Getting a Godson
Harry was woken up rather rudely and suddenly by a loud noise that shook his bed and sent him toppling to the ground.
The black haired boy groaned softly. Dudley was at it again.
It had been two weeks since Harry had returned to Privet Drive, and thirteen days since Dudley's new diet plan had been implemented.
Vernon and Petunia Dursley may have been able to explain away the fat lump of lard's abysmal marks in school or the bullying he was reported for, but they could not deny the fact that their precious son was not "big boned" or had "puppy fat" but in fact, had roughly the same weight and dimensions of a baby killer whale.
Personally Harry thought that Dudley was heavier than a blue whale, but who was he to argue with a medical professional?
Despite Vernon and Petunia’s protestations, there was one undeniable, hard fact. Dudley's waistline exceeded, by a significant amount, the largest size of those hideous orange knickerbockers made by the school.
Along with that were the health concerns the nurse had expressed, saying that the boy was just a few steps away from having heart disease or diabetes.
Harry was personally rooting for the second option. The irony of Dudley being unable to have sweets for the rest of his life would be sweet indeed (pun intended).
Thanks to that, a diet plan had been set up. The plan banned all types of unhealthy foods, from crisps to cakes, and included only vegetables and fruits. Things that Vernon, a diehard meat eater, derisively called "rabbit food"
Needless to say, Dudley was decidedly not happy with it.
Slowly getting up from the floor, Harry had to admire his cousin's persistence, as he listened to the deep rumbling voice of his Uncle and the pleas of his Aunt’s mixed in with the shouting and banging of his fat cousin. Looking at the time, he groaned again. Dudley was right on schedule too.
Getting up, Harry stretched and then went to his wardrobe to throw on some clothes.
Time for some rabbit food, thought Harry in resignation. He hated to admit it, but his uncle did have a point. Leaves and such were meant for deer and rabbits. Things that were later turned into venison and ... well, rabbit.
Harry grumbled under his breath. His horsey aunt just had to make the rest of the household follow Dudley's diet as a show of solidarity. Idly he guessed that she really was a horse to be able to stomach such vile types of food.
Harry was really tempted to write to his friends asking for food as he really did not have any desire of surviving on wilted leaves or grapefruit (he shuddered at the reminder of the bitter taste). But he desisted. Sirius would be coming soon to pick him up, and then he would be rid of the Dursleys for good.
But as the days went by, he felt his resolve weakening. It had been ten days since Sirius had been exonerated. Just two days back, Harry had seen a news report stating that a grave mistake had been made and Sirius Black, who was once thought to be a traitor and a mass murderer, was actually a national hero who had been framed by enemy powers. The lady in the telly never did mention who those enemy powers were; stating national security and making oblique references to the SAS. But it was more than obvious to even the moronic Muggles who owned the electric equipment that Sirius was a national hero who had even been given a VC for his gallantry.
Yet Sirius had not come. His last letter had been sent to Harry the night he had returned to Number Four, and he had yet to reply to Harry's last letter asking him when he was going to come and rescue Harry. Additionally, Uncle Vernon had a rather nasty expression on his face ever since he had seen that news report. It was enough to make Harry very nervous.
'Now boy,' Vernon said as they finished the rather meagre breakfast that still had Harry feeling hungry. 'You've been lazing around enough. I think it is time to start earning your keep. I want you to start helping your aunt around the house.'
Harry turned a cool face to his uncle. 'Sure thing, Uncle Vernon, Just let me go upstairs to finish my latest letter to my godfather.'
The small grin that had broken out of Harry's face died when his uncle scoffed. 'Oh please, enough of that nonsense! You obviously are lying! As if a hero like that would be seen with the likes of you! I bet you didn't think that he would be exonerated, did you?
Harry tried to remain calm, but something in his face gave him away. 'Oho!' Uncle Vernon said with a victorious smile on his face. 'Well, well, well. Lying now, are we? That is quite a nasty habit. Those layabout wizards might not put much stock in that, but in this house, it will not be tolerated. When I come home from work, I'm going to have to make sure to correct such behaviour. You are going to wish you never lied to me boy! After I am done with you –'
But Uncle Vernon never got to finish his statement as he was interrupted by a loud shriek.
The source of the noise turned out to be an exceptionally large snowy owl. It was only his experience with the species that Harry knew that it was male.
The bird gracefully made its way to Harry, dropped a letter in front of him, wheeled around and flew back outside.
'OWLS!' yelled Uncle Vernon suddenly, the well-worn vein in his temple pulsing angrily as he slammed the kitchen window shut causing the other occupants in the room to jump. 'OWLS AGAIN! I WILL NOT HAVE ANY MORE OWLS IN MY HOUSE! AND THAT FLEABITTEN ONE OF YOURS WILL BE THE FIRST TO GO, BOY!'
Ignoring his uncle, Harry had opened his letter eagerly.
'What are you smiling about, boy?'
'Oh nothing!' Harry said in a very upbeat voice as the huge grin that was threatening to break out on his face on reading the letter became visible. 'It's a letter from my godfather!'
'What?' Before Uncle Vernon could complete his question, the letter was thrust into his hand.
Harry watched with an expression of glee as the man's ruddy face paled on reading this.
'So your godfather is coming here in a few hours, is he?' Uncle Vernon said in a would-be casual voice, turning white.
'Yes,' Harry said, enjoying the look of panic on the man's face. 'And his name is Sirius Black. The very same Sirius Black who was on the telly.'
After getting Lucius on board, it was only a short matter of time before the rest of the Dark Families were in line. Sirius had then visited some of the Light families as well. While the Blacks had quite a lot of dirt on the dark families, and could still keep them in line, the Light families were another matter. The Black information network was rather limited here, as many families like the Bones, the Longbottoms, the Potters and the Prewitts were happy to breed their own crop of house-elves privately, even though they weren't as intelligent as the Black house-elves. A small number of the Light Families had bought Black elves, and that used to be enough. Then Dumbledore came along.
The main reason why Albus Dumbledore was hated so much by the Blacks in particular was the fact that the man had done a lot of manoeuvring behind the scenes till he suddenly came out in the open as a powerhouse for the Light families. Suddenly the hold the Blacks had on the Light families started to wane, as the Light families started banding together under Dumbledore's banner.
Sirius was initially proud of and happy for Dumbledore, but now he found himself cursing the old man.
But still, Sirius wasn't completely helpless. It was easy to play on the sympathies of Augusta Longbottom, who was deeply connected to the Potters and had been charmed by a young Sirius Black. Having the Longbottoms on the side of the Black family was something that would have been impossible in the last generation. Others like the McDougal and the Bones families were brought in thanks to their strong sense of justice, even though they were either in Dumbledore's pocket or unfailingly neutral.
Once he was sure he had enough backing, the first thing Sirius did after claiming the family seat in the Wizengamot was strong-arm the Ministry into giving him an Order of Merlin, First class, no less.
Then, he demanded the unsealing of James and Lily Potter's will. Dumbledore tried to prevent it, but with a good majority of families on his side, Sirius won the round. The will was a simple document, containing two points. The first salient point was the fact that Sirius Black was not the secret keeper, but Peter Pettigrew. This naturally created a furore of hushed whispering and inhaled breaths. At a subtle cue from Sirius, one of the members demanded why the will had been sealed in the first place. To this Dumbledore gave his usual vague assurances that managed to pacify quite a number of the Light and Neutral families, though not many were happy about it.
Then came the next and final item, the issue of Harry's guardianship: Sirius was named as the primary guardian and the executor of the Potter estate. Dumbledore had raised the objection that his unfortunate incarceration in Azkaban did not make Sirius eligible as his mental state could be questionable. This was countered by a team of five Mind Healers being called in, each of whom testified that Sirius was actually quite sane.
But Dumbledore wasn't done yet. He made allegations that Harry was now happy with his guardians and so the boy's wishes should be respected. To this Sirius gave the memory of the night when Harry readily agreed to live with Sirius the minute the offer was made. To further this, the few letters where Harry mentioned looking forward to staying with Sirius were also shown for the Wizengamot's consideration. Reading the letters and watching the memories not only made it clear that the boy wanted nothing to do with the Muggles, but also put a bit of mud in Dumbledore's eye as he was caught out.
To further undermine Dumbledore, Sirius had also prearranged for a few of his "allies" to loudly air their concerns outside the Wizengamot Chambers about their concerns of the kind of relationship Harry Potter probably had with the Muggles if he was ready and willing to basically run off and live with the first person to offer him a home. Sirius knew that the media would eat that up.
And finally, the last part of the second half of the will was read where the parents never wished for Harry to go to Lily's Muggle sister (the word Muggle was stressed here). Sirius then made a speech about how it was a shame that the last member of a pureblood family that could trace its history back all the way to the founding of Hogwarts was being brought up in ignorance of his heritage and Wizarding Tradition.
Defeated, Dumbledore reluctantly asked for a vote. The decision was quite unanimous. Those who weren't in Sirius' pocket wanted to make things up to the poor heroic soul who did so much to ensure his godson was safe from harm. The less sappy ones did not want their national icon to be raised by a bunch of Muggles. They did not have anything against Muggles, per se, they just felt it ... better ... if the Boy Who Lived, and the Potter scion were to be raised in their culture.
Once it was established that Sirius would now get custody, he then visited the Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge. Getting the Minister into his pocket was disgustingly easy. Between being seen as a paragon of justice and righting the wrongs of the previous administration and the fame of being associated with both the Boy Who Lived and the infamous Sirius Black, offering even a Knut as a "donation" to charities was grossly redundant.
Sirius had then respectfully and politely requested that his name in the Muggle world be also cleared. After all, he reasoned, it would not do for him to get in trouble with the Muggle police when he goes to collect his godson.
Once the Muggle Prime Minister was squared off, and both Magical and Muggle media sources had run the story for a few days making sure that the public knew the truth (in the case of the Muggles, a watered down modified version of the truth), all Sirius had to do was collect his godson.
But first he needed to make a few preparations. That basically meant making an impression on the Muggles. Thanks to Andromeda (to whom the elation of being reinstated in the family was still fresh) he already had a few decent sets of robes. However, he was going to be venturing into the Muggle world. And wherever Sirius Black goes, an impression should be made.
He was a Black after all. Years in Azkaban and growing up had made him embrace his heritage. After all, the Blacks were the power. And he definitely wanted that.
So when Sirius rang the doorbell, he was attired in clothes that were made of the best materials Twilfit and Tattings had to offer.
The door opened to reveal a horse-faced woman with a long neck that from Lily's descriptions could only be Petunia Dursley.
'Petunia Dursley, I presume?' he said. He had never met the woman. Lily had decided not to expose her then fiancé and his mates to her sister. And Sirius could see why. Just looking at the woman caused a strong sense of dislike to well up within him. He could feel the open judgement in her eyes. What was most annoying (and simultaneously satisfying) was the look on her face as she saw his acromantula silk shirt done up with platinum buttons inset with diamonds. She had the sour look of a schoolgirl who just found out that the kid she was trying to impress with her new dress was better clad than her.
The self-satisfied smirk on Sirius' face morphed into a genuine smile as his godson practically ran into him, just stopping short at the last moment. Not knowing what to make of the uncertain look on the boy's face, he reached out and ruffled Harry's hair.
'Hey, sport,' he said. 'I know I said I would be here half an hour earlier, but I had a few problems finding my way here.' He smiled apologetically, 'That and getting used to my new set of wheels.' He added as he jerked his thumb behind him.
Harry looked over his godfather's shoulder and saw a brand new gleaming Lamborghini Diablo. Sirius was quite proud of his purchase. When he and James had turned eighteen, the trend among young wizards of their age was to get a driving licence. And the two friends weren't exceptions, despite their wizarding upbringing.
At first Sirius wanted to get another Enfield (seeing that Hagrid did not have the manners to give him back his old one). Then he saw this beauty. A flash of his Coutts World Signia Charge Card, and he was driving off with a yellow coloured specimen of the magnificent car (despite never having driven a car like this before). At the earliest opportunity, he put in a Supersensory Charm and a Caterwauling Charm to make the handling easier and theft impossible. With that done, he sped off to Harry's house, yowling like a madman.
Harry spent a moment goggling at the gleaming car before focussing back on his godfather. 'Yeah, trunk's right there.' He pointed to the foot of the stairs. Sirius looked on in amusement as the boy all but skipped over to his luggage and began dragging it.
'Harry, hang on a moment.'
The teenager gave Sirius a look that was questioning and wary.
The Dursleys gasped, shaken out of their trance on seeing the gleaming car as one of the filthiest house-elves Harry had ever seen appeared in front of him. 'Master calls?' the elf said in a voice that sounded like a bullfrog. Except for the filthy rag tied like a loincloth around its middle, it was completely naked. It looked very old. Its skin seemed to be several times too big for it and though it was bald like all house-elves, there was a quantity of white hair growing out of its large, bat-like ears. Its eyes were a bloodshot and watery grey, and its fleshy nose was large and rather snout-like.
Sirius looked at the elf with a grimace. It was unfortunate that he had to use the creature, but with the other Black family elves occupied with renovating the large property in France, and as well as their island home, he had no other choice. It was a pity that the Potter family elves had all perished.
He was thankful that he had already ordered the elf to stop muttering foul imprecations about him and Harry under its breath. The elf looked like he dearly wanted to do something like that. However, it was forced to satisfy itself by insulting the Muggles under its breath when Petunia's shrieking drew its attention. Sirius decided to give the elf that one luxury. After all, the look on the fat, lightly perspiring, and over-dressed Muggle's face was quite entertaining.
Sneering at the elf, Sirius told him to take Harry's trunk and place it gently in the room he had picked for his godson.
'Where's your owl?'
Harry had a worried look on his face. 'She flew off with that big Snowy Owl that you sent.'
Sirius chuckled. 'Really, wow! At least our owls are getting along fine.'
'Oh,' Harry relaxed. 'That's yours?'
'Oh yes, bought him yesterday. He doesn't have a name yet, I couldn't find one, so that job's yours. Right, now why don't you go and sit inside the car? I need to have a few words with your relatives.' He sneered at the Muggles at this.
Harry caught the keys and slowly walked to the car, wondering what his godfather wanted from his aunt and uncle. He was quite startled to see such a Malfoy-esque expression on Sirius' face.
As soon as godson left, Sirius' expression morphed into a cool haughty look perfected in his teenage years as he regarded the Dursleys. It was like riding a bike.
'Now ... there is some business you and I have to discuss...' Sirius did not know it, but with his haggard and wasted face, he looked downright menacing as he loomed over the Dursleys.
Standing outside, Harry wondered what it was that his godfather had to say to his relatives. He had to admit to being nervous. For one, he hoped that his treatment at their hands never came to light. Secondly, he hoped that his aunt and uncle did not behave rudely towards Sirius. The crass way in which they had behaved with Harry's friends whenever they had (briefly) met was quite embarrassing.
After what felt like a very long time, the front door opened with a bang and a furious Sirius Black stalked out of the house, pocketing a sheaf of documents. At that moment, Harry noticed the neighbours who were definitely not spying from behind their curtained windows.
'Is everything alright?' Harry asked his godfather when Sirius neared the car.
'Fine,' Sirius said throwing a filthy look at the house. While his Legilimency skills were lacking, and would not be able to penetrate the mind of a five year old wizard, they were more than enough to rifle through the mind of a Muggle. What he had seen in the Dursleys' heads was something he wished he could forget. The way they had treated Harry ... he now had another reason to hate Dumbledore. Taking a deep breath he said civilly. 'Well, get in.'
After some struggling with the unusual doors, Harry was seated in the passenger seat. He had never been in something so exciting before, but he had seen them and had heard stories. The first thing he noticed as he buckled up was the smell of leather. The second thing that assaulted his senses was the sound of the engine thrumming as Sirius turned the key.
'Ready?' asked Sirius. Without waiting for an answer, he took off.
With a thump, Harry landed on the bed of his new room. The ride to London had been quite fun, despite Sirius nearly killing the two of them and other motorists on many occasions. According to his godfather, the car was quite the beast and the turning was especially tricky.
Harry privately thought that it was Sirius' skills and not the car that was to blame. Not that he was complaining. The ride was quite fun in his opinion!
Their trip to the house was interrupted by Sirius' impromptu shopping spree. Disgusted by the rags Harry was wearing, the former prisoner had decided to get his godson some new clothes.
While Harry was more than happy at getting clothes of his own that fit, he found that he really did not like the concept of getting a whole new wardrobe. As it stood, he barely remembered the day, except for the first five minutes where Sirius had gently but firmly dismissed his stammered protestations that he did not need new clothes, and the time where they had eaten at a fast food restaurant, where for the first time Harry got to eat as much fatty, greasy food as he wanted. Additionally, now that he thought about it, another memorable moment was where Sirius saved him from dying of embarrassment by letting him pick out his own underwear.
Sirius was pretty cool, Harry thought as he drifted off.