Author's Note: I suppose I should be hiding from you all, since it took me so long to update. Still, later is better than never, right? Thanks go out to the fabulous Eleanor for her awesome beta skills. Thanks, Eleanor!
Harry and Sirius decided to lay low for the rest of the week in their little hideaway flat in Spider Warren. Sirius used the time to work out the kinks of their plan and jot down all of details. He went through several sheaves of parchment and then lost half of his notes. He whined about loosing them so much that Harry snuck out of the flat to make a quick visit to muggle London to purchase a three-ring binder with divider tabs and loose-leaf paper. Sirius could make his lists and put his plans on plain paper with as much mobility as he desired without causing Harry to go spare with his whining about missing notes.
Harry spent most of the time in bed, doing nothing but the absolute necessities: reading, studying, sleeping and (of course) eating. Sirius demanded that Harry gain at least a little weight back before they started on their plan. To facilitate this rapid gain of well-being, Harry ate what Sirius gave him, slept it off, ate again, and took his potions like a good little boy with a minimum of grumbling.
Snape continued to send scathing and rapacious letters insisting that Harry show himself or suffer the "undisclosed consequences." Of course, the idea of undisclosed consequences only made Harry want to hide with his godfather for the rest of his natural existence. That is, if you could call his current existence all that natural to begin with. Nevertheless, Snape in a tizzy was indeed a scary sight to behold, and Harry wasn't sure if he ever wanted to face the man again.
"Harry!" Harry looked up from his Potions book and closed it. "Remus is here!" Sirius announced.
"Coming, Sirius!" Harry said as he set the book aside and moved to leap up from his bed.
"No, you're not! We're coming to you!" Sirius, for some unfathomable reason, was fanatical about Harry staying in bed. Harry sighed, sank back against the pillows, and let the man have his way. Sirius entered, looking oddly domestic as he carried a tray (where he found it, Harry had no idea) and settled it across Harry's lap. It looked as though the tradition of large meals would continue. Harry almost looked forward to going back to the Malfoys on the sole principle that they might not pile on the heavy food as Sirius did.
Remus stepped into the room and looked between Harry and Sirius, his expression growing darker by the minute. He held in his hands the letter Harry and Sirius had sent detailing their plans for the rest of the summer. "I'm going to flay you both."
"Told you he would say that, Harry!" Sirius crowed as he left the room. Remus followed, whispering something to Sirius about being the adult. Harry shrugged and toyed with the silverware. He didn't want to eat alone.
"Well, young man. You're looking a sight better," Remus said as he pulled in a kitchen chair to sit next to Harry's bed. "How in the world did he get you into bed and make you stay there?" Remus asked, half in jest and half in earnest as he leaned over and gave Harry a quick embrace. Harry leaned into it and smiled.
"He told me that if I showed up at the Malfoys looking like a scarecrow, they wouldn't let me out of their sight again," Harry explained. "I only gave in because I knew he was right. Mrs. Malfoy would probably chain me in her room or something equally disturbing."
"Ugh," Sirius said as he came through the door way again. "Kinky thoughts about Narcissa?" Sirius gave a theatrical shudder and settled into the other kitchen chair he had dragged in behind him. "We really need to have that talk I've been promising you." Sirius eyed the still full tray and growled. "Eat, Harry."
"Sometimes, I hate you," Harry said crossly, still looking a bit green from the mental image.
He picked up his fork and started on the pasta loaded on to the plate. Sirius made excellent spaghetti, and he knew he would miss it when he was back at Hogwarts. Let other kids clamor for biscuits; he would want some of his dogfather's spaghetti. "I happen to have some experience with the fairer sex, which is more than I can say for you," he told the man.
"Whoa," Remus sat and looked between the two of them. "Mr. Padfoot…those words are just so wrong coming from the mouth of a twelve year old."
"Mr. Mooney, I do believe you are right…that was disturbing. When?"
"Er…before I was taken. Snape had a hand in it…shoved some sort of potion…Ginny was there…er…could we just not talk about this?"
"Snape knows about love potions?"
"More like lust, but yes. Again, can we not talk about this?"
Sirius shrugged, looking distinctly uncomfortable. "You brought it up…" Sirius seemed to cast about for a topic and then randomly selected: "HORCRUX!"
Remus jumped and Harry could only manage a smack to his head in exasperation. "Horcrux?" Remus asked as he picked himself up off the floor. "What about them?
"We must get rid of them."
"I'm getting rid of them," Harry said as he finished his juice and set the glass back on the tray.
Sirius looked at the empty glass and grinned. "No, you're not."
"Huh?" Harry asked, completely perplexed. "What do you mean, I'm not?"
"You're going to dreamland in just a short little while, to dream about, well, whatever nice dreams you little twelve-year-olds have," Sirius said as he reached out and plucked the tray from his lap.
"What are you talking about? I wasn't done with-" Harry's outburst was interrupted with a loud yawn. "Why, Sirius, you conniving Slytherin, what…?" At that point, talking became too much of a struggle and his mind started shutting down.
Sirius pushed him back onto his pillows and pulled up the blankets. "Have a good rest, pup. Uncle Mooney and I are going to destroy some Horcrux evilness."
Harry drifted off to Sirius telling Remus about this wonderful thing called Muggle sleep aids that knocked Harry out cold for twelve hours. Harry wanted to promise retribution, but at that point, it really didn't matter. His eyes shut as the two men left the room and his brain took a trip to La-La Land.
Harry woke to the sun peeking through his curtains. He groaned, rolled over, and stared at the ceiling for a few moments, trying to put his thoughts together to make sense of them. It was a lot harder than he expected.
Just as a few scattered thoughts started to come together, they would drift away into randomness. The randomness was actually a little disturbing. Who cared that the ceiling needed to be painted? His mind certainly seemed to think it was important, as he couldn't focus on anything else for the first few minutes he was conscious. Then his brain, still fuzzy, began asking and answering its own questions. What happened?
Remus came over last night.
Then Sirius, Remus and I were going to destroy Horcruxes…right?
Sirius wanted me to eat before we did.
It took a moment to remember what happened after that, and then: He… that MUTT!
Harry threw back his blankets and struggled to a sitting position. Okay, I'm spinning. Or maybe the room is spinning? Harry focused his eyes onto one spot on the wall and miraculously found his feet. Still spinning. He walked gingerly towards the living room and found Remus and Sirius collapsed on the living room sofa, fast asleep. Oh, this is just too easy.
Harry crept forward towards the kitchen and filled two large glasses with water before tiptoeing back to the living room. Then he threw water in the faces of Sirius and Remus and stood back as the two men spluttered. "Serves you right, going off to destroy Horcrux evilness without me!" Harry said, returning the empty glasses to the kitchen.
"Mr. Mooney, I think we have an upset pup on our hands," Sirius said as he banished the water.
"You think? You drugged me, Sirius! I hate that!" Harry felt an almost forgotten feeling settle into the pit of his stomach. His trainer had done that a few times when Harry refused to sleep during training, or when he tried to run off, or at any time he felt Harry was in need of rest. He could hear the man's voice, almost caring, telling him that he needed the rest that the drugs could provide, never mind how much Harry didn't like it. He shook his head to clear it of the voice and then looked back at the two crazy men in his living room.
"We're not going to discuss this. Don't do it again. I'm going to go take a shower." And with those words, Harry stalked off to the bathroom, leaving the first generation Marauders to their thoughts.
"You better be nice to him today," Remus said with a slight growl. "I could have told you that drugs were a bad idea. Harry even hates taking potions, Sirius. He doesn't like to be muddled like that."
"Yes, well, he did need the rest, Remus. No matter how often he says he sleeps, I know he hasn't been lying down as much as he needs to." Sirius buried his hands in his hair and sighed. "I don't know what to do with him. Sometimes, I feel like I'm dealing with someone decades older than me, and then something in him shifts and I feel as though he's about to have a temper tantrum."
Remus nodded knowingly. "I've had the same experience, Sirius. I think his adult mind and his child mind have sort of fused in some ways but different parts are in control in some situations, and the way he reacts to certain situations tells us who is in control. Or something like that."
"It's confusing," Sirius complained as he stood up from the couch and went over to the kitchen to pull out some eggs that Kreacher had brought.
Remus joined him in the kitchen area and started setting places at the table as Sirius cracked eggs into a bowl. "If you find it confusing, how do you think Harry feels? He's caught in between all of that. He must feel so much older than the people he attends class with, and then he's treated like a mere child based on his appearance. Even we have trouble remembering he's older than he looks. How do you treat someone whose physical appearance is preadolescent, and then you discover his thoughts and experiences amount to a world weary man?"
"Tis a conundrum, Mr. Mooney," Sirius said absently as he scrambled eggs. "Think he'll eat some porridge with this?" Sirius asked as his thoughts wandered elsewhere.
"You'll be lucky if I eat anything you give me ever again," Harry commented as he entered the kitchen area.
"He hasn't put anything in this, Harry. I've been keeping an eye on our happy little druggist," Remus told the boy. The last thing they needed was Harry going on a hunger strike. (Not that it didn't look as though he already had.)
"Good," Harry said as he sat down at the table. "You'll forgive me if I don't join in the preparations, but I find myself a bit groggy right at the moment." With those words, Harry's head came to a rest on the table next to his plate. "And yes, I'll eat the porridge, some fresh fruit would make me happy, and a cup of coffee would simply make my year."
Sirius and Remus exchanged glances. Could a muggle sleep aid double as Veritaserum? Or even better, a new way to make Harry eat willingly? Remus couldn't help himself. "How about some orange juice too, Harry? And bacon?"
"Sounds good, Remus. Tomatoes?" Harry asked, accepting the glass of orange juice from Remus.
"Coming right up!" Sirius said as he began pulling out the requested items.
"Brilliant," Harry announced from his place at the breakfast table. He watched the two men run around the kitchen in their excitement to take advantage of Harry's hunger, and he was almost laughing under his breath. He so loved to play with their expectations like this. Normally, he would do something like this and then dash their plans of feeding him. Except, today he really was hungry. Ravenous, actually. As in wanting to imitate Ron Weasley at a Hogwarts feast starving.
"Here you go, Harry. Eat up," Sirius said a few minutes later as he slid the eggs, bacon, and diced tomatoes on Harry's plate. His bowl of porridge was next as well as a few slices of buttered toast. Harry silently nodded in thanks, suddenly focused on his meal.
The two Marauders watched in awe as Harry started tucking everything away at an alarming rate. Remus managed to sneak another piece of toast onto the pile while Harry was busy with flavoring his porridge with honey. Sirius made sure the requested fruit appeared as Harry finished off his eggs, and Harry ate the strawberries so quickly that Remus thought that the fruit had Apparated itself into his stomach. At the end of Harry's slaughter of the breakfast, he sat back and sighed happily, one hand resting on his stomach. He surveyed the damage and grinned. "I think it's safe to say that I am healed as I am ever going to be," he announced.
"I agree, Harry," Remus said softly, still slightly amazed. He hadn't seen anyone eat like that in quite some time. "How's the stomach?"
Harry tilted his head in thought for a few minutes before reaching out a hand and snatching another piece of toast. "Close to sated. Now I have some reading to do." With those words, Harry walked away, munching on his toast and his thoughts already on his book.
"Er…" Sirius was speechless. Remus nodded in agreement. "I think I'm grateful that the Malfoys are considered rich. They're going to need every Knut they can find to keep that kid fed."
"Yes, Mr. Padfoot. They surely will." Remus gave himself a moment to pull together a tally of what Harry had eaten: two large spoonfuls of scrambled eggs, a handful (literally) of bacon, five slices of toast, a bowl of porridge, two tomatoes, two glasses of orange juice, and a bowl full of strawberries.
"So, what should we fix for lunch?" Sirius asked with a mischievous grin on his face.
"Chicken and pasta!" Harry called from his bedroom. "With some of that broccoli! And we do have cake, right?" Harry and his book appeared back in the kitchen and rummaged through the cabinets. "Oh, good, we do." With that announcement, he removed an apple from the bowl they kept on the counter and returned to his room.
"I'm afraid, Mooney." Sirius said, staring after the figure of his godson. "This is just…bizarre."
"He did mention he was still working on the spaghetti last night when he fell asleep. Perhaps his appetite is here to stay. He might be gearing up for a growth spurt, you know? Aren't kids supposed to have increased appetites before growth spurts?"
"Growth spurt? It's possible, but it's not normal for Harry. All the same, scary!" Sirius then noticed that Harry had conveniently disappeared when dishes needed to be done. "Kreacher!" The house elf appeared. "Could you take care of dishes for us, please?"
"Oh, Master is so kind." Kreacher said with a snap of his fingers. Immediately, the dishes leapt from the table and into the sink where they started a strange dance of washing themselves.
"The relationship between you and your elf has improved." Remus commented.
"He loves Harry. 'Nuff said." Sirius stood up from the table and went into the living room to peer around the edge of Harry's doorway. Inside, Harry was on his bed, reading his book and holding an apple core. Sirius found a smile stretching his face. It was safe to say that he was crazy about Harry, almost as bad as the elves.
"Okay, checklist time," Sirius said as Harry left his bedroom and joined him in the living room. "Luggage?"
"Check!" Harry pointed to the bag containing only his most impersonal belongings. Everything he didn't want the Malfoys to see was staying in his school trunk, safely miniaturized and hidden away in his satchel.
Sirius paused and looked Harry over. "You're looking a little knackered, Harry. Are you sure you want to go to the Malfoys' house now?"
"If we don't go now, I won't go," Harry stated firmly. "We need to leave now if we're ever going to go through with this insane plan. Though, I guess it does take a crazy person like yourself to think of such a crazy plan."
"This crazy plan is going to work, no matter what certain detractors may say or think about it," Sirius said, brushing some imaginary dust off his shoulder. "Now, you have your jacket and hat." He nodded in approval as Harry held up the clothing. "You're looking excellent, by the way. Spoiled rotten."
"I have a convict as my godfather, you know. He has lots of birthdays, Christmases, and just-because-occasions to make up for." Harry pulled on the jacket as Sirius plopped the hat on Harry's head. "Of course he'd spoil me."
"Good, very good. You're already in character. Lovely." Sirius praised. "Now, before we go, is there anything else you want to take with you? Anything you want to do?" Sirius sank down on one knee in front of Harry, coming to a rest with his hands on Harry's shoulders.
Harry stepped forward and wrapped his arms around his godfather. "Thank you, Sirius." Harry said softly. "For everything."
"Of course, Harry. That's what I'm here for." Sirius tightened his grip around Harry, happy to hold the boy he wished he could have raised. It was nice to see that he was still needed, no matter how old or experienced Harry might be in his head.
Harry stepped back and tried to avoid making eye contact with Sirius. "Ready?"
"Always," Sirius said happily. With that, Sirius Black transformed and waited patiently as Harry attached the lead and opened the flat door. The two Marauders were off to cause some havoc...or at least create slight confusion.
Narcissa Malfoy was not distracted. No, she was not distracted. She was not out of her mind with worry. She had bypassed worry long ago. Now, she was frantic with anxiety and completely desperate above all else not to show it. She had received a message from Professor Snape some time ago relaying a few words from Harry and she shook her head absently, trying to understand Harry's thought process. He had mentioned something about having "things to do," but what could an eleven year old child possibly have to do? Eat sweets? Sleep late? See friends? The boy did not make sense.
Narcissa pulled a piece of parchment closer to her and she hesitated for a moment when she reached for her quill. What could she possibly write that would entice Harry to come out of hiding? Nothing that would work for Draco would convince Harry. They thought differently, her boys, and she had a feeling that Harry would ignore all of their attempts to get his attention until he was well and ready to return to the public's eye.
A sudden clatter from the Floo in the parlor startled her and she dropped her quill to the desk, causing ink to splatter every which way. Another strange noise made her to leave her desk to investigate. She was sure she had heard that particular sound somewhere before, but it was not a common sound for her ears. It sounded like laughter, hysterical and happy at the same time. She left her study to find the source of the noise.
"Canis, you're a different color!" The voice crowed and her breath stopped in her throat. Could it be? She rushed down the hallway and saw her husband coming from the opposite direction. She motioned him closer and they entered the room holding their Floo connection. There, rolling on the floor with a massive black dog, was a soot-covered Harry Potter.
He did not notice them at first, so occupied was he with the animal. He crawled onto his knees and wrapped his arms around the dog's neck. "Proper first impression, Canis! You've gone grey with all of the soot on your coat." The dog seemed to tolerate the scolding with good humor before jumping on top of the boy and licking at several dirty soot spots on the boy's face. Harry laughed until tears came to his ears.
"Okay, okay! Stop, Canis! Please stop!" The boy pushed the large dog off him and then jumped on top of him. He wrestled with the animal and the canine playfully nudged the small boy off him and across the floor, much like a mother dog would treat her puppy when annoyed with the pup's behavior. This didn't stop Harry, however, as he came back for a second round of wrestling. He ended on the floor with Canis under one arm when Lucius Malfoy cleared his throat.
Harry and the dog looked up with identical surprised expressions. Narcissa had to hide her smile behind one of her well-manicured hands. Harry stood up from the floor and tried to adopt a respectful look. "Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy. He followed me home," he said, wrapping one small hand in the dog's thick fur. "Can I keep him?"
He looked up at them with such a hopeful expression, the dog beside him wagging his tail in an excited back and forth, that Narcissa felt her resolve against animals lessen. Her husband had his lip curled up in disgust the slightest bit. "Of course," she said before her husband could say no. "You'll have to take care of him."
"Don't worry, I will!" At that, the boy and dog ran from the room. Narcissa turned to watch them run up the stairs. She heard Harry's laughter and comment that dogs' paws do not give good traction on hardwood floors before the bedroom door shut.
"We're letting him keep that monstrosity?" Lucius bit out in an effort to hold onto his emotions.
"Didn't you see him? How happy he was? He was laughing, Lucius! How often has he done that?"
Lucius paused and looked in the direction of Harry's room. "Not once." His face twisted and he turned away from Narcissa. "I'll go inform the Minister of Harry's return. And Severus."
Narcissa stood and watched her husband storm away from her. She had once thought that Lucius merely tolerated Harry in their lives, allowing him to make her happy. Now, she had a feeling that it had become more than just allowing it. She had a sudden suspicion that Lucius was truly upset that he was not able to make Harry look that happy.
"Mrs. Malfoy?" Narcissa looked up and beckoned Harry into the room and away from where he stood in the doorway. He was freshly scrubbed and wearing some muggle clothing she'd never seen before. The dog padded in behind him, tail wagging and tongue lolling.
"Please sit down, Harry," she said, putting aside the letter she was working on. It was rather unlike Harry to seek her out, but she was glad he was taking the initiative to find her rather than waiting on her to interrogate him. Narcissa had desperately wanted an explanation for his actions, but she had wanted him to do so on his own; she did not want to pry it from him. "What may I do for you?"
"I was told I should talk to you and explain my actions." Narcissa was surprised, to say the least. Someone managed to convince Harry to come home? "I'm sorry," Harry said softly, his feet kicking back and forth in a childish manner. His trainers were narrowly missing the top of Canis's head, as the dog had come to a rest under the boy's chair. "I didn't mean to make everyone worry like that. They said I could go, so I did. I didn't think…" Harry paused. Narcissa remained silent, knowing he had more to add. "I didn't think anyone…I…" The boy gave a sigh and slouched back into his chair, looking every bit like a frustrated eleven year old. "This is hard."
Narcissa nodded in understanding, but waited for Harry to work out what he wanted to say. The Mindhealer had said that Harry would talk when he was ready, and not a moment before. A tea tray popped up on the side table and Narcissa mentally blessed Dobby's attention to Harry's needs. The boy obviously needed something to keep his hands busy. Holding a cup should do the trick. Narcissa poured and flavored the tea with Harry's usual combination of sugar and cream (even though Harry swore he didn't like cream or sugar, he always drank tea prepared this way when offered), handing it to him with a small plate of biscuits. Harry set the biscuits aside, naturally, but took the tea and sipped at the porcelain cup, quietly gathering his thoughts.
Canis sat up and raised his head to rest on Harry's knee. Harry's hand dropped down, almost as though he was unaware of it, and started petting the dog's head. "I didn't think that anyone would…care," Harry finally said. "I mean, my relatives let me do what I needed to do; I can be pretty independent when I want to be, and when I left, I just wanted to sleep, and then those newspaper articles were printed, and the Aurors were everywhere, and then I still felt bad, and he…" He closed his mouth abruptly, as though aware he had rambled on. "Anyway, when I had the chance, I hid until today." He stopped and set his cup aside. "I was told to give this to you," he said as he produced a small envelope. "He said it would help explain things to you. It's just…I didn't think it would matter to you if I wasn't here." Harry shrugged, as though to say that was all he had to offer her.
Narcissa turned the small envelope over in her hands. There was only her name on the front, and it was her nickname from childhood of all things. She had not been called "Cissy" by anyone but family in a very long time. "May I hug you, Harry?" Narcissa casually inquired, setting aside the letter for the moment.
"You need to make sure I'm real, don't you?" Harry asked with a grin. "You can hug me, I won't mind." He said, standing up. Narcissa moved slowly, mindful of the Healer's warnings, and wrapped her arms around Harry's shoulders. Harry simply stood there and permitted the hug. Narcissa supposed that was better than nothing.
"Thank you, Harry. I'm glad you're here, and I want you to stay. Don't forget that. In time, I hope you can come to call this place home," she said in his ear. She stepped back and looked him over. "You're looking a little tired. Perhaps a quick nap before dinner?" she asked.
"Maybe. Canis usually makes me lay down for a little while each afternoon. He's worse than a nurse!" The dog wagged his tail at this, as though he was unaware of the insult Harry had given him.
"Good dog," Narcissa praised. "Make sure he naps," she ordered playfully. The dog barked in response and wagged his tail. "Do you think he understands me?" she asked Harry.
"I have no idea," Harry admitted. "Sometimes, I think his first language is English, and other times he has no idea what language is. And when he sees butterflies, he just won't listen to you. He loves chasing those." Harry patted the dog on the head. "I suppose I'll go lay down now."
"I'll make sure someone wakes you for dinner," she told him. Harry thanked her and turned to leave the room. "Oh, Harry? Two more things… first, I think you should also have a talk with the others as well. Lucius was worried, Draco was concerned, and Professor Snape was quite upset. I know Lucius would appreciate it."
Harry's mouth went dry and he firmly told his pathetic, traumatized mind that this Lucius wouldn't hurt him. "I'll try to." Harry finally said. "What was the other thing?"
"You don't have to call me Mrs. Malfoy, dear. You may call me Narcissa, or Aunt Narcissa, if you're comfortable with that," she offered. "You're going to be living here, and we want you to be comfortable," she explained.
Harry nodded. "I'll try." He could make no promises on that. There was no way he was calling Mr. Malfoy 'Uncle Lucius'. No way at all.
"Who is this from, Harry?" Narcissa asked as she held up the envelope Harry had given her.
"Oh, that's from Sirius. He's my godfather." Harry told her as he turned and walked away. He didn't see the envelope fall from suddenly shaking hands.
Bet you thought you'd never hear from me again! Not once did you visit your poor relatives in Azkaban…especially your favorite cousin! I hope this letter finds you and yours well.
I'll get straight to the point of this letter and then we'll get into the details later. First, don't blame Harry for his long absence from your care. I found him almost immediately after he left the hospital, and I took him in while he recovered. Of course, he put up quite the fight when I first found him. He didn't know about me at all! The kid's a fighter, of course, but I managed to convince him that I meant him no harm. His reaction about finding out his godfather is an escaped convict seemed to fascinate him. Did you know he can brew Veritaserum? Apparently he found my answers satisfactory and we set about getting to know each other.
Of course, once the newspapers and the Aurors got involved in the search for Harry, I knew our time would be limited. He received a letter from his Potions professor demanding that he reappear, and we decided that your house would be the best choice. Harry didn't want to show up on dear old Snape's house only to spend the rest of his summer hols cleaning out cauldrons.
In the meantime, Cissy, I entrust my godson to your care. He is bringing along Canis, a big black dog that happens to love biscuits. Canis did indeed follow Harry home and the mutt has turned into quite a good watcher for Harry. That dog has the amazing ability to bully Harry into bed and persuading him to stay there as long as Harry feels poorly. Harry also eats better because Canis stares at him until he finishes everything in his plate. No need for an alarm clock, either. Canis usually wakes Harry up in the morning.
That said…I don't trust your husband, Narcissa. Yes, I know we all did things during the war we aren't proud of, but that doesn't mean I can just roll over and forget Lucius' Death Eater side. Let's just say that I'll be watching dear Lucius. If he so much as looks at Harry the wrong way... well, I'll leave it at that. I'll be working on securing my appeal, so Harry may not need to stay with you for too long. In the meantime, take good care of him. He likes you.
P.S. – I have a lot of catching up to do in regards to birthdays, etc. Expect frequent packages. – S.B.
"What do we do?" Narcissa asked Lucius as he finished re-reading the letter for the third time.
Lucius stared into space for a moment, the words of Sirius Black rolling around his head. The man sounded sane, if nothing else, and concerned (rightly so) for the welfare of his godson. "We become the best foster parents we can be, and do our best to give him an enjoyable holiday. Let the cards fall where they may. And pray that Sirius Black is not the dangerous man he is made out to be and that Harry won't be harmed." Lucius steepled his fingers under his chin and stared into space again. He would not allow the child to be harmed again while under his protection.
Author's Note: I did it! I updated! That said, I hope you all enjoyed this. The next chapter is already being worked on and shouldn't take so long to post. Quick disclaimer: What Sirius did to Harry was bad. You should never give sleep aids to someone else, as you don't know their proper dosage. They shouldn't be abused. Okay, disclaimer over. ;)