Sirius paced around the kitchen, a cup of tea in his hands. He didn't sleep a wink at all last night. He thought about Molly Weasley and her accusations that he was an unfit godfather. An unfit godfather? Him? That was madness. It was more then just madness. It was just not feasible! He would show her and he would show everyone.
Sirius turned around to see Remus standing in the doorway, tightly holding onto his white robe. Sirius ignored him and went about pacing again. Remus would probably just tell him something along the lines 'don't care what people think'. The truth was that Sirius cared about what people thought when it concerned his parenting abilities.
"You and Molly have an understanding now, Padfoot. Just let it be. Harry really likes the Weasleys. You heard him talking about them all last night." Remus sighed before continuing. "You can't mess up his friendship with them because you and Molly hate each other."
"She thinks I'm going to bloody kill him while he's asleep. I would never hurt him." a lump formed in Sirius's throat.
"I know that, Padfoot, and deep down inside she knows that too. She just.. she has a husband and children and this lifestyle isn't the same as hers. She just thinks that Harry needs a father and a mother to live a perfect, happy life. I know that's not true and so do you. Harry loves it here.. he loves you more then anything, Sirius."
A pecking at the window disrupted Remus and Sirius's conversation. Sirius walked over and unlatched the window; a brown owl flew in and dropped a letter onto the table. Remus watched as the owl then flew back out of the window, without taking a drink or anything.
"'To Sirius Black, Marauder's Cottage, Kitchen'" Remus, who had picked up the letter, read. "Oh, who could be writing you?"
"Give it here." Sirius snatched the letter out of his friend's hand and opened it up.
"Well.. what does it say?" Remus crossed his arms over his chest and awaited an answer.
"Oh, bloody hell." Sirius read the letter and then handed it over to Remus.
"'Dear Sirius, Dumbledore has told me that Harry is safe and back with you and Remus. Tell Remus I said hello.'" Remus stopped and looked up at Sirius.
"Arabella says hello." Sirius smiled as he picked back up his tea and took a sip.
"'I want to talk with you today to talk about some things.'" Remus began to read again. "'Maybe you can bring Harry down to the muggle park while we talk there. It might do him some good to be around kids his own age.' Ha! See, Sirius, I told you Harry needed to be around children his own age. Bella agrees with me! 'Meet me today at noon. Sincerely, Arabella.'"
"I guess I have to take him down there now." Sirius sat down at the kitchen table.
"It won't be that bad." Remus commented as he sat down also.
"PADFOOT! MOONY!" a childish voice rang throughout the house, which made both Sirius and Remus smile.
Harry came running into the kitchen, his arms opened up wide. His jet- black hair was flowing behind, tangling up. Sirius got up from his chair and knelt down to the floor, his arms opened so that his godson could run into them. Sure enough, Harry flung his arms around Sirius's neck, kissing his briefly on the cheek. Sirius wrapped his arms around the small frame of his godson and held him tightly.
"Morning to you too, Harry." Sirius whispered into his ear.
"Guess what!" Harry pulled back so that he could see his godfather's face.
"What?" Sirius couldn't help but smile at the boy.
"I didn't have that dream last night!" the boy smiled widely, his eyes lighting up happily.
"That's great, Harry!" Sirius exclaimed, devouring Harry into another hug, kissing him on the top of his head.
Once Sirius let Harry go, he jogged over to Moony, flinging his arms around Remus's waist as best as he could, because he was still sitting down. Remus wrapped an arm around the boy's small shoulders, pulling him closer. Sirius got up off of the floor and resumed his seat at the kitchen table.
"What's for breakfast?" Harry asked, taking his seat between Remus and Sirius.
"We didn't make anything yet, actually." Remus told him, resting his head in his hand.
"I can make something." Harry jumped up, ready to cook.
"Sit down." Sirius pointed at the seat.
Harry did as he was told, but kept his eyes locked onto his godfather's face. He looked tired, worn; but he kept a smile on his face, as if to give him some reassurance. Harry looked anxiously at his godfather, what was he going to say?
"How would you like to go to the muggle park today?" Sirius asked.
Harry stared at his godfather in shock. That was certainly not what he had anticipated. He sat there, not sure of what to say. Harry just sat there, waiting for his godfather to say got you or something along those lines, but he didn't. He just sat there waiting for hear Harry's response.
"The park?" Harry questioned.
"Yeah.. sounds like fun, eh?"
Arabella watched as the muggle children ran around playing games. They chased each other, swung on the swigs, and played in the sand. She smiled softly. She remembered when she was a girl and played with her friends at the park. It all seemed so long ago though. Everything seemed so long ago.
She looked up to see Sirius Black hovering over her with a small boy in his arms. Harry looked at his godmother cautiously. It was still hard for him to trust people so easily. Sirius lifted Harry down to the ground and knelt down beside him.
"Go play, okay? Arabella and I need to talk a little, but we'll be right here watching you the whole time, okay?" Sirius urged the small boy.
"But.. but I don't know them." Harry looked nervously over at the other children.
"You didn't know Ron and now you're great friends with him."
Harry, who had brought a book with him, walked slowly towards the other kids. He turned a little and sat down under a giant, birch tree. He opened the book, How to Become Animagus. Harry had wanted to transform just like his godfather could. Harry hoped that if read enough about it that maybe Sirius would teach him, although he doubted it.
Meanwhile, Arabella and Sirius sat on the bench in silence. Sirius didn't dare take his eyes off of his godson, fearing that he would disappear in a second. His heart went out to the small boy with so much on his shoulders. That little boy was supposed to kill Lord Voldemort one day and Sirius couldn't grasp the idea in his mind. He kept telling himself it was all a lie, but Lily and James had told him of the prophecy as soon as they learned about it. The boy would be hunted his whole life by the evilest wizard to ever live.
"Sirius.." Sirius was snapped out of his thoughts.
"What do you need, Arabella?"
"I wanted to know that you are doing everything you can to protect that little boy." Arabella stared at Harry as he read his book, his face wrinkling up every now or then as if he didn't know what a word was.
"Of course I am." Sirius shot back.
"I have a few ideas. I've been researching some different things that might help protect him."
"Are you willing to share?"
Meanwhile, as Harry sat under the birch tree, a shadow covered his view. Harry looked up to see a small girl with a thick book clenched in her arms. She had bushy, brown hair and a serious look on her face. Her brown eyes watched the boy with curiously. The girl looked oddly familiar to Harry, but he couldn't quite place her.
"Excuse me, but that's my spot." The girl, whose two front teeth were slightly large, said in a very bossy tone.
"S-sorry?" Harry asked, his eyebrows shooting up in the air a little.
"I sit there every time I come to the park. I like to read under it. There isn't a lot of sun there either." the girl looked hopefully at the tree.
"S-sorry.. I-I didn't know." Harry made a move to stand up but the girl shook her head.
"You can stay, I was just hoping you would share the spot."
Harry was slightly taken back, but said nothing. Instead, he scooted over a bit and the girl sat down next to him, opening a rather big book up. She sat her kitten bookmark on the green grass and her eyes started to dart across the pages of the book.
"What-what are you reading?" Harry asked, looking at the small print.
"Moby Dick." The girl replied.
"You know all the words to that?" Harry asked in surprise.
"Well.. no.. not exactly. I mean, yeah, I do." the girl twirled a blade of grass on her finger.
"If you don't know all the words then why read it?" Harry asked innocently.
"It's good.." The girl trailed off, looking at the book with disappointment.
"What's it about?" Harry asked her.
"A whale." The girl replied confidently.
"What does the whale do?" Harry sat down his book and looked at the girl.
"I'm Hermione.. Hermione Granger. What's your name?" the girl sat down her book also and turned her head.
"I'm six. Are you six?"
"Yeah.." Harry trailed off; the girl was easy to talk to, just like Ron.
"I'm here with my mum. That's her over there." Hermione pointed to a woman who was sitting on a bench reading a book, looking up every now and then at her daughter. "Where are your parents?"
"I-I don't have any parents. That's my godfather over there." Harry pointed over to Sirius, who was watching him like a hawk.
"He looks really young." Hermione commented.
"He is. He's only twenty-five." Harry commented, turning away from his godfather.
"My mum is already thirty! She's old." Hermione looked over at Harry's Animagus book lying on the ground. "How to become Ani-Ani-may-just?"
"It-it's nothing!" Harry snatched the book up in his arms, hiding it from Hermione's view.
"What was that book? That picture on the cover was moving!" Hermione exclaimed, her mouth slightly opened.
"You're a muggle, you wouldn't understand." Harry protested.
"I am not a moogle! How dare you call me that.. wait.. what is a moogle?" Hermione asked feeling slightly embarrassed.
"It's muggle. You wouldn't understand anyways."
"Tell me." Hermione demanded.
"It's a.. a girl." Harry said the first thing that sprung to mind.
"My mummy said that girls can do anything boys can do." Hermione crossed her arms over her chest, looking at Harry in disappointment.
"Harry!" Sirius stood up from the bench and beckoned Harry towards him.
"I got to go.. nice talking to you, Herminie."
Harry got up and ran over towards Sirius, who was now knelt down with his arms opened wide. He ran right into his godfather's arms, wrapping his arms around his neck. Sirius lifted him up into his arms as he stood, holding him tightly.
"Have fun?" Sirius asked as the two started to walk away.
"I met a girl named Herminie.." Harry stopped, unsure if he should tell him that he had a dream about her, or at least he thought she was.
"I see that." Sirius replied.
"You have fun?" Harry asked, resting his head on his godfather's shoulder.
"Uh.. sure. Arabella and I talked about a few things." Sirius turned his head to look at his godson.
"What about?" Harry asked innocently.
"Oh, you know.. the usual, me becoming an international superstar with my handsomely, devilish, good looks."
"But Padfoot, you're mighty old to be a superstar." Harry smiled at him.
"I'm hurt beyond recognition." Sirius said with a fake, pained look on his face, but ended up laughing.
The voice rang throughout the hideout of Lord Voldemort. A person in a black cloak and white mask fell to the hard cement floor and screamed out in pain. Behind Voldemort on the silver wall were giant, green snakes. Death Eaters were in a circle as the person being tortured was in the middle of them.
"I want the boy." Voldemort hissed.
"I-I don't.. Black's hiding him." the male on the floor gasped for breath.
"Then find him! I want him." Voldemort took in a deep breath, his lips forming a straight line.
"I-I think he-he put the Fid-Fidelius Charm around-around them." The man coughed up some blood.
"Well, is it around their house or on them? I want to know! I need answers!" Voldemort clenched his fists in frustration. "Severus! Where are they?"
Voldemort turned to his right and looked at another man in black robes and a white mask. His red eyes were boring into him. Snape hesitated, what should he say? When he finally found his voice he said, "Dumbledore isn't saying anything about them. He's their Secret Keeper."
"So it is the Fidelius Charm then.. I want to know more about it." Voldemort turned and left the room, leaving the Death Eaters.
"I'm beginning to doubt where your loyalties lie, Severus." Lucius Malfoy took down his hood and took off his mask, looking at the twitching man before him.
"My loyalties lie with the Dark Lord." Snape took off his mask and pulled down his hood and looked at his lifelong friend.
"I think you know more then you're willing to share, Severus. I will find out what you're up to, mock my words." Malfoy turned and left the room, as several others followed suit.
"I do hope you're not lying, Severus." Bellatrix Lestrange stopped in front of him, a serious look on her face. "You, helping my blood-traitor cousin protect Baby Potter.. I didn't know you could sink that low."
"I can reassure you that I wouldn't help Black nor Potter. I wish they would die a most painful death."
"But you didn't even cut Potter. You couldn't. Why? Is it because he's the son of that redheaded bitch that you always had a crush on?"
"I beg to differ, Bella. I felt sorry for the boy."
"Felt sorry for the boy? What has happened to you, Severus? Dumbledore got to you, didn't he?" there was anger evident in Bellatrix's eyes.
"His good-for-nothing father saved my life once.. I had to repay the debt. That's over with now, so I can no longer feel guilty."
"Guilt.. You've murdered and tortured people beyond belief when our Lord was great years before and you never showed remorse. Why all of the sudden do you feel the need to protect this.. this.. sorry excuse for a boy? He destroyed our master, or did you forget that?"
"I never forget.." Snape trailed off, running out of things to say.
"You'll be fed to the dogs in no time." Bellatrix pushed her way through, her heels clicking as she stormed out of the room.
"Have fun?" Remus, who was reading a book in the living room, asked Sirius and Harry as they stepped out of the fireplace.
"Oh, oodles." Sirius said sarcastically.
"Well, what did Arabella have to say?" Remus asked, sitting his book down onto the black, coffee table.
"Harry, why don't you go upstairs and play?" Sirius sat his godson onto his feet and urged him to go upstairs.
"But-but I want to stay here with you and Moony." Harry protested in a small voice, grabbing Sirius's hand.
"Moony and I have to have some grownup talk. You understand, right?" Sirius knelt down in front of the boy, brushing a lock of raven hair off of his forehead.
"I- okay.." Harry let go of his hand, turned, and walked up the stairs, his head bowed in disappointment.
"She thinks we should change our appearances and go off to America." Sirius said as soon as he was sure Harry was out of earshot.
"You're kidding." Remus asked in disbelief.
"No, she said it was the only way." Sirius chuckled softly. "She looked up all this information for this wizarding school in America, apparently it's in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. They don't take a train, but a huge boat."
"Are you kidding me? I'm not running away." Sirius sat down in a chair forcefully.
"No! He's my godson and I will do what I think is best for him."
"I don't agree with Arabella, but I don't agree with you either. Voldemort is going to keep trying until he gets Harry. It's not safe for him. You can't always be there for him!" Remus protested.
"Yeah, I got the memo. I'm a horrible godfather, what else is new?" Sirius said bitterly.
"You're not a horrible godfather, Sirius. You just have to put Harry first- "
"Put Harry first?! What the bloody hell do you think I'm doing? He is my number one priority!" Sirius stood up, feeling the urge to hit his best friend on top of the head.
"I was going to say that you have to put Harry first and not what you think is best."
"Leave me alone." Sirius stormed up the stairs, slamming his bedroom door shut.
"You can't talk to him.." Remus muttered, laughing a little.
"You never said what happened yesterday." Arthur sat down at the table for dinner, as the children came running into the kitchen making their usual loud chatter.
"And then- and then we could try to flush them down the toilet." Fred smiled, laughing as he spoke.
"I wonder how we will ever do it!" George exclaimed, sitting next to his father.
"What are you two planning now?" Molly pointed a wooden spoon at them.
"Oh, just plans for when we go to Hogwarts." Fred answered openly.
"You know, flushing the ghosts down the toilets." George added.
The twins smiled as they looked up at their mother. Molly shook her head and muttered, "What am I going to do with them." She then flicked her wand and the dinner floated over to the table, setting down in the middle. Immediately little hands reached out for the food, grabbing as much as they could.
"Molly, you never told me what happened." Arthur shouted over the noise of their children.
"Honestly! Can't you even use the unitcals?" Percy asked annoyed.
"Utensils, Sweetie." Molly sat down next to Percy, a small smile on her face as Percy turned bright red.
"Molly!" Arthur looked at his wife eagerly.
"Oh, fine. I learned a more then I cared to know." Molly announced.
"Like what?" Arthur leaned forward.
"Things that I wish not to discuss in front of the children."
"But, Mum! We're big boys now!" George told her as he shoved some mash potatoes, which was in his hands, into his mouth.
"George! You will eat with your fork." Molly snapped at him.
"Sorry." George rolled his eyes. "Queen Mum."
End of Chapter 12
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