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Chapter 1: Prologue: One Last Present
With a crack, Harry arrived on the stone steps to Number 12 Grimmauld place, the rotting black door appearing before him almost instantly. With a small sigh, he traced the silver serpent knocker on the door, fingering it almost fondly. He took a deep breath and turned the knob. Immediately, Harry found himself in the darkly familiar hallway, the same majestic chandelier hovering around the ceiling and the same troll-leg umbrella stand that Tonks had countlessly tripped over stood against the wall to the left.
He let the door close itself behind him as he placed a hand on the deteriorating wallpaper, ignoring the small creaks sounding below him as he walked slowly down the hallway. He hadn’t been back to visit the ancient and noble house of Black for over three years. Sirius had hated it, and if it wasn’t for Hermione’s persistent harassment as to how historic such a house was, Harry would have let it burn to the ground.
Harry walked past the dining room, remembering the very day six years ago when he and the Weasleys were required to rid the dresser of an infestation of spiders. He let out a small smile, reminiscing of Sirius and his little jokes. Harry didn’t know what he was doing here. True, it had been exactly six years in which he had lost his godfather, but Sirius wouldn’t have wanted him to come back here. Regardless, here was where Harry went.
He popped his head into the cavernous kitchen, taking note of the long wooden table that had been covered in a coat of dust, and then retreated to ascend the ragged staircase. The heads of the previous house-elves were still there, looking grim and depressing as they did three years ago. Ignoring them, Harry continued on, looking into each room as though they were hiding something… As though Sirius was hidden in one of them.
Reaching the final landing, Harry looked from left to right. To the right stood a wooden door, slightly ajar, the inscription ‘Do Not Enter Without the Express Permission of Regulus Arcturus Black’ barely visible. Harry found himself smiling at the door admirably, thinking of Regulus, the death eater who revolted against Voldemort. Then, to the left, Harry felt a slight plunge in his stomach as he came to Sirius’ door. He pushed it open slowly, coming into view with the familiar scarlet and golden tones that seemed to have coloured in his otherwise darkly dull room. Harry grinned at the bikini-clad muggle women and gazed fondly at Sirius’ collection of motorbike pictures.
Tracing the dust off of the red oak bed frame, Harry strolled around the magnificently, once elaborate, room, as though an essence of Sirius lived on in here. His gaze went from the ornate wardrobe opposite his bed, to the dressing table to its right. The maroon velvet curtains fell open as soon as Harry had touched them, allowing a light ray of sunlight into the dark room. Harry continued inspecting the room, finding several Drooble’s Best Blowing Gum wrappers and books strewn about the room, just like last time.
His gaze fell to the moving picture of Sirius himself in the centre with a boy with messy black hair that Harry instantly recognised as his father. They both grinned at him, their smiles reaching their joyfully alit eyes. Then there were Remus and Peter, both smiling and waving amiably. The room seemed to have gone colder and, if possible, more silent, as Harry stared at this picture, an intense feeling of longing settled in his stomach. He wanted to know them, the Marauders.
Harry wasn’t angry. He couldn’t possibly be angry anymore, after everything that has happened. The past three years had been an endless seam of happiness and peace, Ginny was currently with child, his friends had just made the vow of holy matrimony, but now, Harry found himself upset. True, the ones we love never truly leave us, but Harry would never know his family. And this, in itself, was upsetting.
Dropping his gaze, Harry saw something. A small, intricately beautiful box stood on the floor below him. Wand in hand, Harry poked at it, staggering backwards as the box began to click and clunk, its lid opening backwards as the rest of its sides fell apart. What was left of the box now were long rows and columns of what appeared to be empty vials. But Harry knew better, the white light that seemed to radiate out of these vials were enough to tell Harry that these were, in fact, memories. Suddenly, a stone circular dish appeared beside the box, the water-like substance in it shimmering lightly. A pensieve.
Harry’s heart beat slightly quickened as he traced over the dozens of vials with a finger. Stuck on the top left crystal vial was a small piece of parchment, with handwriting so familiar to Harry that he almost ripped it as he tore it off to read.
Your dad had an annoying knack of reminding us that his son would be the most deviant, the most mischievous, the bravest and the most daring. So, before you were born, he conceived a plan. He asked all four of us to store our memories, so that you can have all our knowledge, and, to the fullest of your potential, master the arts of rule breaking yourself.
Our lives in Hogwarts were a lot different to yours. We had worries on our minds that you probably never had to experience, like work, Snivellus, and girls, - Harry sensed the cheeky smirk on his face - so hopefully, this will compensate for all that you’ve lost. Don’t be quick to judge us, for we were young, carefree and annoying little gits back in those days.
They might be long overdue, but here they are, our last present to you. Here are our memories, Harry, so they can live on in you. Enjoy them.
Harry’s heart hammered with extreme excitement as he pulled the top left vial loose from its wedge, holding on to it tightly for fear it’ll disappear.
Finally, Harry thought, images of his parents, his godfather, Remus, and Peter ran across his mind, finally…
Author's Note: Hi guys! This is a new project I'm currently working on. It'll cover select memories over the course of the Marauders' lives until James & Lily's death... So, hopefully you all like it! Leave a review and tell me what you think! :)