Summary: Dumbledore needs a sponsor for the Order. Sirius has volunteered (grudgingly) for the job. But through what hoops will he have to jump to get his vault back from his mother? OFC. Romance.A/N: This is going to be a story with an OFC. I promise I will not make her a Mary Sue, but you do need to know that this is going to be a full blown romance novel type tale. If you don't like that sort of thing, well, you know the gist.
But what I will say is that the story and the plot won't just be between Sirius and my OFC. It won't be mushy lovey dovey sort of stuff, in fact, just the opposite.
I'm writing this story specifically for all of you who love Sirius Black and really really want to read more of him, and really really miss him, like I do. But perhaps, my main propulsion for starting it was my cousin, who really wanted to read a romance with Sirius as the protagonist, whom she absolutely adores.
Essentially, this story will be a series, which will be divided in to two parts. The first part, which I'm estimating will be somewhere between ten to twenty chapters, will be set in 1981, a couple of months before Voldemort's death.
Also, I'm rating this story M (in other words, R) because of some iffy chapters. However, I do not believe Part One of the story will be M, so it's safe to read it for now. If there is a chapter that I think is iffy, I will inform you beforehand.
Without further engagement I present to you Delaying the Heart.
Dumbledore had never been able to produce an actual location for the Order of the Phoenix headquarters. Mostly because it would have taken a long time to assemble all the wards that would prevent it from getting discovered, but also because no previous location had ever been safe enough. It was agreed upon by all the Order members that the past locations had been a bit of a joke, ranging from the bizarre to the truly disgusting.
The first was unanimously voted as Hogwarts. This was alright for the summer holidays, but when school started up again there would no doubt be questions among the students as to why strange people could be seen walking in and out of Hogwarts at all hours of the day and night, when, to their knowledge, it wasn't actually allowed.
Dumbledore came up with a solution six weeks into the summer holidays. Most Order members hadn't particularly fancied this new location of Dumbledore's, which had been in a small abandoned muggle business office on the offside of a public loo. The Order members discovered why the office was abandoned one second upon arriving there, and they were often inclined to complain on the constant smell of sewage permeating the area.
The third location had been in the back of a large four-tonner truck that Dumbledore had "borrowed" from a muggle mechanic shop. With the help of some blind eyes, a couple of exchanged palms, and the added bonus of a few memory charms, it made for a very cold and very cramped location, even with the additional enlargement spells Dumbledore had placed. There had been a lot of grumbling from the Order members about the lack of furniture and poor lighting, but Dumbledore reminded them, in the nicest possible way, that there were more important things to be grumbling about.
The fourth and final location was a cosy one-story cottage Dumbledore had actually purchased from a bunch of muggles out in the country. Everyone decided it was, by far, the most hospitable location. It even had a little white picket fence bordering the property along with the hundreds of roses the previous owner's wife apparently had an obsession for.
But one good thing did come from this all; everyone agreed that the constant changing of locations would safeguard against the enemy ever finding them.
The cottage in question was now in uproar.
Or, to be more specific, the cottage's living room was now in uproar, because this was where all the Order members were gathered. Most were sitting on squishy armchairs that boasted quite a large number of pale frills (they had always known the headmaster was a bit nutty). Others were perched on dining chairs, pouffes, beanbags, and, in the case of Dumbledore, a large red chintz wingchair that the headmaster himself had transfigured just that morning.
Dumbledore was sitting in the chair with fingers threaded, looking the part of the benevolent old wizard that he was known for. He had decided to wear a spectacular midnight blue creation this day, which hosted several large gold stars and quite a number of smaller silver ones that would twinkle in and out on occasion, playfully changing their positions on his robes, making completely new patterns. Right now they were forming to spell the word SOCKS. Later they will change again into something else that Dumbledore likes, but right now they will stay as they are.
Dumbledore was unaware of this. Or more to the point, he was aware that his robes had a mind of their own, but he wasn't aware that they were having a mind of their own right at this very moment, or that they were spelling out his favourite item of clothing. He was too engaged in what was happening in front of him to notice anything that was happening on him. Besides, what was happening in front of him was much more attention-getting right now. In fact, no member of the Order had even noticed Dumbledore's unconventional robes, as they were too preoccupied with what was taking place as well.
Angry exclamations were filtering through the room. They had been filtering ever since five minutes ago when Dumbledore had confessed about a most unfortunate circumstance.
Mutterings of "It's so unfair," and "Not now, by Merlin!" were distinguishable from the ruckus. Dumbledore raised his hands, imploring silence, of which he got. No matter the situation, the headmaster always commanded respect, bordering on reverence.
"Please calm down. The situation is not that adverse."
"Not that adverse?" Emmeline Vance spoke out, leaning forward a little awkwardly from her beanbag. "You must be joking Dumbledore? Without gold the Order doesn't exist! Who'll counteract You-Know-Who if where not there? Certainly not the ministry fools!"
There was a whisper of agreement among those present.
Dumbledore sighed, looking more tired than he ever had in the passed few months. It was true what they said about the Ministry, of course, otherwise he never would have founded the Order. But Dumbledore was a firm believer in hope. And if there were people willing to do the right thing for the right cause, there was always hope. It might have been a little hard to find in these dark times, but it was there. The Order was proof of that.
"We still have enough left to last the month," said Dumbledore, determined not to show how tired he really felt. "We will come up with something before then I'm sure. But I cannot continue funding this organization on my own. What we really need is a sponsor. Preferably one who will offer us all their support; one we do not have to lie to under falsified circumstances. My Muggle Awareness Fund only gets so many donations a month. I cannot continue to provide when the public does not."
Everyone glanced at each other, feeling a bit more than guilty that they had heaped their comments on Dumbledore. It wasn't his fault that the Muggle Awareness Fund wasn't prospering. Not many witches and wizards particularly cared about muggle doings.
Dumbledore watched the Order converse for a few seconds, let them ponder his words. He allowed his eyes to flick unobtrusively over the group of twenty or so witches and wizards. Inevitably, they first landed on Hagrid, who was squished in a particularly large and fluffy beanbag. He was speaking animatedly with Aberforth, most likely about something that had nothing to do with the situation at hand. Dumbledore wasn't angry or worried. He had already spoken to his brother and Hagrid a few days before about the financial problem that had not so suddenly struck the Order. He had asked for their advice in what to do to help the situation along, and they'd had some suggestions, but Dumbledore had not thought they would do the trick.
For instance, Hagrid's idea of breeding chimaeras at the edge of the Forbidden Forest then selling the chimaeras to those who were interested in their magical properties (Potion Masters, Herbologists, Apothecaries, and so on) would certainly break some laws in The Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures Legislation Agreement. And Aberforth's suggestion of setting up a cheese curdling business would not have brought that much money in, despite Aberforth's assurance that Eloise, his faithful goat, would have plenty of milk in store.
No, no matter how helpful their suggestions, they just weren't practical, which was one of the reasons why Dumbledore decided to finally tell the rest of the Order and see what they made of it.
But watching the Order now, letting his eyes rest on the group of friends sitting together on assorted beanbags and pouffes, appearing just that much distanced from the rest, Dumbledore allowed his to mind trail to the realm of possibilities.
This group of friends were tight knit in the true sense of the term. They had known each other since Hogwarts, and still remained friends even now. They had one goal in life currently, as had most of the Order — to eliminate the darkest Lord ever to enter the wizarding world. They each had their own reasons for doing so, whether it be friendship, inevitability, spite, revenge, goodness, and a number of other things. Yes, they were exceptional, and Dumbledore couldn't be prouder of them, even though, at times, he wished they'd never had to see so much violence and pain in their youth. Dumbledore had always been a firm believer in living out your life to the fullest, especially when you were young. He sighed inwardly; these five would not be getting that.
The realm of possibilities Dumbledore had earlier entertained now became quite the reality in his old, wizened mind, particularly as he let his gaze rest on young Sirius Black. He wasn't speaking at all, wasn't contributing to the discussions, just staring pensively at a spot on the carpet below him.
The young Black, Dumbledore knew, would have enough money to fund the Order, but he was estranged from his family, hated them in fact, and Dumbledore would no sooner ask him to end that estrangement than jump of a cliff. Unless of course, he decided himself . . . Yes, it just might work.
"I am open to suggestions."
The conversations promptly came to a halt.
"I imagine that you've had quite the length of time suitable to think up some useful ideas for our dilemma," Dumbledore prodded when no one said anything.
Dedalus Diggle stood up from a flowery pink armchair. He straightened his top hat a bit before beginning. "Frank and I, well we were thinking . . . What about setting up another organization? One that cares for sick children perhaps?"
Alastor Moody, sitting opposite the short wizard, shook his head and humped as words of agreement filled the room from nearly everyone else.
Dumbledore spoke quickly before Alastor had a chance to open his mouth and say something upsetting. "That will not work, Dedalus. It needs to be something obscure, otherwise the eyes of the public will fall on us. They will start to wonder why their money hasn't gone to the unfortunate children. There will be questions, and we will not have the answers. Besides, we have St Mungo's for that very thing."
Sighs of disappointment accompanied that statement. Dedalus sat down awkwardly, took his hat off, and started fiddling with it.
"As I said before," Dumbledore continued, glancing discreetly at the group of young people to his left, "we need a sponsor. If you know of anyone responding to our cause, please say so now."
There was silence.
Dumbledore knew everyone was racking their memories on behalf of his request at this moment, and he loved them for that. He knew they were thinking that the Ministry and those that worked under it were too corrupted, too infiltrated by various characters of the more odious kind. They knew that anyone with a vault full of money was either a pureblood Death Eater, or well on his way to becoming one. James Potter was the exception of course, but the problem was that he did not have nearly as much money as certain other pureblood families. Like the Black's for instance.
As soon as Dumbledore had the thought, the silence was broken by a low voice.
"I'll do it."
Inwardly the headmaster beamed, (in fact he had an urge to chuckle at the absurdness of the situation, even though he had no doubt that the boy had seen right through his act) but outwardly he simply smiled at Sirius, acknowledging the sacrificial young man with a respectful incline of his head. "Thank you my boy," he told him.
"Well," James Potter said, looking entirely shocked as he stared at his best friend. "That's settled then."
A/N: The prologue is naturally going to be shorter than the rest of the chapters. So no need to worry.
Tell me what you think.
P.S. Have a poke at my other stories, which aren't yet completed, (but they will be, seeing as I'm going to be alternating between writing them and this one) but I think they're worth it at least.