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A/N: Hello again! I have the next chappie here. Thanks for reading! Please review! Any of your thoughts are welcome!
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Chapter 6

In Loving Memory…


Harry looked up at the sky and noticed that the heavens seemed to match his mood today. He was standing in his room looking outside. He had just finished taking a shower, and he felt goose bumps on his chest and arms from the cool breeze with a crisp scent that wafted through the now open window. He sighed and turned around, heading towards his bed where he had laid out the new outfit he had purchased by owl post from a catalogue of a shop in Diagon Alley.

Harry slipped on the lightweight black trousers and the long sleeve black cotton t-shirt. He slipped on his black dragon leather boots, with a harness style that came up just below the knee. He picked up the last item of clothing to put on and smiled. He had initially been looking for a new plain black robe, but this had caught his eye instead. It was a full length, classically designed high collared cassock. It was made from black lightweight wool and it was fitted to his body. The front closed from a little below the waist up to the neck with antique black buttons. The fitted cassock did not have any cuffs on its sleeves. On the back, it had inverted pleating from center back waistline to lower hem. Harry liked how they billowed when he turned sharply.

Harry turned to look himself in the mirror. He rather liked the dark clad figure that looked back at him, except for one thing. He frowned at his hair. He picked up the bottle of gel he had bought and he was going to attempt to do something with his hair. He squeezed a decent amount of gel onto his hand, but not too much, and he rubbed his palms together to spread the gel, and then fingered it through his hair. He still could not tame the wildness of his hair, but with the added gel, it actually looked good. He liked it the best when his hair was wet and the gel helped to create that look a bit, separating larger strands of his hair as it hung down about his head. His hair was now long enough that it covered his ears and he liked it. Harry looked at himself in the mirror once more then nodded, satisfied. He pocketed his wand and looked at his watch; it was only 7:30 in the morning. Mr. Weasley would be picking him up at around 8:30, so now he had a full hour and nothing to do.

Harry lay on his bed waiting for the time to pass. He was trying to prepare himself for the event to come - today the Order was holding a funeral for his godfather, and to Harry it meant that today he had to come face to face again with the loss of Sirius; something that he had been avoiding. He didn’t want to go, but he knew he had to. As Harry’s thoughts wandered, his eyes came to rest on the letter Remus had given him a week ago. He had yet to open it. Harry got out of bed and approached his desk. He picked up the heavy parchment envelope and turned it around his hands for a while before he finally decided to break the wax seal. There was a letter inside, but he was also surprised to find two other parchment envelopes within it. One was addressed to him; the other was addressed to James Potter. He read the letter.

Mr. Harry James Potter
No. 4 Privet Dr

Dear Mr. Potter,

In light of the recent death of Mr. Sirius Black we are now exercising his last will and testament. You will not be required to attend the reading of his will, but we are informing you that Mr. Black has left everything to be transferred to your name. All proper documentation will be prepared and shall be handled by your legal counsel.

On this matter, however, we are unable to grant your legal guardianship to the person appointed by Mr. Black in his last will and testament. As you know, the current laws do not allow werewolves to gain custody of minors save for biological children. Mr. Remus Lupin has been notified of this. In his stead, your legal guardianship has been appointed by the Ministry to Mr. Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore and all legal transactions will be handled by him. Enclosed in this letter is a personal letter that was left by Mr. Black addressed to your father, Mr. James Potter, to be delivered on his death. It is being delivered to you as the sole surviving heir of the Potter estate.

We are deeply sorry for your loss.

Sincerely,

Amanda Voight
Attorney at Magical Law
Ministry of Magic


Harry was surprised to learn that Sirius had left his guardianship to Remus. But now, it made him irate to realise that Remus had been denied this because of his affliction. Now Harry didn’t know what to think of the fact that it was Professor Dumbledore who would be his legal guardian. He wished it perhaps might have been the Weasleys, but with their economic situation Harry figured that they would not be given custody. In fact, the wizarding world might accuse them of trying to get his guardianship only to get a hand on his fortune, which now had increased due to the fact that Sirius had left him his small fortune. Harry thought that Sirius hadn’t had much since he had been disinherited by his parents at the age of 16. But when they had passed and their other son, Regulus, had also been dead, Sirius had automatically become the heir. There was also everything that his uncle Alphard had left him.

Harry set the letter aside and turned his attention to the two envelopes in his hands. One was considerably older, the parchment faded from years of storage. The one bearing his name written with the scrawls of Sirius’ handwriting seemed fairly new. He decided to open this one first.

My dearest Godson,

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you have this letter then it’s because I did something stupid (like getting myself killed for example). As I write this I wonder in which way will I meet my final (and undoubtedly glorious) end, and I seriously hope that it somehow involves kicking Snivellus’ ass in the process. If not, will you promise me to hex that greasy git on my behalf?


Harry couldn’t help but chuckle amidst the tears as he began to read. It was just like Sirius to try and make light of a dark situation.

This is definitely the hardest thing I have done. To write my last words to you that I know will not serve in the least to comfort you. I know that no letter I received from James was able to quell the pain in my heart that I held for so long. But you, you brought such joy into my life when I thought there was none to have. It has been an honour to know you Harry and I am thankful for the chance to meet you and for the privilege to call you my godson.

The only regret I leave is that I have not done my job as your father asked of me. Now that lunatic will still try to end your life and because of my stupidity (no doubt) I am not going to be around to protect you. I don’t mean that you are defenceless, for even I know that you have a power within you unlike any other wizard. And don’t say you aren’t special in that way. There is no way such a young wizard can have faced that monster four times and escaped with life. I don’t pretend to know much, but I am not stupid either. I know Voldemort is trying to kill you for a reason Harry. It may be that he wants revenge for defeating him 14 years ago, but he came after you when you were a mere baby, and your parents were killed for protecting you. But enough of this stuff.

The main reason for me to write this letter is to tell you that I love you like the son I never had and that I will miss you. I know you won’t care for these things, but I leave all I have to your name. I want you to give part of it to Remus. I don’t do it directly because I know the Ministry will tax it and take most of it away. It isn’t his fault of what he is, but don’t get me started on that. But I will leave him this: you. I will appoint him your guardian upon my death and I hope he treats you well. I am sure he will. I trust Remus with my life, and I am thankful that I had the chance to get my friend back before the end.

Please take care Harry, and take care of that old werewolf for me. Make sure he gets to laugh. He is too serious. It was my job to ensure that he did something besides read books, now I leave that to you. I will give you a hint: anything you can cook up against Snivellus will give Remus a chuckle. I know he will not seem like it, but trust me… deep down inside he will enjoy it. Give my best regards to your friends and the Order, and when you get back to school, make me proud. After all, you are a Marauder by blood. Also, make sure to beat the hell out of those Slytherins in Quidditch.

Your Godfather,

Sirius


Harry brushed away the tears, and heard a soft popping noise, and a swish of air behind him. He turned around and saw Mr. Weasley standing in his room.

“Hello Harry,” He said with a gentle smile.

“Hello Mr. Weasley.” Harry replied as he stuffed the letter back in its envelope. He didn’t have time to read the one Sirius had left to his father a long time ago.

Mr. Weasley noticed the reddened and puffy eyes on Harry and he felt sympathetic towards him. He couldn’t imagine how hard it must be to lose your family and someone close to him by the time of his 16th birthday. He placed a hand gently on Harry’s shoulder.

“Are you okay?” Mr. Weasley asked Harry.

Harry swallowed and nodded. “I will be,” he replied softly. Arthur nodded.

“We better get going. Visitation will start around nine this morning,” Mr. Arthur informed him as he pulled out a velvet wrapped object from his pocket. “We will be taking a portkey.” He informed Harry.

“Where is the visitation taking place?” Harry asked curious. He wasn’t aware of any wizarding funeral houses around, but again, he wasn’t completely familiar with the wizarding world.

“We are holding it at Hogwarts,” He replied. Harry wondered about this. Mr. Weasley smiled. “It’s one of the safest places to hold it.” He added noticing Harry’s pondering. Comprehension dawned on Harry and he nodded.

“Ready?” Mr. Weasley asked uncovering a crushed coke can from the velvet wrapping. Harry took hold of the portkey and after a few seconds he felt the pulling sensation on his navel. The world swirled in a swish of colour and when Harry opened his eyes he was inside the Headmaster’s office. It was empty.

“It’s down in the Great Hall.” Mr. Weasley informed him. “I have to go to the Burrow and help Molly. I will see you in a while.”

Harry nodded. He left the headmaster’s office and exited through the gargoyle entrance.

“Harry?” Hermione’s voice was heard the moment he appeared in the hallway.

“Hey Hermione.”

“I didn’t recognise you in that outfit. Where did you get it?” She asked eyeing him dressed in a black high collared cassock, his black dragon leather boots just visible under the hem.

“Diagon Alley, I ordered it by owl post.” Harry replied and noticed Hermione looking at him.

“Do I look stupid?” He now wondered.

“No, on the contrary, it looks wicked. I was trying to think of who you remind me.” She replied. She withheld the comment to say that Snape’s cloak was similar to his.

“It’s very comfortable.” Harry added feeling a little uncomfortable under her gaze.

“A vampire! That’s who. You remind me of a vampire. I believe that’s a favorite garment of choice for them.” She exclaimed. The thought paused in her head. Is Snape a Vampire? No, he couldn’t be. He goes outside in the daylight. Part Vampire? He certainly is pale enough. Hermione dispel those thoughts from her head. He may carry himself with the menacing grace of an overgrown bat, but Hermione thought that it was by personal choice, and not condition.

Harry couldn’t help but smile at her enthusiasm, although he noticed that she was withholding some thoughts from him.

“I thought you were in Greece?” Harry asked to change the subject.

“I am actually in Bulgaria, but I had arranged with Professor Dumbledore to get a portkey to travel here and back.” She added as she hugged him. “I wanted to be here for you.”

“Thanks,” Harry answered gratefully. “You travelled by portkey by yourself?” Harry asked impressed.

Hermione blushed. “No, Viktor came with me. I hope you don’t mind?” She rushed.

“No, I don’t at all,” he said, although he did get a bit of a sour taste in his mouth, and felt his throat lock up holding down a foreign emotion. Harry dismissed his feelings as simply being in allegiance with Ron, and since Ron hated ‘Vicky’s’ guts, he too ought to show camaraderie.
“Does Ron know he’s here?” Harry asked already expecting Ron’s reactions which he was sure were ten times worse.

Hermione rolled her eyes… “He’s not here yet, but he knows Viktor was coming. He was sure to let me hear it before I left last week. Come on, Viktor said he wanted to say hi when you arrived. He’s down at the Entrance Hall now.” Hermione said and grabbed Harry by the arm and steered him towards the entrance.

“So, are you going out with Viktor then?” Harry asked point blank as he let Hermione drag him down the hall towards the staircases. He really didn’t want to see everybody, but he had no idea who would be there to the funeral.

“How many times do I have to tell you? No, Viktor and I are just friends.” she shrilled at him, but Harry noticed the pink tinge that had risen in her cheeks.

Harry grinned broadly. He already knew this, but sometimes he liked to irk Hermione. Harry also thought that Viktor had probably snogged Hermione senseless. His grin disappeared as the unbidden picture came into his mind. Maybe Ron was right after all.

Hermione was still going on about the subject “… you are just as bad as Ron!”

“Ok. Ok. I was just kidding. I’ve heard you enough times when you yell at Ron.” He said putting his hands up in defeat, but feeling for some reason his mood become foul.

Harry and Hermione approached the staircase to the entrance hall and Harry heard a very low murmuring coming from the room below. His eyes opened wide when he saw the room packed with people, most talking in smaller groups and speaking in hushed tones. It really made him self conscious when he walked in the room and a dead silence filled the entrance hall, all eyes turned on him.

“There’s Viktor.” Hermione said and hurried him down the steps. Harry looked in the direction they were heading and saw Viktor Krum standing next to Snape. To Harry’s relief, Snape saw them coming and excused himself from Krum’s side.

Krum turned around and saw the pair coming. He nodded towards Harry and extended his hand.

“Ve meet again Harry Potter. I offer my condolences.” Viktor said with his usual grim stony face.

“Er, Thanks.” Harry replied shaking his hand, and had to shake his head to rid himself of the picture of him cursing Viktor to oblivion. Just as quickly as these feelings and thoughts had come, they had gone. Hermione left the two alone for a moment; she had spotted a bunch of red heads at the top of the stairs.

Harry and Viktor talked about Quidditch. Viktor was now a full time professional Quidditch player, but he was considering joining the Academy to train as an Auror, or something like it.

Harry had to try and suppress a smile when he saw Hermione dragging a scowling Ron towards them. Viktor was oblivious to Ron’s feelings, or so he appeared, as he offered his hand in greeting. Ron’s gestures were clipped and rather stiff and Hermione elbowed him a couple of times to get him to respond to some of Krum’s questions.

“I have heard a lot about you. Hermione is alvays talking about you.” Viktor added and Hermione blushed. Ron looked suspicious and glanced between Hermione and Viktor.

Harry decided to interrupt, though he sided with Ron now. He wondered why, since before it hadn’t mattered to him. “I want to go see Professor Dumbledore.”

“I’ll go with you.” Ron quickly added and they left Hermione with Krum, much to Ron’s displeasure.

Harry groaned. The moment they were out of earshot Ron began to yap about Krum this and Krum that. He was glad when they found Professor Dumbledore for it relieved him of Ron.

“Harry. How are you doing?” Professor Dumbledore asked once he spotted him.

“As good as I could be I guess.” Harry replied his shoulders slump a little.

Dumbledore nodded and placed a reassuring hand on Harry’s shoulder.

“The service will start soon, and I wanted to ask if you wished to say a few words about Sirius during the service. I didn’t ask before because I can only imagine how hard this must be for you, as it is for all of us. But if there is something you wish to say…”

Harry shook his head. He thought of a few things he could say. God knows his soul was wrenching and perhaps saying a few things would help. But he couldn’t do it. Get up in front of everyone and talk about Sirius. It was just too painful.

“All right Harry. It is as much as I had thought, but I wanted to be certain.”

“Thanks Professor.”

“Let’s head into the Great Hall.” Professor Dumbledore began to usher Harry inside, Ron was at his side. A few moments later Hermione and Viktor joined him.

When they entered the Great Hall, it looked nothing like it did on school days. Everything had been changed to the colour black. There was a small table right by the entrance with a guestbook to sign, and Harry had to swallow a lump in his throat as he saw a picture of a young Sirius. He was laughing and waving from his portrait. Harry’s eyes began to burn, so he turned abruptly from the table and faced towards the place where the Head Table usually stood.

The regular house tables had been removed, and the hall was now filled with chairs arranged on either side of a middle aisle. Harry was surprised to see a fancy black coffin at the front, the crest of the Black family glimmering on top. Harry also noted a star, the Dog Star, shining brightly above it. The image of a large black dog making puppy eyes at him came to mind, and he didn’t know he had smiled. There were a multitude of beautiful flower arrangements all over the place, but Harry didn’t see them. He saw Sirius laughing face, and he could hear his barking laugh. The visions disappeared and now he stared at the coffin.

“Nobody besides us knows how he died.” Professor Dumbledore explained.

“What’s inside of it?” Harry asked not moving from the spot where he had stood frozen as he saw the coffin.

“A few of his treasured possessions,” Dumbledore replied. Harry nodded. He couldn’t explain why, but to know that Sirius’ body had not been found by any means made it not real, not yet. Dumbledore steered him towards the front row of seats. Hermione and Ron sat on either side of him, and Ron was glad when Viktor offered to sit a few rows back to let those close to Harry to sit with him.

“What is he doing here!?” Ron hissed when he noticed the blond head of Draco Malfoy accompanied by his mother.

“Professor Dumbledore couldn’t refuse them to attend. She is his cousin.” Hermione warned Ron in low hush.

Hatred bubbled inside of Harry. It had been she whom Kreacher had visited. She and her husband were the cause of this. She and her stupid cousin! Harry clenched his teeth, his knuckles turning white. He wanted to kill her. A shudder passed through Harry.

...You have to mean it..

Bellatrix’s voice taunted him. Harry knew that if he ever saw her again he would mean it, but this time it wouldn’t be Crucio he would use on her. No, all of them deserved to pay, their lives in exchange for Sirius’. He wanted to kill Narcissa right here right now. Harry closed his eyes. Even if he wanted to, he couldn’t do anything right now. He couldn’t just get up and hex her in front of all these people for no apparent reason. He was trying very hard to calm down.

Harry noticed members of the Order strategically taking their places as people began to fill in the seats. He supposed there would be those who were Death Eaters or worked with them here. But they wouldn’t dare try something in here, would they? Harry turned to glare at Malfoy who was sneering at him from the other side of the aisle.

The service began and Harry stared at his feet most of the time. He had tuned out almost all noise, barely paid attention to the speeches made remembering Sirius at his best. He was so numb inside, he wanted to scream. Instead silent tears rolled down his cheeks. The service passed as in a blur to him. Later that morning, they were at the large cemetery next to the school grounds, just outside of Hogsmeade. Harry watched as the casket was lowered down, and the grave filled with dirt. The clouds had thickened and the sky darkened. The smell of Ozone was in the air and Harry could feel the thunderstorm coming. He barely paid attention to the people that came and offered their condolences to him. Almost everyone had gone back inside the castle, except for Ron, Hermione, Remus and Harry.

“Would you give us a moment?” Remus asked Ron and Hermione and they nodded.

“We’ll wait for you inside.” Hermione said and gave Harry a hug, which he returned. Ron patted him on the back, and simply nodded. The pair left the graveyard and back inside the school.

“It seems so final.” Harry finally spoke for the first time in a long time.

Remus nodded and stood next him.

“Harry…”

“I’m sorry Professor. I have been so selfish.” Harry interrupted him.

“No Harry, I’m sorry for my outburst the other day. It’s just been hard for both of us.” He said as he reached an arm around Harry and hugged him. Harry felt awkward at first, but his body was craving comforting yet he didn’t know it. Instinctively, Harry wrapped his arms around Remus and he couldn’t stop the silent tears. He felt embarrassed of his outburst in front of Professor Lupin, but the release felt so good that he couldn’t stop it. Remus held him tight, and he too couldn’t stop the tears that came unbidden.

“Thanks Professor.” Harry said as he pulled back, wiping away at his face.

Lupin smiled “It’s been two years since I last taught you Harry. I would like it if you called me Remus.”

Harry nodded.

“Let’s go back inside.” Remus offered.

Harry looked back uncertainly towards the castle, people were walking up the lane passing the gates. “Can I stay here a while longer. I won’t be long, I promise.” Harry said and Lupin nodded.

Harry stared at Sirius’ gravestone for a while. The moving picture of a big shaggy black dog as it ran or slowed down to walk made Harry smile.

“Goodbye Sirius,” Harry said and placed a hand on the gravestone. He turned and began to walk back towards the castle. He was trying to delay his way back so he weaved back and forth between the gravesites and stopped abruptly. Harry blinked as he saw a large headstone.

In Loving Memory of
James and Lily Potter


Harry had never known his parents had been buried here. His aunt Petunia had said that they had been cremated all those years ago. Seeing his parents’ grave had pierced his heart. He felt like a blow had been given to his stomach and he collapsed onto his knees. He felt tightness at the back of his throat and he couldn’t escape the wail that began to grow. It had been too much. As the rain began to pelt down on him, he wept, releasing a flood of emotions that he always kept bottled up. His hot tears mixed with the cool summer rain. Harry cried harder than he had in a long time. He cried for his parents, he cried for Sirius.

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