Harry's fourth year at Hogwarts promises to be full of excitement and adventure with the Triwizard Tournament. Except ain't nobody got time for dat, especially Harry. Cause who else is going to care about all these poor dangerous creatures being clearly held against their will for the frivolous entertainment of wizardkind if not him?
Harry and Jimmy had been at the Weasleys for a whole day when Sirius Black came to visit them.
"I know you guys barely know me, but I was made your godfather when you were born and-and I want you to know that I don't blame or recent you at all for what Lily did", said told them as they were sipping tea under Mrs. Weasley's watchful eye.
Harry blinked at Black, "You are? I thought Remus was our godfather."
"Well, as far as he can tell me he filled in that role when everybody thought I'd betrayed them", said Black with a wince, "But I never stopped being your godfather, even after all the years in Azkaban. And now I've been a free man for the last few months I'd like to get to know you better. To be honest I was going to go to Augusta's house yesterday to have this talk, but then you disappeared, so-", Black held his arm open awkwardly, "Here you got me."
Harry nodded. Jimmy was doing an excellent impression of being part of the couch.
Black cleared his throat, "I'd-I'd like to start by offering you both a permanent place to live."
Harry's eyes widened, but before he could say anything Mrs. Weasley scoffed, "And how do you suppose to do that? Do you even have a house? Do you know anything about caring for children? Teenagers? This is a critical period in their lives!"
'It is?', Voldemort sounded intrigued.
"First of all let my clarify that I am by no means saying that your house isn't enough, but you have to realize that you can't keep them forever-"
"And why not? Who says I can't?", countered Mrs. Weasley harshly.
"They are my family! You can't keep me away from them", said Black heatedly, "I'm all they have left at this time and I'll be damned if I let them down!"
'I feel like I'm back in the telenovela. Is the Weasley woman going to reveal herself as your true mother now?'
'She better fucking not! Vol! With how many woman did you sleep?!'
'Oh, right, I'm your father. Forgot there for a second. I'm sorry, the drama distracted me.'
Mrs. Weasley was sniffing now, "You can't just say things like that if you don't mean them! You need to swear to these children that you do if you're going to be serious about this!"
"Please don't", said Harry, but Black was already taking his and Jimmy's hands into his.
"I swear to you both that I'll do my best to be there for you."
"Fine! Fine! We believe you!", said Harry quickly, feeling deeply uncomfortable.
Black grinned at them and Mrs. Weasley sniffed louder.
"That was very sweet Sirius, but do you have a house for them?"
Black winced, "I have my old family house. It's not such a nice place, but it's better than nothing. It just needs cleaning and to get rid of all the dark stuff that my family left behind."
Mrs. Weasley nodded and a determined air surrounded her, "Let me help. These children have suffered enough, they need to have a stable household."
"Er", Black looked like he wanted to refuse, but then thought better of it, "Sure, thanks Mrs. Weasley."
Mrs. Weasley waved him off, "You can call me Molly, now, let us go see how that house looks like."
The house ended up looking like shit.
"You can't bring the children here Sirius", chastised Mrs. Weasley.
Harry had to agree. They'd arrived five minutes ago and he'd already lost sight of Jimmy.
"Obviously not right now, but if we fix it there will be more than enough spare space for them", said Sirius and then looked around him, "Hey, where's Jimmy?"
Two hours later they found him in the same room where they'd first realized he was lost.
"Here, you'll need this too", said Mrs. Weasley as she loaded yet another cleaning solution in one of her son's arm. Harry's was already full, so she fortunately had turned to treating her own children as packing mules.
'This is degrading. They didn't even make us clean at the orphanage, but now they do?'
"Molly is this really necessary?", asked Sirius. It was the ninth time he asked this since they'd left Grimmauld Place. Harry had counted.
"Sirius grab that anti-Doxy spray up on that shelf, you're tallest here", said Mrs. Weasley, completely ignoring Sirius.
"Yes ma'am", sighed Sirius and stretched to grab it.
After fifteen more minutes of shopping nobody had any arm space left for her to use, so they finally started to leave.
Unfortunately as soon as they were back in the open streets the press was once again there to swarm them with questions.
"Stay together! Just look forward and force your way through!", shouted Mrs. Weasley over the din.
Harry was getting tired of being followed no matter where he went. Besides, the whole situation was just so stupid.
Another camara flash blinded Harry for a few seconds and took away the last self restraint he had left.
"I'LL SHOW UP AT YOUR PARTY TO SPOOK SMALL CHILDREN FOR 5 GALLEONS AN HOUR!", Harry shouted and then laughed at his own joke.
"Harry!", hissed Sirius and grabbed him by the arm to drag him away from the Alley quicker.
As soon as they arrived back at Grimmauld Place Harry expected to be given a lecture, but instead Mrs. Weasley hugged him tightly.
"Poor child, I can't even imagine what you must be going through! This absolutely can't continue like this!", she said and then marched away, a woman on a mission.
"Dude, what are you gonna do if somebody takes you up for your offer?", asked Ron.
Harry shrugged, "Easiest Galleons I'll ever make in my life."
Surprisingly, Harry never got an offer to show up some party and even more surprisingly he press started to publish less and less stories about him and Jimmy.
'Pity. I was starting to get taken with your media given name – The-Bonkers-Teen-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.'
'It was a terrible name', thought Harry as he looked through that day's Daily Prophet and found no new article on him or Jimmy.
'This is a first', he thought.
"Please tell me there no new article of you or Jimmy", pleaded Ron when he came to sit at Harry's side at the breakfast table, "Mum has been writing half the world about what damage the press is doing to you and Jimmy. She even wrote the Malfoys. I'm kinda feeling like she loves you more than us", Ron laughed.
Harry blinked owlishly, "She wrote Draco?"
"Duh, how else would the Daily Prophet shut up", said Ron with an eye roll.
This apparently impressed Mrs. Weasley enough that she allowed Draco to come visit Harry whenever he wanted.
Unfortunately he chose a day in which they all had to go help Sirius with cleaning his house, so he got dragged along with everybody.
"This place looks terrible", said Draco as soon as he stepped into the house, "The troll leg is a nice touch though."
"Just be thankful she's not drafting you into cleaning as well", said Harry as he started to grab a bucket full of cleaning supplies to haul up the stairs.
Draco made a face and clutched his Firebolt closer to himself.
Draco mostly ended up following Harry around the house as he slaved through the arduous cleaning process and kept him company with an on-going commentary on the terrible state of the place and how the house elf deserved to be given clothes for his incompetence.
"I tried to offer him clothes, but then he started to wail when I implied I'd have Sirius pay him. Sirius hates him though, but I've expressively forbidden him from touching a hair on Kreacher's head. He really just needs some love and he'll come around."
"Harry, he called you a filthy bastard, son of a whore. What would he need to do to make you actually hate him? Spit in your tea? I bet you he's already done it."
"Nah, he doesn't make any of us tea", explained Harry.
"Merlin, what a disgrace", said Draco, making a face of deep disgust.
"He was all alone here for year Draco, you'd be the same if it happened to you."
Draco looked appalled at the mere thought.
Finally, Harry was given a break when lunch was served.
"Sirius, this is Draco", Harry introduced his best friend when they went to sit at the kitchen table.
"You're Narcissa's boy, aren't you?", said Sirius as he looked at Draco with narrowed eyes.
"Um, yes. She sends her regards", Draco gave him an uncomfortable smile.
Sirius made a face, "Oh, goody."
"Sirius!", chastised Mrs. Weasley and turned to Draco, "Don't mind him dear, he's just a grumpy old man."
"Um", said Draco, looking unsure of what to say to that.
They ate mostly in silence, only the twins making conversation every now and then. Sirius kept looking at Draco with narrowed eyes and Draco kept looking straight at his plate.
When they were finally finished as everybody began excusing themselves Harry breathed a sigh of relief.
"Come Draco, let me show you the backyard", said Harry, hurrying Draco to get away from the tense atmosphere.
"Great", said Draco, also breathing a sigh of relief and quickly grabbed his Firebolt that he had left resting by the door.
"Hey, isn't that the broom I gave you, Harry?", asked Sirius.
Harry froze in his steps.
"Uh, no, this was given to me by a secret admirer", said Draco, "I found it lying on my bed after I got back from the Christmas holidays."
Sirius shook his head, "I don't think so, I left that broom on Harry's bed for him to find after he got back from the holidays. Your bed is the last one in the room, right Harry? I left it right there!"
Draco was shaking his head, "That's impossible! When I got to the dorms it was on my bed! Everybody saw it, even Harry who had-", Draco stopped suddenly and at looked straight at Harry, "-arrived first – YOU SON OF A MANTICORE! You put the broom on my bed so you could continue with your piss poor excuse to refuse going to Quidditch practices!"
"It was taking up all my time to go try talk with the Dementors!", Harry caved, "How am I ever supposed to breach the distance between our worlds if I'm playing bloody Quidditch all the Merlin damned time?!"
By now several of the Weasley children were snickering.
"Hey!", began Ron between sniggers, "Didn't Draco get this note with a bunch of hearts on it with the Firebolt?"
"I most certainly didn't leave any note, much less one full of hearts!", huffed Sirius, crossing his arms.
Harry could feel himself blushing from the roots of his hair to the rest of his body. From the corner of his eye he could see Draco was blushing a faint pink as well.
"Just wanted to get rid of it", mumbled Harry and the Weasley children exploded into laughter.
"Well that's enough!", said Mrs. Weasley, "Enough! Everybody go back to your jobs! Come along!"
Harry could kiss her for chasing out her children, but when he saw the weird look he was getting from Sirius he grabbed Draco and bolted with him, "The backyard is over here!", he heard himself say over the roaring of mortification he felt on the inside. He could feel Voldemort's amusement and heard Spot gave a few huffs of laughter.
Once they were at the backyard Harry collapsed at the steps and held his head in his arms, "Nothing happened here", he told Draco.
Draco cleared his throat, "Uh, absolutely. About the broom though-"
"I don't want it", Harry waved him off as he uncurled from himself and was happy to see that Draco was no longer blushing, "Do with it whatever. I don't care."
Draco gave a stiff nod, "Sure, but let me give you my old Nimbus 2001. At least for the Quidditch games."
Harry sighed, "Fine", and got up from the steps.
"Let me give you a tour of all the dark plants that Mrs. Black was planting", Harry offered and tried not to think about what had happened again.
Fortunately the broom, or the thrice damned note, didn't come up in the conversation again and Harry was able to see Draco off without any inconvenience. Until he got back to the Burrow where the twins immediately began singing to him.
"Harry and Draco sitting under a tree, K-I-S-S-I-"
"LALALALALALA", Harry began chanting and ran away from them and almost ended up running Ginny over.
"BOYS!", shouted Mrs. Weasley from somewhere in the house. The twins stopped, but kept snickering.
Harry felt himself blush all over and ran to hide in Ron's room while the boy was still out.
'Well, this has certainly been an entertaining day', mused Voldemort.
Harry just buried his head in his knees as he sat on the floor and thought about how nice Draco's cheeks had looked as he blushed. It made a nice contrast with his platinum blond hair. And stunning grey eyes. And-
Harry groaned, "Is this how it feels to like somebody?", he whispered.
'Wait, no, I was joking! I didn't sign myself up for this kind of teenage angst!'
'But, isn't it weird that I find Draco pretty?', wondered Harry as he bit his lower lip, 'I've never found a girl to be particularly pretty.'
'Merlin, let me out! I've learned all my lessons! I swear I won't be evil anymore!'
'Don't you think Draco's pretty, Vol?'
Voldemort wailed, 'Please let me out! I can't deal with a crushing teenager! I'm a Dark Lord for Merlin's sake!'
Harry thought again about how Draco looked when he blushed and found himself blushing again.
"Okay, now only your books are left over", said Sirius as he looked at Harry and Jimmy's Hogwarts lists.
"Remember we'll also need that magical tent if you're serious about attending the World Quidditch Cup", reminded Harry.
"Of course, I'm always Sirius", Sirius gave a bright grin as Harry groaned at his pun.
They quickly gathered all the books that they needed and then headed to a store specialized in camping for wizards.
"This one looks expensive, but fortunately the Ministry is still paying for all my stuff so I'll take it", Sirius smiled at the store owner who in turn beamed at him.
"You need to spend your money in wiser ways. Where will you be in twenty years from now? You need to consider your future", Harry admonished.
"Harry, nobody is as conscious as you are about their finances. Don't think I've not seen the banking statements that you get from Gringotts, I'm almost afraid to ask where you're getting all your money from."
"I invest. I have several investments going on and as soon as one gives out profits I invest that as well. The funds for my future regime have to come from somewhere you know."
Sirius shook his head, "See, you go off about expenses, but then when you get a truly expensive gift, brought under the peril of death you give it away to", he made a face of disgust, "Draco Malfoy."
"I thought you were okay with me giving it away", said Harry, feeling again a bit bad for what he'd done.
"Look, you can give whatever you like to whomever you like, but come one Harry", here he made his face of disgust again, "Draco Malfoy."
Harry rolled his eyes, "Sirius."
"You can do so much better than that", said Sirius.
"Sirius!", hissed Harry as he felt himself blush.
Sirius shook his head, "All my hope now rests on Jimmy", he lamented.
Harry huffed and left Sirius alone at the store to lament himself.
The following day they all left the Burrow to go to the World Cup. Sirius was inviting the Weasleys along as a form of thanking them for taking care of Harry and Jimmy while he was still setting his house in order. At the rate he was going though, Harry and Jimmy would be lucky to finally move in there at the summer after their fourth year.
At the game he meets Draco and he can only thank Merlin that nobody breaks into song or that neither he nor Draco started to blush the second they met. Though he did note that Draco wasn't carrying the Firebolt along with him like he usually did.
'I'm not blushing, am I?', asked Harry nervously.
'For Merlin's sake, no! I can't wait for the day I'm free from this torture!'
Harry ignored him and went to join Draco with his family. Harry finally met Lucius Malfoy, the man Draco so famously wanted to write to almost daily when they were in first year.
"Guess what", said Draco after a while, "I know of something that'll happen at Hogwarts this year that you don't know about."
Harry glanced at Draco's smug smirk, "What is it?"
"Mm, I'm not telling you."
"That's not fair", complained Harry, "What if I need to prepare myself for it!"
Draco rolled his eyes, "Its not like that."
"What if I have to prepare myself for some deadly ambush?", wondered Harry and then gasped, "Are the Dementors going to be back?"
"Merlin, I hope not", groaned Draco.
"Are they gonna put any other poor mistreated creatures in dire need of liberation at the school?"
Draco groaned louder and buried his head in his hands. He never answered Harry's questions, so Harry made sure to write to Nick again, this time including a hefty sum of Muggle money in the envelope.
By the time he was boarding the Hogwarts Express he was sporting ten new knives strapped on his person under his clothes.
'Nobody will get me like this', thought Harry cheerfully.
'This is a terrible idea, mark my words.'
Severus Snape was for the first time in years feeling vaguely optimistic. Today he was finally going to release Harry from his classes. Severus was pleased to report that Harry was performing in his classes adequately and no longer looked like he was sometimes about to break into wandless magic at random moments. He'd learned how to act like a normal person and Severus was ready to let him free into the world.
It was the hour they usually held their 'detentions' and Severus was only waiting now for Harry to give him the excellent news. He even had a pot of Darjeeling on the stove, ready for their celebration.
Harry knocked and entered the office when Severus called him in.
The boy looked a little skittish, but Severus was sure it was nothing serious.
"Harry, for this year I'm-"
"Professor, how does one know if one likes boys?", Harry blurted out.
Severus blinked at him. What? What was this?
It occurred to him that Harry was of that age now that he would start to notice such things.
Still, this didn't mean he had to change his plans. This was still very normal, no need to worry.
"What makes you think you may like boys?", he inquired. Just a simple talk to assure him that it was perfectly normal to like boys. Nothing more, that was all Harry needed.
"Well, you remember the broom from last year? See it was a gift for me from Sirius all along, but then I passed it off as a gift for Draco-"
"Wait, wait", Severus held up his hand, "You gave Draco a broom that was given to you by a known mass murderer?!"
Harry looked at his feet, "Um."
Severus gave a sigh of resignation, "You know what? Detention. Let us have a cup of tea as you start from the beginning."
This is why Severus never allowed himself to be optimistic.
Y'all have been leaving some wonderful comments and I couldn't be happier. Thanks guys, y'all rock :D