Almost a month after the Battle of Hogwarts, life seemed to be turning somewhat back to normal, or atleast as normal as it could get to a certain wizard. The seventeen-year old, almost eighteen, was practically a man now and had decided to fully inherit 12 Grimmauld Place from his godfather, Sirius Black. At first, he just kept the house as a meeting room for the Order of the Phoenix, but the Order had dissolved so the manor would remain desolate and empty. Harry finally decided that he should just go along with what his loving and last family member had left as a parting gift. He would do anything for the man who had risked his life for him. Sirius hadn't even asked too much of him, he wanted nothing more than his godson to take his previous home. So why not?
It wasn't entirely lonely staying in the large estate alone as his friends, Ron and Hermione, and girlfriend, Ginny, often visited. But he had to admit that they were getting rather distant since he wasn't always at the Weasleys. The previous flare of affection and love was slowly dimming down.
He brushed aside these worrisome thoughts and took a deep calming breath, staring out the windows of the room with the Black Family tree. Turning back to it, the familiar, horrific, yet stunningly beautiful face of Bellatrix Lestrange caught his eye the most. Harry walked towards it and stared at the image long and hard, then released a soft laugh.
"Sure glad you're done with, Mrs. Lestrange. You were just as bad if not worse than Voldemort himself." He said to himself with a small smile and walked up the stairs, took a shower, and changed into black jeans and a fitted white t-shirt, noticing just how much he had grown and matured in such a short time. The pants which were previously slightly large on him, borrowed from Sirius's closet, now fitted perfectly and the shirt used to be loose as well. Looks like training and fighting a horde of evil witches and wizards pays off.
Strolling into the kitchen he prepared himself a serving of bacon and eggs, as well as a plate for Kreacher who was surprisingly not in sight. Harry sat down at the table flipping through the pages of the pages of the Daily Prophet with little interest. There was a slight creak heard from the direction of Kreacher's bedroom in the back of the kitchen. Harry turned around to see the house-elf slowly walking over to him with a nervous look on his face.
"Good morning Kreacher, I made you breakfast if you'd like to eat. Why do you appear so worried? No more death eaters or evil lord to worry about anymore." He received no answer and shrugged it off, taking a sip of tea and turning another page of the newspaper. "Can you believe the rubbish that's in these things recently? All lies about the Second Wizarding War. I am most certainly not a soft idiot for saving Draco's life."
"Kreacher thinks that Mr. Potter shouldn't read today's Daily Prophet… there is news that Mr. Potter would not like." Kreacher grumbled in his scratchy voice. Harry looked at him curiously.
"And why shouldn't I? If it's something important, I should know it don't you think Kreacher?" A slight nod was all he got in return. Kreacher slowly came over to Harry's side and closed the newspaper with shaky hands, folded it in half to where the main headline is, and handed it back. Taking another sip of tea, Harry looked over the bolded words:
BELLATRIX LESTRANGE, ALIVE AND ON THE RUN
Harry was in so much shock that he spit out the tea and grabbed the paper and read the first line over and over again, hoping that it wasn't true and wishing that he was dyslexic and the words just formed into this horrid sentence because of his imagination. He looked down at the picture of Bellatrix, running through the woods, chased by Aurors, her trademark maniacal grin on her face as she disappeared into a black smoke. The now troubled wizard held his face in his hands, trying to remember the sight of Molly 'killing' Bellatrix. He had seen her fall… but not burst into ashes, or disappear… The chance of her living was very likely. Harry scrolled hurriedly through the rest of the article:
Bellatrix Lestrange, the fiercest of the death eaters, and most trusted ally of the Dark Lord was rumoured to be killed by Molly Weasley. But as we can now see, the curse she had sent didn't kill but injured. She was first sighted while coming from the direction of Malfoy Manor. The Aurors that quickly followed her in pursuit and expected her to be injured or atleast a bit weak from the Battle of Hogwarts, making her an easier catch. But it is inferred that she retreated to the home of her sister, Narcissa Malfoy and recuperated. As of now, nothing is known of her whereabouts or plans, but the Ministry is searching high and low for the witch. Their first stop will be the Weasley home, where she is most likely to appear for revenge.
Running a hand through his shaggy, short, black hair, Harry shot up from his seat and grabbed his wand as well as a handful of floo powder. Stepping inside the fireplace, he dropped the powder and said, "The Burrow!" immediately ending up stepping out of the fireplace of the Weasley residence.
"Oh Harry! It's been a while!" The hospitable, sweet, and kind mum of the family exclaimed, squishing him in a tight embrace.
"Pleasure to see you as well, Mrs. Weasley." Harry choked out as the rest of the family and Hermione hurried down to greet him.
"Hey mate, good thing you made it! I guess you read the Daily Prophet?" Harry gave Ron a nod after kissing Ginny softly on the top of the head, kind of awkwardly.
"Well, you along with everyone else believe that this is going to be Bellatrix's first stop. She is, after all, one to hold a grudge and want to destroy anyone who gets the better of her." George stated in his now less lively voice. The death of his twin brother, Fred, has had its toll on the joker and he probably won't become his normal self for a while.
"If I don't kill her this time my name isn't Molly Weasley!" Everyone stared at her. It was completely out of the ordinary for her to be in a crabby mood.
"Harry!" Hermione chirped running into his arms and giving him the same, warm-hearted hug she always gave him. Harry held out his other arm to Ron and they joined in a group hug that filled their hearts with happiness.
"Bloody hell Harry, you're a bit taller than me now. Was Voldemort stopping your growth?" Ron said amazed with a teasing tone, earning a punch in the arm from Harry.
"Probably was, stress doesn't really help hormones, or the pressure of being the only one able to save a whole Wizarding World" Hermione said, answering a question like she always does.
"Alright everyone, the Ministry officials will be here as soon as they can- Oh Harry! Good to see you again, you've become a rather strapping young lad in a month's time!" complimented Arthur, father of the Weasley family, while giving Harry a firm pat on the back. After a lot more conversation the Burrow was as loud and joyous as it always is until they heard a short knock on the door, causing all talking to cease. Mr Weasley went to the door and cautiously opened it to reveal Percy Weasley, third eldest child and now a high-ranking official under the new Minister of Magic, Kingsley Shacklebolt who was also present. With a short hug to his son, Arthur ushered them inside. They talked a bit more until Kingsley and Percy decided to scan the perimeter. Just as they walked outside and closed the door, a large crash was heard assisted by an all too familiar cackle.
Everyone rushed outside and stared at the black leather-cloaked yet stunning witch before them, slowly rising as black smoke faded away from her body. "Oh look I get a welcoming party!" She chuckled in her husky and enchanting voice. Everyone stood in front of the house in a line, wands outstretched. Bellatrix's vicious dark eyes scanned over everyone and stopped at Molly. "Why hello there... Sorry that my death didn't go as planned... you bitch."
"Incendio!" screamed Mrs. Weasley, a burst of fire casting out of her wand.
"Aguamenti!" responded the evil witch, water putting out the fire attack. "Surely you can do better!"
"Stupefy!" Calls Percy, a jet of red light escaping his wand, but the target merely used Protego, reflecting the spell and causing him to fall to ground, unconscious. Everyone rushed into action against the strong witch, one by one being defeated by her. Normally, she was an amazing duellist but she couldn't possibly stand against so many people for so long. Although, no one knew the anger, hatred, and desire for revenge that was coursing through her veins which only made her stronger. Even though she had avoided most of the curses sent onto her, a few had injured her greatly but she wouldn't back down. Apparently, the death of her leader created a new, fiery determination within.
"You can all surely do better than that! Come on now! Kill me why don't you, you weaklings! How you all managed to defeat Lord Voldemort, I'll never understand!" She teased while walking forward to her fallen enemies. The only one that had managed to remain standing and only slightly injured was Harry. He had actually attacked Bellatrix the most with memories of the death of Tonks and Sirius fuelling him with a dedication to win.
She cocked her head up in that arrogant way only she can do and smirked at Harry, seeing the fire behind his eyes. "Come now Potter, you haven't even come close to killing me yet. Do you not recall how I killed your dear sweet Sirius? The last family you had left, aw how sad." She cooed mockingly, only causing his anger to smoulder. "Not that he's someone to care about, the blood traitor." That final sentence caused Harry to snap and charge at her, wand outstretched, and the intent to kill written clearly on his face. "Impedimenta!" Instantly Harry was blown backwards away from her. She was strutting towards him, and upon reaching him, pressed her wand into his throat. "Cru-!"
"Expelliarmus!" Harry had deflected the Crucio she was about to put upon him by the famous disarming spell. "Incarcerous!" He retaliated with another spell before she could retrieve her wand and watched as she was tied up in ropes. She struggled against the restraint, screaming to the skies as they just bound tighter around her. "I'd like to see you escape those." Harry said to her as he rose, brushed himself off, and grabbed her wand from the thick grass.
All the Weasleys, Harry, Hermione, and Kingsley were sitting at the family dining table or standing in the kitchen after resting or regaining consciousness. Bellatrix was currently stupefied; her mouth gagged, and was locked in Ron's bedroom.
"If she destroys my room, I blame you for recommending putting her there, Harry."
"Well if she was in front of us right now, Ron, we'd probably stab her with a kitchen knife."
"I don't understand why we can't just kill her right now, Kingsley. She escaped Azkaban once and I believe she can do it again." Mrs Weasley said grudgingly at the dark skinned Minister of Magic. He simply took a deep breath and rubbed the back of his bald head.
"Look, it's complicated. The reason I don't think we should do it yet is because, well... how to put this, um if Harry wishes to keep her?" Harry's mouth dropped and he stared at the Minister with wide eyes. George let out a small snicker.
"Never knew you liked the sadistic type mate." Ginny slapped his arm but couldn't help feeling a bit happy inside that her brother was somewhat back to normal.
"What do you mean I might want to keep her? If anything I want her just as dead as everyone else here." Harry retaliated as Kingsley gave him a harsh stare, warning him to keep his tone even.
"It has to do with Sirius and his will. It's rather hard to understand and the Ministry had decided to keep this certain clause of it hidden because it didn't seem to matter. Everyone assumed Bellatrix would be dead as well as Voldemort but you were only informed that he wished for you to take his home." Looking around, Kingsley noticed everyone else looking on in keen interest. "Do you wish to speak about this privately?" Harry didn't say a word. Instead, he just stood, rubbing the back of his neck in thought, and walked into the living room with Kingsley following him. Knowing that they would want to be alone, Mr Weasley ushered everyone else to go either upstairs or help with the small damages made to the Burrow which they hesitantly did.
Harry seated himself on the couch where he, Ron, and Hermione had been when the will of Albus Dumbledore was being read to them. The Minister sat beside him, took out wrinkled piece of caramel parchment, and unfolded it. It was the will written by Sirius Black while he was in Azkaban, fearing that he would die there which he didn't. Handing it to Harry, he pointed at one long paragraph at the end of the note.
'And lastly, I leave with Harry Potter, my beloved godson, the Black family residence of 12 Grimmauld Place. Whether he wishes to put it to use or not is his decision but I would prefer that he does and takes good care of it as I trust a man like him would. Now, this part I am writing last because I know it's probably going to be the hardest for you to agree with. I have a cousin, Bellatrix Black, now known as Bellatrix Lestrange. You probably haven't had the... pleasure of meeting her yet but I am sure that the time will come eventually. After all, she is the most loyal follower of the dark lord. If I did not know any better, I could swear she was in love with the man. Anyhow, I know this is an idiotic wish to ask of you of all people, but I still care for her in some part of my heart. She is family and no matter how much I wish she wasn't, she always will be and I actually want the best for her. And to my knowledge, you would be the best. In the case that you decide to inherit 12 Grimmauld place, and my psychotic cousin isn't dead but her leader is, I propose that instead of letting her rot in Azkaban or be killed by order of the Ministry, let her stay with you. If you think that she'll say no when you offer to take her in, don't fret because I know Bella would rather live in the muggle world than be killed or live in this hell hole of a prison. I understand that I'm asking for a miracle here, and even if you don't want to do this don't think that I will love you any less. But if a woman that's already that insane spends more time in Azkaban, she'll make even the dementors go mad. Wish you the best of luck in life Harry.
Sirius Black the Third
"Oh my god, what was he thinking? If he knew just how much of a lunatic she is, why would he want me to suffer and live with her?"
"Well you know Harry, when people are in Azkaban they are given a lot of time to think. The smart and wiser ones, such as Sirius, realise things that are for the best of people they care about that no one else would ever think of. Under normal circumstances, I wouldn't let a criminal like her roam free but considering how much you in particular have done for the Wizarding world, I grant the right to keep her as a reward. I will inform the Aurors that all charges are dropped against her if she manages to stay clean. Even though many won't agree with this action, I'll take the blame and let bygones be bygones." Harry just chuckled dryly.
"Out of all the rewards I could get, I receive Bellatrix Lestrange and the right to let her live with me... ironic. I think I would much rather go unrewarded." Kingsley smiled at the boy's joke and watched as he held his face in his hands. He stood and patted him on the back.
"Take all the time you need to think over this, but for the time being she will be kept at Azkaban."
He couldn't believe he was doing this. The very idea was bizarre. Harry Potter, the previous mortal enemy of Voldemort, was walking to the cell of Bellatrix Lestrange, the most trusted ally of that enemy, and was about to take her into his home. The decision had taken two weeks of Harry pacing around in his room, although he asked no one for advice after informing them of what Sirius had wanted him to do. All his friends were against it, and honestly so was he until he thought harder about it. As of now, the most challenging part would be explaining all this to the subject of the matter.
"Bellatrix, you have a visitor." Stated Kingsley sternly, who had apparated Harry and himself inside Azkaban near her cell.
"Oh, really?" she drawled. "I didn't think I would have a visitor so soon; wish I could tidy up a bit." Her last time in Azkaban Harry could recall an image of her in the Daily Prophet of being shackled in chains attached to the wall of a dirty, stone-walled room. This was comparably much nicer. It had a steel sink, toilet, and a bed with a thin mattress on which she was now lying in, facing the other direction. "If it's Narcissa I hope she bought some appetising food."
"Sorry to disappoint you." Harry said stepping into the cell and leaning against the wall, looking at her. "Just me, sorry I didn't bring any sweets. If you had asked me before you left I wouldn't hesitate to bring some." She narrowed her eyes at him, sensing slight sarcasm then turned back to facing the back wall.
"Is there a reason you're here Potter? Come to kill me yourself have you?" Kingsley shut the door behind him and gave Harry a stiff nod and disappeared.
"Trust me, if I wanted to kill you I could have by now. The reason I'm here is a bit more complicated than that." She looked at him sceptically.
"Alright, out with it then." Instead of wanting to go through all the details with her, he took out the parchment he was shown two weeks ago and handed it to her, pointing to the last paragraph. She read over it quickly, mouthing a few words aloud, a giddy tune slowly growing in her voice as she continued. "My my, this makes me feel a bit guilty that I ended the man's life. If only I knew that he cared about me enough to get me out of here, I wouldn't have killed him." She looked back down at the paper with a frown on her face. "Psychotic and insane... now since he used those words to describe me, the guilt is slowly fading away."
"Not like he wasn't telling the truth." Harry snickered under his breath, earning a dangerous glare from Bellatrix.
"You really are like him though, I must admit... forgiving and merciful, ready to accept an apology if it's meant from the heart." There was a moment of silence before she spoke again. "So, I suppose you're here to pick me up. Sirius was right when he said I won't refuse to leave, even if I have to live with you. But I must ask... why are you doing this? He said you didn't have to. Have a soft spot for me eh Potter?" She winked at him making his eye to twitch a little.
"Not to sound too cruel, but I could care less what happens to you. Whether you died, are ordered to be killed, or have to spend the rest of your days in Azkaban makes no difference to me. Your existence honestly means nothing to me."
"Humph, well that wasn't offensive at all. Why are you doing it then?"
"It took me a while to think it over. First off, I couldn't let something Sirius asked of me go undone. Second, even if I didn't do it, I would eventually feel guilty about it. But by the time the guilt kicks in, it would be too late and you would be dead. The Ministry has decided that if you can stay under control for a while, all charges against you will be dropped." Bella tapped a long fingernail on her chin for a bit and with a shrug, turned, and stood up off the bed, stretching.
"Well I'm all for it, anything to get out of here. How did you get them to agree to the charges deal?" This was the question he didn't want to answer but sighed and did anyway.
"Apparently, as a reward for saving everyone, I'm allowed to let you live with me and eventually your criminal record will be erased." Bellatrix chuckled in a way that could only be hers.
"Ha! How ironic! You're reward is more of a present for me!"
"That's what I said..." Harry grumbled. "Anyhow, let's just be on our way."
"Wait, we need to stop at Malfoy Manor for a short time so I can get my belongings. I don't plan to stay in this." She said ushering to the dull, gray and white prison uniform she was wearing.
"Alright, alright but make it quick and don't try anything funny."
"I wouldn't dare." The witch replied with a sly, crooked smile. Harry rolled his eyes and took her hand in his. Oddly and disgustingly enough… the feeling sent a sort of warm tingle through him. Ignoring such feelings, he focused on the destination and apparated them to the mansion of the Malfoys.
"Hello there, Cissy! Didn't expect to see me again did you?" Bellatrix exclaimed pulling her sister into a hug as she opened the door. Narcissa Malfoy just stared at her in stunned silence and wide eyes.
"You managed to escape again?"
"No, much better, I've been released by Harry Potter and the Aurors won't be on my tail." This earned her a confused look. "Don't think to hard about it, I'll explain everything once we get inside. I'm only here to retrieve my things. Potter can't get in through. The wrought-iron gates outside only permit certain people to make it through them."
"Very well, do come in." Narcissa moved out of the way and stared past her sister at the boy-who-lived, leaning against the gates, wind billowing through his hair. She noticed how much taller and built he had become and turned around to call Draco to go and greet Harry. The previous animosity the two had with eachother was all but gone now. They weren't exactly friends but could have small talk when needed. The blond headed boy arrived to his mother's side, nodded at Bellatrix who smiled back at him, and walked down the stone pathway, surrounded by elaborate gardens. He passed through the gate as though he were smoke and walked over to Harry, shaking his hand.
"Hello Draco, been a while." Harry said, starting off one of their small conversations.
"Indeed it has. What are you doing here with Bellatrix?"
"It's a long story, but to cut it short she'll be living with me." Draco tried to hold in a snicker but failed. "What's so funny?"
"Oh nothing... just that... I feel bad for you. Not that I have anything against my aunt but she can be troublesome."
"Really now, how so?" Harry asked, turning to him with a raised eyebrow. It was best to get as much information about her as possible.
"Where do I begin...? Well, one very important thing to know is that she's very temperamental so be careful what you say."
"Already noted, but she won't be having her wand so I don't think she'll be much of a threat."
"Don't be so sure about that. She could use anything as a weapon, even a simple feather. I've never met anyone more frightening yet attractive at the same time." Harry couldn't help but give him a 'what the hell' look.
"Get your mind out of the gutter... she's your aunt."
"You think I don't know that? I mean, I'm not saying that I like her in that sense. That would be revolting. Honestly though, you can't tell me that you haven't thought atleast once that she's beautiful and has an enchanting aura about her? Even as evil and cruel as she can be, she's quite a sight." It was true, Harry had to admit. His new housemate was very stunning, her age is barely even noticeable but he wouldn't think things like that about her.
"Can't argue with you but I'm sure her personality cancels out her looks and makes her an overall terrifying person."
"True. Oh, and last thing that you must know she'll most likely get her way with you."
"Ha, I doubt it. There can be no way in hell that I would let her ever get to me."
"Tsk, tsk. Potter, you don't understand yet. She basically uses her feminine charm to make you do her bidding. She's manipulative and quite honestly, a seductress. Soon enough, you'll be wrapped around her finger.
"I always thought of her as another's' word, sadistic."
"That's no lie." said Draco laughing.
Bellatrix was currently throwing her mainly all black robes into her trunk as Narcissa watched her, taking in the information that her older sister had just informed her about.
"Well then, that's splendid news Bella. You get a fresh start and this is all because of someone who we both least expected, Harry Potter."
"Shocks me as well to see how he's actually willing to do this. I was planning on running away once we arrive at his place, but the chance to clear my record? That's too much to pass up."
"Indeed." Narcissa thought pausing for a bit and remembering the sight of the much more mature Harry. "You know what I've noticed? That Potter boy has grown remarkably well." Bellatrix looked up at her from sorting her trunk, raising an elegant brow. "Oh come now, Bella. You have to admit the puberty fairy was most gracious in his case."
"I suppose so, never really looked at him in that light." Bellatrix replied dryly even though she knew in her heart that she noted the first time she saw Harry upon arriving at the Burrow that he was quite handsome. If she wasn't mistaken, he was even taller than her now. Burying the thoughts away, Bella locked her trunk and briskly walked out the door of the manor, giving her sister a quick hug. "I don't know how I'm going to survive without my wand for so long though."
"Ah, that won't be a problem for you. You lived for a while without magic before and you can do it again." The fact was true and gave the witch some comfort as she passed through the gate in a smoke-like state, appearing next to Potter.
"Ready to leave when you are." Harry and Draco had become silent once they heard the clicking of her black leather boots. Their previous conversation had consisted of cracking jokes about her love to Voldemort; if she had heard, they would both be as dead as the evil lord.
"Alright then, let's go. Bye Malfoy."
"Bye Harry and good luck. You'll need it." Harry gave him a smirk, thinking how fortunate he was that Bellatrix hadn't heard the second part. Harry took her hand and swallowing down the warm, annoying feeling again, he teleported them to their new home.
A/N: My first Harry Potter fanfiction, don't own anything. I'm sad to say that I haven't actually read the books, pathetic I know, so if I get any details wrong, my apologies.