Harry woke up in a warm, comfy place. He squinted his eyes and looked around the room, trying to figure out where he was. Then everything started to click in his mind, everything that had happened with Sirius, Remus, and that old man started to fill his mind. Harry reached to his left, grabbing his glasses off of the nightstand. He slipped them onto his face and looked around the room more closely.
It had red walls with golden trim running along the top of the walls. The bed that he was in was a gigantic bed with red and gold sheets on it, matching the walls. There was a dresser by the door and a desk in the corner. There was a huge trunk at the end of the bed. There was a closet to the right of him, the door ajar. There was a nightstand next to his bed with a light and clock. The clock read 8:22 A.M.
Harry had to go to the bathroom; he had to go right this minute. The thing was that he didn't know where the bathroom was, but didn't Sirius say that if he ever needed anything just to go to his room right across the hall? Harry sat up and swung his short legs over the monolithic bed frame. Harry got out of bed and very slowly made his way towards the door. Once at the door, he slipped through the crack, the door creaking slightly, and tiptoed towards the door across the hall, trying to make as little noise as possible.
Harry bit the inside of his cheek, wouldn't Sirius get mad if he woke him up so early? Harry raised a shaky hand to the door and then tapped lightly on it. There was no response, so Harry knocked a little louder. Harry dropped his hand and listened for any sign movement inside of the room.
"Harry?" Harry turned his attention to his right, to see Remus Lupin standing in the doorway of the door right next to Sirius's.
"S-sorry." Harry backed up slightly, afraid that Remus would strike him for waking him up.
"What do you need? You're never going to wake Sirius up like that." Remus walked towards the boy and knelt down in front of him.
"I-I need to go t-to the bathroom." Harry said in a small voice as Remus smiled.
"It's right by your door." Remus pointed out.
"Thanks. Ho-how did you know I was up?" Harry questioned him.
"I'm a light sleeper." Remus smiled softly as Harry suddenly felt guilty for waking the man up.
"I-I'm sorry!" Harry said immediately.
"No need, Harry. Listen, when I went out to stock the house with food last night, I got you some new clothes. I think that they will fit you well, better then these things at least. You don't have to wear them or anything, but if you like them, they're yours. I'll sit them in your room while you're in the loo, okay?"
"O-okay." Harry replied as he tiptoed towards the bathroom.
Remus watched as the boy disappeared into the restroom. Remus then got up and fetched the clothes from his room. He sat them on the floor next to Harry's bed and then he went towards Sirius's door and made his way in. He walked towards Sirius, who was tangled up in the covers. Remus chuckled faintly, he hadn't seen Sirius sleep since their seventh year and he was still the same sleeper as before.
"Sirius." Remus walked towards his bed.
"Humph." Sirius mumbled into a pillow.
"Sirius, we need to talk." Remus reached down and shook him lightly.
"I dun't wanna." Sirius mumbled.
"It's about Harry." Remus told him as Sirius jumped slightly.
"Watcha mean?" Sirius turned to face his friend.
"Harry just tried to get your attention, but you were too busy sleeping to hear his soft knocking." Remus sat down on Sirius's bed.
"Why didn't he just pound on the door?" Sirius asked, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes.
"He was probably afraid. Listen, I don't know how far you got Harry to trust you, but he trusts you a whole lot more then me. I think you should put a charm on the door so when he knocks it seems like he's pounding. Just a thought, Padfoot." Remus told him as Sirius looked thoughtful for a moment.
"I'll do that. When did you get in last night?"
"Past midnight. I was out doing some things. I stored the kitchen with food and I even bought Harry some muggle clothes and some wizarding robes." Remus explained.
"That's good. Harry deserves it."
"Are you going to get up?" Remus asked.
"It's.. BLOODY EIGHT THIRTY IN THE MORNING!" Sirius looked at the clock in disbelief.
"Yes, it is. I'm going to go down and make some breakfast." Remus got up off the bed and walked towards the door.
"It's too early to be up! My breakfast will be freezing cold." Sirius whined.
"You can't sleep the day through." Remus stated.
"What did you do last night besides the food and clothes? I don't think it'd take that long." Sirius stretched, getting ready to get up.
"I went to talk to someone."
"Who?" Sirius questioned.
"Arabella, as in Figg? Arabella Figg? Why?" a strange expression came over Sirius's face.
"Because I can't live here forever, Sirius. You need someone to help you raise Harry."
"Sure you can, Remus! You can help me! That's what James would want." Remus shook his head lightly.
"I'm a werewolf, I won't put Harry in that kind of danger." Remus said matter-of-factly.
"So you're shoving Arabella into the picture?"
"Harry's her godson too. She deserves that much, Sirius." Remus walked out of the bedroom and closed the door behind him.
Harry came out of his room in blue jeans and a loose fitting, red t- shirt. The clothes still looked big on him, but they were a much better fit then before. Harry enjoyed having clothes that fit so well. Harry looked up and saw Remus and looked sheepishly at him.
"You like?" Remus asked as Harry nodded his head slowly. "Let's go get some breakfast, okay?"
Remus made his way downstairs as Harry followed obediently. Harry didn't dare do anything that would anger the two men. He liked living in this house, even though that woman did frighten him when he first came. The one who yelled loudly and Sirius said it was his crabby, old mother.
Harry walked closely behind Remus as they walked down the stairs. They were now in the living room when a noise caught his attention. Harry turned to his left and was surprised at what he saw. It was a short midget- like creature. It was a light brown with an old, tattered cloth wrapped around him. He had huge, bat-like ears with long, white hairs sticking out of them. The ears drooped down, covering the sides of his face. The thing looked at Harry in disgust.
"Filthy traitors." The thing muttered in utter repulsion.
"Ah, you must be Kreacher. Sirius said something about you back when we were in school." Remus looked down at the thing like he saw one every day of his life.
"Wh-what is it?" Harry asked, scared that the thing might bite him and give him some horrible affliction.
"A house elf." Remus replied.
"A werewolf in the Ancient and Most Noble House of Black? My mistress would not like this. She wouldn't like this at all. Kreacher does not like this." Kreacher glared at Remus.
"I thought I told you you're not allowed to go near my godson." Sirius then appeared, descending down the stairs.
"Kreacher was not talking to Harry Potter, Sir." Kreacher turned his attention to Sirius.
Sirius walked over towards Harry and stepped in front of him. Sirius pointed towards the stairs and the house elf walked towards them, muttering words under his breathe. Sirius shook his head and turned towards Harry. He then kneeled down in front of Harry.
"Good morning, Harry." Sirius smiled down at the younger boy.
"'Morning.." Harry trailed off.
"Come on, let's follow Moony into the kitchen and force him to make us some breakfast."
A strange look crossed Harry's face. He remembered then his aunt would force him to cook breakfast and every time he did, he would burn himself on the stove. Harry shuddered; he didn't want to remember everything bad that had happened to him. Harry was snapped out of his thoughts when Sirius lightly touched the side of Harry's face. Harry immediately flinched.
"You okay?" Sirius asked as he drew back his hand.
"Ye-yes." Harry replied, looking down at his feet.
"Come on, let's go." Sirius stood up and held out a hand for Harry.
Harry looked at the hand, longing to grab it and hold onto it forever. Harry slowly reached his hand forward and he then grasped the bigger hand. Sirius smiled warmly and guided Harry to the kitchen, Remus following closely. Once in the kitchen, Sirius picked Harry up and sat him on the stool. Then he went over to the refrigerator.
"What would you like for breakfast, Harry?" Remus asked him.
What did Harry usually have for breakfast? Some burnt toast? Harry didn't want any burnt toast, but Remus couldn't possible have meant that he could have anything he wanted to. That was madness.
"How about some eggs and toast? You like eggs, Harry?" Remus suggested when he saw the look on Harry's face.
"Su-sure." Harry replied.
"Chocoballs, Remus? You shouldn't have." Sirius smiled at his friend as Remus shoved him away from the refrigerator.
"You seem to get overexcited about them yesterday." Remus commented as he took out four eggs as Sirius sat down next to Harry.
"I was." Sirius admitted as Remus started to cook breakfast. "Sleep well, Harry?"
"Yes, did you sleep well?" Harry replied.
Remus turned around to look at Harry. That was the first time that Harry didn't stutter when he talked. Remus smiled softly and turned back to the eggs, cooking them the muggle way.
"I did." Sirius replied with a loving smile. "How about you, Moony? Sleep okay?"
"Slept fine, Sirius." Remus replied.
"Good. Everyone slept fine last night, which is good." Sirius stated.
"After I'm done, I'm going to go to my house and run a few errands." Remus told Sirius.
"What? Don't you want to eat some breakfast with us?" Sirius questioned.
"You're not going to go and talk to Arabella again? Please, Remus, you can't."
"She has every right to know what's going on." Remus replied slightly annoyed.
Sirius didn't say another word to Remus about the subject, he turned his attention to his godson and the two made small talk. Sirius asked some questions and either Harry didn't reply or he gave a one or two word reply. Remus was soon done with the eggs and toast and prepared two plates. Remus then left.
"More for us again, eh?" Sirius started to eat his food.
"Yeah." Harry replied as he looked at the butter and jam that was sitting on the bar.
Harry grabbed the jam and placed his knife inside. He then picked up a piece of non-burnt toast started to load it with jam. Sirius watched Harry in amusement as the raspberry jam was totally covering the toast. Harry then opened his mouth widely and shoved the toast into his mouth; jam splattering all over his face. Sirius chuckled as Harry turned his head towards his godfather.
"Waa?" Harry asked as he started to chew his food.
"You have a little jam right there.. and there.. and some over there." Sirius sniggered as he grabbed a paper towel and started to clean Harry's face.
Harry blushed slightly when Harry realized the mess he made. There was jam running down the container it was in, there was jam all over the table, and even some jam on his eggs. Sirius gave Harry another paper towel so that he could clean up his jam hands, as he did so, some jam got on his new red t-shirt.
"I now know your favorite food." Sirius joked.
"Sorry." Harry looked over at his godfather.
"No worries, I'll clean it up later." Sirius replied as Harry went back to eating.
Arabella sat at her kitchen table, looking through a photo album. She turned the pages, seeing different pictures of Lily, James, and Harry. A small smile appeared across Arabella's face as she remembered the good times, the times before Lily and James died.
"Bella?" a voice called from the living room.
"I'm in here." Arabella yelled back, not taking her eyes off of the photo album.
"I used your fireplace, hope you don't mind." Remus appeared in the kitchen, smelling a strong scent of alcohol.
"No, go on ahead. I have no use for it." Arabella sighed.
"What are you doing?" Remus asked as he sat down next to her.
"What does it look like?"
"James and Lily's.. Lily loved adding pictures of Harry in that."
Arabella stopped at a picture with Harry and Sirius. Sirius was sitting on a green couch with Harry in his lap. Sirius was reading the one year old a story. Harry was snuggled against Sirius's chest, clenching Sirius's robes as he fought to stay awake.
"Sirius was always so great with Harry.. If you didn't know any better, you'd say they were father and son." Arabella picked up a glass from the table and drank some of the contents in it.
"Sirius was Harry's godfather.." Remus trailed off as he watched Arabella drink.
"I'm his godmother and I never had that connection with him." Arabella sat down the glass forcefully.
"You never tried. Sirius wanted to have a connection with him. Sirius wanted to be the person that Harry ran to when he needed help." Remus explained.
"I guess I was too busy trying to find a way to save them.. To save their lives."
"There's nothing wrong with that."
"But they didn't live." Arabella replied as she shut the photo album.
"What are you going to do?"
"I don't know. I'll go see them some day, when I go I'll give Harry this. He'd want it." Arabella replied as she closed her eyes.
"How did you get it?" Remus asked.
"I went to Godric's Hollow after Sirius was taken to Azkaban. I wanted to salvage something for Harry." Arabella picked up the glass and drank the rest of the contents.
"You're drinking again?" Remus changed the subject, Lily and James's death were still hard for Remus to talk about.
"I'll make some coffee.. Doesn't that make you not drunk or something?" Arabella got up and walked towards the counters.
Remus picked up the photo album to look at it when he saw a folder underneath the album. Remus opened the folder with curiosity. He looked inside and saw papers with the title, "How to Learn Magic When You're a Squib".
"How do you take your coffee?" Arabella asked.
"What?" Remus snapped out of his thoughts.
"I said, 'how do you take your coffee'?" Arabella saw Remus looking at her papers.
"Black." Remus shoved the papers back to where they were.
"Looking at my personal things, Remus?" Arabella crossed her arms over her chest.
"I-I'm sorry, Arabella." Remus said earnestly. "I really am. I didn't mean to meddle."
"What's done is done." Arabella said. "I'm going upstairs. You can make your own damn coffee."
Arabella ran out of the room and Remus heard her go up the stairs. Then a door slammed. Remus buried his head in his hands, feeling guilty for snooping. Remus got up and went over to the fireplace, getting ready to leave.
"We barely get back to the Gryffindor Tower. McGonagall comes in and storms up to our dormitory, keep in mind that we just flung into our beds and pretended to be asleep. We had our robes on too. We weren't in our pajamas. McGonagall comes in and shouts, 'Black! Potter! I know that you did it!'. I remember I buried myself into the bed, hoping that she wouldn't skin me alive."
Sirius was sitting on the couch telling Harry stories about when him and James were teenagers at Hogwarts. Harry sat next to Sirius, anxious to hear all that he could about his parents. Harry had the urge to snuggle up against Sirius, but thought better of it. He didn't want Sirius to get mad at him.
"She opened up the coverings around my bed and looks down at me. I look up, trying to be half asleep and ask what's wrong. She pulls down the covers and sees my robes still on. She then does the same to Prongs. Took off fifty points each and two weeks worth of detention. I mean, all we did was brake into Slytherin Tower and charm everything to Gryffindor colours! Snivellus just told on us, just like that! Snivellus always had it in for your dad and me." Sirius finished his tale as Harry smiled, the first true smile since he arrived at the Black Manor with Sirius.
"It's not as bad as some other things you could have done." Harry told him.
"I know! We barely did anything. It's not like that time we had Peeves take Mrs. Norris and throw her out the window! Oh, all cats do land on all fours, by the way." Sirius chuckled softly.
"Who's Peeves?" Harry asked as he slowly made his way closer to Sirius.
"Hogwarts's mischievous spirit. We had a agreement with him in school; I think we were the only students he never played a prank on, since he knew we'd get him back five times as worse."
"Sirius.." Harry started, unsure if he should say what was on his mind.
"What is it, Harry?" Sirius asked with concern etched all over his face.
"Thanks." Harry grinned at his godfather.
"Thanks for what?" Sirius asked him, slightly confused.
"For taking me away from.. From.." Harry looked away, staring at the ground.
"No, don't thank me. It's what should have happened a long time ago. You're never going back there, Harry, so you'll just have to live with me no matter what. Do you understand?" Sirius placed a finger underneath Harry's chin and tilted his head so that he was facing him.
"Living with you is great." Harry replied, a smiling reappearing on his face.
"I'm glad you find it exhilarating." Sirius replied.
"Exhil-er-a-what?" Harry asked in confusion as Sirius sniggered.
"It means exciting." Sirius grinned at his godson fondly.
"Padfoot.." Harry trailed off, gathering his thought together.
"What?" Sirius looked at Harry intensely.
"When-when my parents were alive.. Did you live with them?"
"No, I didn't live with Lily and James. I lived in a flat that my Uncle Alphard helped me pay for. I visited them a lot though. Your dad and I were Aurors partners.. So, I would always go home with him and eat dinner at your house." after an afterthought, Sirius added, "It was like my second home."
"Were they nice people?" Harry asked as he edged closer to Sirius, longing to trust him completely.
"They were the nicest people I ever met in my life." Sirius replied, looking down at Harry.
"Did-did they like me?" Harry looked up at Sirius, his bright, green eyes shining brightly.
"They didn't just like you, Harry, they loved you. You were their pride and joy. They would do anything for you. You meant so much to them and it's a pity you'll never know how much you really did mean to them." Sirius wrapped an arm around Harry, bringing his godson closer to him.
Harry was taken back slightly, but soon eased down. Harry snuggled closer to the older man, burring his head into the folds of Sirius's robes. Sirius adjusted Harry so that he was now sitting on his lap. Harry grabbed Sirius's robes, not wanted to ever let go. Sirius rubbed Harry's back, calming him.
Remus then appeared in the fireplace, brushing the soot off of him. Remus looked up and saw Sirius and Harry and a smile grew on Remus's face. Sirius looked over at Remus, a smiling shining brightly on his face.
"You give him any potions?" Remus mouthed as Sirius nodded his head. "Good."
Harry looked up to see Remus standing there with a funny grin on his face. Harry scooted back towards Sirius as far as possible. Sirius wrapped his arms around Harry protectively. Sirius looked at Harry then at Remus.
"He's not going to hurt you, Harry. He cares for you just as much as I do." Sirius told him.
"O-okay." Harry was still tense with fear.
"It's okay. I'm just going to go and.. Make some breakfast." Remus stated, feeling uncomfortable.
"It's nearly lunch, Remus." Sirius replied.
"Then, I'll make lunch. You two want anything?"
"No, thanks. Harry?" Sirius replied.
"N-no, thank-you." Harry told him politely.
"Right then." Remus then went off towards the kitchen.
"He really wants to help you, Harry." Sirius looked down at Harry.
"I-I just.. I don't understand. Everything is so.. So different here. Before-before everything was so clear. I had to do the chores and if I didn't.. if I didn't I would be punished. But here, I feel like.. I feel like people are looking out for me. Like I'm wanted. It's just really hard to tell what's happening all the time." an odd expression crossed Harry's face, as if he was lost in a huge department store.
"Your aunt and uncle were horrible people. They hated your mum because she was.. Different. They hate you because you're different. They hate me because I'm different."
"You mean us being wizards?" Harry looked up at Sirius.
"Yeah, they don't believe in magic. They hate the very thought of it. Those are the people that you don't want to associate with." Sirius explained.
"So that's why they were so mean to me? Because I'm a wizard?"
"Yes, but that doesn't matter anymore. You're stuck with me forever." Sirius grinned at the small child.
End of Chapter 3
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