SIRIUS BLACK CLEARED OF ALL CHARGES
Sirius Black, until recently thought to be a mass murderer and You know Who's right hand man was proclaimed innocent at last week's trial in the ministry. A public apology was made to Black by minister for magic, Cornelius Fudge himself. He was also given an obscenely huge amount of 10,000,000 galleons as compensation for his unfair imprisonment.
It was discovered, a few days ago that Peter Pettigrew, whom everyone thought to be dead was the one who had betrayed the Potters, that fateful night. He was their latest secret keeper and passed all the information to You Know Who. Pettigrew, also known as Wormtail, confessed all of this under the influence of vertiaserum yesterday. He was immediately shipped off to Azkaban without further ado and will be sentenced to the dementor's kiss next week. Sirius Black, now a free man looks forward to rebuilding and continuing his life from where he left off.
For more information please turn to pg. 7.
That was the article that made the headlines of the daily prophet on 29th June 1991. Some people were skeptical about this piece of news while most were glad to have him back because everybody knew that Sirius Black was a terrific Auror while some were simply indifferent about it.
The main question: How does the man feel? The healers have fussed over him (especially females), tending to him with great care. After a week, the ex-Azkaban prisoner stepped out of St. Mungo's hospital feeling much better than we had in years. A good nights rest some much required treatment , a hot shower and a fresh set of robes, he was ready to go and collect his eleven year old godson who had just completed his first year at Hogwarts at platform 9 and 3/4.
Sirius Black was not the sort of person who would hold grudges. But he was very upset about the fact that his dear friend Remus Lupin had believed him to be the traitor. It had hurt very much indeed and even though Moony had sent a letter, apologising with utmost sincerity, he wasn't willing to bury the hatchet. He need some time before he could meet the man. However, right now he wasn't going to bother about all of that since he had other issues that needed immediate attention.
He was now the head of the Black family and it would be better if he went to the family mansion and asked the houselves to organise the place and make it suitable for living. With a slightly creased brow, he apparated to Black Manor and was pleasantly surprised when he realised that he could still do it. He walked up the pathway gat led to the opulent mansion and once he reached the heavy rosewood door, he placed his palm flat against it. There was a grating sound as the door which hadn't been used for so many years, slowly creaked open at its master's touch.
The door opened and he entered the mansion, feeling elated to be back to his house instead of the gloomy residence at number 12 Grimmauld Place. He was about to go and take a look at the condition of his room but he had hardly taken the first three steps of the staircase when- "Master Sirius Black has come home at last! Becky is feeling very happy." cried a squeaky voice and before he had time to respond, a thin pair of arms flung themselves around his knees and he looked down to see the house elf Becky, the one of the few house elves who had not called him disgraceful names. He reached out to pat the house elf's head but Becky suddenly drew back, looking horrified.
"Becky has been very bad. She touched a wizard without permission. Becky is going to punish herself. Becky deserves it." said the elf and ran to the kitchen and started banging her head against the platform. Sirius, who had only expected such a reaction, wasted absolutely no time in bringing the distraught little creature out of its self inflicted punishment. He gently grabbed the back of the elf's pillowcase and set her down on the ground. "Thank you sir." said the small voice of the house elf.
"Now listen here Becky, someone else is going to be moving in with me in a few days and I want you to make sure that the houses cleaned properly. Please do up my brother's room so that it may be fit for a young child. And no punishing yourself." He emphasised on the last bit and glanced at the house elf sternly to make sure that she didn't do anything rash or made a mad dash for the set of knives in the drawers. The elf nodded earnestly and vanished with a crack, probably to get the requisite cleaning equipment. Now that the house would be taken care of, he decided to focus on a certain conversation he needed to have with a certain headmaster.
He then walked to the fireplace, grabbed a fistful of floo powder that was kept in an untouched clay pot that stood on the mantelpiece. "Hogwarts, Albus Dumbledore's office." he said crisply and felt the green flames engulf him with a whoosh.
Albus Dumbledore was currently going through some papers when the floo in his office roared to life and out came none other than Sirius Black. "Good afternoon Albus. I apologise for barging unawares this way but since it was rather urgent, I had to come through."
Dumbledore was not a fool. He was completely aware of the reason Sirius had come to see him and thus was definitely not a conversation he was looking forward to. But, he still put on a smile and invited the younger man to have a seat. "No at all my boy, please sit. Now tell me, what can I do for you?"
"I want my godson's custody Albus." Straight to the point. "He is living with his aunt and uncle and I assure you he is perfectly safe there." answered the old man. Aunt as in Lily's sister? Had Dumbledore completely lost it? Sending Harry to live with such a family? He had met that woman and her walrus of a husband for the first time at James's wedding and saying that he didn't like her would be a huge understatement.
"Well let me get something clear Albus, Harry will not be living with them for even a day more. As his godfather, I am his legal guardian and not some anti-magic muggles." said Sirius and for once Albus Dumbledore realised that this wasn't a discussion he would win.
"As you wish Sirius but remember, the boy needs love and care-" he was fit short by a curt reply: "And I am here for just that purpose." and with that, Sirius was gone through the fireplace and back to the Manor. As the ex- Azkaban prisoner went through the flames, Dumbledore realised that maybe it would be best to stay out of this matter since facing the wrath of Sirius Black was not something anybody looked forward to.
Sirius was practically fuming when he reached home and only slightly calmed down when he saw a that Becky had done up the whole place and the house was thoroughly furnished to satisfy every need of the resident. He stared at his watch and saw that he still had ten minutes left so he apparated to King Cross Station and waited for Harry to waiting, he met the Weasleys and who assured him that they completely trusted him and the fact that he was innocent.
As Sirius waited for his godson, he remembered his meeting with Harry a month ago:
Sirius sat in Dumbledore's office, drumming his fingers against the teakwood desk impatiently. He had been cleared only two days ago but the feeling of freedom was pure heaven. It was absolutely wonderful. He also had a lot of the aurors coming up to him and apologise for having thought him to be a death eater. After all, he had been one of the senior aurors in the department and had been and now thanks to his proven innocence, he still was respected by many. Dumbledore had told him it would take a while before it was declared in the prophet. He had asked for a meeting with his godson and Dumbledore had complied immediately. So here he was, waiting in Dumbledore's office and waiting for Harry to walk through the door.
The door opened and Harry walked in, along with Dumbledore. "Harry, this is your godfather, Sirius Black. He wanted to meet you. I hope you both get along and in case you need anything, send a message." With that, Dumbledore was gone.
Sirius took a good look at Harry, saying nothing. Harry looked so much like James that it almost hurt. They boy had that same untameable black hair, the same sharp nose and small ears. His eyes belonged to Lily though. It felt like young James was looking at him through Lily's eyes.
Finally, Sirius decided to break the silence and gave Harry a smile. "Hello Harry." He said, getting up from his seat and offering his hand to his godson. Harry looked at his hand for almost a full minute before grasping Sirius's hand hesitantly. The look on Harry's face was one of fear, not the one Sirius had been hoping for. But, that would change soon. "Hello sir." Harry replied after what seemed like forever. "Sirius. My name is Sirius." The man corrected. The two of them sat down on a sofa, trying to get over the uncomfortable silence. Sirius noted with worry that Harry's posture was extremely stiff, like he was ready to bolt, just in case. "Harry, like Dumbledore said, I'm your godfather and your parents made me your legal guardian." Sirius began, deciding that it would be best if he didn't beat around the bush. Harry's eyes widened at this but he said nothing. "I was wondering... If you want to, only if you want to that is, maybe you could come and live with me." Sirius said, fidgeting with his wand. "Live with you?" Asked Harry, disbelief colouring his voice. "I would understand if you wanted to remain with your aunt and unc-"
" You really want me to live with you?" Asked Harry, his voice cracking slightly. "More than anything, pup." Sirius replied, a smile playing on his lips. "Yes please." Harry replied timidly, giving Sirius a shy smile if his own.
That was how they met. Everything had gone smoothly other than Harry's extreme shyness and hesitancy but Sirius had been taken aback by Harry's enthusiasm to live with him. Why would Harry rather live with a man he had just met instead of the people who had been with him all his life?
He couldn't dwell on that any further as the scarlet engine pulled up at the station and one by one, the students rushed forward to meet their parents.
Eleven year old Harry Potter was feeling extremely nervous. His godfather had offered him a home and Harry had readily accepted his offer at that time. Even though he was still looking forward to it, he couldn't help but feeling of apprehension. His emotions were all messed up. There was anticipation, eagerness, joy and... fear. Fear of this man he didn't know, yet the realisation that he had been shown more kindness by his godfather in an hour than his aunt and uncle for ten years made a big difference. And most of all, there was the fear of rejection. Of being shunned away or worse, sent back to them.
Sirius had seemed really nice when he had met him last week and for the first time, Harry had actually felt wanted. Now what if Sirius didn't want Harry around. After all, Harry caused a lot of trouble and was a freak just as his aunt and uncle had told him. He hadn't been able to make them happy no matter what he did and at the end of the day, it was he who got a brutal thrashing. He had already promised himself a million times that he would improve now. He would make sure that he didn't give Sirius a single opportunity to get angry with him.
He was pulled out of his thoughts by the engine pulling over at the station. He took a deep breath and got off the train along with Ron and Hermione. The young witch immediately found her parents and bounded over to meet them, after saying goodbye to her two best friends. Ron also went to Mr. and Mrs. Weasley and Harry's eyes scanned the crowd for his godfather.
There he was, looking everywhere, searching for Harry. "Sirius!" He yelled but immediately clamped his mouth shut. He shouldn't have shouted like that. Now Sirius would probably think of him as an unmannered child. So much for trying to be good.
Sirius however simply beaked when he heard his name being called out and strode over to where Harry was standing and pulled the small boy into a tight hug.
Harry immediately tensed at the sudden contact. Never had he been hugged before. Sirius, noticed the tense stance in an instant and inwardly frowned. As he held Harry against his chest, he couldn't help but feel that Harry was way too small for his age.
Harry didn't know how to respond to the hug as all this was totally alien to him. He was still frozen, waiting for the inevitable beating that came but it never came. Sirius pulled away after about a minute and crouched down to Harry's eye level. "Hello pup." He said gently. "Hi." Said Harry smiling shyly and Sirius smiled back at him, warmly.
"Here, let me." Said Sirius taking the trunk from Harry's hands with one hand and wrapping an arm around the boy's slight shoulders with the other. Harry flinched slightly but didn't pull away. Sirius frowned at his godson's tense posture but didn't comment about it. They had the whole summer ahead of them and Sirius vowed to put it to good use.
"Now pup, I want you to hold onto my arm tightly ok?" He said softly so as to not startle Harry. The young boy looked a little frightened but he did as he was told. The two of them turned on the spot and apparated to Black Manor, Harry's new home.