Disclaimer: This story is based on Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets which is not mine. This story is also the sequal to Unknown Relations: The Philosopher's Stone. Reading that first would probably be wise. This story may also contain items that are in Deathly Hallows. If you haven't ready the book and don't want to be spoiled, please proceed with caution.
Unexpected House Guests
Orion Black was bored which was a rare occurrence, especially when it involved learning. As every other child, Orion loved to learn about the world around him and usually threw himself into every subject. Occulmency, however, wasn't a subject that someone could throw one's self into.
Orion was like every other magical child with a pureblood parent in the wizarding world raised in the basics of pureblood ideals. Every pureblood child was taught the basics of Occulmency, the art of protecting the mind from intrusion. Unfortunately, Occulmency was a difficult study to grasp, especially in childhood. Orion had been one of the few to succeed which meant that he had to refresh his studies every summer.
After all, a well organized and protected mind was a valuable mind.
That wasn't why Orion was so bored though. Orion was bored because instead of a practical lesson with his father, Orion was trying to re-read the important points of Occulmency in an old, boring book ever since his father had been called into work…again. It wasn't surprising, really. In all honesty, Sirius Black had been home more than normal, spending as much time as possible with his son…
…something that Orion had a feeling was associated with his previous year at Hogwarts. Sure, Orion's first year at Hogwarts hadn't exactly been what would be considered normal but it really hadn't been that bad…well, Orion had nearly died in a standoff against the Dark Wizard Voldemort and one of his followers but it had only been one incident. It wasn't like Orion had gone out looking for trouble or caused mayhem like his father had back in the day.
The theory worked logically but Sirius Black wasn't necessarily known for being logical when it came to matters concerning his son…his only son. Sirius had trusted Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts with his son's safety only to have that trust broken. It would take an awful lot to repair that trust is past experience was anything to go by.
The sound of someone entering the library pulled Orion out of his frustrated thoughts. He tried to look busy as his uncle, Remus Lupin, came into view but knew it was probably pointless to try. Remus had a gift for knowing Orion better than even Sirius sometimes. With one look, he just knew what to do or say and always approached problems calmly. At times it seemed odd that the most rational member of the family was a werewolf but that was indeed the case for the Black family.
Once again, Orion was pulled out of his thoughts when Remus ran a hand through Orion's black hair before sitting down beside him. "It must have been a dire emergency," Remus said mildly. "Your father knows how dreadfully boring those books are. He would never assign them if he was thinking clearly."
Orion shrugged his shoulders as he tried not to stare at his uncle. At first glance, one would think that Remus was older than he actually was by the flecks of grey already present in his light brown hair. He was painfully thin from his recent transformation and still looked ill and exhausted, no matter how much Remus tried to hide it.
"Stop worrying about me, Ori," Remus scolded lightly. "I'm fine although your bedtime may be a little earlier than normal tonight if your father isn't back by then." It was meant as a joke but Orion's concerned glance didn't change. Remus let out a sigh and pulled the book out of Orion's hands. "Well, I think you've had enough Occulmency for one day. What would you like to do? Charms? Transfiguration? Potions? A game of chess or maybe we should have a go at some history?"
Orion scowled as he enfolded his arms across his chest. He hated Wizarding History (at least the part of Wizarding History that contained the Goblin Rebellions) more than Occulmency which was saying a lot. Remus loved teaching it because there was always some hidden lesson that the Wizarding World could never seem to learn. The number of Goblin Rebellions over the years was a clear indication of that. "You love to torture me, don't you?" Orion asked quietly.
Remus grinned. "I see you're finally catching on, Shadow," he said proudly. The use of Orion's Marauder name was a clear indication that he was trying to stay away from any sort of serious conversation. "So what'll it be? I can teach you a few useful Charms that your father would encourage but you must swear never to reveal where you learned them."
Orion shrugged as he pulled out his wand and summoned his Charms journal. Once it arrived, he pushed aside his Occulmency notes and opened it to the appropriate page. With his quill and ink ready, Orion partially turned to face Remus with an eager look on his face. It was a rare occasion for Remus to deviate from the Standard Book of Spells material but when he did, it always turned out very beneficial.
Remus cleared his throat and pulled out his own wand. "The first spell is Muffliato," he began, pausing for a moment as Orion started to write. "This spell was used quite often during my days at Hogwarts, especially by the Marauders when we were planning a prank. It fills the ears of everyone nearby with an unidentifiable buzzing so they can't hear what you're talking about."
Orion stared at Remus with a raised eyebrow. "So that's the spell you used when I was younger to keep me from overhearing about Dad's missions?" he asked.
Remus nodded. "Very good, Ori. A simple Finite Incantatem will end the spell which is sometimes one of the hardest things to remember. For example, in our sixth year, your father was planning a prank with James Potter and tried to call me over to help them. The problem was I couldn't hear a thing. I was busy talking to someone else at the time so I had no idea your father was trying to get my attention until I turned around and saw what an idiot he was making of himself. He was jumping up and down, waving his arms like some madman." Remus chuckled and Orion grinned. "Of course your father will deny that ever happened if you ask him."
"Moony, Dad denies everything that makes him look like an idiot," Orion said matter-of-factly. "He claims that you misread everything."
"Ah, so it's my fault," Remus said knowingly. "That actually explains quite a bit."
The 'lesson' was probably one of the most entertaining Orion had experienced in a long time. Remus would lecture about a spell, using a story from his days at Hogwarts for reference then actually use the spell on Orion before allowing Orion to try out the spell on him. That was actually quite funny. Orion had caught Remus by surprise more than once and had to fumble with casting the counter spells accurately before Remus ran out of patience.
Needless to say, Orion and Remus broke out into laughter quite a few times.
The sound of someone clearing their throat put an abrupt end to the lesson. Looking towards the entrance to the library, Orion's eyes widened at the sight of his father standing behind a twelve-year-old bespectacled boy with messy hair and a girl who looked to be around ten with long black hair and hazel eyes. To say it was a surprise to see Hayden Potter and his sister in Black Manor was certainly an understatement, especially since all of Orion's letters to Hayden had gone unanswered.
"Sirius," Remus said rising to his feet and brushed off his robes. "Taking in strays?"
Sirius didn't look amused in the slightest. "Potter Manor was infiltrated tonight," he said sternly. "A house elf broke in and threatened Hayden. Until the wards can be reinforced, Hayden and Rose need some place safe to say. Scrimgeour suggested Black manor."
Remus stared at Sirius for a long moment before letting out a sigh and shaking his head. "Well, I suppose you should get back before your boss misses you. Orion and I can handle things here."
Sirius nodded before resting a hand on the shoulders of the Potter children, urging them the turn around. In a blink of an eye, his Auror façade faded away to the caring father Orion knew so well. Sirius dropped to one knee and looked at each child in the eye. "Now I don't know what your parents have told you about Black Manor but I assure you both that you will be safe here," he said gently. "Remus over there will take good care of you. If you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask."
Hayden rubbed his hands together nervously as Rose shifted her weight from foot to foot. "Mr. Black," Hayden began, "if you don't want us here—"
"—Hayden," Sirius interrupted sternly. "I have no problem with you and Rose spending a few days here. My problems with your parents are with your parents only." Hayden looked over his shoulder at Orion. "I mean it, Hayden. You are welcomed here." Sirius rose to his feet and met Orion's gaze. "Ori, a word."
Orion scurried to his feet and quickly followed his father out of the library. Anyone who didn't know Sirius well would think that Sirius was about to scold Orion for some reason but Orion knew that his father was about to tell him something very secretive and important. That was one thing Orion liked about his father. He never held back details concerning Auror work unless it was too graphic for a twelve-year-old to hear.
As soon as they reached the staircase, Orion felt a familiar, comforting hand on his shoulder and looked up to meet his father's gaze. "Ori, there's something you need to know about Hayden," Sirius said quietly. "He never received any of your letters or anyone else's. Until tonight, Hayden actually believed that I wouldn't let you be his friend."
Orion raised his eyebrows in surprise. That actually explained quite a bit. "Do you need me to find out more about the house elf?" he asked cautiously.
Sirius shook his head. "I think distracting Hayden and Rose from what happened is probably the best at the moment. Hayden needs a friend more than answers, Ori." At Orion's obedient nod, Sirius' gaze softened. "Do I even want to know what Moony has been teaching you?"
"Charms," Orion answered easily.
Sirius stared at Orion with a raised eyebrow. "Right," he said skeptically. "I will have a talk with your uncle in the morning. Don't stay up too late. Moony needs his rest."
Orion nodded again. "He already told me as much," he said quickly before giving his father a quick hug around the waist. "Be careful, Dad."
Sirius placed a kiss on the top of Orion's head. "And you try to have some fun," he countered. "Your insane love of studying can wait a day or two."
Orion rolled his eyes. He knew that his father would never understand his love of learning just like a lot of other people. Neville Longbottom, his best friend, agreed with Sirius but normally refrained from voicing his opinion since Orion's usually helped Neville with his schoolwork. His other best friend, Hermione Granger, was actually a more intense version of Orion. She believed knowledge was the most important thing in the world. If Dad thinks I'm bad, he should spend a day with her.
Once Sirius left, Orion hurried back to the library on to come to an abrupt halt at the sight of Remus carefully assisting Rose with the Levitation Charm with Remus' wand while Hayden looked on in amusement. So much for not studying.Orion pulled up a chair beside Hayden and noticed how Hayden's face changed from amusement to nervousness. Remus seemed to notice to and asked Rose to stop for a moment.
"Hayden and Rose would like to learn a few basics while they're visiting,Orion," Remus said casually. "If you would help Hayden with second year charms, I'll walk Rose through the Levitation Charm and some of the other basics."
Orion frowned. "But Dad said—"
"—your father refuses to believe that anyone could consider learning fun," Remus interrupted with a smile. "I'll talk to him, Ori. Now, why don't you take Hayden up to your room where your books are? I have a feeling the house elves have already selected where Hayden and Rose will be sleeping tonight so find Hayden's trunk for his wand before you begin. Rose and I will be up in an hour."
Orion shrugged and stuffed his books, journals and parchment into his school bag before pulling Hayden out of the library. He had a feeling the 'learning' was to be more of a distraction than anything else which coincided with what Orion had originally been asked to do by his father.
"So," Hayden began uncomfortably as they reached the staircase. "How's your summer been?"
Orion hesitated for a moment before directing Hayden towards the West Wing. "All right, I guess," he admitted. "Neville and Cedric have been over a lot but it was mostly for help with summer assignments."
Hayden stared at Orion with wide eyes. "Diggory was asking you for help with his assignments?" he asked. "Isn't he going into his fourth year?"
Orion laughed as they started walking up the stairs. "No, he asked Remus for help. He normally does over the summer. The three of us are from only child households so we usually visit each other as much as possible." Orion cast Hayden a curious glance. "How has yours been—before tonight that is?"
"Miserable," Hayden muttered. "No one ever answered any of my letters and my parents refused to let me contact any of you through the floo to find out why. They were more concerned about security than a few unanswered letters. When that house elf showed up in my room tonight, they completely panicked. I'm actually surprised they let us out of their sight."
Orion bit his lip nervously. He needed to lighten Hayden's mood quickly. "Well, if it makes you feel any better I did send you a letters and a birthday present."
"You did?" Hayden asked eagerly. "What did you get me?"
They reached the second level. "Turn left here," he said then smiled. "Well, I can't take all of the credit. My dad actually picked it out. I told him I wanted to get you something Quidditch related so he picked up a broom servicing kit."
Hayden's mouth fell open. "Really?" he asked breathlessly. "I wish I would have gotten everything from Dobby."
"Dobby?" Orion asked in confusion.
Hayden sighed. "The house elf that tried to stop me from going to Hogwarts," he clarified. "He said I'd be in grave danger if I did."
Orion frowned in thought. That wasn't good. He knew that many house elves believed they were in debt to Hayden for stopping Voldemort. If someone was plotting something so sinister that a house elf went as far as to go out of their way to warn Hayden then there was certainly reason for alarm. "Are you sure no one sent the elf to just scare you?" asked Orion.
Hayden shook his head confidently. "No way. Dobby kept punishing himself whenever he said anything."
Orion tapped his chin thoughtfully. "Well, I can't say I've ever heard of a house elf named Dobby so that clears me, Neville and Cedric," he said optimistically.
Hayden grinned. "That's a relief. Now I can sleep at night knowing that two of my closest friends aren't out to get me."
Orion snorted as they finally reached his bedroom. "You have enough enemies as it is, Hayden," he said as he walked into his bedroom and walked over to his desk as the lights flickered on automatically to reveal a large room with a large four poster bed, desk, wardrobe and several shelves full of books. "I'd rather be your friend."
Hayden beamed as he followed Orion. "Have you heard from Hermione or Ron?" he asked as he sat down on Orion's trunk that rested at the foot of the bed.
Orion set his school bag down on his desk and picked out his second year charms book from the pile on his desk before turning to face Hayden. "Hermione's written a few times, mostly about homework," he admitted. "I haven't heard from Ron, though. Bill's written…and Charlie…and Fred and George…"
"Oh," Hayden said quietly. "Well, you know how bad he felt after everything. Maybe he just doesn't know what to say."
Orion shrugged. He had never been close to Ron so he really hadn't thought anything of it. In Orion's opinion, Ron had an inferiority complex the size of Hogwarts which was bound to cause problems since his best friend was the-boy-who-lived. Orion could only hope that Ron had learned something from the conflicts the two of them had last year. "Well, we've got the material so all we need now is your wand," Orion said at last. "Mindy!"
There was a loud crack like a whip and, standing before them, was a small little creature with large, bat-like ears and bulging blue eyes wearing what looked like a black dress that a small child would wear. "Young Master call Mindy, sir," the creature squeaked.
"Yes, I did, Mindy," Orion said with a smile. "Remus mentioned that our guests were given rooms. Could you tell us where they are?"
Mindy smiled widely. "Oh yes, Young Master," she said excitedly. "Master Guest is across the hall from Young Master and Mistress Guest is next to Master Guest. Master wanted Master and Mistress Guest nearby to keep Master and Mistress Guest safe."
"Thanks Mindy," Orion said with a laugh. "That'll be all."
Mindy bowed and vanished with a loud crack.
"Well then," Orion said as he tossed the book onto the bed. "Why don't you go get your wand while I dig out everything we'll need?"
Hayden hurried across the hall into the room while Orion pulled out some parchment, a few quills and a bottle of ink. He quickly noticed that he was missing his Charms Journal and quickly summoned it from the Library. In a matter of moments, Orion could hear the journal flying towards him, the pages ruffling against the wind. It grew louder and louder until…
"I found it—oomph!"
The journal had collided with Hayden in the hallway. Orion rushed to Hayden's side, instantly helping him to his feet. "Sorry," Orion said quickly as he picked up his journal. "So, I thought we'd start with the Severing Charm and the Repairing Charm. If you get those down we can move onto the Disarming Charm."
"You're the boss," Hayden said as he rubbed the side of his head that the journal hit. "Just don't hit me with any more flying books."
For the next hour, Orion pushed Hayden as hard as he could to successfully cast the Charms. Unfortunately, Charms wasn't Hayden's strongest subject but he still managed to cast the Severing Charm and the Repairing Charm by the time Remus came up with Rose announcing that it was time for bed. Both Hayden and Rose seemed to be reluctant to go into their rooms but they still went when told, allowing Remus to retire for the night.
Wide awake, Orion pulled out Standard Book of Spells, Grade 4 from his school bad and tossed it on his bed. He quickly changed into his pajamas and jumped into bed. If he was lucky, he could possibly get through a chapter before his lights went out. He had finally reached the chapter on Memory Charms although all that was written was the theory of the spell since it was immoral to have children even attempt to modify memories. Too much could possibly go wrong.
With the fading of the lights, Orion marked his page and set the book on his bedside table. With everything in consideration, Orion knew that he would have to get everything started in the morning. Remus normally slept in when he was recovering from the full moon and it would be difficult to say what demands would be placed on the Master of the house. An attempt on the-boy-who-lived was the biggest threat the Auror Department had seen in quite some time. In Orion's mind, there was no doubt that Sirius would be a part of the team.
Crawling under the bedcovers, Orion tried to get comfortable but sleep seemed to elude him. How could one sleep after everything that had happened? Orion wanted to sneak downstairs by the fireplace and wait for Sirius to come home but knew it would probably be pointless. With as demanding as the Head of the Auror office, Rufus Scrimgeour, was, Orion anticipated that his father could very well be working until dawn.
The sound of a door creaking put an abrupt end to any thoughts whatsoever. Remaining completely still, Orion listened as footsteps lightly tapped against the bare wood floors for only a few moments before they stopped. There was another creak followed by a soft voice calling out, "Hayden? Are you still awake?"
"Yeah," Hayden answered quietly. "Scared?"
"A little. Can I sleep in here tonight?"
There was a slight hesitation before Hayden spoke again. "Follow me," he said.
There was some rustling before Orion heard his door creak open. Rolling over, Orion saw Hayden and Rose standing in the doorway. Both of their faces were shadowed in darkness from the hallway light but it was easy to pick out one from the other. Hayden was about a head and a half taller with short, messy hair, wearing a shirt and sleep pants while Rose had long hair and was wearing a nightdress.
Orion?" Hayden asked tentatively. "May we come in for a bit?"
Orion sat up and nodded. "Just close the door," he said as he pushed back the bed covers. "Remus needs his sleep and his hearing is quite good."
Rose hurried to the bed while Hayden closed the door, drenching the door into near darkness. Hayden joined Rose at the foot of the bed, still looking a little nervous. It was hard to miss the comforting hand Hayden put on Rose's shoulder making Orion wonder if that was what having a sibling was like. Sure, Bill and Charlie had talked about looking out for their younger siblings and the twins—well, the twins mainly talked about pranking as much as they could.
"So," Hayden said, breaking the silence. "Is this normal for you? Your dad leaving Mr. Lupin in charge."
Orion had to bit back the laugh that threatened to escape his lips. "Don't call Remus Mr. Lupin," he advised with a grin. "Remus and my dad have a constant war with each other about who's considered old. If my dad were to hear that, he would never let Remus live it down." At Hayden and Rose's nervous looks, Orion hastily added, "It's all in good fun. Remus and my dad usually prank each other when Dad has a day off."
Hayden and Rose shared a skeptical look. "It's just hard to think of your dad as a prankster," Hayden said slowly. "When he arrived with the Aurors, it was a little scary. He was barking out orders at everyone. I think he even scared Dad."
Orion shrugged helplessly. He knew how his father got when his overprotectiveness snapped into action. Regardless of what problems rested between the Black and Potter families, Orion knew that Sirius would still do everything in his power to protect Hayden and Rose which had nothing to do with the fact that Sirius was Hayden's godfather. Taking Hayden's confusion in mind, Orion had to wonder if Hayden even knew who he godparents were.
"So," Orion said at last as he leaned against the headboard. "We've never officially met, Rose. Hayden mentioned you're two years younger than us. When's your birthday?"
"August 31st," Rose answered softly. "I just made the cutoff. I don't know what I would have done if I had born a day later. It was dreadfully boring this past year when Hayden left for Hogwarts. It's hard to eavesdrop when there's no one serving as lookout."
Orion's gaze shifted between Rose and Hayden. Apparently Hayden hadn't been exaggerating when he had mentioned how Mr. and Mrs. Potter prefer to keep their children in the dark about everything. Orion couldn't imagine growing up like that. Sure, there were secrets in the Black family but they mostly concerned the past. His father and uncle had always tried to tell him as much as they felt he could handle concerning matters of the present.
"Have you ever asked your parents why they—well—are so secretive?" Orion asked curiously.
Rose scoffed as she enfolded her arms across her chest. "Dad would tell us that its adult stuff and Mum would just tell us to listen to Dad," she said bitterly.
Orion stared at Rose incredulously. "Have they always been like that?" he asked. He didn't know what he would do if the adults in his household acted like that. I won't ever complain about Dad and Remus ever again.
Hayden and Rose shrugged. "It's not all bad," Hayden countered. "It's just hard when you're locked away from everyone else all the time for your own safety. We know Mum and Dad just want to protect us but there must be other ways to go about it. I mean, look at you, Orion. Your dad has kept you safe."
"But I'm not the-boy-who-lived or directly related to you," Orion pointed out, his gaze shifting from Hayden to Rose. "I saw Voldemort. I know he's still out there and there are quite a few of his followers still faithful to him who wiggled their way out of time in Azakban. I'm not saying your parents are right but they just want to keep you two safe. When my dad was younger, he vowed never to live here because he hated it so much but he broke that vow when he adopted me because he thought my safety was more important than his bad memories of this place."
Hayden and Rose shared a look but didn't say any more on the topic. There were more questions about life at Black Manor, some about Sirius and a few about Remus, most of them coming from Rose, surprisingly. The more time Orion spent with the girl, the more he realized that she was a bit like him especially concerning the thirst for knowledge.
Before long, Orion noticed Rose yawn for the third time in only a few minutes and mentioned that it was best to call it a night. The lights had nearly extinguished making it difficult to see but Orion didn't miss how tense Hayden and Rose suddenly became. It only took a moment for Orion to realize that both Potter children were still nervous about spending the night in a foreign place which was completely understandable. It would have been different if Hayden and Rose had been able to explore the Manor or given a tour to know where the basics were. Since they hadn't, Orion figured the least he could do was to offer his room.
Hayden immediately crawled over to the left side of the bed while Rose crawled to the right leaving Orion in the middle. It seemed to take no time for the three of them to get comfortable allowing them, one by one, to finally slip off to dreamland. As he did, all Orion could think was that he hoped Rose and Hayden didn't kick in their sleep.
A/N: And Year Two has finally begun. I know many people have been patiently waiting for this story to begin and I apologize for the delay. I will be inserting some parts of book 7 into the series but I haven't decided how much yet. Hopefully the chapters will come quickly so you won't have to wait like you did for Rise of the Protector.