In this World and the Next

Not for Weasley fans, dark beginning and rating is for safety. A Re-do with payback on the menu H/Hr Complete

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/5627314/1/In-this-World-and-the-Next

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5. Chapter 5

A big black dog was sleeping curled on a filthy threadbare blanket, it raised its ears without lifting its head or even opening its eyes. The dog was suddenly transformed into a man who appeared every bit as mangy as the dog he'd just replaced. Sirius Black stood in his cell and stretched, it was a rare occasion when the Dementors were withdrawn and one not to be missed.

The wizard didn't open his eyes, there was nothing to see that he hadn't memorised years ago. Counting the bricks that make up your cell walls gets old nearly as fast as counting the days to your trial that never comes. All that was left now was to savour being human without the Dementors messing with your head, without Padfoot he didn't think he would have survived this long.

His eyes soon sprung wide open when he heard multiple footsteps approaching his cell door, even more shockingly it began to open.

"Ok Black, you're coming with us. No funny business or we'll just knock you out and drag your worthless arse out of here."

Sirius hadn't used his voice in a while but discovered it still worked, "Where are you taking me?"

"Well it would appear Harry Potter found out who was responsible for his parent's deaths, now he wants to spit in your eye before Fudge hands you over to a Dementor. This is your last day on this Earth scumbag."

Sirius was struggling to stay upright with all the shocks coming his way, he knew he had to though or they literally would drag him out of here. The guards didn't carry wands in case the prisoners got hold of them so he would be dragged out by the ankles and his head would hit every stone step in Azkaban. They placed a medallion around his neck that signified he was off-limits to the Dementors, it didn't repel them, just emitted an aura that marked the prisoner for safe passage.

Sirius almost broke down when he was being led out the prison, heading towards the dock he got his first glimpse of the night sky. The stars were beautiful and there had been a distinct lack of beauty in his life for the last decade. Sirius felt a great weight lift off him as the boat sailed away from the island, even if this was his last night it was still better than rotting in that hell. What was running through his mind though was Sirius Black was going to get to see Harry Potter, now Sirius thought that was worth dying for.

-oOoOo-

Arthur and Bill entered the Burrow as the sea of expectant faces tried to read their mood, this proved very difficult as neither was sure what to feel at the moment. They all sat around the kitchen table with only Charlie missing, dragon handlers didn't have the same penalty clauses in their contracts that the goblins insisted on. A wizard working for Gringotts had to be above reproach, the faintest hint of scandal could see you lose your job. Having it splashed all over the front page of the papers that your mother tried to attack the boy who lived was always going to result in an instant dismissal.

Molly couldn't wait any longer, "Well, what happened?"

Arthur reported the latest news to his family, "We've sold the land, for a lot more gold than I expected but we have to be out of here before the weekend."

Molly tried to make the best of it, "At least we'll have some gold at our backs, we can be packed in no time."

Bill was shaking his head, "The new owners are going to tear everything down and build from scratch."

Again Molly tried to look on the bright side, though she had unshed tears in her eyes at the impending destruction of her home. "We always knew whoever bought the land wouldn't want the house, it stands to reason. At least now we'll be able to get a good start somewhere else."

It was Arthur who dropped the bombshell, "The Potter boy is pressing charges against you, we'll lose over half the gold in fines."

Molly let the tears go, "Couldn't we fight this?"

Arthur knew they didn't have a hope, Molly had admitted her crime to the head of the DMLE. "All that would achieve would be to give our remaining gold to some lawyer, we just have to take it on the chin and get on with it as best we can."

"I'd like to put one on that little bastard's chin, him and that trollop…" Molly's tirade was abruptly ended by a fuming Arthur Weasley.

"That's what got us into this mess in the first place! Your stupid bloody temper and pig-headedness have already cost Bill and me our jobs, as well as almost making this family destitute. I swear if you cause one more bit of trouble for us I will not hesitate to cast you out, we have a family crisis here and don't have any time for your tantrums."

This shocked the entire clan into silence, not even Molly had ever seen Arthur like this, the angry head of the Weasley family continued in the same vein. "Percy, Fred, George, you will be returning to Hogwarts."

Percy wanted to object but his father's tone had left him in no doubt that would not be a wise decision, he just nodded his head in acceptance. The twins were smiling as Arthur turned his gaze to his youngest son, "Ron, I'll give you a choice, return to Hogwarts or be home schooled by your Auntie Muriel?"

Home schooled was on his lips until his father threw in who would be doing the schooling, Ron desperately wanted to ask why he couldn't stay with his mother but, since that wasn't an option offered, he would just have to assume that it wasn't possible. His father didn't appear to be in the mood to answer questions. Slytherin or his Auntie Muriel was a tough choice, in the end there was only one way he could go, "Hogwarts."

Arthur's eyes then shifted to his daughter and his expression softened for the first time today, "I'm really sorry princess but I don't have any options to offer you. Your Auntie Muriel is going to be looking after you until we can get settled somewhere. Bill has some contacts in a few countries where we can hopefully find work."

The tears were streaming down her cheeks as she asked, "Why can't I come with you?"

"We have four of you in Hogwarts and need to set up a new home abroad, it's going to take me, Bill and your mum all working full time just to make ends meet. The Burrow may not have been much but it was ours, anything else we get is going to cost us rent or mortgage."

Arthur turned his attention back towards his sons to deliver a warning, and also because watching Ginny cry was breaking his heart. "I have no idea what the situation will be at Hogwarts but if the Potters are there you lot will be on your best behaviour. They have done nothing and acted entirely within the law, this family can't afford to take one more hit. A story in the press about vindictive Weasleys picking on two first years would end any hope we have of recovering, do I make myself clear?"

Arthur made sure he got a 'yes dad' out the four of them, he didn't want to imagine what would happen if the twins started to prank them or Percy drew his wand again. They would probably have to dye their hair blond and change their name to get a job tending camels in the Sahara!

Arthur walked outside, heading for his hut to get one last look at his muggle plugs and batteries collection. This also meant he didn't have to look at his wife, in all the years of marriage he'd come closest to strangling her today. Having been married to Molly for over twenty years, that was really saying something.

-oOoOo-

Harry and Hermione stepped off the Knight Bus at the public entrance to the ministry of magic, they had received some strange glances and a few glares from the other passengers but Harry was sure their chosen apparel was responsible for that. He was wearing a dark suit Hermione had picked for him and, with a shirt and tie Harry was dressed as the quintessential muggle. His wife was also paying no heed to the fact that they were probably going to meet the Minister of Magic today, a pale blue dress with a dark blue jacket was rounded off by matching bag and shoes. Only the wand hidden in a holster on her arm signified she was a witch, they were making no concessions to the magical world, and if they didn't like it, tough!

Both couldn't help but think the ministry hadn't concerned themselves too much with what clothes the pair were wearing the last time they 'visited' this building, the bastards were too busy making sure they both got kissed. Hermione understood how emotional this was going to be for Harry, she had been relieved to go first as watching the kiss being administered to Harry would have been worse than the actual deed itself. Add to that he was going to see Sirius again and his emotions were off the scale, she just hoped he didn't do anything reckless. Then again he wouldn't be Harry Potter and the man / boy she loved without that reckless streak, she would just have to be on the alert and, as always cover his back.

They arrived at the desk and the guard asked for his wand, when Harry replied he didn't have one the shocked guard waved them through. Two of the aurors from the Leaky Cauldron were there to once more provide an escort, this time to courtroom ten.

Hermione was certain controlling her husband was a lost cause the moment they entered, there was the chair, complete with chains that they had personal experience of. The dementor in the corner waited quietly behind its containment field, it knew it was going to be fed today but there was even worse to come. The panel of five contained not only Dumbledore but Dolores Umbridge, Hermione was fighting the urge to go down there and kill the bitch herself so Merlin knew what Harry was thinking.

Harry's face was contorted with anger, fortunately most folk thought this was due to his impending meeting with the betrayer of his parents. Unfortunately a certain toad just couldn't keep her mouth shut, "I find it insulting that these two children can appear before us in this disrespectful manner of dress, surely some robes can be found for them."

Harry was on his feet while Hermione's hands were in her lap, her wand handle already in her grasp. "I was denied knowledge of who I was for ten years, perhaps you should be looking into who carried out that deed rather than concerning yourself with what my wife and I are wearing. Fashion tips from someone wearing a hideous pink cardigan? Please!"

Harry sat back down but a clearly upset toad could hear the sniggering all around her and wouldn't let it go, "Mr Potter, I am Dolores Umbridge, Senior Undersecretary to the Minister for Magic. I will not be spoken to in that manner by a mere boy."

Harry stood slowly, knowing every eye was on him. Dumbledore was watching keenly and he'd noticed McGonagall, incredibly accompanied by Remus in the public box. The Hogwarts approach must also be coming today so he thought he'd better make it look good. "I am Lord Harry James Potter, last scion of the Noble and Ancient House of Potter, banisher of the Dark Lord Voldemort. Who the fuck are you to call me boy? If you're insulted then I offer you the chance to duel, before or after you bring out Black. Either way, can we get on with this, I didn't think anyone could procrastinate worse than Dumbledore but it seems I might be wrong."

The toad wouldn't give it up though, "If the fiction in the press is to be believed, I understand you have no wand. How do you purpose to duel?"

Harry gave her a predatory smile, "I didn't have a wand when I defeated Voldemort!" the gasps at the name again gave him the opening that he was looking for, "What? You think I blasted him with a bad pair of nappies?"

Dumbledore couldn't resist, "And just how did you defeat him Lord Potter?"

"Perhaps had I not been in effect banished from the magical world for ten years I might be inclined to tell you, as it is I owe you nothing!"

Professor McGonagall called out from the public gallery, "Lord Potter, I have your wand here, we were able to repair it at the castle."

Hermione summoned it directly into her husband's hand as Harry gave their favourite professor a slight bow, "Thank you Professor, it would seem I might have some use for it after all."

Amelia was so enjoying the toad getting stepped on and anytime Dumbledore didn't get his own way made her day. It was time to move proceedings on, though she would be more than interested in how the toad tried to squirm her way out of the duel. Harry had made it quite plain he wished to discourage attacks on his family, taking down Fudge's hatchet woman would certainly do that. For some reason she never doubted Harry would win. "Bring in the prisoner!"

Sirius entered the room with an auror holding each arm, he was franticly searching the faces for one in particular, hoping beyond hope he would recognise Harry. That should never have been in question as an eleven-year-old James stared back at him with Lily's eyes. Sirius had expected to see hate reflected there, instead it was like drinking the world's strongest pepper-up potion with a firewhisky chaser. There was unbelievably, yet unmistakably love reflected there and Sirius Black felt ten feet tall as energy surged through his body. He shook off the aurors and marched straight to the chair, sitting down without once taking his eyes off Harry.

After the chains wrapped around him the head of the DMLE stepped forward, "Sirius Orion Black, you are charged…"

She was interrupted by the Marauder, "About bloody time Amelia, I plead not guilty." He then stuck his tongue out as the sparkle that was such a feature of his youth made a tentative return to his eyes.

It took a matter of minutes of his answers to result in the chamber descending into chaos, Umbridge was banging on the table in an attempt to restore order, she would have had more luck dancing on top of it. It was Amelia who restored a semblance of order before toad face interrupted her, "How is it possible that Black can overcome the truth serum?"

Harry was up so fast you could have sworn he was spring loaded, "Why is it Miss Under-the-Minister that the ministry was so quick to believe 'I was under the Imperius' while dismissing evidence that's right in front of your eyes? Doesn't this fit in with your plans or am I supposed to pay someone off to get my innocent godfather out of Azkaban?" A mouse fart could have been heard in the absolute silence that followed that remark. Harry removed a letter from inside his jacket and offered it to Amelia, "My mother wrote that so I want it back! It was in my family vault and explains that my parents switched secret keepers. This seemed the quickest way to get my godfather free, to be perfectly honest the only person I trust in this room is sitting by my side."

Harry gave Amelia a moment to scan the letter before asking, "Since my godfather is here and still under truth serum, could we ask him what happened that night?"

Dumbledore objected immediately, "I hardly think that's necessary…"

Harry expected nothing less and interrupted him, "Madam Bones, my godfather will of course tell me but I feel it should be on public record, rather than second-hand from another Prophet interview that some people will question the validity of." His eyes were boring into the toad as he said this, "I think the greater good of the magical world would be served if the facts were learned here today."

Dumbledore reacted as if he'd been physically slapped, not helped by the fact that Amelia agreed with Potter and began asking questions he didn't want answered.

Sirius began telling the story of that fateful Halloween, "I felt uneasy all day so went to check up on Peter, only to find him missing. This really had me worried so I headed immediately for Godric's Hollow. There I found the door blasted off and my brother in all but blood lying dead inside, I heard someone coming down the stairs and had my wand out ready to kill, it was Hagrid and he had Harry cradled in his arms. I told him I would take Harry but he refused, he had orders from Dumbledore and I knew where his loyalty lay so offered him my motorbike. I kissed Harry goodbye and went after Peter." The drug was wearing off now but Sirius had waited a long time to say this and had no intention of stopping, the chamber was so enthralled that no attempt to stop him speaking was even considered, never mind made.

"I spent many nights lying in Azkaban wondering how different my life would be if I hadn't let Hagrid take him, only the thought of Harry being happy allowed me to survive all those years, I knew James and Lily had made detailed provisions for him. Why did no one even question me? I was stunned in the street and woke up in that cell in Azkaban, I was an auror and knew that wasn't the way things were supposed to happen."

Harry could see his godfather was now totally free of the drug's effects, "Sirius, I ended up with the Dursleys!"

Only the chains still holding him to the chair prevented Sirius attacking Dumbledore, "What the fuck were you thinking of? You signed their wills as a witness along with me, it specifically stated he was never to go there as they hated magic."

Harry removed a scroll out his jacket and offered it to Amelia, "This is a copy of my parents' will, it lists yourself and Professor McGonagall by name as just some of the trustworthy people I should have went to instead. We met Susan briefly in Hogwarts and I would really have liked to have a sister while growing up." He turned to Dumbledore, "We have the how and who, would you care to tell us why?"

Dumbledore actually squirmed, "I had my reasons but don't wish to go into them here and now."

Harry didn't think there was a chance in hell Dumbledore would disclose the prophecy here, he liked his secrets and had kept everything to himself before but this time they already knew most of them. "Very well then, the Noble and Ancient Houses of Potter and Black?" Harry looked towards his godfather to see if it was alright to include him in this.

"Oh hell yes! Let's hit the old bastard with everything we can."

"Potter and Black will pursue this matter legally, politically and financially to the full extent we are able. Who the fuck gave you the right to make decisions regarding my life?"

"Your mother and father were friends of mine…"

"Were friends!" screamed Sirius, "You better pray they don't have wands in the afterlife Albus, or Lily Potter will transfigure you into a flobberworm for giving her boy to Petunia. Whatever possessed you to do something that was not only criminal but insane?"

"Madam Bones, can I ask why my innocent godfather is still in chains while Dumbledore is clearly guilty of breaking the law yet sits there on a judging panel?"

Amelia for once wasn't sure how to proceed, "Sirius Orion Black, you were never actually charged with any crimes so the ministry can't grant you a pardon, all I can do is exonerate you from any wrong doing and set you free. There will be a full public enquiry into why this happened, you have suffered ten years in Azkaban and this will not be swept under the carpet."

The chains fell away and Harry was out of his seat in a flash, Sirius had barely time to stand before Harry had his arms around him. Both of them were barely holding back the tears until Harry pulled away, "There is someone you need to meet."

Hermione was now by his side, "This is Hermione Potter, my wife."

Sirius glanced at the girl before noticing the Potter ring on her finger, next second they were both hugging the confused marauder. He was beginning to wonder if he was still lying in his cell having finally lost his mind, this seemed to be confirmed by his godson's next actions.

"Excuse me a minute Sirius, Madam Umbitch, are you prepared to apologise?"

Dolores was not having a good morning, the minister was standing outside with the press, waiting on the Potters leaving to have his picture taken with them. Everyone expected Black to be found guilty and kissed, when he walks out that door all hell was going to break loose. She let her temper get the better of her, "I have no intention of apologising to a little half-blood upstart like you. I will duel you anytime, anywhere."

Harry whipped of his jacket and handed it to Hermione, as he was loosening his tie he called her bluff. "Here and now works for me, I'm sure these kind people would act as witnesses for us."

Dumbledore thought it would be good for the Potter boy to learn some humility, he began erecting duelling shields as Harry was rolling up his sleeves.

Sirius was not amused, "Harry, this is nuts and I wont allow it."

"Sorry Sirius but only my wife is allowed to tell me that."

Hermione gave him a quick kiss, "Remember Harry, its pronounced stoo-puh-fye."

Sirius was about to say something more when he spied the gleam in Harry's eyes, James used to look like that just before he pranked you. Sirius was beginning to believe these two might actually know what they were doing, after all he was a free man now.

When Harry replied, "Thanks love, it was the wand movement that gave me the trouble though." Sirius was sure. He went from being utterly terrified to just worried sick as Harry's wife led them to where they had been sitting.

Dolores bought the whole act and was feeling supremely confident, handing Potter his arse in front of everyone here would soon put an end to this 'chosen one' nonsense. It would also look great on her CV.

Amelia was going over the rules but Harry wasn't listening, while in Australia Dan had introduced him to the game of pool. He'd picked it up so fast Dan used to jokingly accuse him of using the cue like a wand to perform magic. Here was his chance to put the toad in the corner pocket.

When Amelia gave the signal, the toad started firing curse after curse. Harry quickly placed her as their worst ever DADA professor, considering they'd had Gilderoy that was some achievement. She just stood there without moving, continually firing with most of her spells off target anyway. Harry was constantly on the move, lining up his perfect shot.

Dolores was having fun, the little boy looked scared shitless. He hadn't even fired a spell at her, that was before his wand appeared to burst into action and she barely got her shield up.

When Harry got into the right position, he unleashed a barrage of spells, four stupefies and an expelliarmus in as many seconds. The first two Stupefies impacted on her shield, the third one shattered it before the fourth one ended the duel. The expelliarmus whipped her wand out her hand and flung her violently backwards, she bounced off Dumbledore's duelling ward straight and true, right into the Dementor's containment shield.

The very nature of the shield was to contain the Dementor while allowing the condemned prisoners to pass through unhindered, Dolores sailed right through the shield into death's waiting arms. The Dementor was well aware anything passing through the shield belonged to it, Dolores was being kissed before anyone had time to react.

Trying to get Dolores away from the Dementor was a bit like trying to take a juicy bone off a pit bull, when it finally let go, Dolores Umbridge was no more.

Dumbledore was livid, "See what your reckless cavalier attitude has caused, you have that woman's death on your conscience."

Harry could quite happily live with that but wasn't prepared to show it here, "Well personally I blame whoever erected the duelling shields, how could you miss something dangerous that's over nine feet tall and standing in the corner. You are either incompetent or were hoping it was going to be me that ended up in there? You seem to have a habit of blaming others for your mistakes, the head of the DMLE can verify I fired nothing but stunners and a disarming hex, why didn't you shield that area?"

Harry's plan had formed the instant he'd noticed that the old goat hadn't shielded the Dementor, as far as he was concerned the toad got exactly what she deserved. The vicious and cruel witch had forced him to watch as Hermione had her soul sucked out, payback was a bitch!

Harry was engulfed by bushy brown hair as Hermione pounced on him, Sirius had the good graces to wait until they had finished kissing before smacking Harry on the back of the head. "Don't do that to me again, you just took years off my life. You were bloody brilliant though!"

"I'm merely brilliant, my wife here is the brains of the family. She's a genius."

Sirius pulled the both of them into a hug, "Just like your parents, your dad was clever but your mother was, well scary."

"Eh Sirius, don't take this the wrong way but you seriously need a bath! You're coming home with us, Hermione's dad is about the same size as you and we can go shopping tomorrow."

Amelia approached them, "Lord Potter I agree with your assessment of the situation, poorly erected duelling wards led to the unfortunate accident that happened here. I was really impressed by your performance, can I ask if you had a duelling strategy?"

"Ma'am I got the impression the woman was a bully so decided to let her tire by throwing curses before using any of my own. The stupefies were to break her shield allowing the disarming hex to do its job, her shield was weaker than I thought it would be."

Amelia could see the chosen one living up to the reputation that had built up over the years he'd been missing, the lad's claim that his wife was even better was just plain terrifying. "I have some bad news for you, Minister Fudge is waiting outside with the press to ambush you."

Harry put his tie back on and was reaching for his jacket when Hermione asked a question, "What would the head of the DMLE say was the best way to spring an ambush?"

Amelia's eyes nearly popped out her head, "Reverse the ambush, Fudge won't know what hit him!"

Hermione took one of Sirius's arms while Harry had the other, "Oh I'm betting he'll know what hit him, he just won't be able to do anything about it!"

Harry was smiling at his wife, "Didn't I tell you she was brilliant, let's get this show on the road."

As they walked through the doors, Fudge proved himself the consummate politician. While his insides were turning to liquid at the sight of Sirius still alive, the smile never left his face as the Potter's and Black headed straight for him. His ability to keep that smile in place was seriously tested by Harry Potter.

Harry approached, all smiles with his hand held out to shake, "Minister Fudge, I'm delighted to meet the man who set in motion the process that found my godfather innocent. That your head of DMLE immediately announced a full public enquiry into why he was denied a trial just indicates what an inspirational leader you are."

The cameras were flashing as Harry Potter shook his hand and praised his leadership, Cornelius could feel his popularity rating rising with every shake, his political ardour was soon quenched though by the next statement.

"I would like to offer my condolences to the family and friends of Madam Umbridge, she duelled with honour and only the poorly erected duelling wards of Professor Dumbledore saw her life tragically ended by a Dementor. It has emerged this is the same man who left me on a muggle doorstep and was the Supreme Mugwump who allowed an innocent man to rot in Azkaban for ten years without a trial. Is it any wonder my wife and I left Hogwarts?"

Hermione had a tight grip on Sirius, with squeezes of his arm and imploring with her eyes, she kept him quiet for now. She could see Sirius had a million questions for later though.

Harry finished with the kicker, "All I can say is thank Merlin we have Minister Fudge at the helm, our faith in him is causing my wife and I to reconsider our decision to leave the country. With him in charge I know action will be taken against those who broke the law, denying me my heritage and my godfather his freedom."

They made to leave until one of the press shouted a question, "Mr Black, what will you be doing now you're free?

Sirius just couldn't pass up an opportunity like that, "I have been in a cell for ten years, allowed no contact with the outside world. For all I know death eater Lucius Malfoy might even have squirmed his way to freedom. I intend to catch up with my godson and his charming wife, I know you'll respect my privacy while we take time to get to know each other again." He'd seen the way they'd lapped up the bullshit Harry was serving so dished out some more of his own. Sirius was well aware Lucius had bought his way out of a prison sentence but he had deniability on his side.

They walked away from the press who were now bombarding Fudge with questions and straight into Minerva and Remus. Both men stared at each other for a moment before throwing themselves at one another, one arm manly hugs soon gave way to the real thing. "Sorry I believed you could betray them Sirius."

"Remus we thought you were the spy and that's why we didn't tell you about the switch. Those were crazy times my friend, though it seems very crazy here today. Harry, this is Remus Lupin, a very good friend of mine and your parents."

"Pleased to meet you sir, this is my wife Hermione?"

Before Remus could say any more, Minerva broke into the conversation. "It's good to see you again Sirius, Mr and Mrs Potter. I heard you say that the decision to leave Britain wasn't finalised yet, would you be prepared to give Hogwarts a second chance?"

It was Hermione who answered, "Professor, this is hardly the time or the place for that conversation. Sirius here looks dead on his feet and we're anxious to get him home. You know where we live, why not drop by later and bring Mr Lupin with you?"

This was more than Minerva had hoped for, "Could I bring Madam Pomfrey along? She's the school healer and could give Sirius an examination while she's there."

Hermione smiled, Sirius should really be going to St Mungo's but neither him or Harry had any time for hospital stays, it was one of the many things they had in common. "That would be fine Professor, now all we have to do is get Sirius Black on the Knight Bus."

Amelia came to their rescue and made them a portkey home.

-oOoOo-

Albus sat in his Hogwarts office, sucking a lemon drop and wondering just what the hell was going on. He'd spent twenty minutes trying to extract himself from the press who descended on him as he tried to catch hold of the Potters before they left, Minerva being invited to speak with them tonight was the only bright spot he could think of since the first of September.

When he was being asked things like 'why didn't he knock on the door, was he afraid the muggles wouldn't take the baby he illegally left on their doorstep?' Albus knew tomorrow's papers were going to crucify him. After Harry's lavish praise of Cornelius, any thoughts of trying to control the boy through the ministry vanished. With Minerva and Amelia also on Potter's side, Albus was finding himself marginalised as Harry clearly blamed him for his time at the Dursleys.

He was terrified the boy would go dark without his guidance, Harry's lack of remorse at the death of Dolores really worried him, the boy should have been distraught. He'd used two very simple spells to devastating effect, the lad was obviously very powerful but then so were both his parents. Albus himself was a prodigious seeker of knowledge and both Potters apparently devoured books, having the magical power to match would make them outstanding students.

Albus had another worry, the house elves might deal with the howlers he was sent but the school board read the papers too. If they took the view that the only thing standing between the Potters and their attendance at Hogwarts was its current headmaster, then he would probably find himself out of a job. Harry's comments today could easily be construed as such, and Albus sensed the reporters were out for blood.

With a public enquiry into Black's lack of a trial and questions on his placement of baby Harry coming from all sides, Albus found it hard to believe this had all started with Molly Weasley trying to grab the lad in Kings Cross station.

-oOoOo-

Sirius awoke in an actual bed without a Dementor within a hundred miles of him, after having a light lunch, a heavy duty shower – who knew there could be so many nozzles? - he'd slept wearing borrowed pyjamas in a bed with sheets!

There were clothes waiting on him and he could hear the kids preparing dinner as he got dressed. Hermione's parents arrived home as Sirius was leaving the bedroom and he heard a man's voice ask how it went today.

"Oh better than planned, a certain Umbridge found herself in an embrace with a Dementor and we even managed to blame Dumbledore for it."

If Harry's answer shocked Sirius, the next bit confused the hell out of him.

"She's the bastard that thought my daughter was scum and made you watch her die, well done son. I have a very good bottle of malt whiskey that will be getting opened tonight, we can say it's for Sirius being free but I'm so glad that bitch is dead."

Sirius made sure to make a noise as he closed the bedroom door and headed down the stairs, he was met by a smiling Hermione who took his arm.

"Sirius, this is my mum and dad, Dan and Emma."

He shook Dan's hand before Emma pulled him into a hug, "These two have told us so much about you, it's a pleasure to finally meet you Sirius."

Sirius was now sure there was something badly wrong here, "How could they have spoke about me when I haven't seen Harry since he was a baby and met Hermione for the first time today?"

Emma looked crestfallen, "Oh shit, I'm sorry kids, I told you I would be rubbish at this."

Harry could see Emma thought she'd let them down and he couldn't allow that, he wrapped his arms around her waist and chased away all her worries with his first sentence, "It's ok mum, it was always our intention to tell Sirius, we just wanted to give him a few days to settle in first. We need his help to get into Grimmauld Place. "

Harry calling her mum for the first time worked better than anything else could and made this a red letter day for Emma Granger.

He turned towards his godfather, "Padfoot, Hermione and I met you and Moony in our third year of Hogwarts. We left before our seventh year as Dumbledore was already dead and we had a job to do. We did that job and finally defeated Voldemort, only for the purebloods to take over the country. That cockroach Malfoy could survive a nuclear holocaust and ended up running the country with Umbitch, Hermione and I were arrested and given to a dementor in that same room we were in today. I was eighteen on my last birthday and in that life I watched so many people die, including you, Remus, his wife, Dumbledore and my Hermione. We're back in 1991 and this time the good guys are going to watch the right people do the dying."

Sirius was standing there with his mouth hanging open, how did Harry know about Padfoot, Moony and the Black family home? "You're joking, right? Moony married?"

Harry held out his hand and a silver stag shot out, the patronus brought a tear to his godfather's eye. "Sirius, Prongs and I solemnly swear we're up to no good, I refuse to tell you who Remus married but we know where the rat is hiding."

Those were the words that Sirius really wanted to hear, he would believe anything to get his hands on Peter. "Harry, I need a wand!"

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