Hey, just to say, do not worry about Tonks, it is explained more in this chapter and has a factor later, I just thought it would be interesting, something more to set me apart from the others, I hope you enjoy. Next chapter you get the next big surprise!
Catch a rabbit – Sirius lifted Harry high into the air, swirling him around while he squealed excitedly. He set him down in midair, using magic to keep him from falling to the ground. This was his favourite game and Sirius found his core growing much like muscles do every time he was asked to do so. lifting someone with your mind is fine when casting Winguardium Leviosa, but when you are giving that person full control over their flight it requires constant concentration, well that is like most spells really, exertion. It was not so hard anymore and Sirius smiled as Harry moved his arms in a swimming like motion as he'd done on the beach and in the swimming pool those weeks ago. A fond smile came to his lips, since that weekend he and the bushy haired girl had become inseparable and they were often round each other's houses.
The four year old laughed as he grabbed the stag he'd gotten for his birthday as he swooped close to the ground and flew around the house with it, Sirius never more than three paces away from him. Harry knew Sirius needed to be nearby to cast the spell but didn't like him ever straying too far from him really. Once they got to the garden Harry started to swim higher and higher trying to get faster and Sirius had to levitate himself to remain close enough which meant his full concentration was torn in two different directions and while neither of them were in any particular danger he'd rather not risk it when Harry was involved. "Fly a little lower Harry," he called up to the child who was having so much fun he only just heard him, "if you want to go high and fast we'll fly together on a broom, come down I can't hold it."
The child did what he was told to immediately albeit reluctantly and returned to Earth, doing a couple of laps round his father before dropping into his arms with a beam. In the short time Harry had known him he had showered him with love he had never known before, not even from James. Harry gave him his complete trust and looked at him with eyes full of adoration as if he could protect him from everything, which he could, which he was in fact doing. Seeing the boy so loving and carefree and happy, loving in his young voice and having so much fun, it was hard to believe had had experienced so much pain and torture and had once been so shy and wary. His eyes narrowed slightly in memory and he tightened his hold on his Harry protectively, that reminded him, the Dursleys were overdue for another visit.
"Alright little nightingale," Sirius said, kissing his forehead, let's see what Kreacher has cooked up for us, ok?" At the mention of the house elf and food combined, Harry jumped out of his arms and sprinted into the house calling for said elf. As soon as Kreacher appeared, Harry bowled straight into him, wrapping is arms round the house elf. This was another favourite game, tackling Kreacher with surprise hugs, unfortunately for Harry Kreacher had gotten used to them after the first 200 and no longer even raised his eyebrows, well if he had any eyebrows to raise he wouldn't raise them, that was how used to it he was. Expressing such love for the little creature was a surprising turn but Harry' heart was so big and Kreacher was not crazy anymore.
Kreacher returned his affection with love of his own and they had become quite the team. They even pulled pranks together, although because he was so young and Kreacher so stern, the pranks they played were very minor. He pranked Hermione a couple of times but never enough to annoy or seriously scare her, only to make her laugh. The model daughter had started to be influenced with him and while her parents thought it was a bad influence at first they came to realise that since meeting Harry she started to act like a child. She still spoke like an adult and read books a lot, some of them aimed at teens at least, but she was acting more like a four year old than before. This was nothing but a relief to everyone affected by such a change.
Neither of them would dare prank him, or even so much as think about it. This was not just because he was the father to one of them and master to the other but because he was a prank lord, a famous marauder and to challenge him was like signing a death warrant. Just because he was a father, an escaped convict, a reluctant adult and a vigilante warrior with an unlocked core, and a descendent of Merlin himself, first and foremost he would always be Padfoot, the marauder. He was grooming his son to be a right troublemaker by the time he was 11, just like his fathers and Remus whom he would allow to become Uncle Moony once more in a year or so once he forgave the man for his transgressions against him, against all of them.
While Sirius ate his chicken soup and thick bread with heavily spread butter he thought about how he was going to tackle his revolution. Lucius was small fry, he talked big but since the dark Lord fell he had not really been with it anymore. He was not a danger, he would become one once Voldemort came back and he was still at large, but while he was gone all he needed to be arrested for was his previous crimes. He had settled down, paid more attention to his wife, and Bellatrix, he remembered with a snort and had a child of his own. But some of the others were going to prove a serious problem and it just bruised his ego if it was a real struggle for him, after all, Merlin could level cities if he so desired, kill Voldemort and all his followers in a week whilst raising Harry!
But he could not cast magic as a dog and being a dog was the only way he could remain inconspicuous, well heavily guarded and warded houses did not get stray dogs in the garden but it would not be a disaster if he was seen. He could not hold invisibility charms up forever and they weren't fool proof. It did not matter how powerful he was in the spell just wasn't enough; powerful families would be able to see through it. He would practise a little longer, but it wasn't something small, practising such a spell, it was like body building, it took too long. If only James was still alive, not only would they be doing this together but they could just use his in- that was it! Halfway through apple pie and custard the blue prints were mentally written.
Then there was family, they should be at least one of his top concerns, even the ones he didn't like, which was, well let's see – most of them. He could hardly claim to be the new Lord Black, and he did plan on making that clear very soon, and then not do the duties of the Lord. That would not do at all; he had to start paying attention to people. Bellatrix was someone he hated, but the Black laws were very strict, he was sure there was something he could charge her with which would give him the right to kill her. Possibly torturing the Longbottoms, they were peaceful folk and if he remembered correctly, they were once his allies. The Potters were his allies, brothers by blood, however weak it may be and brothers by heart, all followers of Voldemort had done them wrong too.
Narcissa, he was not so sure about her, she kept giving him mixed signals. There was following the dark Lord, but he always got the impression it was more of a passive fascination than something she believed in herself. Against popular belief he did hold something for the woman, and was keeping a loose tab on her. First and foremost she was a mother and she was working on getting her son back and more or less succeeded, not that it really would have made much of a difference. Just because Snape was his named legal guardian did not stop the two living together so mother and son were apart. Still, she was going through the legal means to get her boy back, which was impressive, if she was headstrong enough to do that, she was not too docile to follow the right side.
The right side, what was the right side? It was not the light side that was so sure, mindless puppets of a mindless old man, no, his side. He would get round to it and have people swear their allegiance to him, behind every great leader there was an army after all. He had some vague relatives living in far off places, but the reasons they were so faraway were because they wanted little to do with their heritage: the most ancient and noble house of Black. He understood that, he'd run from it too when he was younger, he'd only bother them if it proved mandatory. He'd work closer to home to start off with, Andy, she was fine, as far as he could tell, and her daughter and her daughter's… he broke off his thoughts. The worried expression on his face was not lost by his personal elf.
"What is troubling you sir?" Well at least there was one person in his life who could read him like a book and was old enough to talk about it.
"Tonks," he answered straight away because there was no point even trying to hide anything. "I ran into her in the hotel when we were on holiday with the Grangers."
"That was a nice surprise for you." There was a touch of sarcasm to his words; the last thing Sirius had wanted was to run into family, even if he cared about them.
"I guess so," he answered thoughtfully, not catching onto it, "in a way."
"Well what is the trouble?"
"She said that she had a little boy herself, she is only young, you know, still at school, when I come to think of it, though she pretends to be a lot older, I wish she'd stop that, must be the age. I sound terrible Kreacher, but do you know how old she is?"
"15 years I suppose, maybe 16. Sirius, did you not hear? She does have a little boy now, she called him Teddy."
"What? How? But she is so young? Who?"
Fortunately Kreacher understood what he was talking about and could offer a suitable answer, "do not worry, it is not biological. She found him as an abandoned cub."
"She can't call him cub, that's what I call Harry."
"I mean it sir, when I say cub, he really is a cub. Werewolf, born, not bit, abandoned, she found him in a gutter, isn't that charming."
"A real cub, raising him with her mother I guess. Teddy, I suppose he and Lupin should meet. I'd prefer for the little boy to meet him before Fenrir."
"That another thing you want to get involved in so quickly?"
"Well, she is family, and I am Lord Black and I want to know this baby werewolf."
"Bellatrix is family, Malfoy is family, you don't go rushing to them."
"Tonks is family I care about, even after the day in the hotel where she was going to threaten me, honestly I found that quite amusing."
"She will be fine, trust me, focus on who you know is posing a threat to the rest of your family you care about."
That night once Harry was asleep, or at least, in his room, Sirius wandered about his own chamber adding finishing touches to his mental picture. Once he was satisfied he pictured Dumbledore's office in his mind and apparated. There was a loud cracking noise and then pain wracked through his body and he collapsed back onto the floor of his room panting in pain and confusion. It seemed there were some places not even he could apparate into, so his office was guarded adequately but not the grounds? He tried to get up but found he was not able to; he twisted his head to the side and came nose to big toe of his left foot. He raised an eyebrow, he'd splinched? He never splinched, never, Merlin never splinched, must be because of Dumbledore's office.
"Kreacher!" He yelled. The elf appeared immediately and started to cast reparation spells on his body. Moments later he was sitting next to the elf caressing his feet as if still getting used to the fact they were still there. He'd never lost limbs before but at least there was a way for wizarding folks to get them reattached. Sirius spotted a speck of blood on the floor and he quickly mopped it up with his handkerchief. He turned to meet the quirked eyebrow of his personal elf and offered his trademark lopsided smile in answer. "Well you know what they say Kreacher," he shrugged, "if at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried." Once he'd gained his bearings once more he got to his feet and said, "right, try two, I'll have to settle for walking part way."
With a small crack he had disappeared and reappeared right next to the gargoyle leading to his office, a small concealment charm was on him. He only had it on his form to hide himself from anyone passing by the doorway when he appeared but it would seem he needn't have bothered. "Humbugs," he whispered but nothing happened. Damn it, he seethed, it had been six years since he was at school of course he would have changed it by now. "Oh I don't know... jelly tots? Sugar mice? Liquorice allsorts? Dolly mixture? Chocolate frogs? Oh wait no; of course, I've got it, sherbet lemon!" Sure enough the gargoyle slid aside, and smirking Sirius stepped onto the staircase that carried him up to the office which was disturbingly empty. Dumbledore wasn't here; well that was a stroke of luck, and factor, he realised, he'd forgotten to take into account.
"How you doing Fawkes buddy?" He smiled at the phoenix which just, seemingly in answer, burst into flames. It might be just him but to Sirius that just seemed rude.
"Ah, a visitor," sounded a gruff voice from above him and he found himself staring at a shelved sorting hat, "hello again Mr Black."
"Greetings," Sirius nodded. The hat, he'd more or less forgotten about that tattered old thing too, of course, it resided here whist it was not needed.
"Come to be sorted?"
"Umm, no, not really, I've finished school now, as you well know. I was well placed, believe it or not, Griffindor did me a lot of good, right now I'm looking for something."
"You may be surprised." It was not going to give up and the way it was going on made the man wonder if there really was something to it. Knowing the sorting hat was probably just bored as it was only used once a year Sirius picked it up and placed it on his head. "Ah, just as I suspected, you are more suited to Slytherin now Mr Black."
"It is all here in your head. You will always be part Griffindor though, loyal and so brave it borderlines foolishness, though that may be more of a personal characteristic. You'll find Mr Potter's invisibility cloak in the bottom drawer of the wardrobe. The way to get the infernal piece of furniture to open is to ask it nicely."
"Oh thanks," Sirius offered as he made his way upstairs. Sirius never thought he'd ever find himself complimenting a wardrobe or that he'd be thanked for his kind comments but as it got the door open, he was happy. He reached inside and soon found soft silk sliding through his fingers, he grinned in triumph. It wasn't really stealing, he told himself as he walked out of Dumbledore's office wearing it, after all it was legally Harry's now and Sirius did intend to give it to him eventually, just not just yet, Harry didn't need it, he did. Either way, no matter what, Dumbledore didn't need it, and with any luck would not even notice it was gone for a while.
Sirius lined the figurines in a row on his kitchen table. They were all evenly spaced apart and they all looked the same, such are human lives. "Eenie, meenie, miney moe," he started in a quiet, low voice, "catch a rabbit by its toe," he spoke slowly, caressing each figure as he moved passed them with the pads of his fingers, "if it bites, let it go, eenie, meenie, miney, moe." He came to a stop on the seventh figurine and lifted it up and turned it upside down to see the name he had written there previously. The word 'Nott' was written in black ink as clear as day and he'd be lying if he said he felt no apprehension, but with apprehension came excitement. The marauder in him grinned at the risk, he would not pale, "so be it," he muttered.
Nott, like most infamous prosperous families did not make it a habit to hide their property or which one they spent the majority of their time in. Sirius always did his homework; of course that did not necessarily mean he was any the wiser, but he got a heads up. They had four properties in total, one main living house, two in exotic countries and one reserved for grand meetings and parties, rich snobs. Yes he had money and power but he did not overuse it, he would only have two properties, this one which was inherited, and a smaller house somewhere he could escape to with his Godson once all this was over. In fact maybe he'd stick with an apartment; he was used to living big but after living with James, who loathed showing off his grandeur, preferred the quieter life.
It was the beginning of December, among the upper classes this month was dedicated to drinking and dressing up and partying. The Black household was no exception when the family members had still been alive and hosted numerous parties in the great hall. In fact Sirius suspected that it was these parties that helped drive Kreacher insane. The upper classes treated these parties as a competition of sorts to see who could produce the grandest. It always went in order, Black, Malfoy, Nott, Zabini, Avery, the list went on... all Slytherins, they stuck together. Houses such as Dumbledore and Potter held them too, but it was more of a friendly gathering. His eyes twitched, it was just going to be him and Harry for Christmas this year.
Malfoy and Black were going to be missing out of this year's celebrations, which meant Nott would be the first to host a party. He wondered if he should come along, in disguise of course, maybe invisible instead of hiding in the bushes of their party manor as a dog. It would tell him who else to target, he did not have many figurines at the moment, although he did have the most powerful ones nailed down. Taking down powerful families were in fact easier than ones who had a reason to be on guard but had little magical power or influence. Those with influence did not fear, they were so self-assured in their prosperity and the corrupt ministry being in their pockets that they never looked over their shoulder. Little did they know vigilantes exist outside muggle comics.
Once he'd taken down Nott, and like all powerful families it would not be hard, he would start to be feared. Lucius had been hushed up, but he did not need to leave Nott somewhere as private as Fudge's office, no, he could leave him, and possibly his wife too in front of the ministry of magic's headquarters so more people would see them. With each death eater captured there would be more and more public displays until the whole world knew about them and him as the vigilante capturing them and his innocence. After that the death eaters would start to look over their shoulders but that was ok, because it was about time he was faced with a challenge. It was time he was feared for the power he could wield.
Sirius lay on the bed in the master bedroom waiting for his guests to finish partying and come to join the after party he had prepared just for them. He was waiting for a while under the invisibility cloak until eventually the door creaked open and in stepped Lady Nott. She was dressed in a long flowing pink dress which hugged her hips, splaying fabulously around her; he had not really been paying attention to her dancing when he'd been stealing the guest list. Her breasts were spilling out of it, he raised his eyebrows, he was in no doubts about why she was in here first. She started to slip out of her dress and Sirius knew he should say something but he was silent and watched in sick fascination as she stripped to her underclothes.
She was standing right before him, gazing at him with desire, no, not him, the bed. Still, it was hard to stare into those glassy eyes boring into his own, with lust clearly visible, and not feel a stirring of reciprocation. Eventually he got a hold of himself and closed his mouth, he pulled the invisibility cloak off him, revealing himself lying outstretched on the bed she was just about to lay down on in the most provocative way she could. She gave a startled shriek and grabbed her dress, struggling back into it as she stumbled away from the bed in fear. Her eyes grew wide as a grin spread across his features and he sat up, following her with his grey eyes.
"Sorry for the impromptu visit, I can imagine this has come as something of a fright." Lady Nott whipped out her wand and fired several shots at an absorbing shield before halting her progress and realising that the convict had not returned fire and just continued talking to the now brave faced woman as if nothing had transpired. "I realise that my appearance is not exactly welcomed," he mentioned dryly, "however I am afraid that in light of recent inaction by the ministry it appears it has fallen to me to me to carry out justice. I thought that Fudge arresting Lucius was an improvement, that the ministry were agreeing with me and were going to step up and arrest those they know are death eaters, but weeks after Lucius, nothing has been done."
He got up and pointed to a chair in the corner of the room, "please, sit." When she did not do as he asked he sent a wave of magic to come force her. "Thank you, and please do not say anything, you really have nothing to say for yourself but galleons and everyone knows it, and unfortunately for you it holds no sway over me. I do not need your money for I am sure that once the protests fall on deaf ears that is what you will resort to, I have plenty of my own. You acted as a couple, so I believe I shall judge you as one." He transfigured another chair and seated it next to her before settling down cross-legged on the bed like he'd been before. "Call him," he ordered.
Lady Nott did not look like she wanted to comply and stared at him with pleading eyes. 'Interesting, she does not mind you convicting her, but she wants you to leave her husband out of it.' Hmm, no doubt her husband would act the same way. When she continued to say nothing Sirius decided to give her a little prompt. "Please Mary," he asked civilly, "I may not be a convict or a death eater as you well know but I am dangerous and I have a short temper. You can call him yourself or I can go and knock him out and drag him in, but let us do this with no bloodshed ok? I do not like to resort to violence, but I will if I deem it necessary, do you understand me?"
"Brian Leroy!" She called in a sultry voice, "Ariel's calling, ok?" Sirius smirked at her nickname, Ariel? Seriously? He called her Ariel when they were alone? There were a few moments of silence and then the door was banged open and the first word out of Brian Leroy's mouth was 'Expelliarmous!' Of course it did nothing because he did not have a wand but it rocked his shield, and as it was disarming magic, not an attack, it actually dealt a blow to it instead of reinforced it. It wasn't a call of lust, it was a warning, she was not called Ariel and his middle name was not Leroy damn it. Brian Leroy Ariel's calling ok. But damn, they were smart. He could not help but feel some respect for that trick but it slowly faded away as he hardened now in the depth of battle.
Sirius had to think quickly, very soon people would arrive to help them fight and he hated being outnumbered when in unfamiliar terrain. He was powerful and could probably take on about twenty wizards, but not on their home turf. His shield would not hold for much longer and he could not retaliate when he was holding it, there was only one thing to do, he hoped he could pull it off. A lumos spell lights up his hands without a wand as a source, though if he wished he could create a hinging globe of light. For darker areas when he put more power into it, the spell encompassed his wrists as well and glowed brighter. That meant that if he used enough force he could make his lumos include his entire body.
With a blink and a large twitch of will he was glowing a brilliant golden colour. Even his eyes were shining; his pupil and iris completely disappeared, giving way to pure whites. As expected the Notts were blinded and stopped firing spells for a moment to cover their eyes with shock. Knowing he only had seconds to act before they leapt back into action he dropped his shield and surged forward. He wrapped one arm around each adult and apparated to a large expanse of green he knew that no one ever visited; this was because it was owned by the Black family. It had anti apparition wards around it so they could not escape. Sirius used the distraction of their nausea from the unexpected apparition and stunned them both before tying them up. He was breathing hard with adrenaline once he was done, an out of place grin on his face.
The Nott's had been a challenge and knocked his cockiness right out his rear end. He was reminded of when he had told his friends that because the exam was multiple choice he did not have to revise. His cockiness had kept up right until the point he turned over the front cover of the exam and saw the questions. His testicles shrank back into his body and while he scraped a pass everyone had done a lot better than him because they had revised for it. He wanted to retake it but that would have been admitting he was wrong and he was forced to do extra well on his assignments to make up for it because no way could Snivellous beat him in every subject.
Now that he was recovering his breath he realised that it had still been relatively easy. Fair to them, entering their house was easy because they needed the wards down in order their guests to enter. And (as far as they knew) he had not made an appearance throughout the duration of the party they thought themselves safe. A small noise alerted him to his hostages struggling against their restraints; surely they knew it was futile. "Oh good, you're up," he noted dryly, amusement in his tone kneeling before their lying down forms. They obviously thought they were going to die because they started telling each other how much they loved each other and that made him stop because when they were doing that it made them seem so... human.
"For a couple capable of so much hate you seem to portray love so well. I'm confused, how do you do it, this relationship thing."
They were not sure what he wanted but now it was clear they had been beaten and intimidated so answered in a way he wanted. "Shared ideals," Lady Nott said, her husband nodded fervently, eyes flashing, she was not as scared as she appeared to be. Shared ideals, he guessed that was how Petunia and Vernon worked as well. Shared ideals, he was never going to find someone for him but he did not care as he had Harry now. It had to be some twisted up woman to share his ideals and he was not sure he would want someone who was damaged like that; he was getting a hang of this parenting thing to a now four year old Harry but apart from that was more of a lone wolf, only a brother would make a good enough sidekick for this revolution of his.
"Another question, and trust me it is in your best interest to answer." He did not mind letting them think he was going to kill them, it got their cooperation after all and if they thought they were going to die they would not withhold information if he gave them the impression he would let them live if they told him what he wanted to know. "Now, when Voldemort was still in power, how close were you two to him, inner circle?"
"Inner circle," Mr Nott agreed looking annoyed, "and you know that so there is no point asking," he snapped, sounding awfully cocky for being tied up on the ground.
"I'd watch your tone Mr Nott," he advised with a feral grin, "you are tied up on the ground in the Black estate, unable to apparate and at the mercy of the most dangerous wizard since Voldemort, do you really think you can survive expletives as I'm sure they will come next?"
"I know you are not a death eater."
"No, but that does not mean I am not dangerous though, now does it? Of course if you need another demonstration of how much pain I can put you through even without my wand I'd be more than happy to oblige."
Mr and Mrs Nott paled.
"Now we understand each other, tell me, were you under the imperious when you bore the dark mark and did his dirty work?"
"No," they said in unison.
"Why did you join him? Did you share his ideals?"
"We did," again they spoke in unison.
"Hmm, you are decidedly disgusting, and prejudiced and delusional, and evil," he shook his head. "I cannot believe you have been allowed to go on this long, well finally someone has decided to roll his eyes at the incompetent ministry and take matters into his own hands to make sure everyone gets his and her just desserts. I'd have thought you'd be on alert after Lucius, surely being the smart ones you are you made the link between the two of us? Well, never fear, after you two fear will definitely be struck into the hearts of the rest of you lot."
"What you did to Lucius," Mary mused, "so you won't kill us?"
"Even though you have a brat of your own, I do not share blood with you I'm afraid, well I am not afraid, I have to take down both of you. No, you will not be killed, not by me; you shall be arrested where you will hopefully be kissed as you share his inner circle, which may as well be death really. But you only have yourselves to blame."
When they were suitably stunned and slung over each shoulder he wondered where to leave them. Last time he had left Lucius in Fudge's private quarters. This time he would make things a little more public, how about the doors of the ministry headquarters, then all the main officials would know of his innocence and his mission. Some of those officials would be death eaters and one of them would be Arthur Weasley hopefully, his many children would make fine friends for young Harry. Of course it was not the end of the world if he was still being hunted after that, he'd hidden this long he could hide longer, there were still many more death eaters to go through. Now Nott was gone with little trouble he knew the others would be easier. Besides, Dumbledore and the Order would catch on soon enough, Remus seemed better though he still did not like him at the moment.