Disclaimer: Its all JK Rowlings
A/N: SPOILER ALERT! I will be using certain things we have learned in Half-Blood Prince in my story.
This is a sequel to Footsteps in Time, though you don't have to read Footsteps in Time, it will help explain certain things. This chapter is shorter than my usual, but I didn't think I needed to focus on anything else.
Sequel to Footsteps in Time
Footsteps in Time: Year 2
Grimmauld Place could never be described as warm, cozy or homey.
The exterior of the house was kept immaculate. The shutters were always drawn. The windows tightly shut. The walkway led to a freshly painted door with a serpent silver knocker. The twisted serpent dared any brave sole to disturb the contents inside.
The house had been decorated with one purpose: to show the power and prestige that went with the Black family name.
Unwelcome visitors would find it nearly impossible to step a centimeter inside the doorstep. Even the usual household pests rarely attempted infestation.
With all the security measures in place, someone would suspect that the house was hiding some Ministry secret, instead of a family of four.
One member of the family at that moment was quickly changing out of his school clothes and into dinner clothes. Sirius Black had only been home for a few hours.
Dinner was to be served soon and he was expected to look respectable.
Sirius had a sinking feeling that his family was expecting guests this evening. And guests meant having to endure stuffy, obnoxious brownnosers and make small talk with their insufferable, even more obnoxious, arrogant offspring. To add to the already unbearable thought of guests, an uneasy feeling was slowly consuming his stomach.
"Sirius,' a childish voice called from the doorway, "Are you almost ready?"
"You can go down without me, Regulus," Sirius muttered looking at his younger brother with disdain.
"Mother instructed we were to go down together."
"Do you always do what our dear Mother says?" Sirius said straightening out his robe in the mirror.
"I think you rebel enough for both of us."
Sirius frowned at his reflection, "You cut your hair."
"Mother thought it was getting too long. And I actually like it this length. She'll probably make you cut your hair too."
"Let her try."
Regulus's face darkened, "You already got your way with Gryffindor; couldn't you give them some slack and at least obey mother and father a little."
"Don't worry about it. I plan on making this summer as pleasant as possible for all of us. So who are we having over for dinner?"
Regulus gave him a puzzled look, "No one. We're just celebrating your return home."
"And that's a cause for celebration?"
"You still are part of this family, Sirius. Now let's go before the food turns cold."
Regulus watched his older brother carefully as they descended to the dining room. Sirius had changed. He had noticed that immediately. Their parents were not going to be happy and Sirius so far did not act as if he were willing to listen to reason.
"Are you sure no one is coming over?" Sirius repeated, "Why else would we use the formal dining room?"
Sometimes Regulus couldn't believe how dense his brother could be.
"I'm sure," he answered trying to keep his voice emotionless.
Regulus curled his fists into balls. He hated being jealous of Sirius. He had always wanted to be just like his older brother. Regulus understood that since Sirius was the heir it was only normal his parents would invest more time and energy into him.
That didn't change the fact that it annoyed him, especially when Sirius thought mother and father did not care at all. Just look at where his mother had decided to have Sirius's returning home dinner. In the one room that was only used for the most important guests. Even after Regulus had spent four weeks being the ideal child and he had promised not to make a lot of noise or mess, his parents had refused his request to have his birthday dinner in that room.
Regulus cringed slightly when he noticed Sirius had forgotten his manners. How could Sirius forget to bow? And then Sirius didn't even properly greet their parents. Yet Sirius wasn't scolded, his mother instead told Regulus he sat down too loudly. It didn't make sense. It didn't add up. Regulus had endured a school year worth of complaints about his brother and he was being yelled at for silly reasons.
Regulus stared at the expensive cutlery beside his plate. His appetite had vanished the moment he had taken his first bite. After moving around various pieces of food on his plate, he finally chose the tastiest looking morsel of food.
"Regulus, do not chew with your mouth open!"
Regulus felt his face burn. He gulped down the piece of chicken he had been chewing slowly, "I apologize mother."
In the corner of his eye, he saw Sirius sneering at him. He couldn't exactly blame Sirius for enjoying this rare moment. It was usually Sirius who was always being yelled at and it was painfully obvious that his brother was enjoying the reversal of things.
Sometimes Regulus wished his mother would scold him more and would pay more attention to everything he did. Even if most of the attention Sirius received was negative, it was still attention and that was something Regulus didn't get enough of. True, his mother did at times spoil him, but Regulus felt this was because it got him out of the way. It kept him quiet.
During the school year, the lessons Regulus had gotten intensified tenfold when Sirius went into Gryffindor. Regulus knew the underlying reason for the additional attention was that his mother and father were terrified he would follow his brother's footsteps. So their actions were still linked to Sirius, the heir.
Regulus knew he would always be second best. His parents didn't believe he could succeed like Sirius did. Regulus would show them. He would show them all how much a better son he could be.
Sirius was always disgusted by the way Regulus would bend to his parent's wishes. It only made every little rebellious act Sirius did worse.
His mother sat through most of dinner watching Sirius or scolding at Regulus. This was very unusual because Regulus rarely did anything wrong in his mother's eyes. His father did ask him when his grades were supposed to arrive, but other than that he watched Sirius carefully as well.
Sirius had to use all his energy to appear unconcerned about even having a returning home dinner. In most families this type of dinner may have been a typical occurrence, but the Blacks were anything but normal. He was beginning to worry that they might have poisoned the food.
"Kreacher," his mother commanded and one of their house elves materialized into the room, "Go draw a bath for Regulus."
Krecher bowed and disappeared quickly.
Regulus was frowning now. "Mum…" he began.
"I'll hear none of that. You are excused to go take your bath, Regulus. I will send for you to say goodnight later on."
Regulus didn't argue further. He did send a furious glance in Sirius's direction, as if this was his entire fault. Well it might have been, since his mother and father obviously wanted their precious son occupied while they talked with Sirius.
"Sirius, you are excused to go wait in your father's office."
Sirius gulped down the rest of his water before standing.
The office was located on the second floor and it was exactly as he remembered it. Every book, paper, quill placed in its exact spot. It was as if Sirius had never left. It was as if the whole year in Gryffindor had been a dream. Sirius paced up and down finally deciding to take a seat.
He knew something like this would eventually happen. He hadn't expected to be fed a normal meal, which had completely thrown him off. Now he had no idea what to expect. He could feel his pulse racing and the dread he had been feeling only increased.
Sirius drew in a quick breath when his mother and father walked in. His mother's shoes clicked dramatically.
His father was no longer wearing the clothes he had worn during dinner. He was wearing a black outdoor cloak. His boots were shined and his gold shoe buckle glistened in the dim light.
"Stand up, boy! Do we have to re-teach you everything!"
Sirius stood up quickly, almost tripping over himself, "Sorry…" he stuttered. Always stand when an elder enters a room.
His mother glared at him and his father spoke in that deadly quiet voice that scared even grown men, "Where are you manners Sirius? You will treat your mother with the utmost respect.
His mother nodded curtly and his father allowed his mother to sit first before sitting himself.
Sirius began to sink back into his seat.
"Did I say you could be seated?"
"No, ma'am. Sorry, sir."
Never sit down in front of an elder until you are requested to take a seat. Sirius felt his face growing warm. Did they really expect him to abide by every silly rule at this moment?
The command to sit never came.
"Is that Potter boy still a friend of yours?" his father asked.
"Yes, sir," Sirius said tiredly, "He isn't a bad…"
"Excellent," his mother whispered. Sirius looked at her in utter bewilderment.
His fathers eyes gleamed darkly, "Let me tell you a story, Sirius. Once upon a time there was a pureblood girl finishing her last year of Hogwarts. The girl had everything wealth, power, pure blood and a suitor with matching qualities. Then one day the girl had a crazy notion that blood meant nothing, that wealth wasn't important, and that love and attraction were qualities to look for in a suitor. The girl was from the Prince family. As you know their line is almost as old as ours. So their only daughter marries a muggle. I can't imagine where she would even met one of those…well with her being in Slytherin especially she could have hardly had contact with those kind of sorts. She went against her parent's wishes, her friends concern and married him for love. She conceived a child, you know him, Severus Snape."
"Snape's a half-blood?" Sirius asked in astonishment. His mind reeled with this information.
"No one instructed you to speak!"
"Yes, the Prince family line has been tainted by the filthy blood of a muggle. Something that I believe the Prince's will never overcome. The muggle refuses to work, he can barely support his family and yet Eileen Snape refuses to give her only child her high-status surname. The Princes are paying and will continue paying all of the important families to turn a blind eye to the boy's origin. The Princes were taking a huge gamble, but the Snape boy seems to have inherited very little from his father. Not only was he sorted into Slytherin, something you have not, he has caught the attention of Lucius Malfoy. His knowledge of the dark arts is far above his age and he is turning out to be a great asset in Slytherin. You listen carefully, son, you are heading dangerously in the same direction as Snape's foolish mother. We will not pay people to forget your transactions. You will be cast out of the family, with no money, no food, no place to live. We have another son to take your place as heir, Sirius. You remember that next time you feel even the slightest twinge to disobey," his father took a deep breath, "Lucky for you, there is still a way out of this whole mess. Your mother has conceived an ingenious plan."
His mother began, "The Prince family is having a very extravagant party in two days. Every influential pureblood family will attend and children are expected to be there."
"I must go," his father said all of a sudden glancing down at the strange watch in his hand, "Your mother will explain to you our expectations."
"Good night," his mother said steely.
"Good night, father," Sirius said his mind still buzzing He hadn't understood the point of the story at all or where they were going with the whole discussion.
"As I was saying, all children will be in attendance and that includes you, Sirius. The news of your sorting has had months to circulate. Your absence from all of the Christmas parties spoke ill of our family. We will attend this party as a family unit. We have all been fitted for our matching robes and you will be fitted tomorrow."
His mother gave him a cold smile, "You will behave. You will respect everyone. You will remember your manners. You will not start fights, verbal or physical with anyone under any circumstance. There will be questions and you are not to argue with anything anyone says to you. Your status in the pureblood world is right now shaky, but trust me my son by the end of the party they will be begging to be your friend on the train back to Hogwarts."
Sirius didn't understand why the defiance he had felt at the beginning of the lecture seemed to be ebbing with each second. The words were in his head, on the tip of his tongue, but he couldn't find the strength to voice them.
"And if you disobey…well I am not going to list the punishments since I believe you really are sorry for all your mistakes this year. I believe that you are stopping this phase of yours because you are intelligent enough to realize the futility of going against us. You may address any questions now."
"Can I write letters to James, Remus and Peter this summer, mother?"
"You will be allowed to write each of them a letter if you behave at the party. In that letter you will explain why you cannot write to them anymore, why you can't see them anymore, and what horrible parents you have if you wish. And if you disobey, I will write a personal letter to each of your friends. I doubt if you let me write the letters that you will still have them as friends. You will bathe in the morning before the fitting, you are to go straight to bed, get out of my sight!"
Sirius turned to leave, and then stopped, "Mother?"
"Yes," there was not a trace of patience in her voice.
"If I behave, will I receive all my privileges back?"
"Privileges?" she laughed, "You will be lucky if even two of them are restored by the end of the summer. These things take time, Sirius, and it won't be easy for you but I have full confidence that soon we will be proud once more to call you our son."
Sirius quickly ran out of the office. He was stupid to suppose that his behavior during one party would erase all his wrong doings.
He went straight to his room. He was surprised to find his suitcase from Hogwarts on his bed still unpacked. He opened it up silently and on the top he noticed an unmarked envelope.
He hadn't remembered putting that in there. He tore the top open taking the letter out.
Surprise! We thought we'd write you a letter. Hopefully you will be able to read this. Our first year may have started out rocky, but it turned out to be a fantastic year. Hope your summer isn't terrible. Peter is going to France and Remus will be visiting some relatives in the countryside for the summer. I'll just be home, most likely bored out of my mind. And no matter what happens, remember we'll always be friends.
James Potter, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew
The second page was not an additional letter, but a photograph an older student had taken. It was of the four of them sitting by the fire in the Gryffindor Common Room. Sirius sat mesmerized by the photo. He had to behave, if nothing else but to ensure his friends wouldn't hate him.
Kreacher appeared into his room, "Nasty little brat! Give Kreacher that!"
Kreacher snatched the letter and photograph. Sirius's trunk also vanished. He fished inside the pockets of his school robes for his wand. He had been surprised when his mother hadn't immediately taken ownership of it.
It was gone as well. Feelings of loneliness and helplessness assaulted Sirius. As he lay down on his bed, he closed his eyes thinking back to happier times. Sirius fell asleep with a slight smile on his face.
Thanks for Reading and Review if possible.
More A/N: I decided to use the information about learning Snape is a half-blood in my story. Before I read HBP I was under the impression that Snape was a pure-blood, but skimming over my story I don't think I ever specifically addressed that issue, so I decided to throw that idea in this one with having the Prince family being a prestigious pure-blood family. I figured it would make it interesting. And even though we now know Bellatrix is the oldest, than Andromeda, and then Narcissa I'm just going to go with the opposite order as with my first story because it isn't vital to the story
On HBP, I did enjoy
the book, though it was not my favorite. I felt it was written very
differently from all the other books, which was good because it did
set up things for the 7th book. I just missed seeing
characters like Neville and the DA and we really haven't learned
anything new about Harry's parents, which I was really hoping we would.
Here are the replies to the reviews from the last chapter of Footsteps in Time: Year 1:
Kylaaa: thanks, I was hoping to end the year with something interesting and I'm glad you liked how I did it. Sorry this update is a little later then middle of august
BrennQT: Thanks so much and yea it was sad even for me to finish off the first year, at one point I was like I could write more and more, but I did want to save certain things for the other years…and Sirius will be ok, though being ok and having an unpleasant time are two very different things
Moraq Camshron: I happy to hear how realistic this story seemed because I was aiming for that. It really is annoying when Sirius and James become best friends instantly, that rarely happens in real life…there will be some more with Stone of Het Lot, though not too much
The Egyptian Sand Quill: interesting name and thanks for the review
Everkitsune: haha, I think we'd all like to lock up Mr. and Mrs. Black, but it is fun to write Sirius's struggles, thankfully he was great friends like James, Remus, and Peter (well until he does you-know-what)…thanks for reading…and for my thoughts about HBP, see above
Shadow929: haha, yes they are one of a kind…thanks for reading
Jeanne2: thank you, at first I was just going to end it without putting the whole subplot of the Stone of Het Lot, but I do think it added something to the chapter and I was really happy with the way it turned out and its good to hear that you feel the ending was well done
Mokana Deh Bunny: Thanks! I hope you enjoy the sequel as well
Moony391: yes I am ! hope you enjoy it
JoJo: sorry its taken longer than I expected to update, but I did want the first chapter to be good, thanks for the review