Chiyoku says: Hey, buckos! Sorry for taking so long to update, life got in the way. Let's see, though, review questions: some people were dying of anticipation, so I hope they're not reading this chapter from the afterlife. As for Dumbles, I'm so happy you hate him, because that means I'm doing a good job. Unfortunately, he's not getting his comeuppance yet (but it's coming, I promise). What else…Fus Roh Dah on Molly and Albus…. Ooh, good idea. It gives me an idea for some more "Harry accidental magic" the likes of which "Ron the Ugly Roach" already knows about. :evilcackle:
As for Molly, I love to hate her. =D So I was happy to read that you guys seemed to enjoy hating on her, too. Unfortunately, no Molly on this chapter, but we'll be seeing her next chapter for sure. Bwahahaha!
Seriously, Dumbles and Molly bashing really inspire me, and gets my creative juices flowing.
Anyways, that's all for now.
A fanfiction by Chiyoku Shibata
Recap:Sirius' court hearing, he gives up the galleons awarded to him in exchange for Harry's custody, and a ritual that will basically de-age him.(he's getting Harry on Jan 3rd, and the ritual around mid Feb) Dumbledore keeps sticking himself in the middle of things that don't concern him, trying to control Sirius, and Harry. Dumbledore is also making lots of plans that involve using the Black and Potter money and influence, and to that end, he brings Molly around, who's already planning everything from sleeping arrangements, to the fact that Sirius will need adult supervision once he's back to being physically 21 years old.
Chapter 21: Yup, More Sirius Black
It was a day after Peter Pettigrew's trial. The night before, right after Peter's sentencing, Sirius had gone out to a high class Wizarding Restaurant to celebrate. He had invited Andromeda Tonks and her family, since they were closest family he had that he could openly speak to at the moment. Remus had, of course, gone with them, as well, and Sirius had forced the man to dress up. He hadn't been blind to the looks that had been traded between Remus and his young cousin, Nymphadora, but he knew Remus would consider the recently graduated 18-year-old to be too young for him, no matter how attractive the girl was.
Speaking of Nymphadora, the first time the girl's hair had frizzed after being called by her given name, Sirius had frowned, and then spent at least a good half hour berating her about being ashamed of herself and her mother. At the end of the talk, the girl had practically started crying, because she hadn't realized that she sounded as if she was ashamed of her own mother, herself, and her family, simply because she hated her name. Andromeda, at long last, finally explained to her daughter that her name meant "gift of the nymphs" and she had been so named in honor of a Wood Nymph that had given Andromeda the gift of fertility. Apparently Andromeda had been rendered infertile after suffering an illness in her youth, and after she saved the life of the Wood Nymph, she had been cured of her infertility in return.
Nymphadora, who had never been told that story before, decided that it had been wrong of her to hate her name. Considering the fact that without the Wood Nymph's help, her mother would never had given birth to her, she was finally cured of the hate she had for the name. From then on, she decided to finally start introducing herself as "Nymphadora", instead of simply as "Tonks".
They had ended the night with talks of reinstating Andromeda to the Black family, and granting her the dowry that she should have been given all the along.
All that had been the night before, however, and today Peter was without a soul, and his empty shell of a body had been dropped in Sirius' old cell to allow it to die on its own from dehydration. And Sirius was finally going back to his old home.
He gave a sigh as he climbed down from the Knight Bus, and thought about the appointment he had with Amelia Bones in a couple of days. It was to talk about the issue with Bellatrix and the Lestrange brothers and how what they had done to the Longbottom's was a family matter, and not a crime.
Bellatrix had been about five months pregnant when a group of aurors led an illegal raid on one of the Lestrange homes and the Longbottoms had been a part of it. They had vague suspicions of the Lestrange's being a part of Voldemort's Death Eaters, but they'd had no proof. Bella had been hit with a curse that had terminated her pregnancy and made her unable to ever carry a baby to full term. She wasn't infertile, despite popular belief, but she was as good as, since any baby she got pregnant with after that had barely made it to month 3 before she would invariably suffer a miscarriage.
In return for what the Longbottoms had done to her, since she had seen it was them who cursed her, she had gotten her revenge by attacking them. By then, her grief had made her slightly insane, so hadn't been able to hold back when she punished them.
Either way, it had all technically been a matter of honor between the Black and Lestrange families, and the Longbottom family. Bella's child would have been the first born of the Lestrange family, therefore the heir, and the first Black born in a while, even though the child would have carried the "Lestrange" name and not the "Black" name. It had been a serious crime that had been perpetrated by that particular group of aurors. Since they had never had any proof of Bella or the Lestrange's involvement in anything in regards to Voldemort, aside from the Dark Mark's, and everyone knew that hadn't been enough to convict the majority of Voldemort's supporters, it should be relatively easy to get them legally freed soon.
For now, however, Sirius was going back to his childhood home in Grimmauld Place. From the looks of it, it would need a lot of work to make it livable again. The house had remained empty since Sirius' mother had died shortly after he was sent to Azkaban.
"This place is going to need a lot of work…" he whispered, as he crossed the Ward Barrier that kept the house hidden from view. The big house looked very ominous from the outside, dark, dirty, overgrown plants, and creeping vines. It made him wonder just how bad it must look on the inside, and if, perhaps, all the house elves are dead.
The thought of all the house elves being dead was dispelled as soon as he walked inside the house, however. The heavy door creaked as he pushed it open slowly, and he coughed and set out Air Freshener spells as he walked inside and closed the door. The air was stale, seemingly dead, and everything was covered in a layer of dirt. Therefore, he was quite startled when a house elf popped into the room, and ended up right in front of him.
"Lord Black! Mistress says you were coming back soon, says you apologized to her long ago for being traitor to my Mistress, so Kreacher thinks maybe new Lord Black might not be so bad to obey." the house elf, Kreacher, said as a greeting.
Sirius was pretty startled, but got his bearings back quickly and after taking a sharp breath he kneeled down and said, "Yeah, I apologized… I haven't gotten the chance to speak to her, yet, but I will now." He said, before continuing, "I also wanted to apologize to you, Kreacher." He said, realizing that the house elf would be a good ally to have, no matter how much Sirius always disliked him.
"Apologize to Kreacher?" asked Kreacher, his voice had a tone of confusion.
"Yeah," answered Sirius, "I know I never treated you right… I was a brat back then, and I didn't know better. So, I apologize for that."
"Uhm, well, new Lord Black apologized to Mistress, and he now apologized to Kreacher. Kreacher never thought that would happen…Kreacher accepts apology from new Lord Black." Answered Kreacher, in response to Sirius' apology.
"Right, thanks… anyways, moving on, I see that you've been… neglecting the upkeep around here, haven't you?" commented Sirius, looking around the dust covered entrance hall.
Just as Kreacher started punishing himself, though, Sirius stopped him, "Don't punish yourself, Kreacher. Nobody was living here, so I don't mind." He explained. Then he continued, "Now, I'm expecting some unwelcome visitors very soon, so there's some rules we need to talk about."
"Should Kreacher kick them out?" asked Kreacher.
"No." answered Sirius, "there are some things going on that prevent me from acting on my true feelings. More than likely, we'll have Albus Dumbledore as a regular guest, and the Weasley family. I don't know who else for now, but I can't let it be known that I dislike them. You can help in that regard, Kreacher. When they arrive, you need to pretend you dislike me and that you don't want to follow my orders. This will make it easier for me to treat all those unwanted guests the way they deserve without letting it be known that I dislike them."
"Blood traitors, and nasty Wizards! Kreacher will be glad to help out Lord Black. Kreacher will make them as uncomfortable as possible." Kreacher said, annoyed at the thought of nasty blood traitors forcing their way into the ancient house of Black.
"Good. Of the top of my head…. All I can think of for now is, don't clean the common areas. Clean only the biggest bedroom, and the second biggest bedroom. Those will be mine, and Harry's, my godson, once he gets here. Clean the library and kitchen, as well. All those rooms will be warded against intrusion, along with Regulus' room." He explained, playing with his wand as he walked back and forth, thinking.
"Make sure to remove anything personal, and valuable from all the other bedrooms," he continued, "but don't clean them. Our dear guests will probably start trying to clean and throw away anything dark, but since I'm officially Lord Black now, all the family wards have been activated, and anything taken out of the house by someone that's not authorized, will simply return in less than a day. So we don't have to worry about anything going missing or being broken." He said, and then he cleaned a chair and sat down.
"What else…" he continued thoughtfully, "don't take orders from anyone that's not me or my godson, and don't allow any of our guests into the Kitchen. You'll be preparing breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, but… we'll make up some rule about how guests are only allowed a specific type of food and that way we can keep everyone from eating anything other than porridge, or something." He said with a laugh, as if he was already planning a way to prank his future guests.
"Of course, this is just of the top of my head, you know? I'll have to wait until our guests arrive to see if I have to add or modify any of the rules." Sirius finished explaining all the rules, and then stood up and stretched.
"I'll let you get to it, then. Put all my parents' things from their bedroom into storage, and move my things from my old bedroom into my parents' bedroom. It's the biggest bedroom, so I'll be using it now…I think my old bedroom is the second biggest, so clean it up, and make sure it's ready for when my godson gets here. He'll be coming to live here on the third of January. That's all for now." He finished saying, before quickly adding, "oh, start with the kitchen, please, and make sure you dump everything that's not edible anymore, and stock up on food."
"It'll get done, Lord Black." Said Kreacher with a slight bow before he popped away.
Once he was alone again, he looked around and sighed. It'd been years since he'd been home, but everything still looked the same; dark and grim.
Everything was covered in dust, and when he experimentally swiped one of the shelves with his index finger, he realized the dust was pretty caked on. He sneezed, and then walked upstairs, slowly but surely. A shiver ran down his spine, because it felt pretty odd and creepy to be in a house this big, and for it to feel so empty. And yet, every corner he looked at brought back memories of his life.
After taking a look inside each of the rooms, he decided it was too depressing and creepy to stay on his own at Grimmauld place, so after letting Kreacher know, he left again.
What to do…he thought to himself as he walked around his old neighborhood. Ah! I could go see Harry! He suddenly realized. I know Lucius said he was still unconscious from the Ritual, but no matter.
After convincing himself, he went into a dark corner and performed some wandless, minor, cosmetic changed to his face and hair. He wasn't stupid enough to risk going to the Malfoy's as himself, not if there was a chance the wrong person could see him.
He took the knight bus, unsure about apparating directly, even though he knew where Malfoy Manor is, because the last time he had been there had been many years ago. A few moments later, he was in the outer, south, border of a town, and while he could see Malfoy Manor already, he knew it was hidden from the Townsfolk by wards.
He felt the wards recognize him as a Black, as he walked through them, and he enjoyed the long walk up to the front door. He was sure Narcissa had done a lot of decorating here in the gardens, because he recognized some of the decorating style as being similar to some of the decorations in houses and cottages belonging to the Black family.
He rang the doorbell as he got to the door, and it sounded loud and imposing. A house elf opened the door moments later. "I'm here to visit, could you please get Lady Malfoy, for me?" asked Sirius, and the house elf allowed him entrance and almost started crying at being asked with a please, instead of simply being ordered.
Some moments later, Narcissa walked into the room, and stopped short when she saw the person standing there smiling. "Uncle Alphard?" she asked with a half-smile, crossing her arms.
Sirius frowned, "what?" then he remembered he had used magic to change his looks slightly. He changed back with a smile, and walked closer to Narcissa, "sorry," he said, "I didn't want to be recognized."
"Right," said Narcissa, "so that's why you were walking around looking like our long dead uncle?"
Sirius rolled his eyes, "it was an accident, obviously. It's not my fault us Blacks all look similar."
Narcissa chuckled, and then hugged him. Sirius hugged her back tightly, "it's good to see a friendly face."
"Same here," answered Narcissa after they stopped hugging. "Come on, let's go to the parlor and have a drink, there's much we need to talk about."
"Can I see Harry first?" asked Sirius.
"Of course, I'll walk you to his room." Answered Narcissa, before walking with Sirius through the long hallways until they reached, what had become, Harry's room. "I do hope he wakes up by tomorrow…" commented Narcissa with a worried voice as they walked into the room.
"Why by tomorrow?" asked Sirius as he walked closer to the bed, where Harry was laying, sleeping quite calmly.
"Tomorrow's the 24th, Sirius." Answered Narcissa.
"Already? Wow…time sure flies when you're unconscious at the hospital." Commented Sirius, while he petted Harry's head.
"Don't exaggerate, you were hardly unconscious, Sirius Black." Huffed Narcissa.
"Yeah, well, either way. I can't believe I'm going to spend my first Holidays as a free man stuck in Grimmauld place in the company of Dumbledore supporters that I'm being forced to accept into my home." Said Sirius, still petting Harry, and studying the sleeping boy's face with intent.
"yes, well, there's not much we should do about that for now." Commented Narcissa, in answer to Sirius' complaint.
"I know, I know. It's better to sort of go along with it for now. But I am going to make things as annoying and difficult as possible for them, that's for sure." He said with a smirk.
"I'm sure you'll succeed. We Black's are nothing if not annoyingly good at being difficult." Answered Narcissa, with her own smirk.
"That's true. Is it any wonder all us are slightly crazy?" Sirius asked, chuckling a bit, and getting up from the bed, finally.
"Well, most of our family is dead, too, don't forget that." Narcissa reminded him.
"Didn't we used to be like a really big family?" asked Sirius, as he frowned and crossed his arms.
"well, we've had two big civil conflicts within the last 60 years… first Grindelwald, and then the Dark Lord….funny how Dumbledore was somehow a main figure in both conflicts." Commented Narcissa, with a raised eyebrow.
"yeah, funny that… supposedly he was friends with the first, and a teacher of the second…if one was paranoid, one would be suspicious of such an odd coincidence." Commented Sirius with a shake of his head.
"yeah, thank goodness we Blacks are more level-headed than that." Answered Narcissa with an almost serious tone of voice.
Sirius stared at her, and seconds later they started laughing.
"Anyways," said Sirius, "hopefully Harry'll wake up soon. It would be nice if he got to know me a bit before having to go to Grimmauld place where we'll be surrounded and spied on constantly by Dumbledore and his supporters…"
Narcissa agreed, "if he does wake up, I'll send you a letter in the usual manner and you can sneak over here, how's that?"
"that seems like a good idea, 'Cissa"
Sirius spent a while more there, petting Harry, and chatting with Narcissa, before joining Lucius Malfoy in the man's study. They had a long talk with the portrait of Sirius' mother, who told them what Phineas had overhead at Hogwarts.
It was a very enlightening talk for them all, but for Sirius especially, who had still held a glimmer of hope that Dumbledore might just be slightly senile, but with good intentions. Now, after hearing everything that Dumbledore had talked about, and the meeting the man had with Pettigrew of all people, and how they had erased his memories with Snape's help. Not that Phineas had been present for that, but he had guessed, and Lucius had a talk with Snape soon afterwards, and the man had told him everything, so he had been able to confirm.
Midway through their talking, and plotting, Lucius had to have a house elf bring them something strong to drink, along with some snacks. The drinks were for the stress, and the snacks to have something to distract them. Lucius and Narcissa might have already known how manipulative and prejudiced Dumbledore is, but Sirius was still pretty distressed about it, no matter how much he had been able to hold it together the last week or so.
As luck would have it, a couple of hours later, right when Sirius went to Harry's room to say goodbye to him, Harry woke up; a little groggy, confused, and with some new found knowledge and resentment towards Dumbledore.
Sirius introduced himself with quite a bit of flair, the result of an evening of drinking, and his genetic makeup. The moment Dumbledore was mention, Harry and Sirius found something to bond over, and they spent another hour talking about the man, some of Sirius' history, and the plans they had made.
Overall, Harry took the news of his upcoming move to Grimmauld place pretty well, considering he would be surrounded constantly by a meddling Dumbledore and his supporters.
Before Sirius left, he promised to try to sneak over either on Christmas or Boxing Day. He barely remembered to put on his glamour once more, and by the time he got back to Grimmauld place, his high from the good company, and the drinks, were leaving him, so he stumbled over to his new room, formerly his parent's room, and he dropped to sleep on the King sized bed, falling to dreamland quite swiftly.
He woke up with a headache the next day, and Kreacher, who was holding a potion in one hand, and trying to shake him awake with the other.
"Forgive Kreacher, Master Black, sir, but that Dumbdoor man was being quite insistent in talking to you, and wouldn't stop pestering Kreacher until Kreacher promised to wake you up." Said Kreacher, as Sirius grabbed the potion from Kreacher and drank it quickly. It was a potion to relieve hangover, he had recognized the smell, and color quite quickly, since he had drank a lot of those since he had turned 16.
"It's alright, Kreacher, thanks. Is he waiting? What time is it?" asked Sirius, as he got up and shuffled over to the bathroom.
"it's noon, sir. Dumbdoor said he'd wait until half past noon before bothering again. He said it was urgent…"
Sirius nodded, and yawned. "alright, Kreacher. Make me some coffee, some waffles, some fried eggs and mushrooms, some hash browns, and some fruit pudding…I'm starving. Oh, and bring me the Daily Prophet, and the Quibbler, any none-cursed letters I might have received, and tell Dumbdoor I'll call him after I finish my meal."
"Right away, Master Black." Said Kreacher before popping away, leaving Sirius in the bathroom getting undressed to take a quick shower, and wondering what Dumbledore might want this early.
Half an hour later, at exactly 12:30pm, while Sirius was still halfway done with his late breakfast, Dumbledore called again. He answered Dumbledore's floo call in the dining room, where he was eating his breakfast; and he stayed sitting and kept eating while he greeted Dumbledore. It was an amusing image for Sirius, who saw himself as regally sitting on a chair, while Dumbledore was probably uncomfortable, kneeling on the floor in his office.
"Well, finally, Sirius, my boy." Said Dumbledore, his voice obviously exasperated. "Where have you been? Do you have any idea how many times I've tried contacting you? Didn't your house elf tell you it was urgent? It seems Azkaban hasn't made you any more responsible than you were before."
Sirius tensed, and stabbed a piece of waffle, "I'm sorry, Albus," he said in answer, his tone light and with a hint of confusion, "Kreacher didn't tell me anything of the sort…. He did mention you called, of course, but he didn't make it seem urgent at all…I'll be sure to punish the little blighter later."
"Yes, well, I suppose I have to forgive you, then. Well, the reason I've been trying to contact you is that I'll be moving the Weasley's to your home today. They received an anonymous threat, and I'm worried, as you can imagine; and with little Ron being released in time for the Holidays, well, I don't want any added stress for poor Molly." He explained, with a worried frown on his face, and a slight twinkle in his eyes that was barely discernible over the green fire.
"Sure, no problem, Albus. They can come over anytime. Thankfully, I managed to work out how to control the wards of the floo. They've been slightly tricky to figure out… since I'm a blood traitor, and a Dumbledore lover I'm afraid the house has been fighting my control." He explained with a roll of his eyes, and a tone of sardonic amusement when he said the last part about being a blood traitor and Dumbledore lover.
Dumbledore, obviously, heard what he wanted to hear, and smiled, almost pleased. "yes, well, I'll see what I can do to help you with those wards later."
Sirius smiled gratefully, "thank you, Albus, I was hoping you'd help me out. You know it'd be a shame if the house worked against us on during the holidays, of all times."
"Yes, that would be such a shame, especially since this is your first one as a free man. We have to make it special." Commented Albus lightly, happy that things seemed to be going his way.
"Well, just the fact that I'm a free man, and I've been proven not guilty is enough for it to be special, not to mention that we're getting Harry back in about a week and a half, too" said Sirius in a cheery voice.
"yes, there is that, as well." Answered Albus.
"anyways," said Sirius, changing the subject, "I've got things to do today, but I'm leaving the Floo open for you and the Weasley's…just don't bring anyone else, for now, I'm not sure how the wards will react." Warned Sirius, "but I did leave word with Kreacher that we're getting some guests… just don't expect him to be very cooperative… I had a hard enough time getting him to cook my meals without poisoning them."
Albus chuckled, "not to worry, my boy, I think I can handle a rebellious Elf with no problem."
"Well, then, don't say I didn't warn you." Answered Sirius with a laugh; in his head, he was eagerly awaiting what Kreacher would be telling him later about the plans they had made. He couldn't wait to see the results, and it was too bad he had to be gone, but for greatest annoyance, Sirius and Kreacher had figured that Sirius should be gone, at least for that first encounter.
Albus chuckled again, "see you later, my boy."
"See you later, Albus." Greeted Sirius. Albus disappeared from the fireplace, and Sirius frowned, "just how many time is he going to call me my boy? It's getting mighty creepy already. Ugh." Then he scoffed, shook his head, and finished his breakfast.
End Of Chapter
Chiyoku says: Well, I hope you enjoyed the chapter. I ended it here because it was about 9 pages already, and it seemed like a good place to end it. But next chapter for sure, we'll finally have the Weasley's at Grimmauld Place. Probably no Harry, yet, but it'll be getting easier to skip ahead now, especially once the holiday's are over. Although…we'll still have Molly…Ginny…probably Ron, too… I have to see how I go about stealing some power away from Dumbles without blowing Sirius'cover… anyways….much to do, much to do. But I hope you enjoyed this chapter, and see you next time! hopefully much sooner...)