Chapter 6 : Chapter 6
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Special Thanks To: CambAngst who is kind enough to Beta-Read this story for me. Seriously, do yourself a favor and read Harry Potter and the Conspiracy of Blood (M) or Detox (M). You're seriously missing out if you haven't read any of his stuff!
“Did you hear about Amos’s boy last night?” I heard a middle-aged man whisper to his mate just before taking a sip of his tea. It was a bright early morning in Diagon Alley and the café’s patio was already packed and buzzing with the chattering of its patrons. Yet as beautiful as this day could be, with its lively sun and cool breeze, there was something in the atmosphere that did not feel right to me; like someone or something was watching my every move.
Taking a sip from my own tea, and paying no heed to my rumbling stomach, I tried my best to look around the café as casually as I could for whatever, or whomever, I would consider a threat. Werewolves never dealt well in crowds; solitude and small groups of people were better for our constant paranoid state. With large crowds like these I couldn’t help but to think that someone was following me.
I spotted a large group of elderly witches exchanging quotes from a book not far from where I was sitting while on the opposite side of the patio, a young witch was having issues controlling her three children as she tried to feed them. I closed my eyes and allowed part of the wolf to take over one of my senses. Sniffing the air around me, I managed to capture a familiar scent, but by the time I tried to concentrate on it, to track its source, the scent had vanished; carried off by the light breeze. And I had to admit, the different smells coming from both humans and food made it difficult for me to pinpoint what exactly the scent was and where it was coming from.
“Do you need more tea, love? Cake?” Florence, a plump witch in her early seventies, asked me, taking me out of my train of thought and concerns.
“No. Thank you, Flo, much appreciated,” I answered as I folded my copy of the Daily Prophet and stuffed it into the pocket of my patched robes. “I should get going here pretty soon; though a go at your delicious cake does sound tempting.”
“Another job search, dear?”
“Unfortunately so,” I replied but did not offer an explanation. I felt that no one needed to know that I had been fired due to the laws against werewolf employment. As much as I liked Flo and as much as she seemed to be a kind, caring witch, I doubted that she would like me much if I were to tell her the truth. I could almost picture her sweet, wrinkled face transforming into one of disgust and fear towards me before kicking me out and asking me to never come back.
“You can always come and work here,” she offered, “it would be lovely to have a nice, young man like you among all us witches, you know.”
I couldn’t help but smile...And my stomach couldn’t help but growl at the thought of being around food all the time. I was so hungry but I couldn’t afford spending the little money I had on frivolous pastries. Tea was all I could get for now. The idea of working here, however, was very tempting indeed, but that would mean disclosing my secret to Flo and anyone who worked here. “I would be delighted to work here, Flo, however, I would hate to make my relaxing corner my job.”
She laughed and agreed. “Well, good luck with your search, love. If you happen to change your mind, just let me know.” After a sympathetic pat on the shoulder, Flo headed to the table with the two men discussing Hogwarts’s current events.
“Did you hear what happened to Amos’s kid, Cedric, last night, Flo?”
“Yes, horrible turn of events,” she said. “However, if you ask me, nothing about the affair makes sense. According to my great grand niece’s son, who is in his first year at Hogwarts, Potter appeared out of nowhere clutching the Triwizard cup and Cedric Diggory’s body. There was pandemonium, he said, kids were screaming, Fudge was making a fuss with Dumbledore and, well…no one blames Amos and Bridget for having a scene after seeing their son dead. Meanwhile, as all of this is happening, Potter was ushered away to the castle by a professor."
“Well, that doesn’t look very good for old Dumbledore, now does it?”
“Nor for Potter.” I heard one of the man say as I felt my eye twitch with annoyance.
“What do you mean by that, Eustace?” the second man asked. “He’s just a kid. I’m sure he didn’t kill the Diggory boy.”
“Well you can’t just apparate into Hogwarts grounds, Martin!” the man, Eustace, explained, a tone of irritation seeping from his voice. “We all learned that from Hogwarts, a History. There is strong and ancient magic in the castle and its grounds that prevents anyone from just apparating and disapparating as they bloody well wish. And on top of that you have old Dumbledore’s protections. Potter managed to defeat You-Know-Who when he was a mere baby, and now, as a teenager with proper Hogwarts training, who knows what he’s capable of doing. Besides, no one knows how Cedric died. Perhaps Potter just got a bit carried away with the tournament.”
“Do you think we have another Dark Lord in the making?” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Were these people so thick that they thought of Harry as a future dark wizard? How could Cedric Diggory be dead to begin with? I closed my eyes and remembered the young lad I had taught just the previous year. He was quiet but headstrong about his magic--very talented boy indeed. I hadn’t had any contact from anyone from Hogwarts so I was a bit out of touch with the current events except from the bits and pieces I had read in the Prophet about the Triwizard Tournament and its contestants. The news about Harry and Cedric was certainly alarming.
“It’s still too early into the whole bloody affair, but I’m sure the Prophet will publish something about it; possibly in its night edition.”
“You know Fudge will keep things hush, hush,” alleged Flo. “There’s some rumors that there was a Dementor at Hogwarts that very night as well, but so far it’s just a rumor from an eleven year old boy.”
I was so engrossed with the conversation behind my table that I had failed to see one of the young mother’s kids come up to my table, trying to get my attention. “Sir? Siiiii-iiir, is he your doggy, sir?” A boy about seven with curly black hair and blue eyes asked me. Confused as to what he was talking about, I furrowed my brow and looked to where he was pointing; everything made sense. The feeling of edginess, the familiar whiff in the air, and the sensation of being followed…It was all due to the large dog that had managed to creep up to me and sit next to my chair as if he were my pet. When I was a young lad at Hogwarts, I was always proud at the fact that my mates could never sneak up on me because I could hear and smell them yards away. Then again, they were never the quiet bunch or after playing Quidditch for hours, the cleanest. I knew that after this moment, I would never hear the end of it.
“No,” I said as I downed the rest of my tea, knowing how impatient he tended to get, “he’s just a mongrel that tends to follow me everywhere I go.”
“He’s a very ugly dog.”
The dog, having not taken the ‘ugly’ comment very well, began to snarl at the kid, sending him off to his mum shrieking. I had to stifle a laugh when the woman gave me a dark glare as she huddled her child protectively to her chest; all I could give her in return was an apologetic wave and a sheepish smile.
“I didn’t know you had a dog, Remus,” said Flo as she made her table rounds once again. From the floating tray that followed her around, she grabbed the largest chicken bone that had been left over and gave it to the great, black dog as a treat. I tried hard to not laugh when Padfoot’s tail began to wag happily behind him as he took the treat from Flo.
“Not mine, just an ugly thing I seemed to have picked up,” I said shrugging my shoulders.
“Well, you know that we don’t allow dogs here.”
“Yes, of course.” I gave Flo the money, giving her a little extra just for giving me material to laugh at Padfoot, and proceeded to leave.
I walked as nonchalantly as I could with Padfoot trotting behind me, the bone firmly in his jaw, towards a dark alleyway where I disapparated us to the front door of my house.
Once in, Padfoot, the animal form, vanished and in his stead, the human version stood. He was a lot cleaner than the last time I had seen him. Then again, the last time I had seen my friend, he had escaped Azkaban and was wearing tattered clothes. Sirius’s hair was slightly shorter but unevenly cut, most likely he had done the job himself and his facial hair was trimmed. The only thing that didn’t go with the picture was that the bone Flo had given him was still in his mouth.
“Ugly dog?” Sirius asked as he threw me the bone. “The kid got lucky Flo came with that treat, otherwise I would’ve bitten him. And you! You didn’t defend me at all; instead you called me a mongrel. Really, Lupin?”
I couldn’t help but to laugh at the annoyed look he had. “Nice to see you too, Sirius.” After a roll of eyes, and a small smile, Sirius and I hugged. “It looks like life is treating you well…for a fugitive.”
“I suppose,” he said as he removed the tattered cloak and sat on the dusty, yellow sofa. “What happened to this place, mate? I remembered it being more…happy. Looks like you need a girl to help you around the house.”
I sighed. “I don’t think a girl will ever want me, mate. I have no job which makes it hard to keep up with the repairs that have to be made around here. Mum and dad didn’t leave me with much when they died.”
An awkward look passed over Sirius’s face. “I’m sorry mate. When did Rhea and John pass away?”
“Dad passed away a few years after you were sent to Azkaban. He got Dragon Pox and because of his advanced age, he couldn’t fight it off. Mum was devastated but she was strong enough to continue on with life. Said dad wouldn’t have wanted her to weep throughout her whole life just for him. She died a few years ago, peacefully in her bed, which was the way she wanted to go.”
Sirius sighed and shook his head. “Once again, I’m so sorry Moony. Your parents were wonderful people.”
I nodded, feeling a pang in my chest as I remembered my parents. I was a grown man, an adult, but even now I missed the conversations we used to have and most importantly, their company and love. “Aye, they were, but they lived a full life so I can’t complain too much. Anyway,” I needed to move away from the conversation about my parents before I began to weep. “What brings you here? Shouldn’t you be hiding somewhere?”
“Terrible news, my friend.”
“Cedric Diggory’s death?”
Sirius nodded. “However, it’s more complicated than that. Pettigrew killed Amos’s lad, after Voldemort told him to, not the bloody Tournament as Fudge is trying to make it out to be.” I stared at Sirius trying to understand what he had just said. The steep price had been paid long ago and Voldemort had been defeated. “Pettigrew helped Voldemort come back from whatever form he became after his encounter with Harry in Godric’s Hollow.”
“What?” That was the simplest response I could think of for I never thought I would see the day of his return. Dumbledore had informed me during my interview for the professor position that Voldemort had been spotted somewhere in the forest of Normandy, still in a form that was less than human and unable to bring himself together. The perfect price for someone who had brought great pain and tragedy for thousands of people; death would’ve been mercy upon his soul. Yet here was Sirius telling me that Peter had somehow found and helped Voldemort achieve a corporeal form. Not only did it take dark magic to achieve such a feat but also talent. “But how? I mean...it’s only Peter. There’s no way one person could’ve achieved all of this.”
“You remember Alastor Moody, right?” Sirius asked. “The Auror that trained me in our Seventh year and recruited Alice and Frank Longbottom.” I nodded, as I remembered a small incident in our seventh year in which Alice had snapped after a rude comment from Evan Rosier, making her stand out to Moody as a brilliant and passionate witch.*
“Who can forget Alastor Moody, Padfoot?”
“Well, he was ambushed last summer by Crouch Jr. and that bloody rat,” Sirius began to explain. “Somehow, and I don’t know how, they managed to capture Moody and locked him in that large magical trunk of his for months. Crouch then took Moody’s identity with Polyjuice Potion and taught at Hogwarts with the sole purpose of getting close to Harry so that he could deliver him straight to Voldemort.”
I was confused. “But what exactly happened? I thought Crouch was dead.”
Sirius let out a string of curses. “So did everyone else but his dear old mum swapped with him so it was she who died in Azkaban, not Crouch. Anyway, everyone, including Dumbledore, wondered how Harry had managed to get his name into the Goblet of Fire. It was Crouch Jr. who put Harry’s name into the bloody cup. He’s the reason why Harry was dragged into that bloody competition.”
“How do you know all of this, mate?” I asked.
Sirius raked his fingers through his hair, a sign of growing impatience. “I went up to the castle to watch Harry compete in the last task while hiding under the benches. Not only was I making sure he was safe, I also wanted to support him on behalf of Lily and James. Hours after all the champions left, I saw him land with the cup in one hand and clinging to Diggory’s body with the other. After your talk with him last year, Dumbledore was able to spot me and asked Hagrid to escort me to his office. He came back after what I thought was an eternity with Harry in tow.
I felt guilty. In all the time Sirius had been telling me about Voldemort's return, I hadn’t thought to ask about Harry. “Was he alright?”
Sirius shrugged his shoulders. “Shaken up. I asked Dumbledore to allow him to rest since he looked miserable and exhausted. Instead he asked Harry to explain what had happened after he touched the Portkey. He described how Wormtail used Harry’s blood and Wormtail’s own hand to bring Voldemort back. Harry was able to see the Death Eaters gather around their Master just before he challenged Harry to a duel. Their wands connected, Moony. He was able to see Lily and James and they helped him escape.” I noticed a small smile came over Sirius’s eyes but in an instant, it was gone.
“We then escorted him to the Hospital Wing where I stayed with Harry until bloody Fudge came looking for Dumbledore. They had a huge row in front of everyone, and it basically ended with the Minister calling Harry a liar and Dumbledore a madman. Oh, I’ve never wanted to bite someone in their arse so badly before last night!”
He paused for a moment and closed his eyes. When he opened them, there was only anger and resentment in them. “I knew something bad was going to happen. I asked Dumbledore to pull Harry out the moment I found out he was participating in the tournament but he bloody well refused, going on about how Harry had to participate due to a ‘magical binding contract’ which I think its bollocks.”
I tried hard to not agree with Sirius immediately. Harry should’ve never been allowed to be part of the tournament, he was just a child. But once Harry’s name had been drawn, there was nothing that could be done. “Dumbledore was right, though,” I said very slowly. “Harry was bound by strong magic to participate in that Tournament.”
“So you’re saying that it was alright for Harry to almost die? For Lily and James’s death to have been for nothing?”
“Don’t you dare say that, Black!” I snapped. Ten days after the transformation and I still found myself getting riled up and angry within moments. Before leaving Hogwarts, I had used the Marauders Map and managed to sneak one last batch of Wolfsbane potion after Snape had left his office. During February’s full moon I had finished the last bit of the potion and I was now suffering from nasty withdrawals. I found myself prone to anger a lot easier over the smallest of things, like Sirius’s stupid comment. “Don’t you ever say that I don’t care about their deaths and sacrifice. You’re too bloody thick and stubborn sometimes to stop and understand the meaning of the words.”
“Well how do you expect me to react, Lupin?” Sirius shot back as he stood from the couch and glared at me. The wolf didn’t like this at all. The sudden charge from Sirius, his gaze that never left mine...wolf took it as a Challenge of power. Almost as if the beast were controlling me, I stood from my own chair and glared back, not daring to blink. I felt stupid, but this was a serious matter to wolf, for he knew that he was Sirius’s alpha. Finally it was Sirius who broke contact first; he was being submissive.
“Sorry,” he mumbled. “I should’ve remembered the whole staring thing...” He let out a long, tired sigh before he began to pace in my living room. “Dumbledore could’ve done a lot more. Close the castle, for example. Interrogate the staff; cancel the bloody tournament. I mean bloody hell! Was Crouch that great of a bloody actor to fool the great and mighty Dumbledore?” He stopped and faced me, sure to not stare directly into my eyes this time. “He could’ve stopped this! Don’t shake your head, Remus, because you know it’s true! Dumbledore chose to do nothing about the whole situation and now Voldemort is back as a result.”
A growl escaped my lips before I could restrain myself. I was torn. Part of me wanted to agree with Sirius over Dumbledore’s lack of intervention over the whole matter. Then again, the Headmaster had done so much for me that I found it unbearable to listen to Sirius go on and on about him. The anger Sirius was feeling, the resentment he had towards the man...
But I had to remember that he’s my friend and that he was just in panic mode after Harry’s most recent escape from death. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath as I tried to communicate in a proper manner in spite of the fact that all I wanted to do was shout. “You have to understand that Dumbledore is always a few steps ahead of us, Sirius. Even when it looks like he’s five steps behind. He was right about Harry being obligated to participate, not that it was a wise choice. Yes, he could’ve done all of those things but no matter what, Harry still had to be Hogwarts’s champion. You have to stop and think of what would’ve happened to Harry if he hadn’t participated. This was out of Dumbledore’s control but you’re too bloody angry to see it.”
“Oh, I’m not angry, I’m furious, Lupin. Harry almost died last night. He dueled against Voldemort and barely escaped with his life.” He paused for a moment as he tried to calm himself. “If he had died…How could I live with myself, mate? I’m supposed to protect him; James and Lily gave me that responsibility. I don’t wish to be on my deathbed, afraid of seeing them in the afterlife and having to explain why I failed to do my job.”
I nodded, understanding where he was coming from. Even though I wasn’t Harry’s godfather, I felt like it was also my responsibility to help look after him; Lily and James would’ve wanted it. Neither me nor Sirius would allow their sacrifice be in vain. “Is Harry still at Hogwarts?”
“Aye, then off to dear, sweet Petunia for the summer.”
I shuddered as I remembered Lily’s sister. “Right. He’s safe for the now and as long as he keeps calling Petunia’s place ‘home’ he should be fine.”
“And old Arabella will keep an eye on him, just in case something does happen.”
“We won’t allow anything to happen to him, Sirius,” I said. An unspoken understanding hung in the air. If we needed to put down our lives for him, then so be it. He was our family, our brother’s son. A member of our pack. No matter what, nothing was going to happen to him.
“So what do we do now?” Sitting here wasn’t going to solve our problems. We needed a plan of action. Knowing Voldemort, it wouldn’t be too long before he would make his first move. The public had to be alerted and we needed to make it crystal clear to Voldemort that the Wizarding World was not going to tolerate his actions and allow him to rise to power once again.
“I’ve alerted some members of the Order and Dumbledore asked me to lay low here with you until further notice.”
For the first time in years, I felt slightly embarrassed by the state of my home. Then again, relatively speaking, this was a great place compared to both Azkaban and the places he’d been hiding. “Oh well…yeah, yeah, of course you can stay here. I don’t have much to offer but-”
“Shut it, Moony.” Sirius put his hands up, to stop me from talking. “Look, Gringotts doesn’t care about wizarding laws or their criminals. I’ll just write an order that will allow you to access my vault so you can go for me. Get enough gold so that we can feed ourselves...and buy a new cloak why don’t you?” He looked at me and grinned. I opened my mouth to protest but Sirius managed to cut me off once again. “You bought that bloody thing during our last Hogsmeade trip while at Hogwarts. Time to get a new one, mate”
I glared at him but all he did was give me a very exhausted grin. “Before I settle myself here, I was wondering if you could accompany me. I don’t feel like sitting around waiting for Dumbledore’s orders when I know I can do something that’s beneficial.”
“To The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black, of course.”
The first time I had set foot in Sirius’s house, I had been a lad of twelve coming over before our second year started. Sirius had begged his mum and dad to allow his new friends over the moment he had stepped off the train. When they realized that Sirius had befriended James, son of Walburga’s elder aunt Dorea Black, they immediately agreed to let him visit for, as Walburga had seen it, he was family. Me on the other hand, they had agreed to let me over only because mum was a proper descendant from the Flint family while father had come from a pure-blooded Roman Wizarding family. Peter, whose family was both half and pure blooded, couldn’t come for he had family visiting that summer.
Unfortunately, our planned two week visit had ended shortly after our first three days when we played a prank on little Regulus that had sent him to St. Mungo’s. Walburga hadn’t taken lightly to the incident and asked us to pack our bags while she got in touch with our parents to come collect us. According to Sirius, his mum didn’t like how unruly we were and she felt that we were the wrong sort for her dear and noble son to spend time with. After we left, she had made it clear to Sirius that he was to steer from us in the future. Luckily for us, Sirius was never one to listen.
As a young lad, who still felt uncomfortable in his own skin and horrified about the beast within, I felt an immediate threat upon being in front of that house, not only for myself but for those that lived within. More than two decades later, I stood in front of the same old, large battered door, feeling the same dread and panic I had felt when I had been twelve. I could feel the werewolf’s tail was between his legs and he wanted nothing but to leave the place and drag his pack mate along with him away from whatever dangers lurked behind the knobless door.
“Ah, home sweet home,” said Sirius as he unlocked the door.
As soon as the door clicked open, I felt myself going into the same fight or flight mode I had experience before. The hallway was dark and the smell coming from it was putrid. After Regulus’s and Orion’s death, Walburga Black had lived on her own and refused to make any public appearances. In the mid-eighties, the Daily Prophet had reported in its early edition that Walburga Black had been found dead in her bed before going on about her life’s story. So for the past ten years or so, The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black had stood uninhabited, allowing whatever dark objects and magic residue to grow and decay the house that had once stood proudly with all its splendor and opulence.
“Bloody hell…this place has gone to the dogs!” exclaimed Sirius as he poked his head in and stifled a laughed at his own joke.
“Lumos.” The little light coming my wand felt like it wasn’t enough to allow us to see where we were going or on what exactly we were stepping. The black hardwood flooring that had once been beautiful and well-kept was now rotten and creaking in protest with every step we took. I allowed my wolfish side to take over me once more and guided myself with my nose and eyes. After being a werewolf for most of my life, I had learned to cope with it and use the disease whenever I saw any advantages for it. “Oi, why are you stopping?”
“I don’t remember a window being here…” Sirius raised his wand to a pair of deep emerald drapes that looked like moths had made a feast from them. He tugged at them with force until they finally came apart to reveal an old, dusty portrait; I would’ve helped but I didn’t feel comfortable touching anything in this household without the proper protection.
“YOU!” The portrait shouted.
“AH!” Sirius screamed and took a step back as a large portrait of his mother stared angrily at him. Walburga’s shout and Sirius’ startling scream sent the wolf into a panic, nearly causing me to bolt for the door, but I managed to hold myself together. With age and time I had managed to keep him controlled but there were moments like these, the unexpected ones that made keeping the wolf in control quite a hard task.
“What are you doing here, you loathsome, sorry excuse for a son?”
Sirius took a step closer and examined the portrait. “Bloody hell, you didn’t age well while I was away, did you mother?” he asked as if his time in Azkaban had been a vacation rather than a sentence.
“You were my pride and joy,” Walburga Black moaned, “my beautiful baby boy who was to be the heir of the Black Family and bring glory to our noble house. But you disappointed me, unlike Regulus, my sweet boy who died valiantly for a noble cause.”
Sirius rolled his eyes, “I know I haven’t brought glory to the Black Family but neither did the rest of you crazy lot. What good did your mantra for blood supremacy do for Reggie? You and father turned a sweet little boy who wanted to a Quidditch player into a crazed Death Eater. He never cared about blood status until you filled his head with rubbish, and in the end it got him killed.. When we were young he saw how fond you were of me, how much you spoiled me while leaving him in the dark, ignored. Then, after I got back for my first Christmas break from Hogwarts, he saw how ill you treated me for just being sorted in a different house. That was enough for him to do anything and everything just to get your approval and love! To be the son you wanted! Did you know that he was afraid of you but loved you more than I ever did?”
I could feel Sirius’s anger elevating. His heartbeat was accelerating and his scent was changing from wet dog to more of an angry scent that vaguely reminded me of burning embers and sweat. “Sirius, step away.” All the anger he had towards his mother was streaming out of every pore.I needed him to step away before he did something stupid.
“You dragged him to his grave because he couldn’t handle what Voldemort was doing! He wanted to get out and they killed him!” Sirius’s flaring nose was inches from the portrait, his eyes locked on his mother’s dark ones; red sparks were starting to come out from his wand. “THE MINUTE I FOUND OUT HE WAS A DEATH EATER I WANTED TO PULL HIM OUT. BUT HE WOULDN’T LISTEN. THE VERY PEOPLE YOU PRAISED KILLED YOUR BELOVED SON! YOU DRAGGED HIM INTO DANGER AND GOT HIM KILLED, YOU STUPID OLD HAG!”
“GET OUT! BLOOD-TRAITORS ARE NOT ALLOWED IN OUR ANCIENT AND NOBLE HOUSE!”
I don’t know how I did it but with a blink of an eye, I pulled Sirius away from the portrait and pressed him against the opposite wall with my forearm against his chest. “Sirius, it’s just a portrait,” I said with a growl. Knowing what I had done, I immediately pulled back and apologized knowing very well it was the alpha speaking, not me.
“That was…quite impressive, Moony,” said Sirius as we began our attempt to close the drapes on the shouting portrait. “You seem to be handling that little furry problem well these days.”
I shrugged. “Now that I don’t have access to Wolfsbane potion, I’ve tried real hard to-” The shuffling of feet made me stop halfway through what I was saying. Someone was in the house with us even though the place had been supposedly abandoned. The closer it got, the more coherent the mumbling became. “Do you hear that?”
Sirius strained his ear and concentrated on the sound I was hearing. “Oh, there’s no way he’s still alive.”
“Who?” We walked past the portrait towards the door that I remembered lead to one of the dining rooms. There I saw the ugliest house elf I had ever seen carrying a tea tray.
“Mistress is shouting,” the elf muttered. “Poor, poor Mistress, she must be sad for Master Regulus. Poor young Master, he was brave. So brave.”
“You’re alive!” Sirius exclaimed.
The elf looked up, apparently unaware that we had been in the same room for a few seconds. “Master Sirius is back,” it croaked as it furrowed its brow. “Mistress will hate that he’s back.”
“Yeah, mum and I already had a lovely chat. Well, her portrait and I did,” said Sirius. “Kreacher, who else is here?”
“Kreacher is alone. All alone with Mistress,” the elf, Kreacher said. “Portiff and Gronti were both given the highest honors for working for Mistress’s family long ago.”
“Honors?” I asked, confused at what the old elf was talking about.
“Did you see the house elf heads hanging on the wall?”
I shuddered, “no. I was too worried about where I was stepping.”
“Master has brought a werewolf,” Kreacher said as he sniffed the air, his tiny eyes fixated on me. “Mistress will be angry with Master for bringing filthy animals to her Noble house.”
A growl escaped Sirius’s throat before he kicked the elf. “Get out of here you stupid creature. Walburga’s portrait doesn’t need tea. Do make yourself useful and start cleaning the place. Now! It’s an order.”
I shook my head; after all the insults I’ve heard all my life, ’filthy animal’ was the tamest of them all. Sirius on the other hand, had taken offence in my sake. “He’s…charming.” I looked around the place, with its cobwebs and layers of dust; there was no way I was going to make myself comfortable here anytime soon. With the lack of natural air, lights and windows, the wolf was beginning to get claustrophobic; I needed to leave, soon. “Well, what exactly are we doing here, Padfoot?” I asked as I watched Kreacher shuffle away, muttering about me and Sirius and how we were disgracing the Noble Household. “I doubt you wished to visit your mum’s old house elf.”
Sirius waited for Kreacher to be out of the room before he answered my question. “Well, now that the Order is back in business…we need a place to meet.” He wheeled around on the spot and with a big smile across his face and arms wide open he said, “Welcome to The Most Noble and Most Ancient House of Black, mate, headquarters to the Order of the Phoenix.”
*- An Easter egg: That bit is from Jami's Before They Fall (M). Haven't read it? You're missing out!
Author's Note: I hope you liked the longer chapter! I felt bad for the lack of update so I made this one longer than the rest. This is actually part one of either 2 or 3 chapters, that's why Wolf isn't here. However, there are going to be some chapters in the future dedicated to only Wolf. But you'll see in the future chapters. See that little box down there? Tell me what you liked, didn't like, comments, concerns...anything! I'll be responding to those reviews and the rest I haven't touched due to lack of time immediately! See you next time!
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