“I can’t take it anymore, Albus, I’m being driven up the wall.”
A frazzled Remus paced Dumbledore’s office, his robes hanging on his body loosely. The full moon was arriving soon and the werewolf’s frame was slowly getting weaker. His skin was pale and his voice was slightly hoarse, but nothing could chase away the nervous look in his eyes.
“I can’t change the way Molly feels about Sirius-” Dumbledore said calmly, only to be interrupted.
“She’s attacking me now too!” Remus snapped his head towards the Headmaster. “I just want her to stop... for her to see that Harry is happy living with Sirius... with me.”
“I understand your reasoning, Remus, but I just don’t know how I can help you. I’ve talked to Molly before about this, but whatever I say flies right over her head. She doesn’t want to believe it... she can’t. She believes what she’s reads and not in the people.” Dumbledore explained, frowning.
“Isn’t there anything you can do? Anything at all?”
“I can give her some Foe-Glass and we can see if she sees Sirius.” Dumbledore suggested.
“Okay... two men Quidditch is a hard sport to play... usually James and I would both play Chasers with the bludgers out and no Keeper. Now, we’ve played that before, but with no bludgers. Quite frankly, I’m not going to have the bludgers out until you’re at least sixteen...” Sirius trailed off, glancing over at his godson who was hovering about a foot above the ground on his broom. “Now, I know you like the Seekers, so I thought we could play a little game I like to call ‘Who Can Catch the Snitch First’?”
“But, Padfoot, that would mean that I could fly by myself...” Harry trailed off, a goofy smile playing on his lips.
“That is the idea.” Sirius smiled widely.
“You’re kidding! Ron said that his mum wouldn’t let him anywhere near a broom until he goes to Hogwarts!” Harry exclaimed, nearly falling off his broom.
“Whoa, there! Don’t fall off.” Sirius chortled.
“I won’t! Let’s go, Padfoot!” Harry whined, swinging his legs happily on his broom.
“Okay, but if you even start to fall off-”
“I know. I know. I’ll call out to you, so that you can help me out. Come on, Padfoot!” Harry inched his broom a little higher in the air, not even noticing it himself.
“Are you sure you’re ready for this?” Sirius asked, a smile creeping onto his face.
“Of course!” Harry exclaimed.
“Right then... on the count of three I’m going to let the Golden Snitch go and then we are going to go after it.” Sirius paused, mounting his broom as one hand held the small golden ball. “One... two... three.”
Harry drove up into the air as Sirius followed slowly behind his godson out of anxiety of the small boy. The snitch fluttered around the back yard, back and forth, as it buzzed softly. Harry kept his eyes glued on the small, shiny ball, ready to pounce on it at any moment. The boy looked behind him, to see Sirius closely trailing. So, Padfoot was going to let him win no matter what, eh? Harry thought silently to himself.
“Padfoot, you’re going to lose!” Harry shouted over his shoulder.
“No, I won’t. It’s all an act to keep you distracted!” Sirius yelled back. “Look, it’s working!”
Harry immediately turned his attention back to where he was flying, spotting the glimmering snitch only a few yards away. A smile spread across the boy’s face as he turned his broom sharply to the right, one tiny hand outstretched. His fingers brushed against the smooth surface, but something distracted Harry from making the catch. He looked down to see several black figures on the ground... their faces were white. Harry closed his eyes quickly and shook his head, opening his eyes again to see the people gone.
Harry sudden got light-headed, his hands slipping off of the broom. He blinked his eyes several times, only to hear screams inside of his head. Sweat was accumulating on his forehead, his throat suddenly dry. His eyes drooped shut, the blackness overwhelming him. That’s when he heard it... a deafening scream filling his head. A female voice nonetheless.
“Please, no! Amos!”
“I think he’s too busy trying to stay alive upstairs.” A cruel, low voice spoke... a familiar voice.
“Crucio!” the voice yelled, and the woman screamed in pain... a shrilling screech that made the hairs on your arms stick straight up.
A new voice entered his head, a concerned voice. He heard that voice before too... Padfoot! It was Padfoot. A hand gently tapped Harry on the cheek, knocking the boy out of whatever just happened. He opened his eyes to see Padfoot’s apprehensive face, and the bright sky surrounding his head. He brushed a small hand next to him only to feel the luxurious blades of grass.
“Padfoot?” Harry questioned, his voice hoarse.
“Oh thank Merlin.” Sirius sighed in relief, closing his eyes... a small tear running down his face.
“What- what happened?” Harry swallowed some saliva to moisten his throat, “Who screamed?”
“What?” Sirius looked up, his eyes slightly red and puffy.
“Who- who screamed?” Harry asked again.
“I did... I screamed for you when I saw you fall... then I did a spell so that you would fall to the ground gently.” Sirius replied, wiping the stray tear off of his face.
“No... Padfoot... the girl...” Harry’s brow furrowed in confusion.
“There was no girl... Harry...” Sirius looked down at his godson in bewilderment.
“There was... she said, ‘Please, no’ and then she cried out Amoose... Amass... Amos...” Harry wiped his sleeve across his forehead, pulling it back to see it semi wet.
“Come here...” Sirius scooped Harry up into his arms and rushed him inside of the house.
Once inside, Sirius plopped Harry down on the couch and went over to the fireplace. He grabbed some floo powder from a small container on the mantle and threw it into the fireplace, shouting, “Dumbledore”. Soon, the elderly wizard’s head appeared in the fireplace, a cheerful smile on his face.
“You rang, Sirius?”
“Send some Order members to check on the Diggorys...” Sirius trailed off, his jaw tightening.
“Why? What happened?” the Headmaster’s face grew grave.
“Harry... a vision or whatnot. Just send someone over there now!”
The Headmaster’s face disappeared out of the flames and Sirius turned around to face his godson, who was panting slightly on the couch. Harry looked into his godfather’s eyes... there was a deadened look in them. A haunted look... a look Harry hadn’t seen in his godfather since the two first met. A shiver ran down the petite boy’s frame.
“You okay?” Sirius asked, his voice thick with worry.
“Err... yeah.” Harry wiped his forehead with his sleeve again.
Remus opened the front door of the Diggorys’ home, his wand up and ready. He stepped in the front door, his shoes squeaky softly on the hardwood floors. With his free hand, he motioned for the people behind him to come in. Alastor “Mad Eye” Moody and Kingsley Shacklebolt came walking into the small home.
“Shit.” Remus cursed quietly as he saw Carmel Diggory lying on the floor, her back towards them.
Kingsley lowered his wand and ran up to the woman, laying a hand on her shoulder and turning her on her back. Her eyes where wide open, her mouth slightly opened. He quickly moved his hand to her neck to feel for a pulse...there was none. She was dead.
“Let’s move upstairs.” Moody said gruffly. “They have a small boy. Let’s just hope he’s not here.”
Remus swallowed a lump that had formed in his throat and turned his attention to the stairs. His wand still raised, he made his way up them closely followed by Moody. Kingsley’s voice was muffled, but he said something that sounded like, “I’ll check downstairs.” He was good friends with Amos and was still getting over the shock that they were attacked.
Remus stepped off of the last step and into a small hallway. At the end, a door was ajar. The back wall was yellow and there was a Quidditch poster hanging on the wall above a twin bed. Remus walked forward, stepping on a loose floorboard.
“I’ll take that room.” Moody pointed to the left as Remus nodded, moving towards the half closed door.
Once Remus reached it, he pushed the door open completely. It was a small boy’s room... toys littered the floor. As if a sharp knife was dived into Remus heart, he couldn’t help but think of Harry and how this could be him. He pushed those thoughts aside and looked around the room, fingering the dresser unconsciously.
A muffled cry came somewhere behind the werewolf, making his head snap back. He searched frantically around the medium sized room, looking for any indication of someone in the room. Remus made his way over to the closet, yanking it open to find it empty. Then something caught Remus’s eye in the mirror –a mirror that was on the inside of the closet door- something moving. He turned around and knelt down beside the bed.
Under the bed was a small boy who was shaking violently, tears pouring down his face. Another lump formed in Remus’s throat, enabling him to speak. He stared at the boy, fixated on him. The boy stared back, fear evident in his eyes. Then Moody’s grumpy voice called out, “Remus, I found Amos! He’s badly hurt!”
“Come on... I’m not going to hurt you...” Remus reached out to the small boy.
The boy looked at Remus uncertainly before reaching out a hand and grabbing Remus’s. The boy was no older then nine years old, his brown hair tousled. He was quite tall for his age, but you could still see the innocent, boyish features on him. Remus pulled him close, hoisting him up in his arms as he set off to find Moody. The boy buried his head into Remus’s shoulder, clenching his robes.
Remus made his way into the hallway and then into another bedroom. Lying on the floor was Amos Diggory, his chest moving slowly up and down. His mouth was moving, but no words were coming out. Moody was by him, a strained look on his face. He looked up at Remus when he saw him enter with his magical eye.
“Looks like the Cruciatus Curse if you ask me... might have gone insane like the Longbottoms... who have you got there?” Moody stood up, his eyes scanning the small boy.
“Their son...” Remus replied.
“Yeah, it’s their son... Cedric.” Kingsley walked into the bedroom, his eyes puffy.
“Let’s get them to St. Mungo’s...” Moody trailed off. “Get them some help.”
“Molly! Molly! Where are you?” Arthur Apparated into the living room.
“In the kitchen!” She shouted back.
“You won’t believe it! You-Know-Who struck at the Diggorys! Carmel is dead!” Arthur ran into the kitchen, panting slightly, his hair ruffled.
“What?” Molly turned her attention to a small mirror on the kitchen table to her husband.
“Carmel... Amos Diggory’s wife is dead. There was an attack... Death Eaters or maybe You-Know-Who... the Order isn’t really sure.” Arthur adverted his gaze to the mirror on the table.
“Oh Merlin... Carmel? You’re kidding!” Molly’s eyes filled with tears, but she quickly brushed them away.
Molly had learned to mask her feeling very well about her friends’ deaths ever since Voldemort first reign of terror. Many of her friends had gone missing or had died during the war, and with every friend’s death, it got easier to accept. A horrible thing to say, yes, but in times like those you couldn’t dwell on the past.
“Yeah... Remus, Kingsley, and Mad-Eye found her.” Arthur sat down at the table, not looking at his wife.
“And Amos... and their son, Cedric?”
“Amos is barely holding onto life. Mad-Eye suspects a little too many Cruciatus Curses happened... thinks he might have been driven insane like the Longbottoms. Cedric's fine. Remus found him under the boy’s bed hiding...” Arthur trailed off, sighing heavily.
“The poor boy...” Molly trailed off, sitting down at the table herself.
“What is that, Molly?” Arthur looked at the mirror.
“Foe-Glass... Dumbledore sent it over by owl post. He told me to look into it and spy on Sirius Black and see how great of a godfather he is to Harry.”
“Why don’t you?” Arthur asked, fingering the mirror with interest.
“Because I’m not sure I want to know what I’ll find.” Molly replied softly.
“You mean you don’t want to be proven wrong that Sirius is a good guy who’s just trying to care for his best friend’s son as best as he can?” Arthur suggested.
“No- yes- I don’t know.” Molly shook her head.
“Go on... let’s view it together.” Arthur urged her.
Molly turned the glass towards them so that they could both get a clear view of it. Molly then concentrated hard and an image started to swirl in the Foe-Glass. Soon enough, there was Sirius Black sitting on Harry’s bed with Harry next to him, snuggling. The boy looked tired, shocked, and worried... as did his godfather.
“What happened?” Harry asked, looking up at his godfather.
“You had a vision.” Sirius replied, pulling the small boy closer to him.
“How? I wasn’t sleeping...”
“I don’t know.”
“I- I saw something else.” Harry admitted, not looking at Sirius.
“What?” Sirius pressed.
“Men... in black clocks and white faces... they were in the yard and then- then they weren’t.” both Harry and Sirius looked confused.
“What do you mean?”
“It was weird... it was like they were there, but they weren’t.” Harry tried to explain as best as he could, but found it harder then it seemed.
“Is this the first time you’ve seen something like this?”
“Yes... no... I don’t remember...” Harry paused, gathering his thoughts.
“I mean... I don’t think I have, but then again I might have. I’ve seen a lot of strange things, Padfoot, I can’t remember.”
“It doesn’t matter. Go to bed.” Sirius kissed Harry on the top of the head and helped him situate in the comfortable bed and started to leave the room.
“Sirius...” Sirius stopped at the doorway and turned back to look at Harry.
“I live here now... and you said once before that you kinda adopted me as your son... does that make me a Black?” Harry cocked his head to one side as it lay resting on the pillow.
“Well...” Sirius trailed off, shocked by the question, “You’re still Potter, no doubt about that... but yeah... you kind of are a Black now.”
“So I’m Harry Black?”
“No, you’re still Harry Potter.”
“’Kay... goodnight, Padfoot. Love you...” Harry turned to his side, burying his face into the pillow.
“Right back at you, Kid. ’Night, Harry.” Sirius softly closed the door behind him, sighing heavily.
“Long day I heard.” Remus stood at the top of the stairs, his arms crossed over his chest.
“Yeah, you could say that.” Sirius replied.
“Carmel Diggory is dead...” Remus trailed off.
“Where were you today? Harry almost died.”
I had... business to deal with.”
“‘Business’?” Sirius narrowed his eyes at his friend. “Something’s that more important then Harry?”
“It was about Harry.” Remus replied, brushing past his friend and into his own bedroom.
“Oh, really?” Sirius followed Remus, stepping into his friend’s room.
“Yeah, Sirius, it was. You know, you’re not the only one who cares about that boy! There are a lot of people besides you who do.”
“For the right reasons I hope.” Sirius snapped.
“What is up with you today? Of course, it was for the right reasons!”
“You’ve been so hooked up on Arabella’s death that I didn’t even know if you noticed what was going on with Harry-”
“Don’t even play that card on me, Sirius.” Remus grabbed a blanket off of his bed and brushed past Sirius again.
“Where are you going?” Sirius turned around.
“It’s a full moon, in case you have forgotten. I’m going to go lock myself down into the basement.” Remus stormed down the stairs, leaving Sirius standing in the hallway alone.
The image in the Foe-Glass disappeared. Molly sat staring into the glass, a frown on her face. Arthur sat next to her, a weird expression on his face. He was the first to speak amongst the two of them. “I thought they were better friends then that.”
“I’m going to bed.” Molly got up from her chair and made her way upstairs.
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