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Chapter 1 : There's A Ghost in This Room, I Think I'll Name It After All Of You
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There's a ghost in this room
I think I'll name it after all of you
And watch it hang over my bed like decorations celebrated
Memories, they came and went in light of all the time we spent
Listening to everything our parents told us not to take in
-All Time Low
“Seriously, Filch? ” Sirius stood, uncharacteristically quiet (however, the past week or so, quiet had become a little more natural for Sirius.) I, however, had no shortage of volume. “We went to this school for seven bloody years and you allegedly don’t recognize us? You gave us more detentions than we can count!
“Well, you better freaking grow a pair of eyes soon, because I’ve left my brother in charge of our kids and that is such a bad idea. We’re here to see Dumbledore, you arse!”
“Miss Xanthis!” I smiled. The sharp tongue of Minnie McGonagall was something I quite missed. “Please refrain from harassing our staff. Mr. Filch, please refrain from keeping former students that aren’t hell bent on taking over the world from entering the castle. Thank you.”
She gestured for Sirius and me to follow her. Technically it wasn’t necessary to escort us to Dumbledore’s office (we’d both been there enough times) but I appreciated the chance to catch up with my dear, former professor. “So, how are things ‘round the Warts?” I asked.
“Not bad at all, Miss Xanthis-”
“Minnie, will you please call me Anna?”
“Will you please call me McGonagall? Or at least something that isn’t Minnie?”
I thought about the switch. “Nope, sorry. No can do.”
Minnie couldn’t help but smile. What can I say, I just induce that in people. “Then I’m afraid we’ve struck no bargain.”
I shrugged my shoulders. I looked behind me, just to make sure that Sirius was still trailing behind us. Minnie looked back to, and then turned to me with concern. “Is he alright?”
I nodded and shrugged. “I suppose. He’s still a bit broken up about, well, you know. He’s getting better, though. Not to say that I’m not; I just have a slightly different way of dealing with things than he does, I suppose.”
Minnie nodded. “A lot of the students who still remember Lily and James got quite upset when the news spread. I mean, the students who were Fourth years when they were Seventh years are the Seventh years now, and they remember them all extremely well. For a time of celebration, this has been extremely tough for some.”
I nodded. “Remus, Darren and I are doing our best to cheer Sirius up. Sirius is just such an emotional person; he deals with things differently than the rest of his. He’s a bit of a woman, I suppose.”
I, of course, felt no qualms pouring my heart out to Minnie.
“Gummy bears,” McGonagall said, with a look of contempt. The gargoyles that guarded the entrance to Dumbledore’s office sprung apart and Minnie and I stepped onto the moving staircase. We beckoned for Sirius to move his arse (well, Minnie didn’t use that exact terminology) and he did.
McGonagall knocked on Dumbledore’s door softly. “Enter,” said one particularly tired-sounding voice.
Minnie pushed the door open to reveal a worn-out Dumbledore pouring over some rolls of parchment. However, for someone who had probably been to hell and back the past few days, he looked well.
“Dumbledore!” I yelled excitedly. I threw my arms around the old man’s neck; I hadn’t seen him since that whole ‘go back in time and save Sirius’ thing, and I’d never properly thanked him. I released him quickly . . . Perhaps that wasn’t the best way to greet an old, breakable-looking guy. “I wanted to thank you. Really, really thank you. Because without that chance to make things right, well, I can’t really say how my state of mind would be at the moment. I’d be out quite a few best mates.”
“It’s always my pleasure to preserve justice,” Dumbledore said kindly. “Now, I believe there was a reason besides your gratitude that we were meeting here today.”
“Yeah.” It was the first time that Sirius had broken from his reverie since we had left the house earlier that day. “Harry.”
Dumbledore nodded and gestured for us to take seats in front of his desk. Minnie excused herself to return to the Great Hall, where dinner was being served.
The door clicked shut and Minnie’s heels clicked down the steps. All three of us, tired in our own respects and reasons, were entranced by the repetitive, melodic sound. I was the first to snap out of it.
“So . . .” My comment brought Sirius and Dumbledore back as well.
“Right.” Dumbledore cleared some of the parchments from his desk so that he could rest his arms on it. “Now, as I told Sirius, he must go live with the Dursley family, his only living blood relatives . . . Because Lily gave her life for Harry, an ancient magic, love, now protects him. As long as he lives in the house of a blood relative, he will be protected from Voldemort, should he return, while he resides there.”
The nonchalant way that Dumbledore had mentioned Voldemort and his potential return, lead me to believe that Dumbledore believed that Voldemort would return.
This piqued Sirius’ interest. “So, you think he’s coming back?” Sirius was gripping the edges of Dumbledore’s desk. I put my hands on his shoulders and moved them in a relaxing, circular pattern, trying to calm him down. Poor Sirius got over-excited by things these days.
I didn’t want to be in on the conversation; that sort of thing always depressed me. I was perfectly content to believe that Voldemort was good and gone; my life was easier that way.
“Unfortunately, yes. There is reason to believe that Voldemort is not quite human. And there are ways for him to return.” Dumbledore seemed to be choosing his words carefully. His eyes flitted and connected with mine for a moment.
I had a feeling that ol’ Dumbly had been about to say, ‘there are ways for people to return from the dead,’ or something of the like. I’m sure he had refrained, for Sirius’ benefit.
“But, all that aside -” Dumbledore had an uncanny ability to tell when something made a person uncomfortable. For example, I was toying with the idea of leaving the room until the two finished discussing Voldemort. Luckily, Dumbledore saved me the trouble. “It is obvious that you two care for Harry, and are worried about him - I’m sure Remus is as well. Under other circumstances, I’m sure there would be a way to work it out so that he could reside with you two during certain parts of the year.
“The only thing I fear is the effect that putting Harry in the limelight (which there undoubtedly is) will have such a negative effect on him. I wouldn’t want him to be introduced to his fame so early in life. And I think that if we allow Harry to become attached to you, we will have a few things to explain, now, won’t we?”
Oh, dear. I hate when there’s so much information to take in.
“How will we know that the Dursleys,” Sirius said their name with disgust, likely from the remaining memories of the stories Lily and James had told us, and the one time that we had met the wretched family. “Are taking care of Harry properly. I’ve met them; they can’t do it.”
“I shall be observing to make sure that no harm befalls young Harry. You, of course, are free to observe as well, I daresay that Sirius has quite a good disguise.” Dumbledore smiled mischievously.
Sirius grinned sheepishly, and avoided locking eyes with Dumbledore. Of course, Dumbledore would have known about their little escapades, I don’t know how none of us really realized that before.
“Wonderful! Now, you two are more than welcome to stay for dinner; I myself must make my way down there. I’ll be sure to owl you two, as well as Remus, if there is any trouble with the Dursleys.”
Dumbledore, quirky (and probably driven a little bit mad from his bout of hunger) tipped his hat and flounced out of the room, leaving Sirius and I sitting there. I tugged on his hand, attempting to get him up. “Come on, you big lug. I can’t carry you, and we’ve both got to eat . . . Besides, I smelled Shepard’s Pie when we came in.”
I new that would get a reaction out of Sirius. “Oh, boy I love that stuff, haven’t had it in ages, because someone is crap at cooking ”
I pretended to be affronted, but couldn’t actually, because it was just so nice to see Sirius bounce from 1.5 to 8 on the ‘Life-O-Meter.’ “Well, ‘scuse me if I can’t cook. You could try making the pie, you know.”
Sirius shrugged. “Too lazy. Come on, we’re going to miss it It’s going to be gone,” he whined.
“Alright, alright, let’s go.” Sirius grabbed my hand excitedly and pulled me out of Dumbledore’s office. In a flash, the view of confusing, mad, little silver objects had changed to platefuls of food.
“I’m so taking one of these house-elves home with me. They’re going to cook this stuff all the time.”
“Of course, Sirius. Of course.”
I patted the delusional little guy on the head. At the moment, if delusions of house-elves making him Shepard's Pie got him excited, well, that was alright with me.
A/N2: So, what do you all think of the lyrics for this chapter? When I first began planning this story, I was going to do away with the lyrics. But then, one day as I was writing one of the chapters for Polychromatic (this chapter was done waaaaay before now) I was listening to the song that I got it from, and those lyrics just shone into my ears like an Angel’s voice. And I decided that those were the most perfect lyrics I had ever heard to fit with this. So then I decided that I just had to have this story with lyrics - because fate just wanted it that way, right? :D Sorry, I was just so excited that I had to ramble. :D
Also, I would like to thank Emilyinlove, who has made not only the banner for this story, but all of the character images you will come to see. :D They're fantastic. :D
A/3: Anyways, I can’t even tell you guys when to expect the next update. I’m gone for much of the summer, and updates will probably be sporadic and spaced. But, I hope the somewhat closure I gave you with Polychromatic can tide you over. :D
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