Hello all! I recently re-marathoned through all seven books and got bitten by the HP bug again! And what better way to handle all those feels than with some fanfiction?
This idea popped into my head in Order of the Phoenix. Not very much of a plot, but definitely NOT pointless, since we all need more Sirius-lovin' anyway!
I have but one simple request -please do review! I haven't written HP fanfiction in years and I'd love to know how my latest oeuvre came across to you!
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter. Harry Potter owns me.
'Right then, everyone! Wands out, let's see you wave them!' Professor Flitwick's voice, despite being very high-pitched, carried amazingly well around the classroom. There was a moment of loud, excited bustling as everyone took their wands out of their bags or from inside their robes.
They practised waving their wands in just the right manner for some time. Sirius understood why they needed to do this first; euphoric at being finally allowed to use a wand of their own, many of the students were waving the wands about too enthusiastically. One Hufflepuff boy looked like he was trying to charm a windmill. Grinning, Sirius turned back to his own neighbours, where most of them were doing quite well.
'I think I've got the hang of it!' James said excitedly next to him.
He watched his best friend wave his wand in a perfect swish and flick. 'I reckon you do,' he said, unable to keep his voice unimpressed. James grinned at him.
'Alright, I see most of you have got the wand movement right. Let's try it with the incantation now, but do be careful-'
No one waited for Professor Flitwick to finish. Almost in one voice, the whole class intoned, 'Wingardium leviosa!'
Only a few feathers lifted into the air, but along with them rose several books, a bag, Professor Flitwick's attendance parchment and his hat.
'Now, now, focus on your feather!' –he squeaked shrilly as he chased his hat.
Neither his nor James' feather had moved. However, James tried again, chuckling at Flitwick as he uttered the spell.
His feather burst into flames.
The girl next to him shrieked, but James swiped his hat off his head and beat the flames out.
'Nice one,' he chortled as James' cheeks glowed red with embarrassment. 'Even muggle-borns are doing better than you,' Sirius continued before he could stop himself, gesturing at the girl who had screamed, whose feather had been airborne until the distraction.
She heard him and turned to him, her expression murderous. 'What's that supposed to mean?'
He was taken aback. 'What?'
'Just because I'm muggle-born, I have to be bad at magic, do I?'
'N-no, I didn't mean-'
'That's exactly what you meant!' –she hissed furiously, her dark red ponytail quivering with her agitation. James turned to him, his expression solemn. 'That was a bad thing to say, mate.'
'I didn't mean it that way –I'm sorry, alright?'
The girl turned away with a 'hmph!' and James shook his head slightly and turned to her. Sirius was left staring at his best friend's back stupidly, while James spoke to her, 'Look he's sorry, he's a good guy, he didn't mean to offend you.' Sirius nodded slowly even though neither of them was looking at him. 'Come on, Evans,' James continued pleadingly, 'come on, look we're both bad at this, we could use your help. Please?'
He personally thought James was begging too much, but Evans did look at them again. She gave Sirius a disdainful sniff before turning to James and saying, 'Well, first of all, you're saying it wrong. It's levi-o-sa, not levio-sa…'
There was a knock on the classroom door and a prefect walked in. Flitwick, who had just managed to retrieve his hat, scuttled over to him and listened as the prefect bent double and spoke to him in a low voice. Sirius couldn't hear what the prefect was saying, but he heard Flitwick squeak, 'Yes, yes of course. Ahem. Sirius Black!'
He froze. Flitwick caught sight of him and gestured to him. 'You're needed in the Headmaster's office.' Sirius didn't move. Next to him, he could feel James and that Evans girl staring at him. 'Come, come, boy, Cattermole will take you there.'
He stood up. His legs were trembling but he willed them to stop. He still had some pride, after all. Looking straight ahead and keeping his expression unconcerned, he walked to the front of the classroom and followed the Prefect named Cattermole outside.
As they strode down Hogwarts' corridors, he felt fear increasing with every thud of his heart. What had he done? Surely he was the first first-year to have to go to the Headmaster's office –and so soon, too! He wondered, for a moment if the Headmaster had heard what he'd said to the Evans girl. Then he scolded himself for being irrational; no one got sent to the Headmaster's office for trivial comments like that. Or did they?
Nervously, he turned to Cattermole, and asked, 'Er, do you know why they want me?'
'No clue.' Cattermole seemed genuinely curious. 'I met Professor McGonagall as she was going up and she asked for you.'
'Oh.' Professor McGonagall had asked for him? His Head of House? A cold weight seemed to drop in his stomach.
'Here we are.' They had stopped in front of a gargoyle. He had no idea where they were, since he hadn't paid attention while they were walking.
'Chocolate Frog,' said Cattermole. The gargoyle came to life and sprung aside, while the wall behind him melted away to reveal a spiral staircase. 'Up you go, then,' the Prefect gestured.
His mouth dry, he stepped onto the lowest step and was fleetingly surprised when it began to move upwards. 'Good luck!' –Cattermole called as the wall reappeared at the bottom of the stairs. He returned a small wave but the wall had already come up completely. The staircase ended at a pair of highly polished oak doors with a brass knocker and stopped revolving the moment he reached the top. As he raised his hand to knock, he noticed it was shaking. Steeling himself, he knocked.
The Headmaster's voice was all too familiar, and, taking a deep breath, he twisted the door handle, opened the door and walked inside.
'Ah, there he is!' The last person Sirius ever expected to see was standing in the grand, circular room.
His mother was in Hogwarts. His mother was in Hogwarts, in the Headmaster's office, right in front of him, wearing her voluminous green silk robes, her glimmering opals and an ugly glare directed at the man standing behind a large, handsome desk –his Headmaster, Albus Dumbledore. 'About time!' –she barked. 'Come, we must leave.'
'Walburga, I'm sure you have a perfectly good reason for all this urgency, but I do think you owe your son some explanation.' Professor Dumbledore's voice was quiet, but grave.
His insides went cold again. 'What's wrong, Mother? Is Father –Regulus…?'
'Look what you've done, Walburga! You've frightened the poor boy!' –snapped a supremely irritated voice from behind him. He whipped around to see Professor McGonagall, glaring at his mother with not a little distaste.
His mother clicked her tongue impatiently. 'Very well, then. I am here to take you back home,' she turned to him. 'You will leave your things here. These people,' she glanced contemptuously at both other occupants of the room, 'will have them packed and sent over.'
He could only manage to murmur a shocked 'Why?' before Professor McGonagall said loudly, 'Excuse me, but we have agreed to no such thing!'
'You have no authority to concern yourself in my son's affairs-'
'We are his teachers, Walburga, and thus have as much authority as you do!'
'Is that so?' –his Mother was nearly shrieking. 'Is that what you are, then? Usurpers of rights? Ruining families, defiling bloodlines, corrupting loyalties? Now I see, I see very clearly what you are!'
Professor Dumbledore said, almost warningly, 'Minerva.' He wondered for a moment what that meant, but then he saw Professor McGonagall purse her lips and retreat back to her corner reluctantly.
'Why must I leave?' –he asked his mother in the ensuing pause, before the Headmaster could say anything.
His mother tsked. 'Must you ask, boy? Your sorting! They' –she glanced furiously at Professor Dumbledore –'insist on going with old rag they call the Sorting Hat, when clearly there's been a mistake.'
'Age has nothing to do with the Sorting Hat's capabilities,' Dumbledore said crisply. 'It is never wrong.'
'Never wrong, is it? Not wrong that my eldest son, heir to the Black family, with centuries of Slytherin blood coursing in his veins, is put in Gryffindor? The disgrace!' She ended with another near shriek that made him wince. Professor Dumbledore noticed the movement, and his next words to his mother were considerably colder.
'If you will please keep your voice down, Walburga. We are all of sound hearing. Now, the Sorting Hat has made its choice. It has never been questioned in the seven hundred years of its existence, and I'm certainly not going to begin now.'
'In that case, our course is clear,' his mother hissed, clearly lowering her voice with an effort. 'Come, Sirius!'
'I hardly think-' Professor McGonagall had begun to speak when Professor Dumbledore stopped her with a raised palm. 'Yes indeed, Walburga. The course is clear.' To Sirius' shock and fear, Professor Dumbledore turned to him. 'Well, Sirius, what do you want to do?'
He felt numb. They were leaving the choice to him? Never… never had he been offered that. He glanced mutely at his mother, who started afresh: 'He is much too young to decide-'
'I think young master Sirius is old enough to know where he wants to live,' Professor Dumbledore cut in, with the same mild but purposeful voice. 'It is after all his life.'
'Really, Dumbledore, this is the utmost-'
'I want to stay.' Sirius thought his words would go unnoticed, soft as they were, but a deadly hush descended upon the room.
'What was that?'
'I want to stay,' he repeated, much more firmly. Of course he wanted to stay! Going back to that house, with its gloomy old tapestries and Father's cold presence and Regulus' spoilt arrogance… how could he, when the warm scarlet and gold dormitory, the interesting lessons, and James' friendship awaited him here?
He glanced at Professor Dumbledore, whose blue eyes seemed to twinkle at him approvingly. 'He has made his choice.'
'Sirius Black!' His mother's voice was shrill once more. 'How dare you!'
'I don't want to leave! I like it here –I like my lessons and I've got friends!'
'Friends! Friends?' She was shrieking now. 'How dare you turn your back on your bloodline, on your family's honour, you foolish little boy-'
'Walburga!' Both the Professors' voices were raised in reproof. His mother disregarded them completely. 'Dishonour! Dishonour upon our name, on the exalted house of my Fathers, the purest family there ever was! –while you consort with scum and filth-'
'That is quite enough.' Professor Dumbledore's voice had been mildly disapproving up until now, but now a frighteningly cold, unforgiving wizard stood in his place. 'You will leave the premises of my school this instant.'
Better witches than his mother could not have withstood Professor Dumbledore's gaze as it was at that moment. She seemed to crumple, but her voice remained resolutely shrill. 'I shall have a word with the directors about this, make no mistake.' Her words faded into a mutter and she stalked away. She opened the door, paused, turned back to glance at her son once; Sirius distinctly heard her mutter '…abomination…' –and she was gone.
A full second of silence passed before anyone could react. Professor McGonagall stirred first and turned to him. 'Well, that's that. Come, Black, I shall escort you back to class.'
'Never mind, Minerva, I'd like to speak a little more with Sirius.' Professor Dumbledore's voice was quiet and warm once more, but Sirius' insides still seemed leaden.
Professor McGonagall nodded, and, with a twitch of her lips directed at him that could have been a smile, she left the room, shutting the door more softly behind herself than his mother had.
'Sit down, Sirius.'
Nervously, he sat on the single chair that stood in front of the handsome desk.
Professor Dumbledore sat down too, and that seemed to make Sirius a lot calmer.
'I'm sorry you were involved in that… ah, discussion, at all. Your mother insisted on having you summoned, and had I not, I suppose she would have Summoned you herself.'
Sirius risked a glance up at his Headmaster: had he really meant the pun? Unbidden, the corners of his lips twitched. Professor Dumbledore seemed to notice, and, with a wider smile, continued, 'I'm glad you chose to stay. You are a talented student, and I would have been sorry to lose you.'
'I'm still in my first week of classes, sir,' Sirius said, unable to keep the scepticism out of his voice at the overt compliment.
'I know talent when I see it, my boy.'
Sirius squirmed in his seat. 'Well, I didn't really see it as a choice,' he said, changing back the topic. 'I don't ever want to go back to that –home.'
'You do have to go back in the summer,' Professor Dumbledore said gently.
'I know that,' Sirius said quickly. 'But I'll be living here more than I'll be living there. I mean-'
'You mean that in essence, Hogwarts is your home now.'
His insides were suddenly untangled, his chest felt light and his head was almost giddy with happiness. How true that was –Hogwarts was his home now, and he was where he was meant to be. He was home!
'Yes,' Sirius agreed, unable to keep himself from smiling. Professor Dumbledore smiled the kindest smile he had seen yet. 'I am glad. I only asked you to remain so I could tell you that. Remember, Sirius, Hogwarts will always be a ready and accepting home –no matter who you are, where you've come from, or what you've done.'
Sirius glanced at his Headmaster sharply. How had he known to answer his most secret doubts?
As though in answer his latest thought, Professor Dumbledore continued, 'You would be surprised at the number of boys and girls to whom this school became a refuge, a haven and a home. I know, for I was one of them.'
Shocked, he stammered, 'You, sir?'
'Me,' Professor Dumbledore affirmed with a nod and a small smile. 'I, like you, came from a difficult household. Hogwarts liberated me, both in thought and in action, and so, you see, I have made this school my home, even now.'
'Perhaps I could do that someday!' Sirius blurted out. 'Teach here, I mean,' he added, suddenly embarrassed.
'An admirable sentiment. Although, I should think you were made for much more, er, exciting things,' Sirius could have sworn he saw his Headmaster wink, 'but let us not idle away our time with speculations! It is almost dinner-time, and I think you have just enough time to rejoin your friends in the Great Hall.'
Sirius stood up, understanding the dismissal. He wished the Headmaster a good evening and walked to the door, and then paused. 'Professor Dumbledore?'
'Thank you, sir. Very much.'
A smile and a nod from the Headmaster. 'You are most welcome.'
He made to leave, and then paused again, sudden curiosity overwhelming him. 'Sir?'
'Why Chocolate Frogs?'
Professor Dumbledore was beaming, and with a chuckle, produced a bright purple something from a drawer in his desk and brandished at at him. 'Don't you know? They've just added me in their cards.'
He grinned. 'Congrats, sir.'
'Thank you, Sirius. I'm rather proud of myself.'
Sirius laughed. A Headmaster with an appreciable sense of humour –he was so glad he'd stayed! The next seven years would be… legendary, to say the least!
'Good night, sir.'
'Good night, Sirius.'
A/N: If young Sirius here doesn't seem as brashly confident as we know him, it's because he's eleven, and in a new school, around new people, with unexpected new-found freedom, and, summoned to the Headmaster's presence for the very first time.
Also, a (kind of) small Deathly Hallows reference in there!
Lastly, please review! Thank you for reading!