and Hermione sat in a circle on the floor of Harry's bedroom. As far as Harry
was concerned this Aunt and Uncle still hated him as much as ever, but they
were now terrified of him. Not only were they now terrified of him, as he was
now entering his seventh year of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, so
he was allowed to magic outside of school. But also members of the Order kept
making a point of checking on him.
Coupled with this Sirius Black had returned. Harry still remembered the day now: They had all been sitting in the great hall for dinner, when the doors at the end had been pushed open by a very scared looking Dobby. Dobby had practically run up to Dumbledore apologising all the way down the Hall, when he had arrived at the teachers table he muttered soming thing quietly to the Headmaster and disappeared with a loud crack. All eyes had been on Dumbledore, and no one noticed a scrawny black dog enter the Hall until Madam Pomfroy had run down carring the dog to the hosptital wing.
"Harry, you in there" a voice cut in to his thoughts.
"Sorry, just thinking" He replied
"Wow, did it hurt?" Ron asked with mock concern.
"No, not that your ever likely to find out." Harry threw back quickly, dodging a pillow that Ron threw at him.
Soon a full fledged pillow fight started, only to be stopped when a very red looking Uncle Vernon entered the room. "What is the meaning of this?" He bellowed.
"Just having a good time with my friends, wouldn't want them to be going back to anyone saying that I have no fun would we?" Harry asked, almost innocently, the treat veiled, but still very apparent to everyone in the room.
"Well," Vernon said stiffly, "You have a visitor."
"Well, who is it?" Harry asked quickly, him and his friends jumping up.
"Don't recognise him, he's in the front room, couldn't leave him standing outside, he looks a bloody mess, what would the neighbours have said?" Harry's uncle said, obviously not pleaed at having to have such a person in his house.
The trio walked downstairs and stopped at the door. Harry broke the silence fisrt. "Sirius?" He said, running over to the man hugging him. "Merlin, you look bloody awful."
"Thanks for that kid, a real confidence boost." Sirius said grinning, obviously glad to be seeing Harry again.
"And Ron and Hermione as well, my lucky day, isn't it?" Sirius walked over to Ron briefly hugging him, then Hermione.
"What the Hell have you been up to Sirius?" Hermione asked letting him go.
"Long story, most of its top secret Ministry work. God, the bastards lock me up for years, then expect me to help them, but I couldn't say no. Got a pretty good job lined up now though." He smiled again, now back in the presence of his three favourite people, he couldn't seem to do anything but.
"What?" Ron asked intrigued, he couldn't really see any job suiting Sirius at the moment.
"Well, hmm should I tell you?" Sirius mused out loud, enjoying the looks on the tree faces. "How about something to eat first?" Harry jumped up and left to go into the kitchen.
Sirius chuckled to himself. "What is it Sir?" Hermione asked. Wondering what could make the thin bruised man look so happy. His physical appearance was in stark contrast to his behaviour.
"I think you'll approve. However we should wait for Harry, I want to tell him at the same time." Ron nodded in agreement. Harry came back into the room carrying a loaf of bread, and some cold lamb.
"Brilliant." Said Sirius grabbing the leg of lamb, not waiting to use the knife that Harry had brought in to carve the meat with, he began to tear chunks off and swallow them whole.
"Sirius, when was the last time you ate?" Hermione asked quietly, watching tonights planned meal for six people disappear quickly.
"Yesterday." He answered, not pausing from the routine of tearing the meat apart.
"Properly?" She pushed the question.
He stopped his routine, looking at her, and then he laughed. "Hermione, your far to observant, I cant really remember." He fininshed the rest of the lamb then started on the bread. When the loaf had too gone, he made the remaining crumbs disappear with his wand, and vanished the bone from the lamb.
"Well aren't you going to asked about my new job?" He promted.
"What is it?" Harry asked.
"Well, a friend of mine had this post free, and has been finding it difficult to fill."
"If its difficult to fill, no one wants it, what is it?" Harry asked worried.
"Harry. You're an idiot." Hermione cut in. "Your coming to Hogwarts then?" She questioned Sirius.
"Yep." He grinned. "Defence against the dark arts."
Harry and Ron looked at him, they both looked like Christmas had come early. "Wicked." Ron said, "This year is gonna be great."
Harry stood on the platform 9 ¾ waiting for Ron and Hermione. He hadn't seen them since that day Sirius had arrived. Ron had been in Romania with his parents visiting Charlie, and Hermione had been in America with her parents.
Harry was looking round for his friends, oblivious to the admiring glances he was getting from the obvious first years. Knowing he was the hero of the wizarding world had taught him to ignore these deferential looks from the younger years.
"Harry." A voice called from the other direction. He turned to see a very tanned looking Hermione walking towards him.
"Wow," He looked at her. "Check you out." She laughed at him. "You've changed almost as much as Sir."
"I take it he has improved then?" She questioned lightly, "but then again he could hardly look much worse."
"I doubt you'll recognise him, though you probably will now I've warned you. But you wouldn't have." She looked at him, and then grinned.
"You seen Ron yet."
"No, can't be here yet, he's quite difficult to miss." Ron was the tallest in the year, making him also the tallest in the school, topped with flaming red hair.
"Talk of the devil." Harry pointed to where their best friend had just appeared through the barrier. Ron sauntered over to meet them. Grinning at the girls looking at him, being the keeper for the Gryffindor quidditch team, undoubtably the beat team in the school had got him a lot of attention, his friends knew he'd be lying if he said he didn't enjoy it.
"Ok gang?" He asked
Hermione laughed. "Ron Since when does two people count as a gang?" She asked.
"Since its my gang" He laughed at her. "Lets go grab some seats."
"Well," She looked at him, "Me and Harry are Head students, so we have that compartment."
"Ron Laughed picking her up and spinning her round. "Fantastic." He said making his way towards the train with the other two in tow.
On the train the all filled each other in on their holidays. Harry and Sirius had gone to a small hotel on the coast, "He healed up really quickly, he said he has the skin of a dog." Harry laughed with the other two. "We went running every day, and swimming he kept on saying he doesn't want to get fat, he is so vain. What about you Mione?"
"Went to America." She said.
"We know." Ron said dryly, "Did you do anything there?"
"In the name of Merlin, what?" Ron shouted.
"Some people are too easy to wind up." Hermione muttered but continuing, "Played volleyball a lot with these people I met, went swimming, I visited Salem on one day, apperated there, fascinating history. Did you know in the witch trials there only a quarter of the people caught were actually witches, the rest were muggles, the witches survived anyway, obviously, almost a hundred were never even suspected."
"Thank you so much for the history lesson." Ron said sarcastically.
"And what about ickle Ronny?" Hermiony said.
"You sound like Fred." He said sourly, but the twinkle in his eye gave away the fact he wasn't really mad. "Visited Charlie, oh got something to show you, there actually for Hagrid, but." He reached over to his trunk and pulled out an envelope from the top throwing it to Harry. "Open it then" Ron instructed.
Harry slit the end of the envelope with his wand, and pulled out six or seven pieces of paper, looking at each one in turn, then he passed them to Hermione she looked at them as well.
"It's not?" She queried "Its not Norbert is it?"
Ron laughed, "and Hagrid wanted to keep him in his cabin." He reminded her. "He's huge now, here look at this one." He selected one from the pile It had a cabin in, much like Hagrid's, and Norbert was a little taller than the building, and much longer. They all laughed. "It's a replica of Hagrid's place, Charlie had it made to make Norbert fell more at home, he hasn't destroyed it, yet. So that should say something."
All to soon they arrived back at Hogsmead station, they left their trunks on the train, and went to go and find a carriage. Harry walked over to the nearest one, and absentmindedly began to pet the thestral. The animal was obviously unused to this greeting from the students, but nevertheless leaned in towards him. He turned and jumped into the carriage, with Ron and Hermione, and soon they began the short journey up to the castle.
When they reached the castle the three jumped down and made their way into he entrance hall. "Do you reckon Sirius is about?" Hermione asked, I haven't seen him for ages."
"Probably already in the Great Hall." Harry said. "Or in the kitchens, stealing food from the elves." They all laughed at the idea of Sirius bothering the elves for food just before the feast, and made their way into the Hall.
Walking down the Gryffindor table they paused several times to say hello to friends, they had not yet had a chance to speak to. They sat down at the end nearest the staff table, so they might be able to speak to Sirius, but he was not there yet.
When the hall was finally filled Professor Dumbledore entered and made his way up to the staff table, followed shortly by McGonagall leading a string of terrified looking first years waiting to be sorted.
The sorting was finished quickly, and Dumbledore stood up. "Welcome to our new students." He began, "I have a few notices to begin with, firstly we have a new Defence against the Dark Arts teacher, who appears to have gotten lost."
He was interrupted by Sirius entering through the doors at the end, "Me get lost in this castle?" He questioned a cheeky grin on his face. "Sorry, I have been held up in the kitchens." He continued his walk towards the staff table, but was suddenly knocked back by Hermione, she hugged him tightly.
"God, some ones changed." She commented. He laughed hugging her back, and turning to hug Harry and Ron.
Dumbledore carried on, "So we seemed to have found our new teacher," There was a sudden buzz around the Great Hall, many comments could be distinguished, from the Ravenclaw table, "Ha, Dumbledore does love us, now I would not mind some evening sessions with him." And likewise from Hufflepuff, "Ouch, now that is fine, I didn't know they made men like that.
Dumbledore raised his voice to be heard above the sudden rush of voices, "Professor Sirius Black." The voices grew louder, everyone had been following the story of Sirius through the Prophet. How he had been wrongly accused of murder, imprisioned, escaped, pardoned, and in his short time as a free man had captured so many Death Eaters, his total was only second to Mad-eye Moodys.
"The rest of the notices may wait, now tuck in." Dumbledore announced. As the feast appeared.
"My god, did you see Sirius's face when all those girls started ogling him?" Ron laughed.
"What did you think Mione?" Harry asked.
"He looks great," She said looking up at Sirius, who waved down at the trio.
Harry rolled his eyes, "No, from a girly perspective"
Sirius looked good, there was no denying that, he was dressed in Dark blue robes that matched his eyes, his hair was long, but ties back at the base of his neck, but at the front it fell in a boyish way over his eyes. His chiselled features kept falling into that charming smile. He looked really good Hermione thought to herself, but how could she tell Harry that.
She was saved from having to answer though by a sudden disturbance at the Slytherin table.