Author's Note: Chapter two is here. I completely spaced and forgot that there was a couple day span between Harry and Dudley being attacked compared to when the Order members came to retrieve him. I decided to not edit it. I'd finished the chapter by the time I noticed it. My bad.

Anyway, here's a chapter.

Harry felt himself falling, before he felt coldness and a headache overtake him.

He opened his eyes and saw a tunnel ceiling above him. The air felt chilly and he was wet from the rain from outside.

He recognized the coldness. It was an unnatural chill that felt all to familiar and unwelcome.


Harry turned to his left and saw Dudley, who was on the ground with a dementor closing towards him.

Harry reached for his wand, trying to find it.

His thoughts were being overwhelmed by the presence of the dementor closing in on him.

I didn't come all this way to be breakfast! He snarled internally, kicking out at the creature and reaching for his wand to his left on the ground.

The soul devouring creature grabbed his leg as he kicked, trying to drag him from his wand.

Harry snatched his wand from the ground, turned and pointed it towards the dementor at point blank.

"Expecto Patronum!" Harry shouted.

Not even a spark came from his wand.

Death said he'd give me a gift.

Harry saw the other dementor stiffen and pull away from Dudley, turning towards him.

Harry clawed desperately at the dementor, even as it pulled its hood up.

The other dementor just hovered several feet away, not doing anything.

Harry felt the disgusting hands grab ahold of him and force him to face the creature.

He heard an unwelcome voice in his head.

"The horcrux must be removed."

It was Death's voice.

When I'm done, I'll find some way to make you bleed.

He thought to himself, as he let the dementor move closer.

The sensation of having a foreign soul shard removed was likely better than having your own soul removed, but it was still one of the worst feelings he felt.

He heard the horcrux scream slightly as it was sucked out. He collapsed backwards as the dementor still hovered him.

Growling, he aimed his wand at the dementor, drawing up every ounce of happy memories he could.

"Expecto Patronum."

A silver stag shot forward and smashed into the dementor, sending it away, screeching in pain.

He then redirected it towards the other dementor, said creature already attempting to flee with its companion. He heard another shriek as his patronus made contact with it, before it made its escape.

He turned to Dudley, but staggered slightly from slight dizziness and nausea.

His lungs felt like they had ice in them when he had the horcrux removed.

He stumbled towards Dudley, wand still in hand. He readied himself for Figg to arrive, which she did moments later.

He played the part of ignorance to ward off suspicion.

"Mrs. Figg." He said weakly, wand lowered.

She went on her tirade about Mundungus as she did before.

He zoned it all out and focused on his Occlumency, trying to keep his emotions steady.

It worked. It actually worked.

It didn't truly sink in until after he had been half carrying Dudley back to Privet Drive that he was really back.

It didn't matter that Voldemort still lived, the bastard would have his due one way or the other. But they were still alive. He could save them, but he needed a plan.

He got Dudley to the door and tried to wandlessly open it. His magic felt slightly sluggish and the door simply jiggled.

Growling under his breath, he shifted Dudley's weight and freed his hand to open the door.

"Petunia!" He shouted, trying to get her attention.

His 'Aunt' came rushing in, her face contorted in irritation.

"What?" She demanded, before she saw the state Dudley.

Her face turned to one of worry.

"Dudley!" She cried, rushing to her barely coherent son.

"What happened?" She asked frantically, "Were you mugged? Did you fall? What happened?" She was barely understandable from her constant questions.

"We were attacked." Harry said simply.

Petunia turned to look at him.

"Who?"She asked.

"Magically," He replied, to which she widened her eyes in shock, "I used magic to save your son. Remember that." He glared at her.

Petunia knew what using magic out of Hogwarts would mean for an underage student. It promised severe punishment that Harry wasn't willing to take.

"What's all the commotion about?" He heard Vernon shout as he entered from the living room.

To stave off any percieved misunderstanding that he wasn't in the mood to deal with, Harry shifted Dudley's weight so Petunia held some of it.

"We were attacked and I defended the both of us." He said, gesturing towards the wand still clutched in his right hand.

Vernon's eyes widened and he continued to stare at the wand with fear, knowing how serious Harry was if his still had it visible.

Vernon kept quiet and rushed over to his son, helping to carry him towards the couch.

Dudley tried to speak, but Harry raised his voice.

"He'll be incoherent from what happened," He said, wand still visible, "He won't know what he's talking about."

"What the ruddy hell even happened?" Vernon demanded, "Was it that," He pointed at Harry's wand, "That did this?"

Harry stared at the man, waiting to see how the man was going to react.

"We were attacked by magical creatures," He said slowly, "And I used magic to protect your son."

"What fucking creatures makes my son look like this?" He shouted, pointing to his pale and very ill looking son.

"Dementors." Harry said simply.

Petunia audibly gasped at what he said, knowing about the creatures somewhat.

Vernon looked confused.

"They tried to suck out our souls and I stopped them." He stressed the last part so the two didn't panic and think Dudley had that happen to him.

"I'm going to the kitchen to grab chocolate," He said, "It helps with the symptoms."

He turned to walk away, but turned his head slightly.

"Try and attack me Vernon, and I'll shatter the bones in your leg. I'm already likely to be expelled because I saved your son, I'm not picky about what I'll use on any of you."

He then left the room to grab chocolate. He grabbed some from within a tin and walked back into the living room, handing some to Petunia for her to feed Dudley.

Harry took a bite from a piece he kept for himself, feeling slightly better.

The room was silent for but a few seconds before Harry broke the silence.

"I will be speaking with Dumbledore to see if I can find somewhere else to live." He said simply.

Vernon looked at him in surprise, Petunia being occupied feeding Dudley.

"Really?" He asked hopefully.

Harry just scowled slightly at that. Of course that would put him in a good mood.

"I would have been perfectly content being dropped off at an orphanage instead of on the front step of this house," Harry continued, "The only thing that has come from that choice is inconvenience for the both of us."

Vernon nodded at that, agreeing completely.

"By the way," Harry added, "I'll probably be getting more than one letter delivered by owl, just so you're warned. The Ministry of Magic is as incompetent and stupid as their muggle counterpart."

Right as he finished, an owl came in, a letter from the ministry telling him he was expelled.

He snorted, wadded it up and chucked it to the corner.

"Expulsion letter." He shrugged, looking at Vernon's confusion.

The next few minutes was the same thing as before, with multiple letters ending with the Howler to Petunia.

"Don't listen to that," Harry said to Petunia, "I won't be coming back if I have any say about it."

The things he dealt with at the hands of the Dursleys wasn't something he'd forget. The combination of the bindings on his magic and the lack of proper nutrition hampered his physical growth. Even with proper nutrition potions and other such things, he still hadn't been very tall.

Getting the problems rectified a couple years earlier would do wonders for him.

They'll be picking me up tonight," He told them, "I'd recommend you find an excuse to go out. They're not exactly discreet at times."

Both Vernon and Petunia flinched at that, as well as Dudley who seemed to be mostly recovered, having been eating chocolate and sitting. They remembered what happened last year with the Weasleys.

The next half hour was uneventful. Petunia and Vernon thought up of the excuse that they were heading to the hospital as Dudley had fought off an attempted mugging and was hit in the head, possibly giving him a concussion. Harry had decided to let them have that as the excuse. Make Dudley look like a hero, and he could just sit back and do nothing.

After they left, he went up to his room and waited for the inevitable arrival of the Order member sent to get him.

While he waited, he attempted to use some of his wandless magic to see how well it responded to him, given that the Trace wouldn't catch it.

His magic still felt slightly sluggish, but it was better than it was just a couple short hours ago.

He then tried to speak in parseltongue, trying see if he still had it.

Even after the destruction of the horcrux the first time when he was 17, Harry had been able to speak parseltongue, which had him confused for some time. He had theorized that it could have possibly been from how long the horcrux had been a part of him and had somehow imprinted the ability onto him.

Or it could have been what Daphne thought and it was an ability he always had.

He heard a faint hiss when he spoke, but he understood it as if it were English.

Good. Now onto the next thing.

He knew where all the horcruxes were. The ring was reachable, the locket even more so. The Diadem would be destroyed when he got to Hogwarts. The only one that was difficult was the cup. It was only through dumb luck that they got ahold of it without getting killed.

He couldn't rely on luck a second time.

He'd be ready to get the Horcruxes when he had the chance, but he needed to get the ball rolling. Which included justifying to Dumbledore that he needed to get out of Privet Drive.

He'd think of it later. Right now, he decided to do something that he hadn't been able to do, with his Occlumency shields in place.

He dropped them and wept.

He wept in relief that he had another chance. He wept at the fears and worry he had that he'd fail and lose them all again.

Occlumency could stave off emotional turmoil, but it was dangerous to do it for prolonged periods. You ran the risk of deadening your emotions, damaging your humanity and ability to cast magic. The Killing Curse and Patronus required emotion to use them to their greatest potential, along with other forms of magic.

He tried to rein it back in, but he gave up when he saw Hedwig, nearly forgetting about her.

She was in her cage. He didn't know why he put her in there. He opened up the cage with trembling fingers and stroked her feathers.

"Hi, Hedwig," He choked out, letting her walk out of her cage. "I missed you."

He let her stand on his forearm as he walked to his window. He opened it up and let her fly away for some time, knowing she'd make her way back to him.

He sat back down on his bed, still trying to work through his emotions as best as he could.

He eventually, after an unknown amount of time, heard footsteps outside. He heard a slight creak in one of the steps leading up to his room.

They were here.

He had his wand out, ready in case it wasn't them, but he didn't think there were intruders. No one ever got killed by being extra vigilant.

The doorknob began to turn.

"If it's you lot here to pick me up," He called out, "Tell me who you are before I blast open the door."

The knob stopped moving and he heard a slight chuckle and the words "I like him" coming from a gruff voice.

"Harry," He heard Remus' voice call out, "It's us."

"Prove it." He called back.

"Sirius is your Godfather, I'm a werewolf, and I taught you the Patronus charm when you were thirteen. It's a stag, by the way." He added the last part.

Harry relaxed at hearing Remus' voice, knowing that he was alive.

"My wand is lowered, you can come in."

The door opened and Harry saw multiple familiar faces.

Remus, Tonks, Moody, and Kingsley were the most noticeable, but he recognized the others.

"Professors." He nodded to Moody and Remus.

Moody snorted at that.

"Didn't do much teaching, now did I?" He scoffed.

Harry just shrugged.

"We ready?" He looked towards Remus.

The older man was looking at him strangely, probably noticing the difference in how he acted compared to the last time he saw him.

Everyone expects a brooding child.

Dumbledore should not have restricted his letters to his friends. It left him feeling isolated and alone with guilt over Cedric's death.

Harry looked towards Remus as he walked towards his door.

"Will I need my trunk?" He asked.

Remus nodded.

"I'll get it." Tonks said, rushing passed Harry to get his trunk.

"Thanks, miss," He looked at her questioningly.

"Tonks." She said simply.

"Weird first name." He said, grinning slightly.

"It's my last name," She said tightly, "But I go by Tonks."

"What's wrong with your first name?" He asked, hiding his grin.

Tonks just huffed and levitated his trunk out of the room.

Harry saw Kingsley hide a smirk while Moody looked slightly irritated at Tonks' behavior.

"Ready?" Harry asked.

At their nod, he walked down the stairs with them, only to hear Moody swear behind him as they got to the bottom of the stairs.

"My eye keeps sticking ever since that bastard wore it." he scowled, his fake eye lodged in place looking up.

Moody pushed passed the group to head to the kitchen.

Moody removed his eye with a slight popping sound, conjured a glass, then filled it up with water from the sink.

He also casted an area detection spell behind his back almost carelessly.

"Do you have to do that, Alastor?" Kingsley asked.

Moody just snorted.

"You only saw the tail end of the war, Shacklebolt," He said gruffly, "There's a reason I'm the only one in my graduating Auror class still alive. Paranoia," He scoffed, "Something dead men prattle on about being useless." He muttered the last part to himself.

Harry had read the manual that Moody wrote for Aurors following Voldemort's death. That manual was one of the best sources of reading material he had. It stressed how, in the end, you had two obligations. Get yourself and you partner home, the mission or job second. You were no use dead, and you had a duty to your partner in making sure both of you got your arses home.

He respected the scarred veteran far more than he did when the man had been alive. He hadn't experienced the depth of trials that Alastor Moody had experienced in his decades as an Auror and a veteran of a shadow war with terrorists, but he could understand the man's paranoia and refusal to be caught off guard. The complacent got killed.

After he cleaned his eye, Moody pulled it out and put it back into the socket, testing the movement by spinning it around quickly.

He then grabbed the water and looked ready to take a drink.

"Really, sir?" Tonks asked, looking repulsed at what Moody was going to do.

"Waste not, want not, rookie." He growled, taking a gulp, "I've done nastier shit than drink a little dirty water."

He then vanished the glass with a slight flick of his wand.

"What if someone poisoned the water line?" Harry asked.

Tonks, Kingsley, and Remus stared at him, shocked that he spotted something Moody didn't.

The others had left to wait outside, except for the five of them.

Moody looked thoughtful for a moment.

"Death Eaters don't think to try that," He said thoughtfully, "But better and stronger men have been killed by overlooking something. You're good kid. Better than I was led to believe from what Remus and Dumbledore told me."

Harry just shrugged and put his wand, which had still been in his hand, in his back pocket.

Moody scowled at that.

"And I thought you were smart," He growled slightly, "Don't put your wand in your back pocket. I told this to Nymphadora too many times."

"Don't call me Nymphadora." Tonks growled at the man, her hair turning a fiery shade of red.

Oh how I've missed this.

Harry thought.

"I haven't got a holster handy." He said simply, "Nymphadora," He turned to Tonks, "Do you have a holster handy for my wand?"

Moody snorted at Tonks' reaction. Her face turned red with anger matching her hair.

"Don't call me Nymphadora," She gritted out, "And what the hell is with you asking me that? Double meaning bullshit." She muttered the last part out.

Harry played dumb.

"Double meaning?" He asked, "I was just wondering if you had a back up holster or something. What did you mean?"

Remus could tell what Harry was doing, stepping back a bit to hide his slight grin.

"We going?" Harry asked," Where are we going, by the way?"

"Classified until we get there." Moody said, before he limped past them, heading towards the door.

Harry followed the others who were right behind Moody out the door. He saw the other Order members outside with brooms in hand.

"Get on your broom Harry," Remus instructed kindly, "That's how we'll be getting there."

"Not apparition?" Harry asked.

He knew that portkeys were out of the equation. The ministry tracked who was allowed to make them and none present were licensed to.

"Apparition can be traced," Moody growled, hearing Harry's question, "Even making multiple jumps can be traced. This is the safest. Now hold still," He added, pulling out his wand, "I need to cast a Disillusionment charm on you."

Harry stood still as Moody cast the spell on him, feeling the slightly uncomfortable sensation. He then turned towards Tonks.

Harry's trunk had been shrunken by Tonks temporarily to make it more portable, and she handed him his Firebolt.

Harry felt elation at having the familiar grip in his hand, having been without the gift from Sirius since he was 17.

He didn't even pay attention to anyone else as he mounted his broom, following the others in take off. The feeling, even though he had replaced the broom after the war, was so much better than his replacement broom.

The journey to Grimmauld Place seemed to go by faster than he would have thought. They touched down after Moody made them circle back repeatedly to make sure they weren't followed.

They landed in an area partly shielded by some cover to make sure muggles would likely mistake them for birds if they even did spot them.

They dismounted, Harry's broom being handed back to Tonks, and walked across the street towards Grimmauld Place. Moody stopped Harry and pulled a slip of paper out of one of his coat pockets.

"Look at it and memorize it." He instructed shortly.

Harry looked at it, already knowing what it would say.

The location of the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix is at number 12 Grimmauld Place.After reading it, Harry handed it back to Moody, who set the paper on fire with a flick of his wand.

Moody then removed the Disillusionment on Harry.

"Go on in." Moody said.

Harry did as Moody said and walked up the steps and put his hand on the door. He paused for a moment and fortified his Occlumency. He'd be needing it for who he was going to see.

He opened the door and walked in, gazing on the area that had served as his home for the first two years after Voldemort's death. Back then, it had actually resembled a home, having the interior renovated and an overhaul on everything following the war. But right now, it looked like the ragged ruin of a home the was befitting the ragged and ruined nature of the noble and ancient house that had lived in it for generations.

Walking further down the hallway, he heard voices from the dining room, several of them familiar ones.

The door opened and he saw Molly Weasley there. She had a slight look of surprise that then quickly turned into a happy one.

"Oh, Harry," She exclaimed, rushing to engulf him in a hug, "I'm so happy you're here. I heard what happened. Are you alright, dear?"

Molly Weasley had been distant from him somewhat after he and Ginny had broken up. This moment here felt almost nostalgic in how happy it made him feel.

"I'm fine, Mol- Mrs. Weasley," Harry said, trying to hide his surprise at her hugging him. He was still not use to it, "Just a little shocked by it."

"Of course," She said, pulling away from him with a look if understanding, "Dementors are foul things," she shivered, "I'm sorry you had to go through again, dear."

Harry zoned out for a moment. He saw a man behind Molly that took all his Occlumency skills to hide his reaction at the sight of him.

Sirius Black.

The man that offered him a home without preamble. A man who loved unconditionally. A man who died because of a mistake.

"Harry." He said with a face splitting grin, walking to his godson with outstretched arms.

"Sirius." Harry said, rushing to the man and embracing him.

He wouldn't make the same mistake again. He'd make sure Sirius lived a long life. The nightmare the older man lived for over a decade didn't warrant death as a reward.

The two broke apart and Sirius clapped a hand on Harry's shoulder, grin still in place.

"I know the house isn't much," He looked around, "But it's still a house. At least it's being put to better use." he muttered the last part.

But he seemed to shake himself from the thought and smiled at Harry.

"You need some supper?" He asked, "Molly fixed some excellent food." He turned to Molly with an appreciative nod.

Harry smiled and nodded. "That sounds lovely."

They made their way into the dining room and Harry sat right next to Sirius.

He was served a plate of food and tore into it ravenously, having not eaten since he was 'sent back'.

He ignored most of the conversations that the others spoke of, simply enjoying the warmness of hearing so many familiar voices.

"You've been rather quiet Harry," Remus looked towards him, "I would have thought you would want to hear what's going on."

"No one thought it important to send me a single bloody letter." He glared at everyone at the table.

Ginny, who just realized was there, looked away from him. Sirius and Remus looked somewhat sheepish at Harry's irritation, and Molly looked saddened by by it.

"Obviously nothing important has happened," He said sarcastically, "It's not like the Minister thinks I'm a lunatic for saying Voldemort is back."

A couple people at the table flinched at the name.

At the look Sirius and Remus shared, Harry rolled his eyes.

"Don't tell me that's actually what happened."

"It is," Remus said tightly, "The Ministry has been persuing the stance that you are either delusional or a liar who wants more fame."

"In the course of four years, I held Flamels stone, killed a Basilisk with a sword, can make a corporeal patronus, and I won the Triwizard tournament," Harry rattled off like a grocery list, "The only way I could be more of a stud is if I killed Hitler and shagged Helen of Troy."

Molly looked scandalized at the last bit, while Sirius stifled a snicker.

"Be that as it may, Harry," Remus said, a small grin on his face, "This is seriou- shut it, Padfoot," He mock glared at Sirius, who was about to make another name joke that he was fond of, "They've ousted Dumbledore from several of his positions because he has openly stated he believes you. They're portraying you as a liar and Dumbledore as if he's started slipping, lost his mind in his old age."

"Thanks for telling me, Moony," he said with a brow raised, "My supposed friends couldn't warn me about this in a letter?"

"Dumbledore said," Remus tried to say, before being interrupted by Harry.

"I watched Cedric die in front of me," Harry gritted out, "Killed by Wormtail," He spat, "I told you two not to kill him, and look where we are now."

Sirius and Remus both looked uncomfortable at that.

"I needed someone to talk to," He continued, "Anyone would have helped. But you two, Hermione and Ron," His breath caught for a moment, "Didn't do a damn thing."

"I didn't realize" Sirius tried to say.

Harry put up a hand to stop him.

"I've tried to move past it," Harry said, seeing how much it was tearing Sirius up, "But I need you to tell me why you listened to Professor Dumbledore."

"I didn't realize how you would have felt about the graveyard," Sirius said softly, before looking at the others at the table, "Do you want to take this talk to somewhere more private?"

Harry shrugged, before nodding.

Sirius got up from the table and gestured for both Harry and Remus to follow him out of the room.

Harry followed Sirius, already knowing where they'd go.

The Black library and the Lord's study were the two most secure areas of the house, the wards being keyed to the Lord and heir, access only being granted by the two.

Harry heard a crack of apparition and jerked violently, almost drawing his wand.

He saw Fred and George grin at him.

"Hey Harry," They both said, "Didn't think you'd be here so soon."

"Not the time, boys," Sirius said firmly, "I need to speak with Harry."

The two redheads seemed to shift their posture, looking more closely at Harry.

"We understand, Padfoot." They said, before apparating away.

"The two just turned 17 and have been using magic and apparating whenever they can," Sirius explained, "Drives Molly up the wall." He grinned, before they reached their destination.

Sirius pulled out his wand and muttered an incantation, unlocking the door of the Lord's study, and pressed his hand on a rune at the front of the door.

Harry felt a familiar pulse, and the door swung open.

The three of them entered and the door swung shut.

Harry recognized and remembered the room. Much of what he learned about the Black family was from reading the journals of previous Lord's that were available to their successors to help guide them.

Arcturus Black was the previous Lord Black, with Sirius technically remaining as the heir. Arcturus had made the public think Sirius had been officially disinherited, but it was a ruse to ensure the Blacks would survive politically, no matter the triumphant side.

With Sirius' death, Harry became the next in line due to being the man's heir and having been the grandson of Arcturus' younger sister, Dorea Potter nee Black.

"You wanted to talk?" Sirius stated, "We have some more privacy now." He gestured to the three of them.

Harry nodded and took a deep breath, trying to formulate what best to say.

"What's all going on?" He asked, "What's this whole thing about? The Order of the Phoenix, fighting Voldemort, what's all happening?"

Sirius and Remus both explained all that was going on, things Harry already knew from before, but needed to have everything covered for why he knew certain things.

"What about Dumbledore?" He asked, "Why didn't he warn about the shit that's happened?"

"We don't know, Harry," Remus replied apologetically, "He may have wanted you to not stew over it this summer."

"Instead, I stewed over Pettigrew killing Cedric." Harry stared at Remus and Sirius both.

Both of them again looked uncomfortable.

"Where's Ron and Hermione?" He asked, changing the subject.

Sirius blinked at the course change.

"We walked past it up here," He said, pointing in the general direction of which room the two were waiting in.

Harry wasn't wanting to talk with them currently. Hermione hadn't died well, and Ron was the one that fucked everything up in the first place.

"Are you wanting to talk with them?" Sirius asked, starting to walk towards the door, "I can temporarily let them in he-"

Before he could open the door, Harry grabbed the back of his shirt and forcefully pulled him back, a button popping from the abrupt pull.

"Wha-" Sirius said with surprise.

"I don't want to speak with either of them now," Harry said firmly, "They didn't send me letters or try to talk to me at all."

"Harry," Remus said gently, trying to be a calming presence, "They are your friends. They were told by Dumbl-" he was interrupted by Harry.

"I don't give a fuck about Dumbledore or whatever the hell he says," Harry gritted out, ignoring the two men flinch at his tone, "I needed them, and when I needed them most, They. Weren't. There." He growled.

Sirius and Remus both got quiet at that, Remus having a noticeable tightness in his posture.

Remus never thought for a moment that Sirius wasn't a traitor when he first heard of James and Lily's deaths. He wished that he could have been in front of Sirius during the full moon, that's how much he hated the man for nearly thirteen years.

When a traitor had been suspected in the Order, he saw how James looked at him once or twice. That look made him doubt things, his own worthiness as a person. One of the few people in the world that called him friend doubted him, perhaps because he was a werewolf. So many children and families were laid to waste by the monsters that let the beast out to play during the war. Even Marlene, Sirius' fiance, was killed with her entire family when their manor was stormed by Death Eaters and werewolves.

Remus could understand Harry's anger at his friends listening to Dumbledore instead of helping him when he needed it.

"I don't want to talk with them," Harry repeated, "At least not now. Is there somewhere I can sleep?"

"My brother, Regulus' room," Sirius answered, voice a little tight at his brother's name, "It's a bit dusty, but it will give you some privacy."

Harry nodded his thanks.

"Was there anything else, Harry?" Sirius asked, "Don't be afraid to ask for anything. We're here for you, even if we did bugger it up this summer." He pointed at Remus and himself.

Harry just shook his head.

"Nothing," He said simply, "I just want to sleep. The dementors were bad enough."

Sirius twitched slightly at that.

"I know," He replied sympathetically, "I know."

Sirius then straightened up slightly.

"I'll show you to the room." He said, walking towards the door to exit the room.

Harry followed him, while Remus said he'd be downstairs.

Harry and Sirius got to the room, which Sirius then opened, only to find Kreacher in the room, doing Merlin knows what.

"Kreacher." Sirius snapped at the elf, "What are you doing here?"

"Kreacher is cleaning Master Regulus' room," The elf wheezed, glaring at Sirius, "Why couldn't poor Master Regulus lived and blood traitor master die?" He muttered to himself.

"Out of the room." Sirius commanded.

Kreacher glared but listened, looking at Harry who stood beside Sirius.

"Kreacher doesn't know who this is," he muttered to himself, "Looks like blood traitor's friend, but he feels like Master."

Sirius gave Harry an odd look.

"Can you command him?" Sirius asked confusedly.

Evidently I'm still recognized as either the Black heir or Lord. Harry thought.

"Kreacher," He instructed, "Sit in the chair."

Kreacher glared at Harry when he was compelled to sit.

"This is Harry Potter, Kreacher," Sirius said, the last word filled with contempt, "He is my godson and Aunt Dorea's grandson."

Kreacher seemed to shift slightly at that, being less hostile to Harry.

"Potter half-blood as Master's godson," the old elf grumbled, "But he has Black blood."

"He probably recognizes you as my heir," Sirius thought aloud to himself, "That'll make things easier." He trailed off.

Kreacher disappeared from the room with a crack.

Sirius then looked to Harry.

"I'll need to go downstairs," Sirius explained, "Order business. I'll fill you in on what I can. Like I said before, Harry," He put his hand on Harry's shoulder, "I'm sorry for not being there for you, both when I went after Wormtail and over this summer. I'll do what I can. I promise."

Harry nodded and pulled Sirius into a hug.

"I know, Padfoot. My parents chose a good man for a godfather."

"Ha," Sirius laughed, "Remus would have been a better one than me."

Harry just scoffed at that good-naturedly.

"I'm serious," Sirius said, before grinning at the unintentional pun, "I'm the fun uncle while Remus is the stickler for being upstanding and responsible." He laughed.

Sirius then went to leave the room, before turning towards Harry.

"Ask me anything you want, doesn't matter at what time or what it's about. Ok?"

"Sure thing, Padfoot."

Sirius nodded and disappeared from sight.

Harry dropped his Occlumency and walked towards the bed, scowling at the state of the room.

'Cleaning the room' my arse. He thought.

He stretched out his hand and cast a wandless cleaning charm, removing some of the dust.

His raw power meant he could fling excess amounts of magic into a spell without it fatiguing him, even when the spell wasn't molded and properly formed by a wand.

But his magic still felt slightly sluggish. Less fluid. He'd need to wait and see how long it would take for his magic to fully stabilize from the horcrux being removed.

Taking off his glasses and rubbing his eyes, he laid down on the bed and put himself into an Occlumency trance to formulate what he planned to do. He already had a plan in mind, but ironing out the details wouldn't hurt anything.

"You noticed how he acted, Padfoot, didn't you?" Remus asked.

Sirius nodded, nursing a glass of Firewhiskey.

The two men were up late in the kitchen, everyone else asleep.

The Order meeting was finished, and the two had spoken with Ron and Hermione about how Harry wasn't wanting to speak with them, the two obviously not taking it well.

Harry was acting different from the end of the school year. More sarcastic, more annoyed about things, and was harsh when speaking of his friends.

Sirius didn't enjoy the look Harry had on his face when he spoke of Ron and Hermione. The look of anger reminded him of another black haired teenager with glasses.

The look James gave him when he told his best friend that he'd adviced Snape to go to the Shrieking Shack to stick his beak in to learn something was something that haunted him.

He'd just ran away from home, his Aunt Dorea and Uncle Charlus taking him in with no questions asked. James had become his brother in all but blood, instead of just a distant cousin who happened to be his best friend.

Snivellus had found out from Regulus what happened. It was quite a little scandal that the Black heir ran away from home to live with another Pureblood family, even if they were relation of his.

But the greasy bastard decided to jab at him. How could someone be worth anything if his own family rejected him? Was there something wrong with him because he was the only Black of his generation aside from Andromeda that didn't hate muggles and muggleborns?

Sirius wanted the prick to hurt, so he told him to go to the Shrieking Shack to sate his curiosity. What James said to him was one of many terrible memories that Azkaban saw fit to burn into his mind.

"Your family would be proud of you."

James risked his life to save the bastard that was Severus Snape, not because Snape was worth risking his life for, but because Remus was.

Remus would have been executed and Dumbledore would have been removed as headmaster if a student was bitten or ripped apart by a werewolf.

Dumbledore would have been seen as a fool and a risk to students, right when Wizarding Britain would have been looking to him to protect them from a powerful Dark Lord.

Everything turned out right though. Nobody was hurt, and Remus was safe.

But the Marauders almost ended because of what he did.

Remus didn't speak to him for weeks, and James was very closed off and addressed him as 'heir Black' more than once.

Fuck up once, no. I fuck up twice, no. I've done it three times. He thought after hearing Remus.

He convinced James and Lily to use Peter as the secret keeper, only to deliver them to Voldemort. Instead of taking care of Harry, he went to rip his former friend limb from limb, only to be tossed in Azkaban, being seen as the worst of his family.

His brother was a Death Eater, his cousin Bella, his parents and uncle funded them, and Narcissa married one. But he was remembered as the worst, having 'betrayed' the Potters, a family that took him in when his family 'banished' him. Supposedly murdered dozens of muggles and a friend. He wished he hadn't read the newspapers, so many theories and assumption of his evil, being 'The Dark Lord's chief lieutenant, being even more respected than Bellatrix Lestrange, the lunatic that tortured two people into madness.'

A serpent among lions. Is what he was called.

"He looked like James when he spoke of his friends." Sirius said, taking a drink of whiskey, enjoying the burn.

"You need to let it go, Sirius," Remus said kindly, "It was a mistake on your part and we forgave you."

"It's not easy," Sirius replied, "Azkaban gives you things you don't want, and takes what you don't want to give."

Remus nodded in understanding.

"He doesn't trust Dumbledore." Sirius added.

"Would we if we were in his situation?" Remus asked, "Dumbledore gave me the chance of having a future. I'll never forget that. But he made a mistake in thinking it was prudent to cut Harry off from us and his friends."

"And it was a mistake for us to go along with it like we did." Sirius added.

Remus nodded at what Sirius said, feeling just as guilty about it.

"What happens if he does get expelled?" Remus asked.

"Unlikely," Sirius snorted, "Oh don't give me that look, Remus, it makes you look old." He added irritably, "I know how serious this is. But Harry has two things going for him that the Ministry can't do a damned thing about."

"And what is that?" Remus asked.

"Heir to two noble houses." Sirius said simply.

Remus raised a brow at what his friend said.


Sirius nodded.

"Kreacher listened to his command, meaning he's already recognized as my heir, even if I'm not technically 'Lord Black' yet. I've not been sworn in yet."

"But how does him being heir to both Potter and Black help him?" Remus asked with a frown, "I don't understand the inheritance laws like you do."

"There's a clause for the last surviving member of a Noble and Ancient House," Sirius grinned, "You can break the Statute of Secresy if you or a blood relative is in mortal danger from muggles."

"He and his cousin were attacked by dementors though." Remus said, before he adopted a look of understanding.

"They'll say he's lying."

Sirius nodded along.

"They chucked me in Azkaban without a trial. Who's to say they won't do it again," he scoffed, "But make it known that he's the heir to both, specifically the Blacks, and it will look like it's Line Theft on Malfoy's part by trying to smear the Black heir as a criminal."

Remus looked at Sirius in a completely different light.

"You've thought of this for some time, haven't you?"

Sirius just shrugged.

"My grandfather had suspicions about Lucius Malfoy," He explained, "He got along well with Abraxas, but distrusted his heir."

"Your grandfather told you this?" Remus asked incredulously.

Sirius shook his head.

"No. I read his journal in the Lord's study. I planned on burning everything, but I was bored and needed something to read. He's an arsehole, but not as much of one as I thought."

Arcturus Black was one of the best political players of his generation in all of Europe. The man had plans to oust Voldemort for what he was in the event that the war turned against him. A half-blood from a broken, decrepit line of inbreds that deservedly had their seat as a Noble and Ancient House stripped from them.

Arcturus himself had played both sides, doing everything he could to make sure the Blacks survived the storm consuming Britain. But one thing stayed constant in his grandfather's journal.

Hatred for Dumbledore.

It wasn't the typical 'Mudbloods and Blood traitors are scum' swil that many of the Pureblood supremacists had. Arcturus fought against Grindelwald on the political spectrum, seeing him as a threat to his family and culture, especially since many muggleborns and half-bloods raised in the muggle world flocked to Grindelwald's banner, the appeal of tearing away the old world and building a new and better one appealed to them.

Arcturus saw Dumbledore as an enabler, which Sirius didn't agree with, but Arcturus wasn't some hate filled idiot that wanted mudbloods dead, he just thought himself better than them.

I think I know where I got my arrogance from. He thought.

"But anyway," Sirius continued, "my grandfather didn't want to risk the main line dying out and having a Malfoy be regent. He already checked the laws about inheritance, trials, and other things. Both factions in the Wizengamot will be worried about attempted Line Theft, as well as an heir being targeted by dementors. Or," Sirius added, "You could make up some shite about muggles attacking him and he used the first spell he thought of, I don't know."

Remus just leaned back into the chair, relaxing slightly.

"So we have more than one route to pursue," He mused, "We'll need to speak with Dumbldore about this."

Sirius nodded, before grabbing his glass and downing the rest of the whiskey.

"Merlin, my family had great taste in whiskey, even if they were half mad."

"And you're not?" Remus quipped.

Sirius threw his head back and laughed, enjoying the moment of alone time with his friend.

"You're not wrong, Moony," he chuckled, "You're not wrong."

The two men parted ways, Remus to go back to his flat, and Sirius to his bedroom.

Sirius got to his room and stripped down, laying on the floor with a few blankets. He'd slepped on a tattered mattress that stabbed into him for nearly 13 years, the floor felt like a lover's carress. The bed felt too soft, he felt like he was sinking.

Waving his wand to shut off the lamp, he shut his eyes.

End Chapter:

Chapter two is out. As I said, a couple tropes will be present, but I'll try to give them a more unique twist on them, but the sheer level of stories out there makes that very unlikely.

For those following my story Invictus, The largest chapter that I thought was lost, over 17k words, turned out be mislabeled. I'll be releasing it soon after this. I still lost a lot of words, but it wasn't as much as I thought.

Anyway, here's a new chapter and may you have a wonderful day.