Chapter 17 siblings
Harry seemed to be the only one not bothered by the move. He had Grandpa O, the cats and Kreacher so he was content. And was happy to have all three grandpas in the same place. Tonks was happy as well. It was a bit odd being away from her parents but was enjoying the manor. And since stopping fighting on training had come to embrace it. Neither would ever admit it but Pollux and her had grown close. He saw a lot of his son in her and it made him happy. The several wings of the manor had come in handy with Pollux and Fleamont in different wings while Arcturus and the other Blacks were in the main body. Tonks surprised a few by opting to choose a room near Pollux. She simply said it was easier that way.
Harry spent time with all three men each day. Playing with Fleamont, lessons with Pollux and chess with Arcturus. Sirius was doing some work for Moody even though the man said he could not return for three months.
Pollux surprised his grandchildren at breakfast "It seems we are having a change of classroom."
Harry was confused. "Go?"
Tonks was just as surprised. "I thought we had to stay here. I can't even go see Dad."
Sirius assured her. "Your parents are coming for dinner. I am sure your mom misses you too."
Tonks knew he was right. "I miss her too. But she will be in on me about being an auror."
Laughter followed that. Arcturus though went back to the original point. "The girl has a point. The kids are safer here."
Pollux explained. "I have taken an offer for a safe place to train them. Magorian said they were welcome."
Sirius was a bit reluctant. "The forbidden forest? I know they have gone there for safety but they are fine. The manor has room."
Harry was picking up on the tension. "No go."
Walburga assured him. "You will be safe. Your grandfather would not risk you."
Sirius picked up his son. "You remember the woods, you met the centaurs. You and Tonks will get to visit them again."
Harry beamed. "Centi."
Tonks took Harry from her cousin. "Maybe we will see more this time."
Pollux had a portkey that could take them all to the center of the woods. There was more then one reason they were going that day. They had been invited to come any time and Pollux thought it a good idea. Both of their magic was linked to nature and flourished when they were outdoors. They had done lessons in the garden since the move but this was better. The woods were both natural and had magic elements of course. But Harry would be reunited with more than the centaur. Galrod had decided to visit and though near the school, the woods were the safest option. The magic of the woods would conceal the elf which is why he stayed with the centaur when in England.
Galrod had sent word of his coming and a wish to see both children. He had only seen Tonks from a distance but was happy Pollux listened and was training the girl as well. She was equally his grandchild and unlike wizards he took no notice of her father's family.
Harry smiled when they arrived in the clearing and he saw centaurs. "Hi. But no Mag."
Firenze smiled at the boy. "My father is waiting as is your other guest. My brother Bane has come to help bring you."
Harry eyed the other. "Hi."
Tonks got on Bane as Pollux got on Firenze who had Harry. "Other guest? Who?"
Pollux simply told her. "You will see soon enough."
Harry was amazed when they got to the village and saw who was with Magorian "Grandpa Gal."
Galrod smiled. "Hello child, you seem happier then last time." He turned to Pollux. "I am happy you brought her."
Tonks eyed the man. "You are an elf. How?" Who?"
Pollux explained. "He is the source of your powers. His granddaughter was my wife. This is Galrod."
Tonks eyed him. "You are to blame? I of course only got hair changing nothing cool like Harry. Probably why you only met him."
Pollux growled at her. "Watch your tone. He asked me to train you and to meet you."
Galrod smiled. "I wish to have met you sooner. I prize all my family."
Tonks was not convinced. "Took you nine years. Probably because of my dad like the rest."
Galrod assured her. "Your father has nothing to do with this. I was protecting you. I see you wear the pendant I gave you."
Tonks touched the pendant about her neck. "I have always worn this. Its from you?"
He explained. "It belonged to my daughter. When I found out you had her skill it seemed fitting. Like Harry's it can summon me."
"Her skill? You mean she was a metamorphmagus like me? I have never met anyone."
Harry was taken by Pollux to see Magorian as Tonks and the elf spoke. He confirmed Elysian indeed had her shifter skills. He had been surprised to see it so many generations removed. Harry's powers were brought out by his elemental but hers were a shock. He had sent the gift to her through the bank. Andromeda had never known from who, she was led to believe it was from Irma's will. It and a bracelet from her grandmother were the only family pieces Tonks had. She was amazed to learn it was from him and to hear about Elysian. Pollux had explained her elven blood to her but he had not known this. Pollux distracted Harry to allow them to talk. Harry was happy chatting with centaurs anyways.
Harry came and joined them eventually and both men worked with the children. Galrod saw promise in both children. He thought the girl would benefit from spending time with the elves in France. Pollux could help a lot but she could learn so much more from them.
Kreacher appeared around when they were to leave. "Message for Master."
Pollux took the note and looked up at Magorian. "Would you mind guests for the evening? I can take them to the coast but…"
Magorian cut him off. "There is a hut you may use. You are welcome as long as needed."
Pollux turned to Kreacher. "Inform the others. And bring some things for the kids."
Kreacher bowed. "I come back soon."
Tonks came over. "Are we leaving?"
Harry nodded. "Hungy."
Magorian motioned. "You will be joining us for dinner tonight. It should be ready soon."
Pollux added. "We will spend the night so you can continue your training."
Tonks wasn't happy. "Mum and Dad were coming for dinner tonight. Uncle Siri promised."
"Your mother and father have been caught up at work. You will see them soon."
Kreacher brought bags and Zar. "Here master."
Tonks didn't look convinced but they were taken into a hut where they could spend the night. Pollux used some magic to turn the pallets into proper beds. To his own shock he put Harry's crib in his own room as he knew the boy may need him. By the time they joined the centaurs for dinner Tonks was better in the mood. Though she missed her dad she got into the spirit of was happy she had not pushed for more.
Pollux spoke to Galrod as the kids ate. "I don't know how long I can keep it from them."
Sirius had been reluctant but he felt better after his son was gone. Harry was safe in the woods with the centaurs and Pollux. He had come to trust the man would do anything to protect his grandchildren. He wasn't quite sure why the man had softened for Harry and even Tonks. He had not been that way for Sirius and his cousins, or even Draco now. Walburga suspected their powers reminded her father of his late wife and Cygnus. Her and her father were close but Cygnus had been a favorite not simply as heir. Harry and his cats and Tonks with her spunk.
Sirius had gone into the office for a bit. The little work Moody let him do before he took over the academy he usually did from the manor. He needed a change of scenery and his mother convinced him. He had been thinking of his son otherwise
He was confused when there was a knock as he was about to go. "Come in." And seeing his boss. "I am leaving. No need to escort me."
Moody didn't smirk at the humor. "You will have an escort. Kingsley is waiting for us."
Sirius stopped at that. "I was only kidding. What do you mean?"
Moody motioned him to follow. "I received word from your family. We need to go."
Sirius knew it was bad if they called Moody and not directly him. "The manor's wards are better then the school. Its why I took my son there."
Kingsley with several other men appeared. "It's not the manor we have been summoned to. Unfortunately it was the….."
Ted appeared and cut him off. "What is wrong? Where is my daughter? What happened?"
Sirius was confused. "She and Harry are with Pollux. They are safe. They should be safe."
Moody motioned them to follow. "It is your house we have been called to. Lucius is on his way."
Ted looked at Sirius as they went to apparate. "Narcissa came for lunch. She was trying to convince her sister to come to the manor."
Sirius felt a pit in his stomach. "But your wards."
The Tonks house had strong wards but nothing like a manor. Narcissa had been trying to convince her sister to move to Malfoy manor. Or with their mother and Lucretia on the coast. Her and Ted could have been at the manor with their daughter but they didn't want to worry her. Ted had been prepared to get a floo telling him to come to Malfoy manor after work. He was sure his sitter in law would convince her stubborn sister. He agreed with his wife he didn't plan to move in with his mother in law. But he had thought that Malfoy manor was a good idea.
Sirius could not believe even Albus was this stupid. Having the Blacks angry was certainly enough. Adding an enraged Lucius to the mix would be deadly. The man may have been a spy but when it came to his wife he was not to be stopped. Perhaps Albus had not known she was there.
Ted stopped dead when he saw his house and could see flames. Arabella ran through his mind. "No. No."
Sirius stopped him. "Let us deal with it. Stay here."
Lucius had appeared with his security. "Where is my wife and son? Someone better tell me now."
Moody turned to Sirius. "We need to clear the scene. Only aurors."
Sirius stopped Lucius and Ted who were both about to protest.. "Let us work. We will find them."
Lucius was stewing but for once he listened. "I want answers."
Moody called to Sirius. "Come down here now."
Sirius was fearing bodies as he ran to his mentor's side. Instead all he saw was a half charred bear. "Draco's. I saw it at the manor."
Kingsley came to his side. "There are no bodies this time. What is going on?"
Moody growled when Lucius appeared. "You were told stay back. Lord Malfoy or not."
Lucius though had news and called Dobby. "Tell them what you told me."
Dobby bowed. "Mistress call. She have me take little master. He with Mistress Druella."
Sirius was confused when he learned Dobby could take Draco but not the women. "Same with the attack on Pollux, except Draco."
Moody thought. "Your son was the target so the attack set so no one could leave. They must have blocked escape only for adults."
Ted was worried for his wife but relieved. "Draco is safe. Our wives can hold their own."
Lucius growled. "We need to find them. He will beg mercy if he has harmed either."
Kingsley motioned. "You will leave this to the aurors. Vengeance helps no one."
Lucius spat. "If you think I will sit by and do nothing to get my wife and her sister back you are mistaken."
Moody stepped in. "You will follow our command. Or I will have you locked up."
Moody knew Lucius was aid and it was better to work with the man. But he was not about to allow him to run the show. Ted insisted he was coming and no one would argue with that. They headed not to the ministry but to Black manor to inform the others. Druella and Lucretia were summoned as well. The two women were accompanied by not only Draco but the two Weasley boys who were still with their aunt. They could have been sent home but for now they were brought. Lucius was relieved to see his son in his mother in law's arms.
Sirius had thought to send for his own son and Tonks but he was convinced not to. His grandfather thought it best they remain in the woods if the centaurs would allow it. Sirius sent word to Pollux and though worried he knew they were right.
Kreacher returned. "Master Pollux send me for things. Centaurs be saying they can stay."
Sirius was relieved. "Pack for both and make sure you take his favorite toys and Zar."
Walburga put a hand on him. "He is safe and he will be happy enough. It won't be long."
Sirius sighed. "I just wish it was you. Your father is not exactly the comforting type if he gets scared."
Walburga assured him "He may surprise you. Tonks is there as well."
Ted was pale. "We were meant to be here for dinner. Dora can't know about her mother."
Sirius assured him. "She was excited but Pollux will make an excuse.. We will keep it from her as long as we can."
Lucius looked at his brother in law. "You know I will work to get them both back. Both our kids will have their mom."
Ted turned to him. "I am grateful. You and Narcissa have always welcomed us. Unlike others."
Arcturus grunted but assured him. "We protect all Blacks. That includes your wife and the girl."
Druella came back from putting her grandson in the den with the boys. "Why my daughters? I don't get this."
Lucretia agreed. "No one knows the girl was being trained."
Sirius thought aloud. "Easiest target. The rest of us were in manors. The Tonks wards are no where as strong."
Albus must have gone for someone that he could draw them out for. The smaller manors wards were lighter then Black manor. After Pollux was attacked they had been strengthened on the home. The Tonks house was much easier to attack the wards due to no ancient magic. They thought about the Weasleys but thought they were safe enough as little contact. But Moody sent a man to see to some extra wards for them in case. They would not take any more risk then needed. Albus had proven he had no qualm going after allies if it served a purpose.
Sirius looked at his boss. "We need to find out where they are and why. He took them alive for a reason."
Two days passed and despite best effort no sign was found of the women. Harry and Tonks were still with Pollux. Sirius hated bring away from his son but he knew they had to focus. For now Tonks still had no idea what was happening. He and Ted got daily updates on their kids and were comforted they were not only safe but also having some fun. Harry may be too young to understand but he could pick up on tension too much. He was happy his son had Tonks and Zar with him. If it went more then two more days they knew they'd have to visit.
They were shocked when an elf arrived and summoned them that morning. They were confused when they found the letter had nothing but an address and they knew what it was. It was likely a trap but they had to go. All the Blacks, Remus, Lucius and four aurors went.
Sirius was confused when they arrived. "What is this place? Why summon us here?"
Lucius agreed. "It's not a place to easily defend or attack from."
A voice came from a door. "Because neither is needed. Or so I hope."
Ted was shocked when he turned. "You? What are you doing here?"
Aberforth came out. "I am the one who sent the elf. I have been waiting.""
Lucius growled. "Doing your brother's dirty work? Where are they?"
Sirius actually tried to calm him. "Aberforth doesn't work for his brother. He never has."
Aberforth agreed with him. "I can not continue to watch my brother and be silent. He went too far. Arabella and even Fletcher."
Remus reminded the man. "You didn't even come to the funeral. Sturgis at least sent word."
Aberforth eyed him and handed him something. "I thought it best I not. She asked I pass this to you if anything happened."
Remus took the box. "Why? She left me all she had. It could have been in her house or vault."
"She didn't want it found and likely assumed you'd not touch the vaults." Sirius was the one to say.
Aberforth agreed. "She spoke of you often. I don't know if you will believe me but she was a close friend."
Remus didn't say anything further but he cast a spell on the box before pocketing it. He wanted to trust the man but he was conflicted. The two brothers had been at arms for decades and Aberforth was in the order in spite of his brother. But after everything that had happened he was cautious about trusting anyone. He took the box as he recognized it. He didn't know what was inside but the box indeed was hers. Arabella would know he'd recognize it. It had been a gift from Remus' parents when her husband died. John died a year before Hope had.
Ted and the others were focused on the man though and why he had called them. Even if felt pain for the woman's death there had to be more to this story. They needed to find the women and if he was unable to help they had no time for this.
Lucius finally cut in. "Why summon us? If you have nothing but a box to offer."
Aberforth turned to him. "If it was a matter of the box I'd have sent it with my elf. I risk myself being here."
Ted was no less insistent though then his brother in law. "Then spill it. Why are we here? Why summon us?"
Aberforth sighed. "I know where he has them. And I also know how you can get in to them."
Lucius grabbed him. "Then why the small talk? Where are our wives?"
Aberforth pulled back from him. "You will have to wait till tomorrow. They are being moved and you'll have a chance."
Moody spoke up. "Moving? Where? And why not act now? If we know where they are."
Lucius agreed with him. "They don't need time to get away. Where do they have our wives?"
Aberforth shocked them. "At the prison. Chief warlock and all. He had them smuggled in."
Moody grudgingly admitted. "It will be easier to free them not from the prison, breaking in will be just as hard. We need time to plan."
Luius grudgingly agreed. "When are they to be moved? And where?"
Aberforth explained about a home in his mother's property. "Tomorrow just before dawn. They have to come to shore to apparate them."
Sirius said as the others went to leave. "Thank you. We know the risk you took."
When they were gone Aberforth went back in and turned to the figure hidden there. "It's done."
The cloaked figure went to leave. "They were fools to trust. I knew you still had some use little brother."
Though they had to be ready for the morning Sirius and Ted headed for the woods. Lucius and the aurors would work on a plan for now. But though they would leave the kids until this was done the two dads needed to go. They were both worried how the kids were doing. They hoped Tonks would not need to know her mother was a prisoner but she would start to worry if they didn't come. They sent word ahead and Firenze was waiting for them at the heart along with two other hunters. They were accompanied to the village.
Tonks spotted them and came running. "Dad."
Ted pulled her into his arms. "I have missed you. Have you enjoyed your time here?"
Tonks nodded but looked around. "I have my hair under control finally. And I learned a new trick. Where is mum?"
Ted kissed her. "Your aunt is sick and Mum is taking care of her. You'll see her in a few days."
"A few days? I thought you came to take us home." Tonks was confused.
"Your grandfather thought to keep you a few more days before Galrod has to return home."
Galrod had come over. "There is more to teach ." And seeing Sirius looking around. "He is with Pollux in the hut."
Sirius went to the hut directed and stood watching in shock as Pollux sat rocking Harry and he could hear a small tune. 'Mum was right.'
Pollux looked up and saw him. "He started teething last night. I have not harmed him."
Sirius bent and scooped up his son. "Thank you."
Pollux watched the two. "You have not come to bring them home."
Sirius noted it was a statement. He filled the man in as his son slept. "I can send Moony. I know babysitting is not your thing."
Pollux smirked but ran a hand through Harry's curls. All he said was. "The kids would catch on if things changed."
Sirius knew he was right and grateful the man was willing. He was upset his son was ill and he couldn't stay. But he knew he had to go. He felt such guilt his cousins had been targeted because of him. He would go and bring them back to their kids. Draco was at the manor with his grandmother and nanny elf. But he would be upset if mummy didn't come back soon as well. Sirius and Ted stayed for dinner, Harry waking, so their kids had them for some time. They had a hard time leaving but they both prayed next time they would bring them home.
Sirius assured Ted as they left. "We will get her mother home."
AN: So Albus took not one but two Blacks prisoner. What is he up to? And why is Aberforth involved?