.

The blond boy slumped dejectedly as a cheer rose up in the stands. Harry barely had time to come to a landing and hold up a little golden ball triumphantly before he was swarmed by his teammates. Such open admiration being expressed towards him was something she still had a hard time believing, though she reluctantly admitted that it *had* been an impressive stunt.

Obviously, Black agreed about how dangerous it had looked, as he was muttering under his breath. But he looked thrilled at the same time and she knew he was also proud of his godson.

It was some time before the excitement died down, during which the blond boy from earlier had approached Harry and muttered something. It must have been fairly nasty, as he responded with a 'shove off, Malfoy'.



Once everyone had left, Harry looked around intently before calling out for "Snuffles".

She turned to ask who that was, only to see Black wink at her and change into a dog. She rubbed her eyes hard before looking again to see the dog running towards Harry at full speed, tail wagging frantically. Though she didn't understand how Black had changed, or why he didn't just go as himself, Harry looked equal parts relieved and excited.

"Did you see me up there? Malfoy almost got it that time." she listened in astonishment as he spoke to the dog, not looking in the least bit uncomfortable with the idea. The conversation (if one could call it that) went on for some time, punctuated by the occasional bark or whine, depending on the topic. When it got to how close Harry had come to hitting the ground, the dog gave him a stern look accompanied by a soft growl.

"Oh come on, Snuffles. I know for a fact that you and my dad used to do things that were more dangerous than any move I could make during a game." He trailed off, suddenly looking a bit sad. "Know what we learned in class today? How to fight off dementors, as if I didn't already know what that was like. You would have liked my patronus; it was almost as good as the last one. I think dad would have liked it too." The dog whined, licking his godson's hand comfortingly. It worked a little bit, as Harry smiled briefly

Nothing more was said, though both Harry and the dog stayed where they were, the boy absentmindedly petting the dog's head. This was clearly a rare thing for the both of them, and she almost felt bad watching it, and even a little guilty. She would have left, but Black's eyes met hers, silently telling her that it would be in her best interest to stay.

She kept waiting for something to happen, looking for whatever it was she was supposed to see. Running out of things study, she reluctantly gazed at her nephew, first casually, then taking a closer look at his face.

He looked different, at peace, a far cry from the miserable child she'd come to know at home. Strange robes and surroundings aside, there was nothing about him that indicated he was anything but a boy, nothing that would make him deserving of being labeled a freak. Right now he was simply a lost and lonely child taking in some much needed comfort.

And suddenly she understood. Not about magic, that she would never understand, nor did she want to. Rather, she understood why the headmaster had sent Black to collect her, and even if only a little bit, Lily's son, her nephew.

He would never be normal or easy to understand, like her Dudley was, so she knew she could never love him. Just as she knew it was too late for him to come to love her. But maybe respect was a good place to start.

Sirius must have realized what had happened, what she'd finally realized, because this time when she started to walk away he didn't stop her.

With an odd pang of regret, Petunia turned away, leaving her nephew under the watchful eye of his only family.



**

As I said, be gentle. Thanks!