End of Summer
A few days later saw father and son sitting at the kitchen, a few hours before dawn, trying to wake themselves up.
'Why are we up so early?'
Disgruntled, Sirius looked at the rumpled form of his son. 'Because you wanted to meet your friends as soon as possible, and you wanted to set up camp as well, because it would be "fun" in your words.' he said wryly. 'I do recall that you were quite insistent when you got Ron's letter. One would even call it "enthusiastic". Where's the passion now?'
Harry just gave Sirius a dirty look. 'Still in bed,' he deadpanned. 'I tried waking it up, but it wouldn't budge.' With a thump, Harry dropped his head on the table.
Sirius chuckled. Harry had started developing quite a sarcastic streak. He supposed he was to blame. After all, he had been teasing the boy whenever possible. Some would call it childish, but Sirius had a reason for doing it. It would help Harry develop a defence against irritating school rivals. Of course, at times the cheek would get to be a bit much, especially when the two of them were out on social functions. But a pointed glance, a mild tap or a whispered warning was enough to get the boy to back off before he made a complete embarrassment of himself.
Harry had properly woken up by the time they had picked up Neville. They had reached the campsite shortly after. Sirius was quite amused at the awe displayed when Harry found out about the interior furnishings. Mentally he made a note to take the boy out hunting or camping. He fondly recalled the many excursions James' father had taken them.
The Quidditch match was very exciting. Sirius was still happy at the fact that he had managed to take seats reserved for Barty Crouch. Making a big deal about Crouch abusing his privileges by getting a seat for his elf as well as himself was quite enough to get the uptight wizard to back down. As it is, his reputation had taken a major hit thanks to the scandal that surrounded Sirius Black's lack of trial. It won't be long before Crouch was out of a job. Maybe if Sirius was lucky, Crouch himself will end up in prison.
Although he was restrained, Sirius was sporting a huge grin on his face by the end of the match. The last time he had seen a professional match, he had been sixteen.
The events following the match hadn't been so good, however. Sirius, Harry and Neville had gone over to visit the Weasleys once the match was over. The kids were soon out, being exhausted from the events of the day. Sirius was having a chat with Arthur and his grown sons, Bill, Charlie and Percy (who Sirius didn't like much because of his near devotional worship of Bartemius Crouch) when they heard the screams.
The rest of the world might think that a bunch of drunken hooligans had managed to get their hands on Death Eater garb and had decided to play dress-up, but Sirius knew that it was Malfoy and his friends. Even when he was terrorising people, the blond still had a disturbingly feminine pose. Sirius had spent the days following Narcissa's marriage speculating if his older cousin was ever going to get some action. He would have to ask the elves if Draco Malfoy was really Lucius Malfoy's biological son.
The most interesting bit was Crouch and his elf. Sirius dearly wished that the Blacks had managed to get one of their elves in the Crouch household. Perhaps now that Crouch had fired his elf for being in the possession of Crouch's wand, which, incidentally, was found to have cast the Dark Mark, there could be an opening?
Not that he needed to try much. This was just more dirt to sully Crouch's already soiled reputation. At this rate, he would not even have to do anything but sit back and watch as Crouch self-destructed.
'You alright?' he asked Harry as they made their way back to the camp.
'Yeah, they didn't even manage to hit us. We ducked just in time.'
'Good.' The rest of their journey back to their tents was spent in silence. That is if one did not count Hermione's long winded rant about house-elf rights which soon enough devolved into an argument between both of Harry's best friends.
'Don't worry,' Harry said with a long suffering sigh upon noticing the way Sirius was looking at the two. 'They do this quite regularly.'
'Right,' Sirius said slowly. He knew that the Weasley boy was right, but he doubted that the Muggleborn witch was ever going to be convinced. She had the look about her face that suggested that she would not be convinced easily once she made her mind up. Sirius shrugged. One day she would have the truth shoved into her face.
The next day, Sirius took Harry, his two friends, Neville and the Tonks family to Black Island as planned. Ever since the incident with the locket, Sirius had reassigned some of the elves working on the French home to the island. He wanted Harry out of Grimmauld Place as soon as possible. Besides, the island was a nice place to be in. Located off the coast of Cornwall, it was an ideal spot to go holidaying to celebrate Harry being taken off the potions. Neville was invited along by Harry at a suggestion from Sirius. He knew of the history the Longbottoms and Potters shared, and wanted to foster that in the current generation. He had also met Frank and had liked the quiet older man. Ever since finding out about the Frank's fate, Sirius somehow felt responsible for what had happened to Neville's parents.
Having never seen a beach or the ocean before (the short time spent in that miserable hut on the rock did not count) Harry was quite excited. They stayed in a modest sized four bedroom cottage. With the ruins of Black castle in the background (which Sirius cleared for exploring as there hadn't been traces of malicious magic for centuries) the maze of secret passages dotting the island, and the beach itself, Harry felt like he was in one of those adventures he had read about in Muggle School.
Now if he only had a mongrel dog (Tonks fit the role of the tomboy – not that he would tell her that to her face) the experience would be more complete.