Disclaimer: This story is based on Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's/Philosopher's Stone which is not mine.
At first glance, anyone would think those living at Black Manor were the most normal of families. That is, of course, if Black Manor could be seen by normal people for those living in the large house were anything but normal. Sirius Black, the Master of the house, was in fact a wizard. He worked at the Ministry of Magic as an Auror, the wizarding version of a police officer. He had been instrumental in the capture of many dark wizards and was extremely well known throughout the wizarding world. After the end of the war and the defeat of the dark wizard Voldemort, Sirius Black made it his personal mission to send anyone associated with Voldemort to Azkaban.
It also didn't hurt that Sirius Black was a rather good looking man. The newspapers loved printing his picture whenever there was an article about him. He was average height but well built, although not overly so. His grey eyes and short black hair that fell into his eyes gave him a youthfulness look that added to the jokester attitude which had become his trademark. Sirius had an aristocratic look about him which wasn't surprising since he was a member of one of the few pure-blooded wizarding families remaining in existence. He had been one of the few purebloods to oppose Voldemort, making him an outcast among purebloods.
Until Voldemort was defeated by a mere child.
Not much was known about Voldemort's defeat and even less was revealed to the public. All that was known was that Voldemort was seeking out the Potter twins and managed to find them with the help of the traitor, Peter Pettigrew. Peter had betrayed his friends by joining Voldemort's followers, the Death Eaters. He had kept his betrayal a secret for nearly a year, gaining the trust of his friends to be named the Secret Keeper for the Potters when they went into hiding under the Fidelius Charm. With the Fidelius Charm, the location of the Potters was magically concealed inside Peter Pettigrew's soul. Only Peter could reveal their location. Only Peter could betray them.
Sirius had been the first choice as the Secret Keeper but with the demands of his job, he had claimed it had been too dangerous. He was fighting Death Eaters every day. If he had been captured, there was a chance the secret could have been forced out of him. He couldn't risk the lives of his godsons that way. Hayden and Harry Potter were too important to him to take that risk. They were the reason he fought as hard as he did to make the wizarding world a better place for them.
However, Sirius' efforts weren't enough to prevent the attack on Godric's Hollow on Halloween night when the twins were only a year old. James and Lily Potter had been called away to an emergency meeting of the Order of the Phoenix, leaving the twins with a child minder. The Order was a private group led by the Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Albus Dumbledore. This group was comprised of witches and wizards with a large variety of occupations, determined to stop Voldemort. The Ministry was doing what they could but there were too many politicians and spies for Voldemort within its walls. No one could be trusted so the Order was created.
Halfway through the Order meeting, the alarms sounded alerting everyone that the wards at Godric's Hollow had been breached. The entire Order hurried to Godric's Hollow to find the Potter's house nearly destroyed. James and Lily ran to the nursery followed by Sirius and their close friend, Remus Lupin. They had hoped and prayed that by some miracle the nearly identical twins had been spared with every step. The mere possibility of their death was inconceivable.
Entering the nursery, the four adults had been shocked to find Hayden sitting on the floor, silently crying as he held his unconscious brother, Harry. Harry's face was covered with blood and his breathing was labored. Sirius pulled Harry out of Hayden's arms and rushed him to Hogwarts while everyone else checked on Hayden. While Harry fought to stay alive, Hayden was announced as the-boy-who-lived, the defeater of Voldemort. While the wizarding world celebrated, the Order retreated to Hogwarts and waited for word on the injured twin. Harry made a slow recovery. He had suffered from magical exhaustion and had a scar on his forehead in the shape of a lightening bolt. Harry's injuries had been explained as a result of being caught in the cross fire between Hayden and Voldemort.
No one questioned the declaration.
Much had changed in the nine-and-a-half years since that night. Most of the changes were events that no one talked about. The Potters went back into hiding unless they were asked to make an appearance with the-boy-who-lived. For nearly three and a half years after that night, the Potters were on the front page of the wizarding paper, 'The Daily Prophet', at least once a week with Hayden placed proudly between them. Then, another event happened, another that no one other than those involved knew about. The Potter's retreated into solitude with their son, Hayden, and their daughter, Rose. They never spoke to Sirius Black and Remus Lupin again.
Sirius and Remus were deeply hurt by the cold shoulder from their best friends but couldn't waste too much time worrying about it. They had to help each other in raising Sirius' son, Orion. No one knew the special circumstance resulting in Orion's existence. They knew Orion Black was adopted and, by the aid of a potion, was Sirius' actual son. He looked exactly like Sirius except for his eyes, his intense green eyes. Nothing was said about Orion's birth parents, not even to Orion. All Orion knew was that he had a father who loved him more than life itself and an Uncle who was the voice of reason in their family.
Orion remembered nothing of his life before his adoption. At first, it had been awkward to be a five-year-old with no memories but Orion had quickly formed plenty of memories with his father, Uncle, Grandfather (Albus Dumbledore), and quite a few students at Hogwarts. Orion visited the school once a month because the manor was deemed unsafe for him. During the full moon, Remus turned into a werewolf and couldn't be trusted not to hurt Orion. The werewolf was completely uncontrollable. Sirius could only stay in the house because he was an Animagus (someone who could transform at will into an animal). That excuse worked for a few years but when Orion had successfully become an Animagus, his monthly visits to Hogwarts remained.
"It's not that I don't trust you, son," Sirius had told him. "It's just something I don't want to you see until you're older. Moony's transformation is extremely painful and you know how much he hates us feeling sorry for him. When you're older, we'll ask Moony what he thinks, all right?"
Moony was Remus' nickname from when he had attended Hogwarts. Sirius and Remus had formed a group with their friends, James Potter and Peter Pettigrew called the Marauders. They had been the pranksters that everyone loved to laugh with and dreaded being a victim of. Sirius, James and Peter had become Animagi in their fifth year to help Remus through his monthly transformations. Sirius was a large black dog named Padfoot, James was a stag called Prongs and Peter had been a rat called Wormtail. Sirius and Remus hadn't told Orion much of their time at Hogwarts with the Marauders. Mentioning James and Peter was still extremely painful for them. They had been betrayed by Peter and shunned by James. In their minds, there were only two members left of the Marauders.
In the Black household, Orion liked to think of himself as normal but truthfully, he was anything but. At the age of six, Orion began having problems with accidental magic forcing Sirius and Remus to begin his magical education earlier than expected. He received a temporary wand from Dumbledore and immediately tried out everything he could. His education continued at Hogwarts where students taught him charms, spells and transfiguration they learned in their lessons. In his early visits, Orion had taken an instant liking to the Weasley brothers and his second cousin Nymphadora Tonks. Bill and Charlie Weasley treated Orion like a little brother. Charlie let Orion participate in Quidditch practices (the most popular sport in the wizarding world) and Bill let Orion 'help' with his Prefect and even Head Boy duties when Orion had been eight-years-old.
When Bill left Hogwarts, Orion formed a friendship with a Hufflepuff named Cedric Diggory. Both of them had a love for Quidditch and knew what it was like to be an only child. Orion still spent time with Charlie but instead of spending all of his time with Gryffindors, he alternated with the Hufflepuffs. As much as he loved the Gryffindors, Orion knew the house was probably the most biased. To Gryffindors, Slytherins were evil, Ravenclaws were bookworms and Hufflepuffs were pushovers. Orion didn't agree. To him, Hufflepuffs were extremely nice and understanding, Ravenclaws kept to themselves and Slytherins believed that the world was out to get them.
Out of the faculty at Hogwarts, Orion was closest to Professor Dumbledore, obviously, followed by Professor McGonagall (Head of Gryffindor House and Transfiguration teacher) and Professor Flitwick (Head of Ravenclaw House and Charms teacher). Professor Sprout, the Herboloby teacher, was the Head of Hufflepuff house so Orion knew her from his nights in the Hufflepuff dorms. All of the teachers were extremely nice and understanding except for Professor Snape, the Head of Slytherin and Potions teacher. Professor Snape had strongly disliked Orion the moment he started coming to Hogwarts. For a while, Orion avoided Professor Snape and had even begun reading Potions books out of fear that Snape would treat him as bad as everyone claimed. The day finally came when Orion accompanied Cedric to a Potions class. Professor Snape had grudgingly allowed Orion to stay but only if Orion worked on his own potion. Orion jumped at the chance and successfully created a Swelling Solution. Professor Snape reluctantly admitted that Orion had potential and from then on simply ignored Orion unless Orion sought Professor Snape out.
As the years passed, Orion saw many of his friends at Hogwarts graduate and move on while making new friends. The Weasley twins were only two years older than him and strongly reminded him of his father. Fred and George Weasley were pranksters at heart, doing whatever they could for a laugh. Although Orion never participated in the pranks pulled, he never did anything to stop them. Orion still participated in Quidditch practices for the Gryffindor team and had become an impressive Seeker. He had learned a lot from Charlie and had managed to mix that with his own style of flying. Oliver Wood, Charlie's replacement as Team Captain had told Orion that if he had been a student, he would be on the team. Unfortunately, Orion would have to wait until he was twelve for the opportunity since first year students weren't allowed to be on Quidditch teams.
The morning Orion received his very own Hogwarts acceptance letter seemed to arrive too quickly for the majority of the occupants in the Black Manor. For the past week, Orion had woken extremely early to check for the morning post in hope to find his Hogwarts letter. In the wizarding world, post wasn't delivered by a person but by owl. It wasn't the most advanced way to deliver post but it was the way it was done.
For the seventh morning in a row, Orion jumped out of bed at the crack of dawn, rushed down the staircase and into the kitchen only to see that there was a tawny owl standing on the kitchen table. The owl was holding an envelope made of yellowish parchment in it's beak as it stared at Orion. Taking a closer look, Orion could make out the emerald green ink on the envelope. The letter was indeed addressed to him.
Tentatively, Orion reached out towards the owl and shakily took the letter. He stared at the address with a smile on his face as the owl flew out of the kitchen.
Mr. O. Black
12 Grimmauld Place
Orion ran his fingers over the address. He couldn't believe it. After waiting so long, his Hogwarts letter had finally arrived. With a shaky hand, Orion broke the purple Hogwarts seal that contained the coat of arms with a lion, an eagle, a badger and a snake surrounding the large letter 'H'. One animal for each of the Hogwarts houses. The lion for Gryffindor, the eagle for Ravenclaw, the badger for Hufflepuff, and the snake for Slytherin. He pulled out the letter and smiled as he read:
HOGWARTS SCHOOL of WITCHCRAFT and WIZARDRY
Headmaster: ALBUS DUMBLEDORE
(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock, Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards)
Dear Mr. Black,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.
Term begins on September 1. We await your owl by no later than July 31.
Orion couldn't contain his excitement anymore and took off running out of the kitchen, up the staircase, through the dimly lit hallway until he reached his destination. He opened the large door with a forceful push, hurried into the dark room and jumped on the large soft bed, nearly landing on the body of the person who slept there. A tired groan was all Orion received in response but it wasn't surprising. Sirius Black could sleep through anything.
"Dad!" Orion said excitedly as he tried to shake Sirius awake. "Dad, wake up! It came! It finally came!"
Sirius turned his head and slowly opened his eyes. For a few seconds, he only blinked at Orion before groaning and covering his face with his hand. "It's early Ori," he said groggily. "What have I told you about getting me up before Uncle Moony?"
Orion grinned. His father's motto had always been torment Uncle Moony as much as possible, especially when it was early in the morning. "But you said Moony needs his rest because—"
A hand quickly covered Orion's mouth, silencing him. "I know what I said, kiddo," Sirius said as he sat up, "but we both know how sensitive Moony is about his age." Orion opened his mouth but Sirius silenced him with a 'you know I'm right' look. "Now, let's see your letter."
Orion handed over his Hogwarts letter and impatiently waited as Sirius read through everything. Even though Orion had been going to Hogwarts once a month, it was clear that Sirius was still hesitant to send his only son away, even to a place as safe as Hogwarts. Orion had never spent any longer than a week away from Sirius in the past and that had been when Remus had taken Orion with him to Bulgaria. This was months away with only letters passing between them. It was a lot to as from an overprotective parent such as Sirius.
"Are you sure you want to go, Ori?" Sirius asked protectively. "You know there's nothing wrong with home schooling, right?"
Orion stared at his father as if he had grown another head. "Dad, all my friends are at Hogwarts," he said pleadingly. "You went to Hogwarts. Moony went to Hogwarts. How can I not go?"
Sirius let out a sigh before pulling his son into his arms. "I know you want to go, son," he said softly. "I just can't believe it's time for you to go already. It seems like only yesterday we moved into the old place and became a family. You were so little—"
"—Dad!" Orion protested as he freed himself from Sirius. "If you start talking about how cute I was…"
Sirius grinned. "Well, you were cute," he said ruffling Orion's hair, "and it's not surprising. You look exactly like me." Orion rolled his eyes and flopped down beside Sirius, burying his face in the cold pillow. Sirius took the opportunity to pull the bedcovers up and tuck his son in. "How about we catch a few hours of sleep before we pull a prank on Moony? Today's my day off so we can do anything you want."
Orion's head immediately popped up. "Anything?" he asked hopefully with a large smile on his face. "Can we go to Diagon Alley and get everything for school? Everything I need at least? Moony said the book lists rarely change except for the Defense Against the Dark Arts text."
Sirius let out a sigh as he brushed the fringe out of Orion's eyes, revealing a lightning bolt scar. "I think I need to spend more time at home," he said seriously. "Moony clearly has had too much influence over you." Orion opened his mouth to protest. "I know you want to learn as much as you can about magic," Sirius said with a smile, "but do you want to be completely bored when you go to Hogwarts? No one else is going to know as much as you know."
Orion shrugged his shoulders. "I'll be able to help those who are struggling then," he said. "I'm already reading and practicing third year material, Dad. If Moony wasn't so determined on teaching history, I would probably be half-way through fourth year."
Sirius scowled as he put Orion's letter on the bedside table. "There's more to life than studying, kiddo," he said as he lay back down. "Moony just wants to help you out because the History of Magic teacher is a bit boring. I doubt you will be able to stay awake in that class let alone learn anything. Now, get some sleep. We can talk about this more later."
Orion couldn't help smiling as he buried his face into his pillow and listened to his father's breathing as he slowly drifted off into oblivion. Sure, life at Black Manor wouldn't be considered normal for most people but for Orion, he couldn't imagine life any other way.
"You do know you're completely overreacting, Padfoot. Orion has been going to Hogwarts for years and nothing has happened to him. What are you really afraid of?"
"I can't lose him, Moony. What if they see him and try to take him away from me?"
"We've talked to Dumbledore about this. They have no claim to him. No one is going to award custody to someone who's turned their back on a child for six years. As long as we keep Orion out of the house during the full moon, there is no legal reason why he can't stay with us. Accept that. We need to prepare Orion for what he will have to face, Sirius. He's a Gryffindor through and through but some of his abilities—"
"—will be kept secret. Orion knows not to say anything and he knows how to avoid that from happening again."
"You can't keep avoiding everything, Sirius. Sooner or later we will have to talk to Dumbledore."
"Dumbledore already knows enough. Orion is my son. I will decide what we do and do not tell people!"
Orion turned his head towards the voices with a soft groan escaping his lips. The voices instantly silenced as a hand started rubbing his back gently. Slowly, Orion pulled himself to full consciousness and opened his eyes to see his father smiling at him. Looking over his shoulder, Orion smiled sleepily at his amused uncle. Both men were still in their nightclothes and looked like they were hiding something. Orion had seen those looks before. They usually appeared when the past and the Potters were discussed.
"Good morning, sleepy head," Remus said candidly. "So how does it feel to finally be accepted to Hogwarts?"
Orion grinned happily. "It's a dream come true," he said excitedly. "Now I can work to become a Prefect like you, Uncle Moony, and maybe even Head Boy."
Sirius groaned as he buried his face in his hands. "I can't believe it," he said mournfully. "My own son is becoming a Ravenclaw. He's turning away from my legacy."
Orion and Remus rolled their eyes at Sirius' feeble attempt at pressuring Orion into becoming a prankster. It had been a well known fact for years that Orion was not the prankster type. He also knew how everything worked at Hogwarts. Pranksters rarely became Prefects for the very reason that Prefects were supposed to instill discipline. For Orion, becoming a Prefect and Head Boy would help in applying to be an Auror, just like his father.
"It could be worse, Sirius," Remus said in an amused voice. "Orion could choose to turn away from the magical world and live as a Muggle."
Sirius looked at Remus, horrified. "Don't you even joke about that," he said quietly. "You know—"
"—yes, I do," Remus said just as softly.
Orion rolled his eyes again as he crawled out of bed. He hated when his father and uncle spoke in that tone. It usually meant that they had entered an 'adults only' conversation. Orion knew that his father and uncle had secrets. He also knew most of those secrets concerned him and his unique adoption. It was almost like there was something that happened before Orion became a Black that his father and uncle feared.
But what could it be?
It wasn't Orion's ability to speak to snakes even though Orion had been instructed never to use it in front of people. Parseltounge was considered a dark ability in the wizarding world. The Dark Lord Voldemort had been the last known Parselmouth which only added to the fear of it. There was so much darkness with the Black name already. Orion wasn't about to add to it because of an ability he never asked for.
"Orion, perhaps you should send a letter to your grandfather and let him know you'll be attending Hogwarts in September," Remus said gently although there was a hint of urgency in his voice. "I also believe we could take that trip to Diagon Alley today, if you still want to go."
Orion ran out of the room, all thoughts of secrets pushed to the far end of his mind. He had learned long ago that it was pointless to dwell on something that would never change. Sirius and Remus would always have secrets whether it concerned Sirius' job, the past, or Orion's safety. That was just the way it was at Black Manor. Perhaps that was why Orion was so eager to go to Hogwarts. His past visits to Hogwarts had always been fun, enlightening and free of secrets. He was allowed to ask questions and expect a truthful answer no matter what.
A/N: Well, there's chapter 1 of my new series. Let me know what you think