I really like the character of Molly Weasley, really, but I was re-reading the Order of the Phoenix and the part when she kept on telling Sirius that it wasn't up to him to decide what was good for Harry and what wasn't…and I got a bit ticked off, I couldn't help it! So I decided to type this out…
I'm his Godfather, for Merlin's sake!
"How dare she! She had no right to say that! She made it sound as though it was my fault that I was stuck in that bloody place for 12 bloody years!" growled Sirius, pacing up and down in the living room, looking livid.
"Sirius, calm down," said Lupin, rubbing his eyes wearily, "You know what Molly's like…she's just really protective over Harry, you know? She wants to make sure he's safe and sound just as much as you do."
"That's not the point Moony," snapped Sirius, "Yeah, she cares about him, and I'm really grateful about that. But I'm his godfather. Doesn't that count as anything?" Lupin looked up as he thought he heard voices in the corridor leading to the front door, before shaking his head and turning back to his irate best-friend.
"Sirius – "
" – I've put up with her all this time Remus," continued Sirius, "When they all moved in here, I put up with her horrified comments on the house and all the other things that are here, not to mention her snide comments about me being exactly like the rest of the horrid people that happened to be my family," he paused, breathing heavily, "And then I put up with her talking about Harry and pointedly showing me that I may be his godfather, but I know nothing about him…and now…and now she comments on my stay in Azkaban!"
"Sirius, I think you need – " Lupin sighed inwardly as he saw the glare his best-friend was sending his way, " – to sit down, and take a few deep breaths." Sirius paid no heed to him. "OK, Sirius, yes, I admit that what she said was wrong, but – "
" – But what, Moony? But what?" interrupted Sirius, his grey eyes glinting, "Don't tell me…don't tell me that you agree with what she said…"
"Sirius, don't be stupid," said Lupin, frowning, "I would never agree with that. I'm simply saying that she does have Harry's best interests at heart – "
" – And wasn't it nice how she mentioned my 'rashness' and my orders from Dumbledore?" went on Sirius, not caring that he had interrupted his friend for the third time now, "And she called me an irresponsible godfather Remus! An irresponsible godfather!"
"Sirius," said Lupin, walking forward and putting his hands on his best-friend's shoulders, "Calm down. Look at you, getting so worked up. Stop it; it's not doing you any good." He tried to lead him to one of the armchairs next to the fire, but Sirius resisted.
"You don't understand, Moony…" he said, moving roughly away from him, "Harry may not be my son, but that doesn't mean that I don't care about him. If there's anything I can do for him, to make him happy, I'd do it immediately…and yes, I haven't been able to do that for the first thirteen years of his life, but I try to make up for the absence in his life Moony, I really do…" He stopped, sighing heavily. "It's my fault that Harry's in this situation…I know that…"
"Sirius – "
" – No, Remus, it is. If I hadn't been such a smartass and persuaded James to make Peter the Secret-Keeper, none of this would have happened; Harry would have his parents, I would have James…and everyone would have been happy." Sirius stopped again, bowing his head, "I owe Harry, Remus, for what happened to his parents…and one day I will pay him back for everything that he has gone through because of me. But…when Molly said that…about me being irresponsible and absent from Harry's life in the beginning…about me being in Azkaban – " his voice broke, " – that hurts, Moony…that really does."
Lupin watched as Sirius turned his head away from him and stared at the fire, his face white. His heart went out to his friend. He had never heard him sound so down…so hurt. There was an awkward silence in the living-room, as Lupin stared at Sirius, who was staring at the fire.
"Sirius, why don't you go upstairs and get some sleep?" suggested Lupin, at last, unable to bear the silence anymore, "I'm sure you'll feel at least a bit better afterwards…"
"Sleep? Remus, do you know what I see, every time I close my eyes and try to sleep?" asked Sirius, not turning his face away from the fire, "I see the house…their house, in Godric's Hollow. I see it burning, Remus…the second floor almost caving in…" Lupin's face had turned an unpleasant shade of white. "I see James…lying on the ground and looking like he's just…taking a nap…" Lupin was gripping the top of an armchair, for support, "I see Lily, lying on her side, facing…facing a small child…" When Sirius next looked at him, Lupin was forced to draw in a sharp breath. The grey eyes were shining brightly…with…tears.
"I killed them, Remus…I as good as killed them…" Sirius' voice had dropped to a whisper, and he was shaking rather uncontrollably.
"Sirius – " Lupin flinched as Sirius backed away from his, his eyes over-bright. " – Please, Sirius, you have to stop this…"
"What did I do, Moony? What did I do, to James and Lily?"
"You did nothing but what they would have done if they were in your place and wanted to ensure that you were hidden safely." Lupin turned around as he heard the familiar brisk, almost stern voice. Sure enough, Minerva McGonagall was standing behind them, dressed in green robes, and with her dark hair in its usual bun.
"Minerva," he said, smiling weakly at her as she entered the living room. He thought he saw a pink head move away quietly, into the kitchen, and knew that Tonks was around as well, "Did you just arrive?"
"Yes, Tonks let me in," said Minerva, briskly, before she walked towards Sirius, who was staring at her out of hollow eyes, "Now what's this about you killing Lily and James?" Lupin saw Sirius flinch as she said that, though McGonagall didn't seem to care, "You wanted to make sure that there was no way that anything could happen to them, so you asked them to make the switch at the last minute. And to show you how good you were, no one knew. Even Albus didn't know…and that's saying something. Yes, the last minute switch did end up with James and Lily being killed and with you being wrongly sent to Azkaban, but you didn't know, Sirius. You didn't know who the spy was, and no-one would have guessed that it was Pettigrew." McGonagall stopped, glaring at her former student, "Honestly, looking at you, one wouldn't guess that you're the reason why I got a load of grey hairs between 1971 and 1977."
"…Sorry…" mumbled Sirius, still trembling.
"And will you stop trembling like that?" snapped McGonagall, reaching forward and grabbing his arm. She dragged him towards the armchair that Lupin had previously tried to drag him to. Perhaps it was because McGonagall was older than him…or perhaps it was because McGonagall had been the only teacher that Sirius hadn't dared to irritate too much…what ever it was, he allowed himself to be lead to the armchair, and he even sat down with protesting. "Good," said McGonagall, sitting down on the chair opposite him, "Remus, there's no need for you to continue standing…" Nodding, Lupin sat down on the chair next to Sirius, wondering what McGonagall was going to do.
"I know what Molly said, Sirius," said McGonagall, quietly, "And I know that it has affected you, quite naturally, in fact. But I must explain something to you first, Sirius. Molly is simply worried about what would happen to Harry if he ends up knowing too much. You remember her brothers, don't you? Gideon and Fabian Prewett; former members of the Order? You remember what happened to them? How they were brutally killed? You do? Well, do you know why they were murdered? For knowing too much," McGonagall nodded as Lupin stared at her, "Yes, You Know Who knew that they knew a lot about the Order…and that they knew a little too much about him and his plans…so he eradicated them. Molly is simply afraid that the same thing will happen to Harry, if he is told too much about the Order."
"…Yeah…" said Sirius, not sounding like he'd been listening to what McGonagall was saying.
"Sirius Black!" Lupin smiled as his friend jumped up, startled.
"Y – Yes?" he asked, glancing at McGonagall, and looking rather surprised. McGonagall hid her smile well. Her sharp, authoritative tone always managed to get people's attention.
"Listen to me, Sirius, I can understand what you're going through right now," said McGonagall, her voice gentle, "You're stuck in a house you never wanted to return to, you have to deal with being unable to go outside even for a small walk, you have to bear everyone's comments about the Black family, and you now you have to handle everything that Molly said, about you being irresponsible, rash, and…a 'new addition' to Harry's life, when compared to her…" McGonagall shook her head, "No, I didn't overhear that, Tonks told me about it when she let me in," she said, seeing Lupin raising an eyebrow at her.
"…She didn't have to say those things," mumbled Sirius, seeming to find his voice, "…Like I said before, I know that she cares about Harry…but he's my godson. I have a right to look after him too!"
"Of course you do," said McGonagall, nodding, "But Molly's just feeling insecure. She's almost lost one son, Sirius, with Percy cutting off all ties he has with the family…I guess she's afraid of losing anyone else that she cares about…"
"I understand that," said Sirius, hoarsely, "But…what about me then? I didn't even have much of a family, to begin with…then I lost Regulus to Voldermort…and then my best friend, almost my brother, and his wife, and was stuck in Azkaban for something I didn't do, for twelve years." He took a deep breath, "Shouldn't she try and understand that? She doesn't need to remind me about being absent from the most part of Harry's life; I know that I wasn't there for him…I know it all too well. Everyone thinks about her – and I am really sorry about what happened with Percy, I really am – and tries to keep her from getting hurt…but…" Sirius paused, "But what about me? I mean, regardless of what you people may think, I'm human too you know…" He attempted a weak grin.
"So…you want us to pity you too?" questioned McGonagall, quirking an eyebrow. Sirius scowled immediately.
"Of course not!" he snapped, loudly, "I hate being pitied!"
"Then…what is it that you want us to do?" asked McGonagall, "We try and keep Molly from getting hurt, because we pity her and the situation she's in…so if that's what you want…"
"All I'm asking is that…well, people be a little considerate towards me as well…" said Sirius, quietly. Lupin smiled. If there was one thing that Sirius Black hated, it was being pitied.
"I never thought the day would come when Sirius Black would turn soft," said McGonagall, slowly.
"Yeah," said Sirius, giving a bark-like laugh, "But you didn't think that the day would come when Sirius Black would waste away in Azkaban either, did you?" Lupin looked hurriedly at McGonagall, not liking the turn the conversation had taken. The last thing he wanted was for his best-friend to start talking about Azkaban and needlessly upset himself.
"Well, I have to admit, there were times when I used to think that I wouldn't mind if you had to go on trial and face some sort of punishment from the Ministry," admitted McGonagall, "Especially in your sixth year."
"Hey! It wasn't my fault that Snivellus was being a prat! Besides, the multi-coloured hairdo suited him much better than the usual black. He looked less like a vampire with the multi-coloured hair," exclaimed Sirius.
"Really? And I suppose that it didn't matter that he had to go around with the…multi-coloured hair for two weeks?" asked McGonagall, amused.
"Of course it didn't matter! I'm telling you, I did him a favour," said Sirius, "I mean, no-one would've spoken about him as much as they did during those two-weeks, if I hadn't done that, you know. I was just helping Snivellus rise in popularity…"
"I'm sure you were," said McGonagall, pursing her lips, "And it's not Snivellus, Sirius, it's Severus." Sirius shrugged casually.
"Severus, Snivellus, it all amounts to the same thing; a greasy, slimy little git," he said, glancing at Lupin as he nudged him hard. McGonagall shook her head.
"It's no wonder that he still hates you…" she said, sighing.
"Tell him the feeling's completely mutual," said Sirius, lightly, "'Coz I – " he broke off, yawning. That was Lupin's cue to stand up and get involved.
"OK, that's your bedtime Sirius," he said, standing in front of him, "C'mon…"
"I'm not a kid…I can stay up…" mumbled Sirius, in between yawns.
"I don't know about that, Padfoot…" said Lupin, smiling as Sirius attempted to scowl at him, "Come on Padfoot…on your feet…" Supporting a staggering Sirius, he turned around and smiled at McGonagall, "Will you be staying overnight here, Minerva?"
"No, I'm only staying until Albus and Mad-Eye arrive…" said McGonagall, "Good night Sirius…"
"…'Night, Professor…" mumbled Sirius, quite forgetting that she wasn't his Professor anymore, before Lupin quietly led him up the stairs. McGonagall leaned back in the chair she was sitting on, a small smile appearing on her face. Somehow or the other, she always ended up running into her former students, no matter what she did. She wouldn't dream of telling them this, but she always found it refreshing to be able to use the old authority she had when they were still in school, even many years later, when they were older and more mature.
The smile disappeared from her face as she remembered the pranks that the 'Marauders'; James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew had played on a large number of people during their seven years at Hogwarts. If someone had told her that the adult Sirius Black would look grim and wouldn't be as carefree as he used to be, she would have probably laughed in their face; she, along with quite a lot of other people, had been certain that Sirius Black would never change or calm down. She guessed that spending over a decade in Azkaban could do a lot to change people.
"Minerva?" She looked up as Tonks walked into the living-room, holding a cup of tea in her hands, "Here…"
"Why, thank you, Tonks," she said, taking the tea, "I wonder how long Albus and Mad-Eye will take…" Tonks sat down opposite her, on the chair Sirius had been occupying before.
"Did you…er, speak to him?" she asked, making sure that no-one else was around.
"Yes, I did," said McGonagall, sipping her tea, "You were right; he was really affected by what Molly said…" She frowned, "I was wondering whether I should talk to her about it…but I doubt whether I'll have the time to do that."
"If you spoke to him about it, I doubt whether there'll be any need to talk to Molly as well," said Tonks, reasonably, "Besides, I have a feeling that Remus will be speaking to her later…" McGonagall nodded. Yes, she had had that feeling as well. Whatever it was, she just hoped that things of the same sort wouldn't happen again in the future. There were too few of them, fighting against the dark-side, to have them fight amongst each other.
"I'm going to talk to mum about it tomorrow," said Ginny, breaking the silence in the small room that she shared with Hermione. She flopped down on the bed, sighing. "I just can't believe that she said those things…I always thought that mum was considerate…"
"She is considerate Ginny," said Hermione, sitting down on her own bed, "I guess the pressure of everything was just getting to her…" She gave a resigned sigh, "But, yes, it was wrong of her to say that Sirius had no right to decide what was good to Harry…and all the Azkaban stuff…"
"When you told me that she said that, I really didn't believe you," said Ginny, smiling, "I thought that, well, you misheard something. But what I just heard – " Ginny gulped, "Did you hear how hurt he sounded, 'Mione?" Hermione nodded. After Sirius, Lupin and the rest of the Order who were staying overnight at Grimmauld Place told her, Harry, Ron, Fred and George what was going on, everyone had gone back upstairs to sleep. After Mrs. Weasley had peeped into all of their rooms to make sure that they were asleep, she had told Ginny everything that had been said (Ginny had been told that she was too young, and had been asked to leave). Ginny hadn't really believed her when she told her what Mrs. Weasley had said to Sirius.
A few hours later, she had been woken up by Ginny who complained that she was hungry, and they were going downstairs to try and grab something from the kitchen, when they had heard Sirius and Lupin talking in the living-room. They had listened to everything that Sirius said, and everything that Professor McGonagall had said, but didn't end up getting anything to eat as Lupin had taken Sirius upstairs, to his room. She and Ginny had sprinted quietly up the stairs and had disappeared into their room just in time, as Lupin and Sirius walked past it.
"Do you really think that it'll be wise to talk to Mrs. Weasley about it? I mean, she would know for sure that we told you everything that they told us then…" said Hermione, thoughtfully.
"Yeah, but if I don't tell her, who will? Ron? He's not tactful at all, Hermione, and you know that," said Ginny, "And Fred and George…well, they wouldn't dare. I'm the only one that can tell her." Hermione nodded.
"You're right," she said, yawning, "Well, I don't know about you, but I'm really tired."
"Yeah, me too," agreed Ginny, settling down comfortably on her bed, "Good night, Hermione."
The next day:
Lupin shooed Hermione and Ginny out of the kitchen after they finished their dinner and offered to stay behind and wash the dishes. Assuring them that washing the dishes was something he could do properly, he waited until they left, before glancing around the kitchen and making sure that there was no-one else inside. It was just him and Molly.
"Oh, Remus," said Molly, seeing him, "What are you doing? Leave those dishes dear, Ginny can – "
" – No, that's alright, I told Ginny that I'd do them," said Lupin, smiling at the older woman, "Here, I'll take those…" He took the pile of dirty plates from Molly's hands and heading towards the sink in the corner of the kitchen. He had decided last night that he was going to have to talk to her about what she had said to Sirius. He himself hadn't known how affected Sirius had been until he had almost broken down, later on. And he knew that Sirius' condition wasn't too stable for him to successfully recover from a breakdown.
"Oh, right…" said Molly, turning her attention to the table, "I'll just clean this then…"
"Molly…" said Lupin, starting slowly.
"I was wondering if I could talk to you…about something," he continued, hoping against hope that she wouldn't tell him that she was in no mood to talk about anything.
"Talk to me? About what?" asked Molly, after a small pause.
"Well, yesterday, during – "
" – Are you going to tell me off for what I said to Sirius yesterday too?" asked Molly, interrupting him. He turned around to face her, raising his eyebrows. She had said 'too'…who else had spoken to her about it?
"Er…well…yes, I was just going to talk to you about it…" he said, "Who, uh, who else did that?"
"Ginny," said Molly, shaking her head, "She came down before anyone else this morning, and saw me alone in the kitchen, and just…well, told me off for what I said…"
"Ginny?" echoed Lupin, confused, "But…she wasn't there yesterday, when you…said those things…"
"Obviously, her brothers, Harry or Hermione must've told her everything," said Molly, sighing, "She gave me quite a lecture, actually, about how I should be considerate towards other people if I wanted them to be considerate towards me, and how I should bear in mind that it's Sirius' house that we're staying in, and that there's a certain degree of tact that needs to be used when talking to someone who's been through a lot like Sirius has, and how I was being cruel by bringing up the Azkaban thing, and how he could have retaliated by talking about…Percy…" She gave Lupin a watery smile, "She's quite eloquent, my daughter…"
"Oh…er, yeah…" said Lupin, returning Molly's smile before turning back around, to resume washing the dishes. The smile stayed on his face as he washed his hand and took his wand out. He had started manually washing the dishes, thinking that talking to Molly would take a while and that he'd much rather have something to do while doing it. Now that there was no reason for him to talk to her about yesterday's events, he might as well hurry up and use magic to do the job, so that he could run upstairs and thank Ginny Weasley.
"I was wrong…and I know it…" admitted Molly, sighing, "I'll apologize to him later…" Lupin gave her a bright smile, before waving his wand at the dishes. Now, he had to talk to Sirius and get him to agree to accept her apology.
Well, I hope that was good. There's no evidence that McGonagall came to Grimmauld Place later than night, but I just included her there for the sake of the fic.
Reviews are most welcome – reviews of every kind! It's good to know what we need to improve on.
See ya then,