Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any of its characters. If I did…Sirius and Remus would have never died.
Warnings: Strong language, Umbridge and Dumbledore bashing.
This takes place in the same "Universe" as Of Collars and Belongings, That Man, Home and Nightly Conversations but they don´t really need to be read to be able to read this story.
Events that happened in OotP do not necessarily happen in this series. The attack on Arthur Weasley did not take place because Harry doesn't dream about Voldemort's actions.
This is written as friendship. If you want to see it as slash, be my guest :)
Prompt for this story:
Harry Potter and the Goblet of fire chapter 18. The lines "He came back to the country just because my scar twinged. He'll probably come bursting right into the castle if I tell him someone's entered me for the Triwizard Tournament."
And I wondered…what If Sirius had learned about the Blood Quill?
This story is what ran away with me as a result.
Rewritten April 2014 and Beta-ed by Kitty.
It had been a relatively quiet dinner at Hogwarts, or at least as quiet as Hogwarts ever got just before the Christmas Holidays started.
The first hint Harry received that things were going to change soon were the hairs in his neck standing up for no particular reason.
The second hint was more noticeable to those around him as the Enchanted Ceiling changed from its reflectance of a quiet afternoon to a full blown storm in moments.
Many students shrieked and the professors glanced at one another in confusion as Umbridge rose from her seat before Dumbledore could.
"Hem-Hem…. Will all students please remain seated and quiet down," she said in her sugary sweet voice and most students turned to watch her.
"There is absolutely no reason to panic because of a ceiling that…" she tried to continue but was cut off abruptly when the doors to the Great Hall were slammed open by force.
Everyone turned to the entrance as a man appeared there, dark robes billowing around his thin frame as he stormed in, wand in hand and a murderous expression on his face as he was followed closely by another man.
Several students close by shrieked in fear as they recognised the man and some reached for their wands.
"Expelliarmus, Colloportus, Impedimenta, Silencio," the man spoke softly yet clearly audible.
Harry gasped as hundreds of wands flew out of the hand of their owners, towards the stranger while simultaneously all the doors slammed shut clearly locking themselves.
Everyone was slammed into their seat, the air being knocked out of those attempting to stand up and startled screams were suddenly cut off.
The man waved his wand once more and all the wands zooming towards him fell to the ground at his feet.
The man behind him didn't even bat an eye at the display as they both easily stepped over the pile of wands and strode towards the Head Table.
Harry felt his heart rise into his throat as he finally recognised the two men as they came closer to where he was seated.
Sirius and Remus.
Sirius was still a fugitive, if he was captured here Dumbledore wouldn't be able to protect him and Umbridge was sure to have him arrested in mere seconds upon realising who he was.
Harry tried to call out to his godfather, tell him to run but even without the silencing charm he wouldn't have been able to speak as his eyes widened as the caught sight of the expression on both men's face.
Sirius looked absolutely murderous, he looked angrier than Harry had ever seen him before. Even angrier than he had been when faced with Pettigrew in third year.
He didn´t glance once at the numerous terrified students as he passed them without breaking his stride. Remus, who walked in step with him now seemed to switch to a neutral expression.
Harry couldn´t help but be awed by the amount of power his godfather radiated, even if he was terrified for his safety. Sirius wouldn´t have needed a silencing spell to keep everyone quiet as the anger that radiated from him would have silenced everyone just as well.
"Hem-Hem," almost everyone. It seemed Sirius hadn't included the staff table in his silencing spell, though most of the staff seemed too gobsmacked to see the two to act at any rate.
"Who do you think you are, entering like that," Umbridge angrily said as she attempted to stand up but found she couldn't.
Apparently Sirius had stuck the staff to their chairs even if he hadn't silenced them.
Harry wondered why and got his answer almost immediately.
"Are you Umbitch?" Sirius asked, completely ignoring that she had spoken as he came to a halt before the teacher's table and stared at her.
Several students snickered silently as his expression changed from anger to clear repulsion as he took in her appearance; his eyes lingering on the black bow on top of her head for a long moment.
"My boy...don't do anything stupid," Dumbledore warned softly, a disapproving expression plastered on his face as he realised he couldn't move either.
"Shut up, I am dealing with you later. I believe I asked the pink toad a question," Sirius' expression was enough to shut Dumbledore up immediately and Harry wondered if Sirius had silenced him too.
"Why I have never... I am Dolores Umbridge, Senior Under-se..."
"I don't give a damn about what you are expect for your name. So you are indeed the one I want to have a word with. That's good. Get off your high seat so we can talk before I decide to hex you," Sirius cut her off.
Remus brushed past him to casually lean against the Gryffindor house table, like it was an everyday occurrence for him for Sirius to barge into a full hall in anger.
As he leaned against the empty area of the table he made absolutely no indication that he was going to stop Sirius from whatever he had planned anytime soon. In fact, Harry got the impression that he was having Sirius' back in case anything unexpected might happen.
A single wave from Sirius' wand brought Harry's attention back to his godfather as Umbridge almost slammed face first into the table before her as the freezing spell on her was lifted.
"Who do you think you are that you can talk to me like that!" she screeched angrily, any pretence of the sugary voice gone as she placed her hands on the table to stop herself from slamming into the table, her entire posture shaking with anger.
"My name is Sirius Black and I will talk to you how I see fit. Now get down here before I make you come down," Sirius snapped at her.
Umbridge turned a nice shade of purple as his words registered and she realised just who exactly was standing before her. Her body went rigid for a moment before she raised her hand; seemingly not realising her wand was lost in the pile near the closed entrance doors.
"Sirius Black, you are arrested under law..."
"Suit yourself," Sirius cut her off once more and with a quick sweep of his wand Umbridge was throw out of her seat, over the table to land onto the floor at his feet with an undignified squeal as the air was slammed out of her.
"How dare you! I am..."
"How dare you! I heard rumours about what you are doing at his school and if I find those rumours to have a truth to them I shall show you what exactly I dare," Sirius snapped.
His voice never rose, but it still cut through steel and most teachers winched visibly at his tone and some attempted to shift away from the angry man, obviously feeling vulnerable without a wand.
"You are a convicted felon and wanted by the Ministry. You have no right to make threats to me!" Umbridge managed to force out as another motion from Sirius' wand harshly pulled her onto her feet again, once more knocking the air out of her lungs.
"I am not a felon and I certainly never got convicted. Being convicted would indicate that both a crime has been committed and a trial was given that took care of the convicting part. Neither one was ever applied to me and the Ministry can go to hell for all I care. The lack of proper protocol and justice is not why I am here today. Nor is my innocence."
Students glanced at each other surprised as he spoke and Harry could almost hear their thoughts.
Could it be true that this man had never received a trial? He had to grind his teeth to stop himself from snapping that it was true, despite knowing they were silenced and his attempt wouldn't have worked anyway.
"Then why are you here, Sirius?" Surprisingly it was Flitwick that spoke, his voice ringing clear through the silenced space.
It surprised Harry how normal the tiny Charms professor spoke to his godfather, not at all like he thought him to be an escaped mass murderer and he felt a wave of affection for the man wash over him for the action.
Dumbledore made to open his mouth again but a sharp glance from Sirius made him shut his mouth again immediately.
"I am here because the so called Headmaster of this school failed to keep one of your students safe and I refuse to stand by and watch our child being hurt," Sirius answered Flitwick respectfully before he turned back to Umbridge and Harry frowned at his words.
Their child? What was Sirius talking about? He didn't have children and who was the our part indicated to; Remus?
"Now tell me and you'd be wise to be honest. Did you or did you not use a Blood Quill on my godson?"
More students glanced at each other at this, some shifting uncomfortable, but none made an attempt to communicate with their neighbours as they watched intently as the dark haired man before the staff table was making an utter fool out of the hated Umbridge.
The teachers looked at each other alarmed, surprise and disgust taking over their expressions as it became clear they hadn't known about it either.
Harry blinked once before he realised exactly what and who Sirius was talking about, trying to shift his right hand out of view but was annoyed when he couldn't move anything but his head.
How did Sirius find out about that?
Worst, who could have possibly told him as barely anyone knew about it in the first place.
A quick glance towards Hermione and Ron told him they were just as baffled as he was so they were ruled out.
"I do not see how my teaching methods are relevant to the likes of an escaped convict," Umbridge sneered out in a way that reminded Harry eerily of Aunt Petunia.
"Do not make me repeat my question twice woman," Sirius growled making Umbridge flinch before she frowned.
"I have no obligation to answer the likes of a murderer!"
Above her the enchanted ceiling started thundering as something flashed in Sirius' eyes and Umbridge unconsciously took a step back from him. The chandeliers started rumbling and the plates on all four of the House tables clattered as Sirius' temper rose.
Harry barely had any time to marvel at his godfather's ability to affect the area around him so effectively as Sirius spoke again.
"I am giving you one more chance to come clean before I will turn to easier methods that might turn me into one. Did you make my godson, Harry Potter, write lines with a Blood Quill?"
"You would be wise to answer the question and not anger him any further," Remus added softly, speaking for the first time since they had entered. "You won't like the results."
"I will not take orders from a Half-breed!" Umbridge spat at Remus disgusted before jumping in fear as the rattling plates and goblets spat into millions of pieces.
Many of the students looked outraged at how she treated Remus before everyone shrieked without a sound, but none of the shattered pieces actually touched the immobile students as they instead slammed into an invisible wall before them.
Harry felt his mouth fall open as he saw the shimmering of a barrier in front of the students that hadn't been there when the plates broke.
How had Sirius erected that shield around hundreds of students in that short a time span, without uttering a single word while his temper had flared?
A quick glance around showed that same realisation travelling through most of the other students too.
If Sirius had wanted to harm them, they'd have long been dead and most students relaxed against their invisible bounds at knowing the angered man had no intention of harming them.
Umbridge' eyes flashed nervously between Sirius and the millions of broken pottery pieces that collected themselves above her head silently. Her eyes widened as she caught the eerily calm expression on the man's face as he stared at her with unforgiving eyes.
Without a single movement or enchantment from him the wall shattered above her head, showering her in slivers of stone and glass which caused shallow wounds on her face and exposed arms.
She shrieked in pain before he eyes widened and she gasped in pain, clutching hard at her right arm as she stared at Sirius in shock.
The shower should have hit him too with how close he had been standing to her, but the glass had fallen around him without leaving a single trace on his robes or body.
Harry quickly glanced at Remus to see if he was all right, too, but the man was still leaning calmly against Gryffindor table, having been protected by the shield erected around the students.
"I do not need a dark object to inflict pain upon tyrants," Sirius said, his voice soft but clearly audible.
"You will not insult my family ever again or you will find out exactly why this is child's play compared to what I could do to you."
"There really is no need to defend my honour like that, Siri. I'm not really bothered by whatever that toad might think of me," Remus said with a bemused look on his face.
"I have every need to do so Remus. She refuses to admit the truth while she tortures my godson when he tells what are in her eyes lies and she insulted a member of my family. I will not stand by and let that disgusting moron insult or harm my family without consequences."
"What did you do anyway?" Remus asked with a slight roll of the eye and a fond smile lingering on his lips, receiving quite a few surprised glances from the students, all of whom remembered him from when he had been their professor.
Harry was aware that they were probably shocked to see the dangerous supposed Death Eater Sirius Black act as if Professor Lupin was family and that they were on such friendly terms.
Harry almost snorted as they didn't even known half of how close those two were.
"She made our boy write with a Blood Quill. I am not quite as barbaric as to use such a foul item on even the likes of her but couldn't not repay the action by writing words of my choosing on her skin."
"Sounds fair enough. What did you write on her arm?"
"Why don't you see for yourself?" Sirius answered as a quick movement of his wand tore Umbridge' right sleeve of, revealing the bleeding red words carved deeply into her lower arm, ensuring the words would be visible for the rest of her life.
"I must not deny the truth," Remus read before he let out a snort. "Fitting."
"Yes, I thought so, too," Sirius smiled at him and Umbridge gasped for air as angry tears filled her eyes.
Harry knew he should probably feel disgusted by what Sirius was doing to her, but he couldn't even bother pretending to be as he knew she only got what she deserved.
The words carved into her skin were pretty gruesome but she truly deserved it for what she did to the students and not just Harry himself. At least Sirius hadn't made her write the words herself over and over again. Like Sirius had read his thoughts he spoke up again.
"Hurts doesn't it? And it is so much less than what you deserve for using such a foul torture device on an innocent boy. I have no doubt that you have used that and other illegal methods on the other students as well, but they are not my concern. Harry however is so here is what's going to happen from now."
Sirius flicked his wrist and Umbridge was forced to stand up straight again under his silent power, angry tears running down her face as he forced her face up so she had to stare at him again.
"You are going to back away from this school as far as you possibly can. You will not interfere with their classes and what they learn anymore. You will get your dear fool of a Fudge to get his ass into gear and stop spreading lies about Harry. Then you will start preparing to fight against Voldemort before he takes over this whole bloody country while you Ministry people are busy sticking your heads into each other's ass and licking his filthy boots. And while you are busy actually manning up your government and de-corrupt it you will shut your foul mouth and stay as far away from my godson as is humanly possible or I will tear you apart limb by limb very slowly."
For a few moments even Umbridge' gasps seemed to have disappeared as the entire hall stared at Sirius in shock, teachers included.
Harry himself didn't seem capable of shaking his shock off, despite knowing Sirius fairly well by now. He didn't for a moment think Umbridge would listen to his godfather though, no matter how scary he might seem now and he wasn't disappointed.
"You-Know-Who is not back. That is a lie spread by that insolent boy!" Umbridge spat out, her eyes wide as she glared towards where Harry was sitting before she gasped louder than before and doubled in pain while moaning.
"I do believe you were just warned against insulting my family," Sirius commented lightly, unsurprised by her words.
He turned to the Gryffindor table, his eyes immediately focusing on Harry and Harry couldn't help but smile as he realised his godfather had known his exact location all this time.
"Could you come here?" he asked as another nod told Harry he'd be able to move again.
Harry slid off the bench without hesitation, aware that every eye in the room would now be following his movement as he stood and moved towards Sirius. But he wasn't bothered by their stares, entirely used to it by now and surprisingly few seemed alarmed at him being called forwards though a few seemed convinced he was walking to his death and regarded him with fear.
Something Harry would never be able to feel from the man he was walking towards. Even if he hadn't known Sirius was in fact innocent then still he would have been unable to feel fear.
Sirius had stormed into a crowded Great Hall, under the eyes of hundreds of witches and wizards who were all armed the moment he entered. He left Grimmauld Place despite direct orders from Dumbledore to not do so under any circumstances. Despite the fact that most of Wizarding England was hunting him, he had come to Hogwarts.
He had come into the heart of magic and the future generations because he heard a rumour that Harry was being forced to write with a bloody Blood Quill.
His godfather risked his freedom; his safety and an one way ticked back to hell because he believed Harry wasn't completely safe.
Based upon a rumour.
He loved Harry enough to actually threaten both the Ministry and Dumbledore because he believed his boy was being hurt. Harry still wondered how he had found out about the Blood Quill but suddenly it wasn't as important anymore as he looked into the warm grey eyes of the one person he knew would always have his back no matter what.
The one person who would always try to protect him, who would probably walk into Voldemort's lair of Death Eaters if he thought it would keep him safe.
The one man who loved him more than anything, with perhaps the exception of his parents.
He could he ever fear Sirius? No matter how much raw power and anger there seemed to radiate around him, he was still his Sirius and as he came to stand at Sirius' side that same power wrapped around him steadily like a cocoon of protection and a blanket of love. It made him feel safe and content, despite having the entire hall stare at him.
He also realised that it was why none of the other teachers were acting, for he knew they weren't silenced. A subtle glance into their reaction showed most of them to look at Sirius with an expression Harry couldn't identify, but it wasn't fear or anger. They seemed almost to look at his godfather in affection as Sirius' left hand came to rest around Harry's waist automatically, keeping him close.
Even Snape and Dumbledore weren't making a move to interfere in his actions, though from the scowl on Snape's face and Dumbledore's disapproving one Harry wasn't sure if they even could.
Sirius didn't seem to notice the teacher's reactions as he turned back to Umbridge, who had sunk to her knees, clutching her right shoulder as it was bleeding freely while Sirius' attention had been on Harry.
Harry figured Sirius hadn't been kidding when he said he'd tear her apart limb by limb if she basically as much as glared at Harry.
Sirius ignored her whimpering however as he glared at her.
"He is a lot braver than any of you Ministry fools have ever been. Calling him a liar without investigating his story just shows how much of a bunch of cowards you truly are."
Sirius squeezed Harry's waist slightly before he turned to the students again, his gaze shifting over the Gryffindor table once more before coming to rest on one individual and he waved his wand before speaking.
"Hermione, could you tell me what a Pensieve is, please?"
Harry frowned at the change of subjects as Hermione almost audibly gulped as Sirius singled her out but her nature to answer any question asked won out as she rose from her seat and quickly answered the question.
"A Pensieve is an object used to review memories. It is basically a shallow stone basin with runes carved into it. It can be used to slip the memories of someone into it so that they can then be viewed from a non-participant, third person point of view."
"Well summarized, thank you. Who else can confirm that Hermione Granger's definition of a Pensieve is correct? Raise your hand if she is correct, please," with a nod from him Hermione sat down again, blushing furiously.
Harry didn't know if it was the shock or if it was the way in which Sirius asked the questions, but three fourth of the students present raised their hand to confirm Hermione's words. Even Slytherins raised their hand to the question.
"Good, so now we all know what a Pensieve is and what it can be used for. Now I ask another question of...lets sat the pretty little blond at the Ravenclaw table," Sirius nodded to Luna, who immediately rose from her seat as if undisturbed by his earlier spell.
Harry saw from the corner of his eye that Sirius did not seem surprised at her action as a small smile broke through.
"You are Pandora's Lovegood's* daughter, aren't you? You look just like her," Sirius smiled softly and Luna beamed at him as she nodded.
Harry shot his godfather a surprised glance for recognising his airy-headed friend so easily before he realised Sirius must have known Luna's mother from his own time at Hogwarts.
"Tell me...Luna if I recall correctly, what would be the easiest way to see if someone is telling a lie or not about a certain event?"
"Well sir, I would say that a Pensieve would be a very good tool to verify the truth as it is widely known that a Pensieve repels the effects of a Nargle infection."
Harry suppressed a groan as she ended her sentence. It was so like the sweet naive Ravenclaw to completely lose any credibility with her own words no matter how smart she was.
Several students grinned but Sirius however nodded with a smile.
"Yes, that is correct. Although spells can be used to confound wizards, the same does not happen with their memories. If you tamper with a memory, or as you so wisely say, Nargles infect them, it is clearly evident in the Pensieve because it acts like a third person based view and only the person confounded sees the memory differently. That is why the Pensieve was always standard procedure in trials before Voldemort's first rise to power and he corrupted enough officials to ban the use of one."
Harry openly stared at Sirius, and he wasn't the only one as his godfather basically confirmed Luna's belief in the existence of Nargles but transformed them into something everyone else understood without losing anyone's attention to disbelief.
"Nargles are not powerful enough to truly work on a Pensieve," Luna smiled as Sirius nodded again.
"Even Merlin himself could not confound the memory in a Pensieve due to that feature. You see everything the person whose memory it is saw, but you see so much more. And it is quite hard to mess with the entire memory like that and to do it so that others will not notice."
"it is impossible to do so, Mr. Black."
"Yes it is. So...why would the Ministry fail to use this very easy option to verify if Harry was telling the truth when they did not believe him on his word?"
"Oh that is easy, Mr. Black. If Minister Fudge had given Harry the opportunity to prove he was telling the truth, then they would have to admit to being wrong. They don't like doing that," Luna answered with a shrug.
"More like the Ministry would rather tell a complete lie than to admit they have been incompetent fools, even if it means innocent people suffer for their incompetence," Remus added angrily with a glance at Sirius, who indeed was a victim of the Ministry's incompetence.
"Thank you Luna. Please call me Sirius by the way," he smiled at her and Luna answered his smile unhesitantly.
"The pleasure was mine, Sirius," she sat down again, oblivious to the stares directed at her and Harry had to admire her nerve.
She had pleasantly spoken to Sirius as if he was just another teacher among the staff. Had given him respect like one too as if he wasn't viewed as an escaped criminal in her eyes at all. Harry bit his lip to keep himself from smiling, knowing the petite blond as he did she had probably known his godfather was innocent from the moment he escaped.
"The incompetence of the Ministry is not something I will allow to continue anymore. You may lie to the adults all you want, but these children deserve a fighting chance. It doesn't matter what House they belong in, each and every one of them should be given the opportunity to know the truth and prepare themselves for what is sure to come, no matter what side they will take," Sirius said with a glance at the Slytherin table before he returned his attention to Umbridge, and Harry followed it, surprised she hadn't interrupted them.
He wasn't surprised to see Sirius had Silenced and bound her in place somewhere along the way as she stared at him through furious and frightful eyes, though Harry thought he could see a small shimmer of alarm too as she tried to struggle against her bonds without getting any result.
Sirius then turned to Dumbledore.
"I am going to use your Pensieve to do what you should have done the morning after Voldemort was resurrected. Instead of using your status in the Wizarding World to protect Harry from ridicule and showing everyone what had happened so they could see for themselves that he had been telling the truth, you let the Ministry sketch him as a lying attention seeking lunatic."
His eyes flared as he glared at Dumbledore.
"This is the third occurrence in which you failed to do your job properly and I am sick of waiting for you to take action. From now on you are no longer in charge."
Harry didn't know what he found more amazing. The look of shock and disbelief on Dumbledore's face or the expression of pure loathing his godfather carried.
He was at once reminded of another occurrence earlier that summer where the two Marauders had basically kicked Dumbledore's behind for not doing as they wished and he had to suppress a grin at the memory of the battered headmaster.
Even now, though Sirius clearly had his temper completely under control, Dumbledore looked weary to be at the receiving end of it.
Sirius whistled and Fawkes appeared out of nowhere to drop Dumbledore's personal Pensieve into Sirius' hands before landing on his shoulder.
Sirius stroked the phoenix' feathers for a moment, seemingly unaware of the ripple of shock going through the crowd at the sight of Dumbledore's familiar taking Sirius' side.
Harry glanced at the Headmaster, who looked more shocked than anyone else to see Fawkes showing Sirius obvious affection by rubbing his head against Sirius' cheek.
Harry didn't try to hide a grin as the phoenix seemed equally unimpressed by Dumbledore's lack of action as Sirius.
"Thank you, Fawkes," Sirius examined the Pensieve for a moment before he stepped to the Staff Table and held it out to Flitwick.
"Could you confirm if it's in a good condition?" he asked and Flitwick carefully accepted the Pensieve, turning it around in his hands.
"Minerva?" the tiny professor asked as he held it out to his colleague and professor McGonagall accepted it, checking it over, too.
"It is in good condition," she confirmed as she handed the Pensieve back to Sirius, ignoring Dumbledore's betrayed expression and Umbridge's glare.
Sirius thanked them both before passing the Pensieve to Remus, who placed it on the table beside him, and turning to Harry, his grey eyes softening empathically as he nodded to him.
Harry took a deep breath, knowing Sirius wanted him to give him the memory of that night and nodded.
Sirius gave a small nod back before he rose his wand and Harry closed his eyes as he mentally pulled the memory to the front of his mind as Sirius had taught him the previous summer along with Occlumency, believing it to be a good idea to shield his mind against Voldemort with the things he had seen in his dreams in fourth year.
He felt the tip of Sirius' wand softly tap his head and the sensation of the memory being removed before he opened his eyes in time to see the silvery white substance fly into the Pensieve and swirling there.
Sirius placed a hand on his shoulder and directed him to Remus, who shifted slightly so that Harry could lean against the table beside him.
But even as he copied Remus' position he could feel the other man's body heat as their shoulders and arms touched slightly.
It only took Harry a moment before he realised Remus had hardly moved on purpose so that Harry could draw comfort from his close presence.
He knew Sirius would need to do something that made everyone see the memory at the same time and thus he'd be forced to see it again, too.
Sirius moved closer while raising his hand to his shoulder, making Fawkes hop onto his hand before Sirius moved the bird to Harry's lap where the Phoenix settled immediately.
Sirius moved to stand before the Pensieve and Harry glanced at him confused for a moment as he knew his godfather didn't need to actually touch the Pensieve to activate it. But almost immediately he realised Sirius had placed him into a position that shielded him between Remus and himself with the addition of Fawkes.
From the widening of several pair of eyes he knew the students understood the message given out.
Harry was under the protection of these two dangerous men. And although almost everyone at school had known Remus while he was a professor and most had liked the man, something which had hardly changed after they had found out he was a werewolf, they knew he was calm, collected and kind.
But they also knew he had been one hell of a teacher and pretty powerful.
No one truly knew Sirius though. They had only heard rumours of what he had done according to the Ministry, which many now clearly doubted the truth of.
But the display of power earlier had made it very clear to everyone that this was not a man to underestimate, even if they did doubt his guilt. He had already shown himself to be more than capable to hurt those he deemed a threat to Harry.
Sirius tapped the bowl and muttered something under his breath before he waved his wand upwards and the entire Enchanted ceiling and the walls glowed under his movement and shimmered as the memory surrounded them all.
Harry shifted his gaze away from the great hall and the students whom watched interested as he and Cedric both grabbed what would turn out to be a Portkey.
He instead turned his attention to Fawkes, softly stroking his feathers, knowing Sirius had placed him there to comfort him while Sirius needed to keep his attention at the Pensieve.
"Are you all right Harry?" Remus asked him in a whisper.
Harry looked up to him, ignoring the background which showed him Peter Pettigrew cutting off his own hand while speaking.
"Yeah, I just don't want to see it again," Harry whispered back and Remus nodded before he glanced up.
Harry followed his gaze to catch Sirius' eyes as the older man looked at him with narrowed eyes, as if to ask the same question Remus had.
Harry shot him a small smile to reassure him and Sirius answered his smile before turning his attention back to the Pensieve.
Harry looked back down at Fawkes, who kept remarkably quiet as if knowing how important this was and Harry wondered how Sirius knew the Phoenix and had won his trust.
Remus shifting beside him and erecting a privacy shield around them made Harry realise he had whispered the question out loud.
"Those two are old friends. Remember that we told you that Fawkes got Sirius out of Dumbledore's office during that prank?"
"After that Sirius occasionally snuck in to chat with Fawkes. And if I had a really bad full moon he asked Fawkes for a tear so he could heal the worst of my wounds or the wounds the others received while transformed. Fawkes was always happy to help him if he asked and it seems their unusual friendship remained."
"I can't believe Sirius managed to get behind Dumbledore's back like that," Harry snickered.
Remus shrugged. "There was a lot that Sirius and James and to an extent Peter and I did behind his back. Sirius was on friendly terms with all the ghosts, including Peeves. James often called him insane but due to his friendship with the ghosts we could move places without being told on to Filch or a teacher."
He smiled as he continued. "The house-elves too. Sirius knew the names of most of the House elves, could tell them apart from one too, once we found the kitchen in our first year. He remained friendly with all of them throughout our school years, which in turn led to most of them going out of their way to help Sirius out if it was ever needed."
"So he made useful friends?" Harry asked confused. It didn't sound like the Sirius he knew to make friends the way Malfoy did.
"Oh no, he was sincere in his friendliness. He often tried to help the house-elves with their cleaning at night, had fun with them at the kitchen and involved them in some of his prank ideas. But when caught he always took the full blame, protecting them and forbidding them to punish themselves."
Remus grinned. "Well...you know how house-elves are. His actions made them absolutely adore him. James used to believe they would have walked on fire if he had asked them to, not that he ever did. But even now, the house-elves clearly remember him and work their magic to help him out."
"Help him how? Isn't Sirius keeping everyone locked in their seat and silent on his own power?"
"Oh he is. Never doubt Sirius' sheer stubbornness and willpower. But the moment offensive magic was used inside Hogwarts by someone not meant to be here the Ministry would have been alerted. The house-elves are delaying the signal to keep the Ministry officials from being alerted and trying to interfere. They are also combining their magic to aid him in his quest. And I believe Hogwarts itself is helping on that ground, too."
"Hogwarts itself is trying to help Sirius? You mean even the castle itself works with Sirius?" Harry asked amazed.
"Yes, it has done so in the past, too. When we still thought the worst of him the castle helped him sneak in undetected and shut plenty of portraits down so they couldn't alert Dumbledore while Sirius went after Wormtail. Helped him flee, too, when Ron woke up. Have you never wondered why not a single portrait outside of the Fat Lady and Sir Cadogan ever saw him?"
Harry shook his head. He couldn't say he had ever given it any thought, but now that Remus pointed it out it made sense that Sirius had had help escaping and entering and it wasn't so weird that Snape had believed Remus to have helped him.
"Why did the castle and the house-elves help him if he was an escaped convict like everyone believed?"
"Because they knew him to be innocent like many of us should have realised," Remus answered and Harry could hear the blame in his voice. He didn't think the man would ever forgive himself for having doubted Sirius and thus letting him rot in prison for twelve years.
"Peeves helped Sirius, too?" Harry asked as he recalled the annoying ghost had seen Sirius as well.
"Yeah, he bought Sirius time to hide in one of the hidden places only they knew of before helping him get out of the castle again," Remus laughed as Harry looked at him in disbelief. "Peeves and Sirius have been friends since our first year."
Harry snorted, finding it hard to believe that Peeves would be friendly with any student, but if he had been then Sirius would probably have been the one.
"Is that how you got in now, too? With the help of the castle?" he asked to which Remus snorted.
"No, we didn't need help this time. Sirius simply barged through the hallways, radiating so much anger and power that all the portraits kept quiet in fear he would slash them down."
Harry chuckled at the thought before he turned serious again.
"Why did you come with Sirius today? He's doing a fine job threatening Umbridge on his own isn't he?" he asked before frowning at the way his words came out. "Not that I am not happy to see you. It's just..."
"I promised you a while ago that I would do my best to not let him kill anyone didn't I?" Remus smiled.
Harry stared at him for a long moment before he remembered he had indeed once asked Remus to keep Sirius from killing Dumbledore.
"I didn't think that still stood."
"It will always stand. Though I must admit I was curious to what he would do, too. I am a bit surprised you are not arguing against his methods."
Harry glanced towards Umbridge, who despite obvious disgust couldn't seem to look away from the memory, before turning back to Remus' green eyes.
"She is a horrible woman and frankly I had expected Sirius to do something much worse than what he did."
Remus nodded to him before he glanced up and waved his wand, taking the privacy charm down.
Harry turned his attention to the hall again and noticed the memory was almost over. He glanced from Sirius' unreadable expression to the students who were all mesmerized by the memory. Almost every single face registered shock and disgust.
All of a sudden Sirius waved his wand and the memory vanished, the Great Hall returning back to normal.
Sirius paused for a few moments as the students sat in shock at finally learning the truth. Some who had clearly already know the truth, like Hermione, Ron, Neville and Luna, turned to him immediately but most just stared before them unseeingly.
"Let's see how you contain the lie you have spread now that every single student at Hogwarts knows the truth, which they can share with their family through the use of another Pensieve easily," Sirius looked at Umbridge, who looked away in anger and disgust.
At his words most students broke out of their shock to stare at him, several glancing at Harry with different expressions on their faces as they finally realised he had told the truth all along.
Harry caught the eye of his friends who all nodded to him slightly before shifting his gaze back to Sirius.
His godfather was staring at Umbridge in disgust before he waved his wand and she was thrown backwards against the Slytherin table.
Suddenly interested in the reactions of the Slytherins Harry looked in their direction, acting like he was watching Umbridge' unmoving form but truthfully looking at their reactions.
Most, like Greengrass and Zabini, looked absolutely horrified to know Voldemort was back while others like Malfoy and Parkinson seemed to gloat, likely already having know the truth. And some even looked indifferent, like they couldn't care.
But although Malfoy seemed to gloat he also looked angry. Probably at having his father clearly shown as a willing Death Eater, which went against everything Lucius Malfoy had ever told anyone.
Harry had to bit his lip hard to keep from snickering as he spotted Susan Bones and other Ministry worker's children glare into Malfoy's direction and knew they for sure would share the memory with their families.
Who knew, Malfoy might even lose his influence over this!
Harry shifted back to Sirius as he felt his godfather turn.
"All right, now that the toad has been dealt with, let's talk about you."
"Sirius my boy I..."
"Don't you dare call me your boy," Sirius snapped, his temper spiking and Dumbledore flinched.
"I am not and never have been your boy and frankly I find it very insulting to be spoken to as if I am. There was once a time where I would have followed your lead, listening to your advice. That advice led me to distrusting my closest friends, losing my brother and spending twelve years in that hellhole while it tore Remus and Harry's lives apart. You left Harry with the one person his mother wouldn't have wanted to force Voldemort himself upon and then proceeded to do everything you could to deny Remus any contact with him and myself after I escaped Azkaban. You have absolutely no right to call me your boy or speak at all."
Sirius' glare was murderous enough to kill and Harry stifled a grin as Dumbledore paled upon seeing it directed at him.
"You made all three of our lives into living hells and I will not stand for it anymore. From this day onward any deal we made about Harry's safety are off the table. He is coming home with us where he will stay until he one day decides he wants to move out. The only reason I am not removing him from Hogwarts altogether is only and I repeat only because he loves it here and I trust most of the other teachers to keep him safe."
Sirius let out a humourless laugh.
"Even Snape has done more to protect him in his first year than you have ever done and I have absolutely never trusted that bastard to begin with."
Harry blinked at the almost thankful note in Sirius' voice before he smiled widely at the realisation that Sirius was truly taking charge of him now, no more secrecy about where he lived.
"Sirius, Harry belongs with his family, you cannot..." Dumbledore spluttered.
"And that is where he will be going, to his real family. Which means Remus and me. Not those stupid Dursleys," Sirius interrupted him.
"The Ministry will never allow..."
"The Ministry is filled with useless idiots the likes of Umbridge and Fudge, who kiss the robes of snakes like Malfoy because they have money. I have not an inch of faith that there are more than a handful of people like Arthur Weasley and Alastor Moody walking around in those walls. Anything they say should be taken as rubbish. And what they want and allow is something I have no concern about."
"Sirius is Harry's legal guardian, stated in the Will of James and Lily Potter and confirmed in a blood adoption ritual when he was a day old. No objection of theirs is worth an ounce to that status since they failed to give him a trial that convicted him of a crime he didn't commit. So legally Sirius is still Harry's guardian as it was never taken from him."
"Sirius, you must listen to reason, Remus is a werewolf. It is too dangerous to..." Dumbledore ignored Remus' words as he kept his attention on Sirius.
"Too dangerous for what? Remus wouldn't hurt a fly even if it bugged him all day. And when it's the full moon he is very unlikely to spend it in the same room as Harry even if he does have the Wolfsbane potion."
Sirius' eyes shot fire. "Unless you think he is dangerous simply by being a werewolf at all, which would mean you are a hypocrite all around by claiming to be for equal rights of all and by allowing such a dangerous person to follow an education at Hogwarts for seven years when there was no such thing as Wolfsbane yet. You would be admitting that you are not for equal rights at all and that you put hundreds of students in danger by secretly letting a werewolf roam around the castle freely among all those innocent little students for seven years. Not to mention that you hired him to teach them for a whole year. Is that what you are saying, Headmaster?" Sirius' tone of voice had taken a dangerous hue to it that had even Harry tensing and many others trembling.
He glanced up to Remus, wondering if Sirius' words bothered him but he didn't seem bothered at all, only anger at Dumbledore visibly on his face.
"No...I...I meant it is too dangerous because others, who are prejudiced against werewolves, would act against you," the Headmaster tried to save face.
"And how would Harry be in more danger in the presence of two wizards who are very capable of defending him than in the presence of two powerless Muggles who would rather see him go than come?" Sirius asked.
"If they came in big numbers you wouldn't stand a chance."
Sirius raised a single eyebrow that had several students snicker, making Harry realise the silencing charm had vanished.
Remus snorted too, much louder than the students had.
"You mean to say that those sheer numbers would be capable of taking Sirius by force, when he disarmed, silenced and has been immobilizing a few hundred witches and wizards for over a hour now, including a fully fletched staff of supposedly powerful wizards and witches and one who is claiming to be the strongest wizard after Merlin himself?"
Remus shook his head in disbelief. "Even hundreds of Dementors couldn't stop Sirius when he thought Harry was in danger from Pettigrew and he was without a wand or single ally then," Remus paused as he paled suddenly. "Good Merlin, if he had truly wanted to harm Harry like everyone thought he did two years ago, he could have simply barged in, killed everyone on the spot moments after arriving and you would have all been as powerless to stop him as you've been now. Harry would have been dead ten times over along with everyone else present in this hall right now if he truly had been a Death Eater like so many thought."
Taking a breath Remus stared Dumbledore down as many students whispered to each other as the realised he was telling the truth. "He disarmed every single person in this room seconds after arriving and as far as I can tell, all those wands are still lying harmlessly in a pile back there. How could you possible think to be a better protection for Harry than Sirius has ever been?"
"That is different. I knew Sirius wouldn't come here to harm anyone now," Dumbledore defended himself.
"You didn't know that two years ago. Nor did you now. Even I wasn't certain he wasn't simply going to kill the toad for what she's done to Harry. And I can assure you I know Sirius a whole lot better than you ever have. And if the unlikely scenario of Sirius being unable to protect Harry came into play I am a pretty powerful wizard myself."
"Not to mention that we have been training Harry in what he needs to know all summer and will continue to do so at every opportunity we get. He is very capable of defending himself, too, when the need arrives. He is not a weak little wizard that you can bent to your will, Albus. Nor will I allow him to ever become one," Sirius stood tall in front of the staff table as he stared at Dumbledore, who shrank a little under his fierce gaze.
"I will ensure that you will face responsibility for endangering the safety of the students over the course of the last few years. Trolls, possessed teachers and students, dangerous charlatans, Basilisks roaming free, which you truly should have realised upon Sir Nicholas being petrified because seriously, what else could possibly petrify a ghost?" Sirius frowned questioningly, making most teachers colour as they hadn't realised the significance of that.
"And not only that, but you housed Dementors at Hogwarts, grudgingly, but you did, despite it being in your power to absolutely refuse. Dementors, which as Remus and Fudge told you before seemed to have little to no effect on me. Where were all the extra security measures? You didn't lock the secret passageways that Filch knows about; you didn't get extra security for the students near their dorms. You didn't ask Remus for other secret entrances that you should have realised he would have known after all the pranks we pulled in our own school years," Sirius shot Remus a glance, who grinned guiltily.
"No precautions on the school grounds for students who are sure to be adventurous and might have entered the Forbidden Forest, which you knew some had already done the year before. I could have killed the Weasley Twins a dozen times when they entered the Forest repeatedly two years ago while I was hiding there. Not to mention that the person every staff member believed I was after had shown a tendency to do the exact same thing."
Sirius' eyes made Dumbledore shrink down even more as he spoke harsh but true words.
"Not only that, but you kept your suspicions from Harry. A boy who owns various means of walking around undetected at night and any other time. Not to mention that you failed to realise Crouch Jr. was an imposter despite Moody being one of your so called closest friends for a full year until it was almost too late. You let that toad do as she pleases, let her use a torture device on my godson while lying to me and saying everything was going well when I asked after him repeatedly this year."
Harry hadn't thought it possible but Sirius' glare became even more fiercely as the enchanted ceiling, which had been turning darker than dark again since Sirius had started his rant, started thundering and flashing lightening again.
"If I hadn't found out about that bloody Quill...I wonder. Would you have taken action at all to ensure the safety of my godson and the other students? Or would it have taken a disaster for you to finally get your lazy ass into action?"
Dumbledore opened his mouth to speak and closed it again, before repeating the motion a few times, looking very much like a fish on land as he spluttered.
"You know what? Don't bother answering that. You've never taken action before when it was truly needed so why would you have now. I want you to stay the hell away from my godson. Anything related to his education can be dealt with by McGonagall, who does your job most of the time anyway. You will not have any contact with him or try to get to him through his friends and associates. If I catch even a sniff of you approaching Harry through any means I will take action against you. And it won't be the gentle kind."
"More a repeat of what happened last summer." Remus added calmly and Dumbledore's already pale expression paled even further as he clearly remembered the same thing Harry did.
"That will be nothing compared to what we will do if we learn you are trying to control Harry again. And trust me when I say that I have more eyes and ears in these halls than you will ever have."
It sounded encrypted and various students frowned and whispered about his words but Harry, remembering what Remus had just told him, knew he meant the house-elves and the castle itself.
"Is that how you found out about the Blood Quill?" he couldn't stop the question from tumbling out.
Sirius turned to him, his expression changing into a bemused one. "No, our new house-elf told me about that."
"New house-elf?" Harry asked confused. "What happened to Kreacher?"
"He's still around unfortunately. But this little fellow came by, concerned for your safety and disturbed by Dumbledore's lack of action. He had promised you years ago to never again try to save your life so he didn't know what else to do that to come to someone you trusted."
Harry blinked before he beamed, knowing exactly who Sirius meant.
"You took him on as our house-elf?"
"Yes, he looked miserable to work for Dumbledore and persuaded me into taking him on. He's a truly nice sight to see bouncing around the house. I will have to buy him some nice hats though, the things he wears now are absolutely ridiculously hideous."
Harry snickered as Sirius pulled a face, insulting Hermione's homemade hats. But the girl in question didn't seem to realise he had just done so as she spoke up loudly.
"You better be paying him!"
"Like hell I am, I asked but he had the decency to kick me, saying it was an insult to be paid to look after his Harry Potter sir. We'll buy him something nice for Christmas," he whispered the last bit to Harry who grinned.
Hermione huffed but fell silent when Fred and George glared at her.
Sirius turned back to Dumbledore.
"Heed my warning, you old fool, or I will be coming back," he growled before turning to Snape.
"The same goes for you. Although I am grateful that you kept Harry safe when you could have abandoned him, I will not tolerate your behaviour towards him. Harry is not James despite what you might believe. He has no part in any hatred that took place between the Marauders and you and doesn't deserve to be punished for his father's actions. Treat him any different that you would any other student, the same with his friends and you will bear the consequences. And for your sake I will remind you, I do not need the Cruciatus Curse to inflict pain upon those I dislike, as you should remember."
Harry, who had shifted uncomfortable when Sirius turned to Snape felt his mouth drop open in shock upon seeing Snape of all people pale slightly at Sirius' words and the stiff nod that followed had many other students gaping at him, too.
"I am glad we have an understanding."
With that Remus stood up from his leaning position, his hand on Harry's back making him do the same.
"Professor McGonagall, even though the train doesn't officially leave until tomorrow afternoon I would like to ask for your permission to take my godson home now already, so that we may enjoy the holidays together. It will keep the other students from overrunning him with questions until everything has sunk in a bit more too," Sirius sounded formal all of a sudden and Harry, among others had to blink a few times at the difference in tone his godfather suddenly held.
Where it had held various notes of anger, disgust and threat when speaking to Umbridge, Dumbledore and Snape, and calm and easy when speaking to Remus and Harry, it now held a note of respect and most students openly stared at the Deputy Headmistress.
That Sirius Black, the man who had just openly and quite thoroughly threatened Umbridge, Dumbledore and Snape spoke to Professor McGonagall with such open and clear respect made may see her in a new light and the respect they all felt for the stern professor rose tremendously.
"Is there even the slightest chance that anything else than me saying yes would have any effect on your plans, Sirius?" she asked.
"None whatsoever. But I respect you enough to at least pretend to ask for your permission regardless of my plans," Sirius answered honestly and McGonagall smiled.
"You may take Mr. Potter home, Sirius. I assume your new house-elf has already collected his possessions and taken them to your home?"
"That is a correct assumption, Professor. We will not be leaving for home though. This is a holiday for the family," he added before he bowed slightly to her, once more showing the amount of respect he held for her before he turned to Harry.
"My business is finished here so let's go, shall we?" he offered and Remus nodded.
"What about the others?" Harry asked as he waved his hand to show he meant the other students.
"They will return home tomorrow night, long before the ridiculous hag will regain consciousness and hopefully share their memories with their families. Some will probably take action and hopefully the fight against Voldemort will start properly now. Or at least families will get the chance to defend themselves to ensure their safety."
"They will tell their families about you too. They still think you are a murderer," Harry frowned as Sirius shrugged.
"My concern is your safety, not my freedom."
"I think you will be both pleasantly surprised, unless I am mistaken in Susan's intentions?" Remus asked as he turned to the girl.
Susan coloured deeply but shook her head as she answered fiercely. "That was Peter Pettigrew in that memory. I recognise him from my aunt's papers. Mr. Black was accused of killing Pettigrew but I just saw him alive and killing Cedric. So if Mr. Black is innocent of that crime I wonder about the other things he has been accused of. Pettigrew is clearly a Death Eater. Add to that the fact that Mr. Black indicated that he never received a trial, I will make sure my aunt gets to see this memory so she can set things right."
Remus smiled at her. "Thank you, Susan. Tell your aunt that if she wishes to reach either of us for any questions, she should send your owl. We'll ensure that your owl has access through our wards."
Sirius nodded to indicate it was arranged and Susan nodded too.
"Good, shall we get going then?" Remus asked as he gave Fawkes a single pet over his feathers, making the phoenix thrill happily from his spot on Sirius' shoulder, where he had returned to once the memory had finished.
"I will need my wand though," Harry said, looking forward to spend quality time with Sirius and Remus.
"It is in your robes," Sirius answered calmly and Harry reached inside his pocket, pulling his wand out.
"You didn't truly think I'd leave you completely defenceless did you?" Sirius asked amused.
"And the other students?"
"Their wands will return to their rightful owners once we've left. Although I believe Luna already has hers," Sirius nodded to the small Ravenclaw who indeed waved at him while showing her wand.
Sirius waved back as Harry chuckled.
"I don't even want to know," he said with a shrug as he pocketed his wand again.
"Sirius, you can't just...ahhh!" Dumbledore made one last attempt to try and stop Sirius before he yelped out in pain, turning everyone's attention to him.
"What did you do?" Harry asked curiously as he turned back to the staff table.
"Something to shut his annoying voice up," Sirius answered with a wink and Harry laughed.
"You are truly horrible, Siri," he fondly smiled at his godfather as the students stared at them, no one speaking as the three interacted calmly with one another.
"I'm only horrible when they touch my family, pup."
"Then I am glad I am part of your family," Harry grinned.
"So am I," Sirius answered with a smile as he turned to Fawkes.
"Would you be willing to take us to our destination so we won't have to leave to Apparate?" he asked pleasantly and the Phoenix thrilled happily.
Harry slipped his hand in Sirius' as Remus put a hand on Sirius' arm.
"Try not to get us lost Siri," he commented lightly.
Sirius stuck out his tongue.
"That was James' fault, he distracted me. Besides Fawkes would never get us lost."
Harry laughed at their playful banter and couldn't help but look forward to spending time with his two most precious people.
Even if the entire world would change around him tomorrow once the other students got home and told their families of what had happened. Even if everything would probably get thrown into chaos and he'd be looked upon differently.
Even if Sirius might or might never get freed of the accusations against him, he knew the two men beside him would always have his back and stand at his side.
They loved him for himself.
And that thought made Harry happier than any protective rant Sirius threw at the vilest of people in the world.
And as Fawkes disappeared with them to their place of destination the last thought Harry had was that he truly should thank Dobby for telling Sirius what he did.
*Pandora Lovegood. Originally Luna´s mum was named Selene, but since the last update from Pottermore it has become known her name was Pandora.
I have no idea if Sirius knew her. I just always assumed he did. He was the type to befriend the different people and with how Luna's father is, there is little doubt that her mother was like that, too.
I hope you enjoyed the story and reviews are always loved.