~~* Getting Away with Murder *~~
Summary: What do you think would change if Harry met Black a little sooner? If Black was more focused on Harry and keeping him safe? A lot of things apparently.
Characters: Harry Potter, Sirius Black, [the Black family], more later on
Warnings: Purebloods. Violence. Plotting. [Am I alone in viewing Purebloods as a warning? It certainly ought to be one.]
Comments, Questions, Guesses, Conspiracy Theories? Put them in your review. I do my best to reply!
AN: Here's the next chap. Adventures and Black will have more updates soon as well. I'm on an Adventure kick right so I'm rolling with it while the muse lasts. I do hope you lot haven't forgotten this story while my attentions have been elsewhere. Worry not, I'd never abandon a fic. At most I'd rewrite it. -Pseu
ANx2: And do keep up the theories guys I love seeing inside your minds. Please feel free to make guesses and ask questions. I try to find the time to reply to you guys as often as I can and I enjoy interacting with my readers. I do, by the way, have the best fans ever. -Pseu
Ever Yours, Pseu [Master of Awesome] And ridiculously good-looking too.
"The animals that play with the most abandon
are the predators."
"Father? I heard you knock on the lab door an-"
Another man, looking similar to Harry's godfather and the Not-Sirius strolled in. While Not-Sirius had narrower shoulders than his Godfather this Black wasn't as tall as either man and was slenderer in build as well. He stopped beside Not-Sirius and surveyed the room. Gray eyes rolled lazily to the taller man beside him. "When were you going to tell me we had company?" He asked in a whispery sort of voice.
Not-Sirius, the littler Black's father Harry assumed, made a vague motion at the room. "Look. There's company."
"Well," said smallest Not-Sirius, "that's what I get for leaving the lab." He turned to vacate the room as if the entire thing bored him. As he did his eyes met and locked on Harry. As his hand was in the air waiting patiently for somebody, anybody to tell him what the Hell was going on, the man understandably raised a brow at his odd posture. "Am I interrupting a class of some kind?" He asked.
Beside him Lord Black tensed. "We were-"
"No. Not you." Said smallest Black, putting up a finger and waggling it slowly. "Him." He did not point at Harry but Harry knew it was him who was being asked. The man's gray eyes never left his own.
"Actually...you're interrupting plotting of some kind." Answered Harry honestly. "Though I can't tell you what exactly as you've come in just as I thought I might finally understand it myself. Thanks for that."
His Godfather's posture stiffened and then relaxed when the smallest Black did not get insulted. Rather his lips curled upward. It wasn't a large smile but it was enough of one to see that it was there. "Well now." Smallest Not-Sirius said in that same soft voice. "I do apologize."
In the next moment the man was standing before Harry, long fingers on the sides of his face, quite close. Harry was vaguely aware of his Godfather standing and setting a wand at the mans neck. The smallest Black did not seem phased by this fact. Indeed he did not seem to register Sirius at all. His eyes were roaming Harry's face, fingers following and a warmth following after them. His face grew quite hot and then quite cold. The man's fingers relaxed, his hands left but for two fingers on Harry's chin.
"Why is the child bruised?" He asked. "And why did no one think to do something about it?" Again his voice soft and light. Harry was beginning to think the sweeter this man's voice became the more dangerous he became. Being as near to him as he was Harry found that revelation alarming.
When no one answered immediately the smallest Black lifted the hand not attached to Harry's chin and pointed at Sirius. "We should have a talk."
"I hate having talks with you." Black complained. How he managed to sound like a teenager while simultaneously holding a wand at a man's throat and looking very dangerous doing so was beyond Harry. He did hope it would be in one of his lessons. To the right and behind the smallest Black Harry could see Not-Sirius holding his one wand trained on the smallest Black though he seemed unaffected otherwise. Smallest Black tilted his head just a bit, enough to see Harry's godfather from his peripheral vision.
"And why is that?"
"Because," Called out one of the portraits, "he tends to walk away with a significant dive to his self-esteem."
"No one asked you." Black snapped. The portrait, a witch with green eyes who must have died quite young, only smiled. Harry didn't suppose there was much left for her to be afraid of. She opened her mouth to say something else and Black cut her off. "Not one more word out of you or I shall-"
"What, kill her again?" Not-Sirius snarked, coming to stand closer to the trio.
Black snorted. "Right. Reggie if you'd be so kind as to remove yourself from my Godson's face I'm sure he'd appreciate it-"
"What he may appreciate more is the two of you keeping your plotting to yourselves for just a moment and taking the time to heal him up, give him a bath and some clothes that fit and explain to him just who you are and what you want with him. However you and mother obviously felt that getting straight to business was the way to go." Reggie tsked, "All that etiquette training to waste. And you mother being a poor influence already?"
Aunt Wallburga patted down her skirts. "It isn't my fault you never leave your experiments until you're half starved and must. If you paid more attention perhaps you'd know when we have guests."
"Oh I could smell breakfast I just hadn't realized-"
"Enough." Not-Sirius cut in. "Lets fetch the lad some clothing and finish business as you've already started it. Without me." He added the past bit in a lower voice.
"Didn't know you were alive dad." Sirius reminded.
He ignored him. "Get on with it then."
Harry's godfather stared hard at Reggie. "You'll have to unhand him in order for me to dress him."
"Oh no. He's far too small to fit into any of your clothes. I'll dress him." With that the smallest Black grasped Harry by the hand and hauled him out of the room. Harry could hear his godfather protesting in the background. It faded quickly, finding themselves on the third floor far quicker than they ought to have gotten there. Ironically, the door just across from Harry's belonged to Reggie.
The smallest Black -uncle? cousin?- flitted across the room to and fro gathering clothing and placing it on a low table near a bookshelf. Harry took a moment to study the man. He was much younger than either of the other two Blacks. He was paler as well and rather thin. Perhaps a foot taller than Harry. His hair was long than his godfather's with more curls than his father's. What stood out the most however was how quickly he moved without appearing to be a in a hurry. He was just...quick.
"There. That should do it." Gray eyes pinned him in place. "We'll need to get you clean first I think."
Harry was tugged about the wrist again to a door just to the left of the one they used to enter the room. He was startled when the man -young man?- began removing Harry's clothing as he manhandled him toward a very large shower. He gave one half-hearted sound of protest. In vain. In only his pants the water shot out of the faucet and sprayed down on him. Harry coughed and ducked his head out of the way.
"I can bathe myself." He muttered, sullen.
Reggie paused with a bar of soap in one of his hands. "But this is such a good opportunity to get to know one another better." Harry's cheeks flushed. He spluttered an attempt at a response. Reggie's lips curled upward again. He tossed the soap at him. Harry managed to catch only with the grace of his Seeker's reflexes. Realizing the guy was teasing him Harry huffed and turned away. He thought he heard a soft laugh behind him.
After another minute he huffed again and called over his shoulder. "Are you just going to stand there and watch me?"
Harry scowled. "How is it I'm in a house with three adults and I still feel like I'm surrounded by children?" He almost dropped his bar of soap when Reggie laughed. If one could call it that. A low sort of rumble. Harry turned to see the youngest of the Black sitting on the counter with one leg pulled up and bent beside him, resting his chin on it. The sharp teeth Harry could clearly see for just a minute quickly became more interesting.
"Are you..." Harry trailed off.
"I'm only nineteen. I'm allowed to be childish I should think." Reggie interrupted.
Harry stared. "That doesn't make sense. I would have met you at Hogwarts if you're only nineteen. You would have, what, been a sixth or seventh year when I was a first year? I would have remembered seeing you."
Reggie cocked his head the other way. "How did you get those bruises?" He asked.
Thrown for a minute at the topic change Harry said, "My uncle doesn't like me much. Or at all."
"And my brother swept in to rescue you did he?"
"Pretty much." Harry allowed.
Reggie dropped from the counter, holding up a towel. Walking closer the older boy once again showed no sense of personal boundaries, drying off Harry's hair without a by-your-leave. "It's a bit overwhelming, isn't it? They're offering family, a home, protection. In return you get to walk away from your old life." Reggie pulled Harry out from the shower shutting the water off. "That's what Hogwarts must have seemed like at first as well. How did that turn out?"
"Not how I thought it would." Said Harry. The towel on his head moved revealing grays looking down at him.
"You need to think about what it is you want before you listen to anything else those two, or even my father, have to say. Everything they do is designed to get you to agree with them. It's mostly subconscious at this point. You'll need to ignore their words and how they make you feel and focus on yourself. What's best for you? What sort of life to you wish to lead? Remember your hopes and dreams and ambitions. It's your life you know. You should think about it a bit before you make a deal with the devil. Or devils in this case."
Harry reached up and stopped the towel which had started moving again. "Why do you care?"
Reggie pulled the towel around Harry's body and lead him back into the bedroom. "You are not the only one who's been swept up in the promises of others. Others able to give you everything you think you want. It is easy to say yes. To agree to anything they want as long as you think you're getting a good deal." He shoved him into a chair and tossed some clothes at him.
"Speaking from experience, tread lightly. Some decisions can't be taken back."
Harry focused his gaze on the clothes in lap. It seemed he was destined to have more questions that answers. "I could go back. I just don't want to-"
"No you can't." Said Reggie. "You're not going back. They won't make you and I won't let you. You'll be safe here. I just don't want you to think your being here has anything to do with you accepting their little plots."
"You won't let me?" Harry asked through his tunic. He pulled it down and looked up at Reggie.
"I saw." Said Reggie.
It occurred to Harry then that Reggie was the only person other than himself to see Harry without a shirt on. To see the remnants of his family's caring. He'd been so caught up in the oddness that was the other boy he hadn't even thought about it. He examined the floor, embarrassed. Almost immediately he felt two chilly fingers on his chin lifting his head.
"Do you want to know what advantage the broken have over the unblemished?"
"The broken can put themselves together however they wish and they do not have to be who they were before. They can't be. What they can do is learn from their scars, from their missing pieces and continuously build a better version of themselves. Something unblemished can never do. they can never be anything but what they were at the start. Learn to welcome the cuts, the cracks. It's a chance to strengthen a part of yourself that was weak." Reggie brushed the hair from Harry's face. "What we must do is remember whom is responsible for our jagged edges and vow to never allow ourselves to be broken in such a way again. Sharp edges make for good weapons."
Reggie's eyes glittered, his pointed teeth showing through the widest smile Harry'd seen on him.
"It is all a matter of perspective really."
Thoughts? Guesses? Questions? Theories? Limericks?