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Rating
Mature
Chapters
80
Words
488,000
Characters
Harry, Dumbledore, Lupin, Snape, Kreacher, Tonks, Sirius, Narcissa, Draco, OtherCanon
Primary Relationship
Secondary Relationship(s)
James/Lily, Lucius/Narcissa, Other Pairing
Genre(s)
General, AU
Era
Pre-Hogwarts
Advisory
Contains profanity, Strong violence, Scenes of a sexual nature, Substance abuse, Sensitive topic/issue/theme, Spoilers
Story Reviews
520
Status
Completed
First Published
2012-10-31 2:32am
Last Chapter
2014-02-08 8:15pm
Last Updated
2014-02-08 8:19pm

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Ch. # Chapter Title Word Count Reviews
1 The Prisoner

“Is that seat taken?” Sirius Black asked.

“No,” said a scrawny boy with messy, black hair said. “You can sit down if you like.”

“Thank you,” Sirius said, sitting.

“You’re welcome,” said the sandy-haired boy by the window. He turned and gave Sirius a half-smile and then quickly went back to staring at the platform.

5,478 16
2 Escape From Privet Drive

“Ow! Dudley, stop!” cried the smaller of the boys who were tussling on the grass under a large tree. The blond woman with them glanced up at the sound, shifted on the park bench and slowly lowered her pale eyes back to the magazine she was reading.

The bigger boy, Dudley, tightened his grip on a chunk of his cousin’s messy, black hair and gave him shake for good measure. “Make me,” he sang, a grin spreading across his pink face.

4,452 9
3 Gringotts Wizarding Bank

“Die-where?”

“Diagon Alley,” Padfoot laughed. “It’s where Gringotts is.”

“Gringotts?”

“The bank. Just wait up a moment.” Padfoot stopped and pulled his stick out of his pocket. He started talking to himself in another language – one that sounded made up in Harry’s opinion – and then tapped his arm.

4,891 4
4 Padfoot's Tale

Padfoot and Harry stood before a door covered in peeling black paint. At least Harry assumed it was a door; there was a silver snake knocker and a doorbell alongside but no doorhandle. Padfoot tapped it with his wand and it swung open. “This is home,” Padfoot said grimly.

Home, Harry thought, smiling as he stepped inside - the floorboards under the carpet squeaked - and cast a glance around. It was very dark; he couldn’t see anything outside Padfoot’s circle of wandlight.

5,590 7
5 The Boy Who Disappeared

For all that Aunt Petunia had seemed to hate Padfoot’s wand the day before, Harry thought she might have made good use of one herself; the quarter-of-an-inch thick dust that covered everything vanished with a flick of Padfoot’s wrist, and a murmured spell was all that was needed to scrub the faded wallpaper clean and replaster it, or have the sponges polish the grimy windows all by themselves.

6,352 8
6 A Safe Place

Sirius knocked gently on his old bedroom door. “Harry?” There was no response. “Can I come in, kiddo?” He waited out on the landing for a few seconds and then got impatient. If he didn’t want me to come in, he would have said something. Let's just hope he's a brooder like Prongs and not a shouter like Lils... or me for that matter.

5,875 3
7 Return To Diagon Alley

“I trust everyone here remembers Remus Lupin?” Dumbledore said, beaming around at his staff. It was the Easter holidays - not that that affected Remus terribly much, but the Hogwarts staff members had been quite busy until then.

“Of course,” McGonagall said, favouring her old pupil with a smile, while Flitwick waved happily. “It’s nice to see you again, Remus.”

6,291 4
8 Victims Of War

It was always cold and windy in Azkaban, Draco thought grumpily, as he tried in vain to smooth his hair down. He, Mother and Hydrus stepped away from the rusted key that was their Portkey and headed up the narrow stone path that wound up the side of the cliff face.

At the top of that there was a big, grey archway that marked the edge of the prison - Draco had been daunted by it the first time he came but it no longer scared him at all - and then the path split into three.

5,279 3
9 The Floo Fiasco

“What?” Padfoot said, dropping Nature’s Nobility which landed with a thud. “That’s not possible! Reg died first!”

“Not that. Something about an attack on their home,” Harry said.

“On Potter Manor?”

Harry nodded. “A few days after Alexander McKinnon’s body was found, according to this.”

“That’s right,” Padfoot whispered. “Merlin, we were so lucky.”

6,024 4
10 Of Mice And Men

“Oi, Draco! Look!” Hydrus shouted as his broomstick went whooshing past.

“Yes, you’re very fast,” Draco said, rolling his eyes as he returned to his book.

“Faster than you!”

“Are not!” Draco said, indignant.

Hydrus swooped one of the peacocks which squawked and ran away, feathers ruffled. “Stupid bird.”

“Mother told you not to do that,” Draco said, shifting against his tree.

7,122 5
11 An Unlikely Allegiance

Ostendere me omnia, Harry thought. His vision flickered and there was a flash of colour and then Harry’s vision flickered again and went back to normal.

“The brat is not being even close that time,” Kreacher croaked. He had returned to his active dislike of Padfoot and his tolerance of Harry after helping Padfoot find Harry earlier that month; Grimmauld’s wards were so comprehensive that they tracked anyone leaving the house via magical means and Kreacher had been able to read them at Padfoot’s request.

5,953 8
12 Visitors

Harry jumped and looked at the doorway but Padfoot wasn’t there. Frowning, he turned his attention back to the locket and dropped it in surprise. There was an eye in each window, dark and intelligent, watching him. 

The eyes sent a strange, tingling sensation through his scar. Harry was frozen. The eye flashed and turned red and slitted, and then it spotted Harry. He watched and slowly drew his wand out of his pocket.

6,708 3
13 Heading Home

Charlie leaned forward so that he could see around Alison Pemberly’s head; she’d played chess and then Exploding Snap with them until about an hour ago and then she’d gone unnaturally quiet and turned toward the window. 

Dawn Carter, the soon-to-be-former Head Girl had been unabashedly sobbing for the last half hour, much to the amusement of everyone in the compartment, though the ribbing had been more subdued than in previous years; even Tom Durban - a Slytherin - had only made a few jibes before shuffling over to put an arm around her.

6,166 3
14 The Cave

Harry’s insides relaxed and he let go of his godfather’s hand. Finite, he thought quickly; there was magic everywhere, in every colour, shape, style and concentration he could imagine and it was almost overpowering. 

The extra sight dropped away and he glanced around curiously. The streets were nearly empty with only a few local witches and wizards drifting between stores. None spared either Harry or Padfoot any attention.

5,402 3
15 St Mungo's

“Padfoot,” was the first thing Harry said. He opened his eyes and was dazzled by bright, fiery lights. He snapped his eyes shut again. He’d seen enough fire.

“Young Master, Master Harry.” His ears were still ringing, so it sounded funny, but Harry recognised the voice.

“Kreacher?” Harry asked, aware of shuffling footsteps around him. Harry opened his eyes to see Kreacher looking terrified, wringing his hands together. He looked perilously close to tears.

5,175 5
16 Questions And Answers

Icy hands tightened around his throat. Sirius had no choice but to transform back so that he’d be able to use his own hands and try to get the wretched thing off. He couldn’t. It was too strong and that foul brew of Voldemort’s was hardly a Pepper-Up Potion. His vision was already flickering. It was only a matter of time before he was unconscious.

6,365 3
17 Moony And Padfoot

Remus was very, very still. “You would trust me?” he asked, finally. He looked like he might cry.

Harry nodded, praying he wouldn’t regret this, praying Remus honestly believed him, instead of just saying he did. Remus wouldn’t be able to tell anyone where Sirius was because of the Fidelius Charm, but he could still overwhelm Padfoot and drag him out. 

Harry gestured for Remus to come closer - there was no way he would risk this being overheard - and breathed, “We’ve been living at Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place.”

6,678 5
18 The Aftermath

She’d known he’d escaped from Azkaban; Mad-Eye and then Dumbledore had both visited in February and told her to keep an eye out in case he tried to visit the house he so despised. Until then, she hadn’t known the significance of the house next door and had simply assumed the owners didn’t get out much. Sort of like her.

7,917 6
19 Mirrors At The Ministry

“Keith?” Tonks said, a little surprised as she pulled open the front door.

“Hey,” he said, running a hand over his short, neatly styled hair. “This is for you.” He passed her a pale pink rose.

“Oh!” she said, blushing. She was fairly sure her hair was the same colour as the flower. “Thank you.” She hugged him. “I’d invite you in but I’m practically on my way out.”

5,738 5
20 Puddifoot's And Post-Boxes

Tonks waited nervously; it was the end of her second day as an Auror trainee and they’d be finding out who’d made it past the preliminary testing.

“This is so exciting,” Tonks said, growing slightly so that she could see over the other trainees’ heads. She’d passed everything in her practical with ease - she’d spent the last two months studying for them - and had been reassured by the character testing after speaking with the other trainees.

6,360 4
21 Old Grudges

“So the old codger’s broken into my house, scared me awake at five-thirty in the morning on the day of a full moon and demanded- Stop laughing, Sirius, it’s not funny! - breakfast!” Padfoot wasn’t the only one laughing at poor Moony; Harry was doubled over his plate in stitches, his glasses perilously close to slipping off and landing in his mashed potato.

6,032 5
22 Into The Wolf's Den

“Harry!” Padfoot, who had been pacing in front of the kitchen table, looked up, stepped forward and intercepted Harry as he came out of the fire. “Cupboard!” he said, waving a hand at a rather green Kreacher, who bowed unsteadily and vanished with far more noise than usual.

“You’re here?” Harry asked, paling.

5,370 4
23 Feuds And Fairy Eggs

“Where have you been?” Prewett whispered as Tonks sidled into the room, late. Scrimgeour glanced at her, and then his yellow eyes flicked over to where Mad-Eye was standing, looking like he’d been there the whole time. Tonks waited until Scrimgeour was distracted by a question from the Brown boy.

“Let’s just say I know where the ‘Mad’ in ‘Mad-Eye’ comes from,” she muttered. 

6,031 5
24 Bad Dreams

Harry woke up in a bad mood. He’d spent the night tossing and turning, dreaming that that Padfoot really was a werewolf and that he’d tried to eat Snape while Moony, and to his even greater horror, James – who’d looked a lot like he usually did in the mirror – laughed cruelly. All the while, Snape’s voice had whispered, Black is a monster. He was capable of murder at the age of sixteen and your precious father was no better.

6,634 6
25 Hide And Seek

Harry didn’t waste any time. He called Kreacher, explained everything in three short, rather terse sentences and then dragged him upstairs. Even as they ran up, the portraits came zooming down out of Kreacher’s cupboard. Mrs Black screeched at Harry as she passed him on the stairs, and almost knocked him over.

“Everything that’s red - except for what’s in Padfoot’s room - needs to be green,” Harry said, shoving open the door of his bedroom.

7,438 5
26 Family Matters

“Remus!” Matt exclaimed, looking worried and relieved all at once. “What’s going on? Where-”

“Sirius,” Remus said, sinking into the nearest chair.

“You found him?” Dirk asked, taking a look at Remus’ face.

“I found him,” Remus confirmed.

7,948 6
27 An Ingenious Plan

“I don’t know,” Moony muttered; he and Padfoot were holding a whispered conversation a few feet behind Harry.

“What do you mean you don’t know?!” Padfoot hissed. “It’s your bloody house! Surely you know everything that’s in it!”

Moony was silent for a moment and then a soft, “Oh!” escaped him.

8,099 4
28 Want And Need

“Draco,” Lucius said, “would you check on Dobby’s progress, please?”

“Make Hydrus do it,” Draco said, scowling at his father. “You made me do it on my birthday dinner, so he can do it on his.”

A week ago, he’d never have argued, and particularly not with company around; the Parkinsons, Greengrasses, Notts, Bulstrodes, Goyles, Crabbes and Shafiqs all looked stunned to hear Draco speaking so disrespectfully.

6,817 4
29 Revisiting The Past

“But, but sir-” Severus spluttered.

“You already agreed, did you not?” Dumbledore asked, as infuriatingly calm as ever.

“Yes,” Severus said stiffly. “I didn’t have a choice, then-”

“You will keep your word. There are dangerous times ahead for young Mr Malfoy and he will fare better through them with your guidance.”

6,855 5
30 Changing Faces

 “Theodora? Er... Tock?”

“What are you doing in my bedroom?” Tonks asked fuzzily. She knew the voice; it belonged to Remus, but she had no idea what he was doing here. Someone laughed loudly. “And don’t call me that name.”

“Dora,” Remus said, sounding amused, “you need to wake up. You’re squashing Arabella.”

8,046 4
31 Life After Death

“Matt made it home, then?” Sirius asked, as Remus Flooed into the kitchen midway through dinner. Kreacher handed him a loaded plate, which Remus took gratefully and sat down in the seat opposite Harry, who was listening intently.

“No problems,” Remus said, accepting a drink from Kreacher. “Debbie’s spending the night there just in case but no one’s seen or heard anything of Greyback since the attack.”

6,676 10
32 A Forgotten Favour

November’s full moon fell on the tenth, which was Padfoot’s birthday. Padfoot hadn’t mentioned his birthday at all – Moony later wondered aloud to Harry that he didn’t want to turn thirty – but Moony had remembered it and so had Kreacher, who’d been the one to tell Harry.

Harry and Moony had arranged a trip to Diagon Alley a few days before, telling Padfoot that Moony was going to give Harry a grammar and spelling lesson at his cottage; that was something Padfoot was quite happy not to have any part in if Moony was willing to do it.

6,013 7
33 An Overdue Explanation

Secrets Of The Darkest Art was a source of Padfoot’s amusement for almost a month. Harry didn’t know how he could find it even remotely humourous after the first day, but he did. Harry thought he’d have stopped sooner if Harry wasn’t so embarrassed by the whole ordeal.

6,256 3
34 Taking Risks

“I’m a terrible person for doing this,” Tonks muttered as she squeezed through Remus’ kitchen window. The owl on the perch above the sink – Strix, presumably – ruffled its feathers and shuffled over as she toppled through. It hooted as she knocked a plate off of the dish-rack. Remus really had left in a hurry if he’d left it full. “Damn it,” she muttered; she’d stepped on one of the shards in the dark and it had stabbed her through her sock.

5,992 5
35 A Delicate Balance

“... gobstone, pawn, Merlin Chocolate Frog Card and...” Draco hesitated. “A rock?”

“Is that a question or a statement?” Severus asked.

“Statement?” Draco asked.

“It is a bezoar,” Severus corrected. “But better. We’ll use ten objects next time.” Draco’s face scrunched up, as if he was calling Severus rude names in his head. “Is that a problem?”

6,232 4
36 Merry Mayhem

“Nymphadora! Keith was just about to go and pick you up!” Roberta exclaimed.

“He’s too slow,” she joked. She hesitated and then hugged her boyfriend’s mother. “Merry Christmas, Roberta.”

“Merry Christmas, dear,” Roberta said. “You look lovely, by the way,” Tonks beamed; she was wearing Remus’ red jumper, had pale green skin, bright green eyes and silver, fluffy hair that greatly resembled tinsel. 

8,572 5
37 The Fight

Lupin,

I require your conclusion on the trustworthiness of my Surrey search team members and several hours of your time to present my own findings on those in your team. I will be at the Leaky Cauldron at 2pm tomorrow. Kindly arrive on time.

Lucius Malfoy.

5,282 2
38 A Perspective On Problems

Since their fight at the Ministry in early January, things had been good between Tonks and Keith. She’d rushed Malfoy through his report and made it to the last half of Keith’s game to surprise him, and they’d gone out to dinner to celebrate his team’s win. He’d apologised for the way he behaved and she’d apologised – she wasn’t entirely sure what for, but felt that he’d deserved an apology – and, with Mad-Eye’s advice still lingering in her head, she’d done what she could to make things better between them.

6,176 3
39 Greyback Unhinged

“Lupin!”

“Yes!” both Remus and Dora replied. Her – well, Matt’s – face flooded with colour, but thankfully her hair didn’t change at all. He wondered absently if she’d learned better control from the book he’d given her for Christmas.

“Sorry,” Dora muttered. “Habit.” Thankfully, Greyback either hadn’t heard her, or didn’t think anything of it.

“You too, Rosier.”

5,643 5
40 Ulterior Motives

“Ready?” Remus asked Matt, who snorted.

“I was ready a few seconds after I got here,” he said. Remus grinned and closed his suitcase. Matt’s rucksack was already packed and leaning against Remus’ bed, and Matt had been bouncing up and down for the last hour, obviously very eager to get home.

Home, Remus thought, happily, as they grabbed their things and left Room 37.

5,518 3
41 A Moment Of Clarity

“Here,” Padfoot said, passing him a cup. Harry gulped it down, grimacing at the bitter taste. It was March, and his Form Revealer was finally ready. They’d watered it down – Padfoot had said something about the mind of a child, and Harry had remembered the conversation Dumbledore had had with Fudge and Umbridge at St Mungo’s when they talked about Veritaserum – which would hopefully stop it from doing any damage to Harry.

6,155 7
42 Nowhere To Run

Harry was lying on his stomach in the drawing room, watching the little golden snake wriggle around on the carpet. He’d finally got around to finishing Regulus’ snake puzzle – it was a nice distraction from all the reading about spell creation that Padfoot was making him do before the next step of his Animagus process.

Padfoot thumped down the stairs and entered and Harry quickly looked back to the book he was supposed to be reading. Padfoot chuckled.

5,773 10
43 Marlene's Revenge

“He’s still not answering,” Dora said, dropping her Sidekick into her lap. “Do you think it’s bad, whatever’s going on down there?”

“I don’t know,” Remus said, but he was fairly sure he did; he hadn’t been lying when he’d told Marlene and Dora that Grimmauld had been empty except for Kreacher. He also knew that Marlene wasn’t one to run out on a commitment - like looking after Dora – unless there was a very good reason. And, from what Remus knew of Marlene, that reason could only be Sirius.

7,342 13
44 Friends Lost And Found

The door burst open behind Marlene, just as Sirius hit the floor. She twisted, wand up and ready. It was Gawain and she hesitated. He didn’t.

Expelliarmus!” he said and her wand soared out of her hand and landed somewhere behind her. “Incarcerous,” he said, looking grim, and Marlene didn’t fight as the ropes wound around her.

It’s done, she thought, glancing at where Sirius lay unmoving. Finally.

6,457 7
45 In Capable Hands

Tonks had had an eventful morning. First, obviously, had been the entire episode with Greyback. Then she’d learned about Sirius’ capture from McKinnon and been praised and debriefed by Scrimgeour, while Remus – who’d been so calm while there’d been a werewolf after them – stammered excuses to Scrimgeour about speaking to Robards and ran off without actually explaining anything.

5,959 4
46 Mothers And Aunts

Remus yawned and rolled over, blinking himself awake. He was immediately aware that he wasn’t in his own bed and started to panic, at least until he placed the scent of the room. Dora. She wasn’t in the room with him, but she was the one who’d brought him here, he remembered. She’d brought him back to her – well, her parents’ – house last night, and Andromeda had fed both of them and sent them straight to bed.

7,288 6
47 Harry's New Home

“Anything?” Rufus barked, and Amelia shook her head. Beside her, Thomas looked ill.

“It's all legal, sir,” Podmore said, looking up from a massive volume on wizarding law. Rufus growled. Of course it was all legal; Black had Auror training and was unhelpfully knowledgeable when it came to the law. He was also bold enough to point it out.

“Damn it!” he huffed, stalking into the next office, where Dumbledore and Snape were questioning Mrs Dursley.

5,493 8
48 A Long Night In Hell

“It’s cold down here,” Ben said, trying to make conversation. He missed Melvin like mad but he’d never been one that was able to stay sad for long. He just got on with things. Tonks was the same, as far as he could tell, and so was Shacklebolt. Florence still cried lots and was unnervingly quiet when she wasn’t crying. None of them had seen much of McKinnon for a few days, so he didn’t even know how she was.

You leave, mate, Ben thought glumly, and everything falls apart.

7,053 4
49 The Scar And The Schemer

Sirius’ next three days in captivity passed quickly, and by the end of the third, he was beginning to notice that a sort of routine had been established; there were always two Aurors on guard inside the cell – sometimes both were trainees – because Sirius was trusted not to attack Harry. Umbridge came in with breakfast – the quality of which had improved with Harry’s arrival – and took Harry away for a few minutes each day to question him.

7,580 2
50 Trying Times And Trials

“Eurgh,” Tonks said, wrinkling her nose. “You’d have to be thick to think you hadn’t been poisoned when it tastes like that!” She set the empty phial down and Gutnich – the Auror supervising her this morning – chuckled.

“This one’s nasty,” he agreed. “But concentrate. What do you feel?”

“Dizzy,” Tonks said. “Tired – that could just be because it’s seven and we’ve already been at this for hours-”

7,054 4
51 The Snake Pit

Harry and the Malfoys had come to the Manor by Portkey – Harry suspected they hadn’t Flooed because Mr Malfoy wanted to show off the admittedly impressive exterior of the house – and Harry’d been promptly handed a pile of clothes and shown into a bathroom.

He’d bathed, trying not to feel to miserable about the situation; Padfoot was alone again, with the Dementors and Harry was stuck here for ten days with no company but the Malfoys and McKinnon, who Padfoot had been decidedly cold towards lately.

7,657 6
52 Tears And Trust

It was hard to decide whether this visit to the camp was better or worse than the last one.

Greyback wasn’t around – which was definitely a bonus – but the atmosphere was infinitely more volatile. He’d met with Mad-Eye before travelling to Gwydir Forest, and they’d both decided that blaming Smoky for the incident was the best idea. Smoky was a nameless, faceless being – so she’d be perfectly safe, wherever she was - but she was known by the camp’s residents and gave them someone other than the Aurors or Remus or Matt to blame.

6,093 4
53 The Night Before

“I think the muggleborns are to blame,” Draco said abruptly. Severus looked up from the corner, where he was stirring a small cauldron.

“Oh?” he asked, squeezing his stirring rod so tightly it was in danger of bending.

“Well, Gryffindor-” Draco’s lip curled as he said the name of the man that – if everything continued the way Narcissa intended – had given his name to Draco’s future House. “-promised they’d be friends – brothers, even – but he didn’t keep it, did he?”

5,613 5
54 Falling Apart

The usually calm and dignified Malfoy household was anything but on the morning of Black’s trial. Lucius was shaken awake by his frantic son a little after five to be given the news that Bosworth the rat had disappeared overnight.

“Potter had something to do with it, I know he did!” Hyrdus said, turning to a sleepy Narcissa. Lucius exchanged a look with his wife and both of them got up and followed Hydrus to his bedroom, where the box that Pettigrew had slept in for the past year sat, empty.

7,351 12
55 The Witnesses

“I’m sorry,” Remus said quietly, as whispers broke out. He wasn’t sure who he was talking to.

He could have been addressing the furious-looking Malfoy, for wasting both of their time for all those months.

He could have been addressing the impassive Snape, who’d suspected Remus was helping Sirius from the beginning. That wasn’t true, but Snape had been told off more times than Remus could count for not trusting him, when he’d been right for a while now.

6,925 14
56 Guilty Hearts

Remus thought he was lucky to have made it through his questioning with his voice still intact; Sirius was practically croaking out his answers to Fudge’s questions, and Remus could see him shooting longing glances at the glass of water in front of Amelia.

“-all very well and good, but can you prove it?” Fudge said, looking smug. “Where’s Pettigrew now?”

“If I knew, do you really think I wouldn’t have arranged for him to be here?” Sirius asked hoarsely.

5,877 18
57 True Selves

VIOLENT BREAK-IN SHOCKS NEIGHBOURS!

On Friday night, a London family of two were sitting down to dinner when they received a surprise that certainly was not on the menu. An unidentified person forced their way through a side window and is believed to have been searching for valuables, when the victim, Donald Adams (34) heard a noise and went to investigate.

5,103 8
58 Picking Up The Pieces

“Come in, Dawlish,” Scrimgeour called. John straightened his robes, smoothed his expression, and entered. “Can I help you with something?” Scrimgeour asked, in a rather frosty voice. John didn’t meet the Head Auror’s eyes. Malfoy’s plan to tie Scrimgeour’s fate to Black had succeeded, it just hadn’t gone the way they’d hoped; with Black proven innocent, Scrimgeour now looked like an excellent judge of character, and held his position more securely than ever. 

5,600 7
59 Weasleys And Werewolves

He was cold. Cold and damp . And tired, because Wormtail’d been thinking about a lot lately, and rats were clever creatures, but they didn’t have an incredibly high emotional capacity, which made things hard to sort through. He shivered, trying not to think about the explosion and all the people he’d killed, or the pain from cutting off his finger. He tried not to think about Sirius, who was rotting in Azkaban, or Remus, who was probably miserable. He tried not to think about himself, who was going to have to live with the Weasleys for the foreseeable future.

6,492 6
60 Interruptions

Florence appeared about midway through training - Savage had just started on the blood ward focused part of his lecture – looking tired, and rather unwell. She was paler than usual, had a cut on her cheek and her arm was in a sling. She was immediately descended upon by Finch, and Ben hurried over to join them. Florence hugged him, and spotted Tonks. She waved, and Tonks waved back, and that was all they had time for before Finch ushered her back up the stairs; presumably she had questions that needed answers.

5,737 5
61 The Loss Of Padfoot's Pride

Sirius strode out of the fireplace as soon as Grimmauld’s kitchen materialised and only paused long enough to take in the abandoned frying pan on the stove – Kreacher’d obviously left in a hurry – before he sprinted up the stairs, skidded on the floorboards, and launched himself up the main staircase as Padfoot.

4,911 7
62 Evaluating Options

“Maybe something about a pack,” Harry said, staring up at the ceiling of the library.

Sirius, who was flipping through a book on dark magic – more out of habit than out of hope of actually finding anything to destroy the Horcrux – glanced over.

“A pack?” he asked.

“Mmm,” Harry said.

5,085 5
63 An Offer Of Assistance

“So what exactly are you hoping to accomplish here?” Florence asked, lifting her chin. She’d been sitting down for almost an hour - her legs were beginning to cramp – and she had nothing to show for her time; she hadn’t been arrested, and she hadn’t been freed. All that had happened was that she’d had her morality questioned, been told off, and the three of them had grown steadily more frustrated. Tonks looked at Moody like she too wanted answers.

5,401 7
64 Dora And The Dictionary

The rest of July passed quickly after Sirius’ meeting with Gawain. The majority of his time was still spent with Harry – whether they were working on Harry’s slow-going Anmagus incantation, or flying at Remus’, or playing games of chess and Exploding Snap. Then, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, he’d leave for the Ministry just after lunch, and return in time for dinner.

5,999 9
65 Harry Evans

“I think you’re enjoying your freedom far too much,” Tonks observed. She, Charlie and Tom were sitting on the balcony of the boys’ little house in the Romanian Highlands, on the outskirts of the reserve. Mad-Eye had give her the last week of August off, and she’d Portkeyed to Romania to surprise them.

5,064 8
66 Monsters In The Manor

“Dora?” Tonks jumped several inches and tore her eyes off Florence, who’d just got into the elevator with Tonks’ friend Alfred. She’d been called back from Romania a day early by Mad-Eye, to learn that a man named Mundungus Fletcher had publicly confessed to killing Greyback.

She and Mad-Eye had visited him in the holding cells immediately after Tonks returned – she’d even still had her rucksack with her – and poor Fletcher had almost crumbled at the sight of Mad-Eye.

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67 Plates And Plans

Lucius heard footsteps outside his office door and looked up from the letter he was reading; it was from that infernal Umbridge woman, who’d been increasingly independent lately. Lucius was trying to find out who her new source was – she’d all but severed ties with Dawlish, who now had his wand in a knot over the whole thing – but things were progressing slowly, unfortunately.

The footsteps in the hallway didn’t stop; in fact, they didn’t even pause before his office door was forced open and his wife strode into the room.

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68 Ebony's Hunt

John Fisher had stopped most of his patrols thanks to a combination of age and corporate superiority. The majority of his time was spent behind a desk, filling out paperwork, and making sure that the younger, more impetuous members of London’s police force were kept in line.

The only time he had to patrol at all – and only for a few hours, to show that he wasn’t too high above the rest of them – was Thursday mornings.

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69 The Return

Sirius was feeling rather demoralised by the time he returned to Number Twelve - courtesy of Kreacher - on the Thursday night. It wasn't late, but he felt exhausted, and had hoped to be able to slink past Harry and go to bed, but luck truly was against him; Harry and Dora were seated at the kitchen table, eating what appeared to be chocolate mousse.

“Wotcher,” Dora said, when Sirius appeared. Her eyes fell on the empty space next to him - Kreacher was already heading for the oven - and her face fell. “She wasn't-”

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70 Things To Say

 The bedroom door creaked, and even that was loud enough to make Remus want to throw up. He didn’t roll over to look at Kreacher – who’d been kind enough to keep an eye on him while Sirius was at work – because then he really would be sick. He closed his eyes and then felt dizzy and decided that had been a bad idea.

It wasn’t Kreacher, but Sirius, who moved into his line of sight, and sat down on the edge of the bed.

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71 Needing A Friend

“Mummy, have you seen my other gumboot?”

“They’re outside by the clothesline, dear,” Mum answered absently, loading another set of steaming mince pies onto Ron’s plate.

“One was, but the other’s not.”

“By the chickens?”

“I already looked there,” Ginny said, folding her arms.

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72 The Serpent Sworn

 “Oh, here comes trouble,” Rattler said with a grin; he was waiting for the lift on Level Two, as Harry and Padfoot stepped out of it. “How’ve you been Harry?”

“Good, thanks,” Harry said with tentative smile back.

“Morning,” Padfoot said, yawning.

“Morning, Black,” Rattler said, still smiling. “What are you here for today? Filing?” This last question was accompanied by an expression that was half sympathetic, half apologetic.

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73 The Quest For Answers

School resumed for Harry two days after Sirius overheard Scrimgeour and Amelia discussing the Serpent Sworn, and Sirius was glad; not because he wanted him gone, but Harry had, not entirely surprisingly, got as caught up in it as Sirius himself had. He needed something to take his mind off it, because, as determined as he was to help, there was nothing he could do at this stage.

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74 Part Of The Family

 Sirius fiddled with his scarf – a bright, Gryffindor red one, that he’d bought one day with Harry during the school holidays – and then gave up on that and shoved his hands into the pockets of his jeans. He had to pull them out again a moment later to open the classroom door, however, and that made him feel even more restless than he had before.

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75 Suspicion And The Scar

Sirius was on his feet before he even realised it.

“What?” he croaked. Dora just looked grim. “When? Wher- How? Why?

“Two nights ago. She was in her flat, just- I dunno, doing whatever it is Bones does when she’s alone. Someone broke in, apparently. And then Rattler went to see her when she didn’t show up to work yesterday. I don’t know what she was like when he found her, but obviously she wasn’t in any state to get help, or move herself."

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76 Dystopian December

 It was easy, once he knew what to look for, to find the signs that Harry's departure had not been without thought. Not only was his rucksack missing, and some of his clothing, but also a photograph from his desk, and, once Sirius looked inside the drawers, his stash of pocket money, and also his vault key. His mirror, though, troublingly enough, was still there. Which Sirius thought was indication that Harry, wherever he was, didn't want to be found.

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77 Trapped In The Training Room

Sirius pulled his wand out at once, and Dora was quick to do the same; she shut the Sneakoscope in its box again, before it could give away where they were with its ringing, and tucked it into her robes.

They stood back to back, scanning the Atrium with wary eyes.

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78 Comrades In Arms

Remus wasn’t entirely surprised when Sirius’ Patronus bounded out into his garden and started chasing them on the ground. In fact, he checked his watch and was surprised the message hadn’t come sooner. Harry was another fifty feet higher than Remus, in close pursuit of his Snitch and hadn’t even noticed it.

Remus angled his Nimbus down and made his casual way down. He stepped off the broom and the Patronus hurried over, holding its ears and tail in a rather agitated way.

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79 Fallen Soldier

“Sir, we’ve got everyone but two,” a woman said, approaching the man. He turned away from the holding cells, which held the Aurors and trainees. Most were nursing injuries of some sort, and were sitting in their mentor-trainee groups, talking in low voices, but some were crying; two female trainees were sobbing all over each other, and their grim looking mentor. The man smirked and looked down at the woman.

“Black,” he said. It wasn’t a question.

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80 Breached Borders

If someone had told Sirius two days ago, that he’d be sitting in Marlene’s house with a cup of tea, he’d have been skeptical. If they’d told him that Marlene would be furious, he’d have believed them much more easily.

“-not a big deal?!” she demanded; she wasn’t sitting, like Sirius was; she was stalking around the living room, rather like her Patronus might. She was still a bit pale from the potion yesterday, but she was alive and she was a little bit scary. “Sirius, they manipulated us!”

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