Chapter 20 – The Sorting Hats Apprentice
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended. Extreme Makeover: Home Addition is the property of the American Broadcasting Corporation. No copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Summary: What is 'The power he knows not' and how did Harry get it? How did Harry survive the killing curse and what does Sirius Black have to do with it? Who is the voice Harry is hearing in his head?
Chapter 20 – The Sorting Hats Apprentice
A/N – Most of the following is from book 1
The Welcoming Feast
As they neared the cliffs on which the castle stood, Hagrid yelled "Heads Down!" The boats made their way through a vine-covered entrance underneath the castle proper. As the boats docked, the excited first years got out and waited for Hagrid to led them up a long set of stairs to a large oak door. Lifting his massive hand, Hagrid knocked three times.
The door opened to reveal a tall, stern looking witch in an emerald-green rode.
"The first years Professor McGonagall." Hagrid said.
"Thank you Hagrid, I'll take it from here."
Professor McGonagall then opened the door up the rest of the way and invited the children into the entrance hall. They followed her across the floor, and up a series of steps. They could hear the other students from the train ride already there in the castle somewhere.
Professor McGonagall ushered them into a small room just off the main hall and stopped. Turning around addressed the new arrivals. "Welcome to Hogwarts. The Welcoming feast will begin soon, but before it begins, you must be sorted into your respective houses."
"The four houses are Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. Each of these houses has a rich and noble history and all have produced both the famous, and the infamous over these long years. While you are here, your house will be like your family."
"Your accomplishments will earn you points, while your rule breaking will result in points being taken away from your house. At the end of the year, the house with the most point's wins the House Cup so please do what ever you can to bring honor to your house. Now wait here quietly. I will be back in a few moments to come and get you for the sorting."
With that, Professor McGonagall left the room for a few moments. During that period of time, several of the ghosts from Hogwarts came by to introduce themselves to the new students. They were warned about the Poltergeist, Peeves. "Watch out for him! He likes to pick on first years!" one of the ghosts said.
Professor McGonagall came back into the room caring a shiny, new pointed hat and a stool. "Come along now, form a straight line. Look sharp, and follow me!" she said.
As the doors opened, Harry and the other first years could see the Great Hall for the first time. All of the other students were sitting around four long tables. At the head of the hall, on an elevated stage, was a table with the instructors, Headmaster and guests were sitting.
"What's my aunt doing here?" Susan asked. "She didn't say anything about being here tonight! I hope everything is alright!"
"I guess we'll have to wait and find out after the dinner." Harry said.
"Look at that ceiling!" Ron said. "It looks just like the sky out side!"
"It bewitched. I read about it in 'Hogwarts, A History'." Said Hermione.
Professor McGonagall stopped the students at the head of the hall, then went up a little further, and sat the stool down, and placed the hat on top of it.
After a few moments, a rip near the brim opened wide like a mouth, and the hat began to sing:
(Insert your favorite song that covers the traits of each house, the fact that the sorting hat has seen it all, and knows where everyone will be sorted, and that there is a darkness gathering around the land, the students need to work together to over come the evil. You may also want to include that one of the Heir's has returned and that Hogwarts has been returned to her earlier glory.)
When the sorting hat had finished, the entire hall erupted into applause.
Professor McGonagall came forward again and addressed the first years: "As I call your name, you will come up here and have the sorting hat placed on your head, and it will determine which house will be best for you.
A pink-faced girl came up tentatively and sat on the stool. The hat was placed on her head, and after a few moments, the hat shouted: "HUFFLEPUFF!"
Susan stepped up to the stool and sat down. Professor McGonagall placed the Sorting hat on her head. After a few moments, it announced its decision: "HUFFLEPUFF!"
As Susan went to her new house, she turned around and waved at her aunt. For her part, Madame Bones nodded her head, and smiled at her niece.
The sorting when on like this for several more minutes with some of the new students being placed in the different houses. One of Harry's other friend, Hermione had been sorted into Gryffindor, while Neville was sorted in to Hufflepuff with Susan and Mr. Malfoy and his 'friends' had all gone to Slytherin.
Professor McGonagall looked down at her parchment and gave herself a brief smile. "Potter, Harry!" She called out.
The students in the hall broke out into whispers 'Did she say Potter', 'I thought he was dead'. 'Where has he been all these years?'
Harry ignored the noise and confidently stepped up to the stool.
As the sorting hat was placed over his head, Harry felt someone, or something start to probe his mind. In an instinct, he brought his Occlumency shields up to full strength, and activated all of his mental defenses. To the students looking at the sorting, all they saw a bright flash of light when the hat was placed on Harry Potter's head. When the flash cleared, a transparent shield had formed around Harry, the sorting hat and the stool. Even Professor McGonagall was pushed back as the shield came up.
Inside the shield, Harry was sitting – ready to fight whatever intruder had taken over the sorting hat.
In his mind, Harry heard something completely unexpected. 'Ma' was laughing… hard.
'Ma', just what's so funny?' Harry asked.
It took a few moments for 'Ma' to get control of herself.
'I guess we never told you just how a person is sorted into the different houses did we Harry?' 'Ma' said.
'Well, no. I just observed the other students putting the hat on their head, and then the hat announcing what house the student would go to.'
'Well, dear, the sorting hat looks through your mind and into your heart to determine which house will be most suited for you. You may be the only student in a thousand years that just shut out the sorting hat!' 'Ma' started laughing again, thinking that what Harry had just done was funny.
Slowly Harry brought down his Occlumency shields and 'mentally' took a look around.
'Ah… Hello there… Is anyone still around?' Harry asked tentatively.
Harry heard a little chuckling a few feet in front of him. Focusing his attention to where the noise was coming from, Harry saw a tall, well-built cheerful man leaning up against a wall.
'Well young Lord-Baron Potter-Ravenclaw, I am beginning to see why you are causing the Headmaster such grief and heartache. I have never seen a 'first year' such a magnificent magical core. I must admit, I have never had a first year who could occlude me from their mind, but you have done a fine job of building your shields.'
'But we seem to have a little bit of a problem here. You already know all the course work for all seven year and beyond; you possess in full measure, traits of all four houses, you are a child of prophecy, and a Paladin in training. Quite a load for one so … 'young'.'
'My name is Sir Robert Toppum.' The man said with a bow. 'I am the essences of the sorting hat. I was created a thousand years ago when Godric Gryffindor came up with a way to divide the incoming children in to the different houses. Each of the founders endowed me with enough of their personality and power to be able to judge which child would do best in which house.'
'Over the years, I became more knowledgeable and self-aware to where I developed my own personality.'
'Now the biggest problem I see right now is what House doI sort you into – since that is my main responsibility. Just based on your magical birthright, you are most suited for Ravenclaw. However, you do possess a large piece of Lord Slytherin's heir's core attached to your own. I also sense that your core has been effected decedents of Godric and Helga. I seem to feel Lily Evens close by… How is that possible?'
'Sir, please call me Harry. I will attempt to answer your questions as best as I can, but perhaps it would be better to introduce you to a few people who could probable answer the questions better then I.' Harry suggested.
Leading Sir Toppum to 'Potter in the Mind' where 'Ma' and Durendal were currently waiting.
'Sir Robert Toppum, may I introduce you to 'Ma' – the essences of my Mother, Lily Evens Potter, and Durendal – the essences of the great sword of power of which I am the current custodian.'
Sir Toppum bowed deeply to both 'Ma', and Durendal, who curtsied, and bowed (respectfully) back to Sir Toppum.
'Lady Evan-Potter, I remember you well. Such an eager young mind so willing to learn. I almost put you in Ravenclaw. If not for your adventures spirit, I would have placed you there instead of Gryffindor.'
Turning to Durendal, Sir Toppum bowed again, lower. My old master Lord Gryffindor heard much of the great sword of power Durendal of Roland. You inspired him to craft the sword of Gryffindor, but nothing could match the power and majesty of the great sword of Roland. My Lord cried many days when he heard of your master's demise, and lamented the loss of such a fine weapon in the fight for truth and justice. I am glad to see that there is again someone worthy to hold the sword Durendal of Roland.'
'You honor me Sir Toppum, but please remember, I am now Durendal of Potter, for he has truly passed through many trials to have the right to claim me his. I perceive that there are still many items that need to be talked about regarding where young master Harry is to be trained while he his here at Hogwarts. Might I suggest that we all retire to 'Potter in the Mind', where for every hour that passes there, but two minutes pass in the 'outside' world?'
'What a splendid idea!' Sir Toppum replied. As they head up the path to 'Potter in the Mind', Sir Toppum turns back to Harry and says: 'Thank you young Lord Potter for rejuvenating my hat. I haven't felt this young in several centuries.'
'It was my pleasure Sir Toppum, it was my pleasure.'
Meanwhile back in the main hall
It had been several minutes since Harry Potter had sat on the stool and placed the sorting hat on his head. By this time the Headmaster, along with the other heads of house, and the Ministry officials had all gathered around the stool and the shield that surrounded it.
"Well Filius, what can you say about this shield?" The Headmaster asked.
"It is a most peculiar shield. It seems to be a privacy shield, as well as a blocking shield to prevent outside influences, be they physical, mental, or magical from penetrating this area. Most unique, but where did the shield come from? It seemed to flair into existence as the sorting hat was placed on Mr. Potter's head, and shows no sign of going away anytime soon."
"Is Lord Potter still alive in there? He doesn't seem to be moving and his eyes are closed." Asked Madame Bones.
"As near as I can tell, Mr. Potter is just in a trance of some sort. I am sure everything will be well enough when this is over." The Headmaster stated.
"Yes Headmaster, but how long will it go on for?" Asked a slightly panicking Professor McGonagall. She hadn't been able to move since the shield came into existence. It was mainly out of fear. That was her 'ward' under that shield.
"I'm sure it won't be much longer Minerva." The old Headmaster answered with a twinkle in his eye.
"Huh!" Professor Snape said, making sure the rest of the quiet hall could hear him. "This is nothing more then a stunt to draw attention to himself. I don't know who is worse about it … His worthless dead father James, or those pathetic Weasley twins."
Gryffindor table drew tense at the head of Slytherin house's comment regarding some of their past and current members.
"I would be very careful how you address yourself on that issue Severus, you may find yourself having to answer for them one day." Professor McGonagall stated coldly.
"Oh please Minerva! Just what do you think is going to happen? Do you think young Mr. Potter here is going to curse me for calling him on his little stunt here? Or that these Weasley's are smart enough or well trained enough to challenge me to a dual? Let me tell you, I would look forward to something like that." Severus said with a sneer on his face.
"Now Professor Snape, you know it is very improper to issue a challenge to students during the school year. It is greatly frowned upon." Said Professor Dumbledore.
"Not to mention that it borders on baiting a minor into an illegal dual." Said Madame Bones, adjusting her monocle as she looked sternly at Professor Snape.
Meanwhile over at the Gryffindor table, Fred and George Weasley were so red it looked as if they could light a piece of parchment on fire if it touched their skin.
At the same time, they were entertaining different pranks and methods of retribution they could inflect on their potions teacher this year as only twins could do.
Still in the line, waiting to be sorted was their little brother Ron. They could tell that he too wanted some retribution on the potions teacher. They were actually quite surprised that Ron had held his tongue so far. He had always been the 'short fuse' in the family. They were just glad he wasn't making a show.
While the bickering and backbiting continued, few noticed when the shield around Harry and the stool came down. That all changed when the Sorting Hat opened its brim again to speak, after clearing its 'throat'.
"For the first time in a thousand years I have found a candidate that would be perfectly matched for all four houses." The sorting hat began. Everyone quickly quieted down and listened intently to what the sorting hat had to say.
"After taking all items and issues into account, I – the Sorting Hat – as you call me – but also know as Sir Robert Toppum by the founders, invoke the Rights of the Founders, and select Harry James Potter as my apprentice for the next seven school years."
"I accept." Harry said, and with that, a magical bond was formed between the hat and Harry.
The hall was completely silent for several seconds while the magnitude of the statement sunk in to everyone, then, as if on queue, everyone seemed to start talking all at once.
Professor Snape was swearing and complaining to the Headmaster that Harry must have bewitched the sorting hat to come up with such a ridicules statement.
Madame Bones had to pick up her monocle when it fell out of her eye when she opened it up as wide as she could.
The students were talking to each other wondering just what being an apprentice meant.
Finally Professor Dumbledore brought silence to the room as he raised his wand and shooting a cannon-blast into the air.
"SILENCE!" The Headmaster yells. "We will finish this discussion in my office after the Welcoming feast. For now, let us finish with the sorting.
To everyone's surprise, it was the sorting hat that spoke next, "Thank you Headmaster. For the first two years, Mr. Potter will attend his classes as a part of the House of Gryffindor. After that, the next two years will be with the House of Hufflepuff. Then two years as a member of the House of Ravenclaw. And finally, his last year will be spent in the House of Slytherin."
"HE MOST CERTAINLY WILL NOT!" Exploded a livid Professor Snape.
"He most certainly will, Professor Snape!" The sorting hat retorts. "But that will not be your concern for at least the next six years. Now if you will remove me from Mr. Potter's head, we will finish the sorting. Mr. Potter, if you will please join your house mates at the Gryffindor table."
Harry did as he was told, and was immediately welcomed by the other students, especially Hermione.
"Well, at least we'll have you for a few years." Hermione said.
Few people were paying attention to what was going on with the rest of the sorting, so Harry was a little surprised when Ron came and sat down next to him.
"Boy mate, you sure know how to liven up a party." Ron said.
That got everyone laughing.
By now, the sorting was finished, and Professor Dumbledore was standing back up trying to get every ones attention.
Professor McGonagall tapped her leaded crystal glass to get the students attentions.
Everyone looked up as Professor Dumbledore beamed at the students.
"Welcome!" he said. "Welcome to a new year at Hogwarts! Before we begin the banquet, I would like to say a few words, and here they are Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!"
As Professor Dumbledore sat down, the student clapped and cheered wildly. Just then, the serving platters on the tables filled with the grandest feast Harry had ever seen.
As Harry started filling up their plates, he was hearing Ron mutter something under his breath.
"What was that Ron?" Harry asked.
Ron jerked his head up and stopped talking when Harry talked to him. "Oh," he blushed, "I was just thinking how badly I want to get that stupid Professor Snape!" he said through gritted teeth.
"Why? What happened? What did I miss?"
"Well, in case you didn't know, there was some type of shield that went around you and the stool as soon as the sorting hat was put on your head." It was Hermione explaining the situation. "By the why, what did happen up there Harry?"
"Later Hermione, I want to hear why it seems all the Weasley's are so upset."
"Okay, well, when that shield went around you, all of the guests, the heads of house and the Headmaster came down to see if you were alright. Then one of the professors, Professor Snape, according to some of the other students, said that you were just doing that to get attention just like your…" Hermione blushed, and lowered her head.
"My what Hermione?" Harry asked.
"Like your …'worthless dead father James, or those pathetic Weasley twins'." It was Ron who finished the sentence.
Harry looked at Ron and then the Weasley' s twins and met their shade of red color for color.
"Ron," then Harry looked at the twins, "Ron's brothers…"
"Fred." The first one said.
"George." Said the other one.
Harry nodded a response. "Don't do ANYTHING to that man until after we talk. I want to make sure the punishment fits the crime." There was a very cold edge in Harry's voice. It was so cold the twin's couldn't help put an equally cold grin on their faces as well.
"I have read in some of my parent's journals that there use to be a group called 'The Marauders' that would pull pranks here at back in the seventy's, and one of their favorite targets seemed to be one Severus Snape."
"The Marauders!" Fred almost shouted.
"They're our idols!" continued George.
"It's always been"
"Our goal to perform"
"A prank worth"
"Of being compared"
"To them!" they finished off together.
"Well then it's a good thing that I have all of their working journals isn't it?"
Fred and George had a look of shock on their face. They looked at each other, then back to Harry, then back to each other. Finally, they stood up, stepped over the bench, kneeled down in front of Harry and started bowing and saying: "We're not worthy! We're not worthy! We're not worthy!"
The people at the Gryffindor table were laughing at the antics of the Weasley twins. The rest of the hall couldn't makeup their minds what was going on, and just ignored it.
"Oh, stop it you two. This has to be done professionally, when the victim least expects it. Being from Gryffindor, Professor Snape will be expecting you to attack as soon as the meal is over. He will be confused when the attack doesn't come. More then likely, he will think you are afraid to attack, and will probable bait you even more during the coming weeks. It is very important that you DO NOT take any action against him. I know it will be hard, but just think of this way; with every act of aggression and humiliation, the prank just gets bigger and bigger, and bigger."
"I like the way you think Harry."
"It may not be very 'Gryffindor'."
"But it will get results!"
"Stop it you two! Do you always finish off each others sentences?"
"Yes!" They both said.
"Harry you can't be serious!" Hermione said. "Attaching a teacher could get you and the twins expelled!"
"We won't be attaching a teacher Hermione. We are showing a bully that they can't walk all over people by hiding behind their position. It also seems that Professor Snape needs to get over whatever issues he had with my father, and not transfer them to me. To my knowledge, this is the first time I have met the man, and yet he has a deep-seated hatred for me. Can you explain why Hermione?"
"Well, no, but maybe you should try to find out what the problem is before you plan your retaliation."
Harry thought about that for a few moments. It would probable be better to try to understand the man a little before he used him to wipe the hallway with him.
"Okay Hermione, I'll try to see why he has such a hatred for me. If it can't be resolved, or if he will not reform his actions, the pranks are on!"
"Oh, Harry, you can't!"
"Hermione! This doesn't concern you! Just drop it for now! You don't have to be involved, and you won't have to know anything about it." Harry said coldly.
Hermione looked a little hurt, but just sat in her chair and played with the food on her plate.
"I'm sorry Hermione, I promise, no one will get hurt, and I will try to find a 'peaceful' solution to the problem before anything is done."
Hermione smiled sadly, and went back to playing with her food.
Harry looked back at the head table to get a better look at the professors. Professor's McGonagall and Flitwick he already knew. Professor Dumbledore was easy to spot. Further down the table was a skinny little grease ball with a hooked nose sitting next to a strange man with a tunic on top of his head. 'That must be Professor Snape' Harry thought. Just then, the little grease ball looked up from his plate and stared right at Harry. Almost immediately, a sharp pain shot across Harry's scar. At the same time, Harry felt the 'Tom Riddle' part of his core start to awake and try to get out from the shield that held it.
'Harry! Look away! Bring your Occlumency shields up to full strength! You can't afford Riddle's core getting any stronger and breaking out of its shield!' 'Ma' was as nervous as Harry had every heard her.
Harry quickly did as his 'Ma' asked him to do. He dropped his head down, closing his eyes, and concentrated on keeping his shields up, and getting the 'Riddle's' core fragment under control. For Harry, the rest of the room just disappeared, and he was all alone in his own world. He concentrated on strengthening the shield around the contaminated part of his core, and keeping everyone out of his mind.
Several seconds or several days could have passed as far as Harry knew before he was brought out of is concentration by Hermione shaking his arm.
"Harry? Harry! Are you all right? The feast is about over and you haven't finished your desert."
"Thanks Hermione, I'm just not very hungry anymore."
Harry checked his shields one more time before he became fully aware of the activity in the Great Hall.
Finally, the feast ended and Professor Dumbledore stood back up to address the students.
"Now that we are fed and ready to retire, there are a few beginning-of-terms announcements that need to be made."
"The Forbidden Forest is exactly as it says, forbidden to all students. There are many dangers in the forest that can be most unpleasant if you happen across them. Also, Mr. Finch has asked me to remind you that all magic is forbidden in the hallways. In addition, a list enumerating all forbidden item is attached to Mr. Finch's office door."
"Quidditch trial outs will be next week. Contact Madame Hooch or your Head of House to sign-up."
"One other matter to bring up – The third-floor corridor on the right-hand side is out of bounds to everyone who does not wish to die a very painful death."
"With that out of the way, could we please have the prefects show the new students to their respective common rooms – with the exception of Mr. Harry Potter, Mr. Ron Weasley, Miss Hermione Granger, and Miss Susan Bones. They will please come to the front table. Thank you and good night!"
"Why are we being called up here Harry? I know you have a meeting with the Headmaster after what the sorting hat said, but why us?" Ron asked.
"Maybe he heard you plotting against Professor Snape and wants to put a stop to it before it can get started." Hermione answers.
"Then tell me 'O wise one', why is Susan being included?" Ron asks.
"Oh… I don't know. Harry why are we being call up to the head table?"
"Each of you were present when Ron tried to turn his pet rat yellow remember?"
"Ya, so?" Ron asked.
"I noticed something when you did that and I think it is very important to show the others. You'll see what I mean in just a few minutes."
Harry was getting very nervous at this point. If what he thought was correct, a great injustice would be corrected tonight and he would have his 'official' godfather back. He had to act as normally as possible. If 'Scabbers' became aware of what he was really trying to do, he might try to escape, and if he told the other children, they might think he WAS crazy, or as Professor Snape put it, an attention seeking, arrogant child.
As the children approached the head table, Susan ran over to meet her Aunt. The rest of the children just waited to see where the Headmaster would take them.
"Are we all here now? Good! Let's go up to my office to take care of a few items of business Mr. Potter has asked to show us."
The Headmaster turned and started to lead the rest of them to his office. Out of the corner of his eye, he notices that Professor Snape is also moving with them up to the office.
"Professor Snape? Since none of these students are in your house, I do not believe your presents will be required tonight. Why don't you make sure all of the new students are situated in their new accommodations?"
"I am sure the Prefect's are capable have performing their duties Headmaster. I wish to see what item this pompous, arrogant, spoiled child could possible have that would require the attention of the Headmaster, and the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement."
Professor McGonagall stopped in her tracks, pulled out her wand, and stuck it HARD into the chest of Professor Snape.
"Careful Minerva," Snape said coldly, "One might get the opinion you wished to dual me?" He raised one eyebrow as if to prove some point.
"You will hold a civil tongue in your head when addressing a student. You may be a professor, but that does not give you license berate or belittle them."
Harry gave Hermione a quick look. Hermione for her part just looked down at the floor.
"If you give in to each of their little flights of fancy, you will just be diluting yourself and them as to how the real world works. I think you should nip these excursions in the bud as quickly as possible, and remind these 'children' that life is hard, and they don't always get what they want just by asking for it."
"That will be enough Severus." The Headmaster said, "Goodnight."
Professor Snape knew a dismissal when he heard one. Glaring at the Headmaster, and then at Harry, he turned, as only he could, and walked away from the group looking every bit the part of a large bat.
"My apologies young students, I will talk to Professor Snape to see that this does not happen again." The Headmaster said.
As they reached the Gargoyles that stood outside the Headmasters office, Professor Dumbledore gave the password, and they all went up into the office.
As they entered the room, the students were surprised to see still other people in the room.
Fawkes lifted his head from underneath his wing and looked at the group of people coming into the room. On seeing Harry he started to sing, and flying around the room. He came and lit on Harry's shoulder, and rubbed his head against Harry's.
'Welcome young fledgling. I sense a kindred spirit in you. I look forward to talking and training you.'
"Mr. Potter, I see you have already met Fawkes, though I am quite surprised. I have never known him to go and greet any other person then myself."
"I believe you asked for some additional people to attend this meeting? For the benefit of the other students, may I introduce Remus Lupin, retired auror Alastor Moody, and Wizengamot Elder Tiberius Ogden. Now, what exactly did you want to show us?"
"First, thank you for calling this meeting headmaster, I do know it is a little out of the ordinary, but I believe when you see what I have to show you, you will admit, it is quite important. Second, could I have one of the house elves go and get Ron's pet rat? It should be in a cage by his school supplies."
"Mr. Weasley do you wish your pet to be brought here?"
"Ya I guess, I mean, it's not a very good rat, and it's not a very good trick." Ron said.
Calling Duncan, Professor Dumbledore had him go and get the cage that had the old gray rat. Scabbers was still sleeping in his cage, and didn't even bother to move.
"Thank you," Harry said. "These students were in the rail car compartment when Ron first tried this spell that he had received from his brothers. Ron if you please?"
Being somewhat embarrassed, Ron took the old rat out of its cage and tried the spell again – with the same results.
"Thank you Ron, now could you please put Scabbers back into the cage, I don't want anything bad to happen to him." Harry's heart was racing a hundred miles a minute, but he had to stay calm on the outside.
"Mr. Lupin, according to my parents journals you had some friends here at Hogwarts that did something very spectacular so that they could be with you on certain evenings. Could you please tell us what that was?"
Remus looked at Harry with a questioning look on his face.
"My three closest friends discovered that I suffer from Lycanthrope."
Hermione gasped, Susan and Ron just shook their heads. They had heard about Remus from their families.
So to help me during those times of a full moon, they became illegal Animagus. James Potter, your father, was a stag, Sirius Black was a large black dog and Peter Pettigrew was a …" Remus paused. He looked at the cage, his eyes grew cold as steel and he grit his teeth as he said: "Rat!"
The light of understanding come on for the Headmaster as he now understood what Harry was leading up to. But like a good Ravenclaw, he was building a case one layer at a time. Professor Dumbledore remembered 'Mad-eye' Moody telling him that there where signs of a rat animagus at the Potters ten years ago on the night of the attack. He heard 'Mad-eye' give a little chuckle as he too realized what Harry was doing. 'Mad-eye' now had his wand out, trained on the Rat in the cage.
"Auror Moody, it is my understanding that you were the lead investigator that went to Godric's Hollow after Voldemort's (Several people jumped at the mention of the name) attack on my family. Would you be so kind as to repeat your findings?"
"Gladly young man."
"When I arrived at Godric's Hollow, the house was barely standing. On the first floor, you could tell that your ol' man put up quite a fight. There were only two other magical signatures in that room. One, a weak stunning spell that was shot to the back of James, by someone who could change himself into a Rat, and then the 'AK' that killed you Dad." During the entire time, 'Mad-eye's 'eye', never left the cage and the rat inside.
"Thank you sir. Madame Bones? Have you been privy to a set of memories in an auror style pensive showing the selection of the Potter's secret keeper, and the attack on Godric's Hollow?"
"Yes I have."
"In your opinion, based on what you have seen, was Sirius Black the secret keeper for the Potters?"
"No he was not."
"Who was the secret keeper?"
Professor Sprout, who had come up with Susan, Professor McGonagall, and Remus Lupin all found a chair to sit down in. Remus didn't know if he could take it much longer. For the last ten years he had thought that his best friend had betrayed James and Lily, and now all of that was about to change – hopefully for the better.
"Madame Bones, was Sirius Black given a trial before being placed in Azkaban?"
"No, He was not." She said lowering her head.
"Why not?" Harry asked.
"It seemed at the time that he was beyond guilty. He was found at the scene of the Pettigrew attack, laughing madly, saying something like 'He pranked us all'. Several of the witnesses stated that it was Peter who asked Sirius why he had betrayed your family. The courts were backed up with other cases, and so he was sent directly to Azkaban."
"Was Peter Pettigrew's body every found?"
"No. Just a small part of his left ring finger."
"Was Sirius' wand ever tested to see what spell he had cast?"
"… No, it wasn't."
"Getting back to the body part that was found as the remains of Peter Pettigrew. If a person has a body part missing, is that carried over into their animagus form?"
"To the best of my knowledge, yes."
"Madame Bones, would you please be so kind as to check the left paw of this rat."
"It seems to be missing one of its digits."
"Madame Bones? If you have known that my godfather innocent, why couldn't you have him released?"
"This was a matter for the Wizengamot to pursue. But without the body of Peter Pettigrew, it would have been impossible to have his sentence reversed."
Harry lost it. "SENTENCE! WHAT SENTENCE! THERE WAS NO TRIAL SO THERE COULD BE NO SENTENCE!" His magic flared, and anything not nailed down started to shake.
'Careful Harry! You've come so close don't make a mistake now!' 'Ma' encouraged.
Closing his eyes, and taking several calming breathes, Harry centered himself, and drew his magic back into his core. Those who had not seen what Harry was capable of were shocked at the display of raw magical power.
"I apologies, I let myself get carried away."
"Madame Bones, Lord Ogden, if you had the body of Peter Pettigrew, how long do you think it would take you to be able to have Sirius Black released?
"Well," began Tiberius Ogden, "As soon as Madame Bones is satisfied that the person is truly Peter Pettigrew, and writes an affidavit to that effect, and then a separate writ calling for the release of Mr. Black, and that writ is signed by the head of the Wizengamot – that would be you Albus, and witnessed by another member of the Wizengamot – I guess that would be me, then I say he could be released almost immediately."
"Headmaster, could you please expand this cage to accommodate the size of a man, and ward it, so that if, this rat is indeed an animagus, that he can not revert back to his form?
"Yes, Harry." Professor Dumbledore said meekly. Harry looked up at him with fire in his eyes. He hadn't done anything to earn the right to call him by his first name. But he let it go. Harry was too close to getting his godfather back.
"Thank you Headmaster. Auror Moody, would you please cast the animagus reveal spell at Scabbers?"
"With pleasure." 'Mad-eye' Moody steps forward and cast the 'animagus revelo' spell on Scabbers. Immediately where once a gray, worn rat had been, laid a short, round, worn 'rat' looking man.
Being transfigured from his animagus state to his human state woke the little man up. Upon seeing where he was, he first tried to change back into a rat and escape his cage. When he found he could not change back, he reached into his old molding coat and pulled out two wands, but he was too slow to use them."
"STUPEFY! PETRIFICUS TOTALUS! INCARCEROUS!" The Headmaster had proven just how fast he could be with his wand.
"Thank you sirs." Harry said. He was breathing hard, trying his hardest to keep his emotions under control. After a few moments he continued.
Turning to Madame Bones he said, "You will notice that he has two wands. If you have them tested, you will see that one of them belongs to Peter Pettigrew, the other belongs to Tom Riddle, also know as Voldemort." The occupants in the room with the exception of Professor Dumbledore, 'Mad-eye' Moody, and Remus Lupin all jumped when Harry made this revelation.
Remus had not heard what Harry said about the ownership of the wands. His attention was on the little man in the cage currently bound in ropes. There was Peter Pettigrew right before his eyes. The feeling of hate that he currently had for that rodent of a man was almost overwhelming.
He was the cause of James and Lily's death. He was the cause of Harry being an orphan. He was the cause of Sirius being held in Azkaban prison for the last nine and a half years. He was just wishing it were either one-week earlier, or three weeks later so he could 'greet' his old friend as a werewolf.
Meanwhile, Professor Sprout had levitated Peter into an upright position, while Professor McGonagall had conjured a chair to fasten him on. Madame Bones had gone into the cage and collected the two wands, and makes sure there are no other magical items on him such as a portkey.
The other students in the office where stunned silent. Both Susan and Hermione where shocked to see a rat turn into a person, and Ron was shocked / mad that the family 'pet' that they had had in their home for almost the last ten years was responsible for one of the greatest tragedies in modern wizarding time.
When everyone was ready, Professor Dumbledore administered the veritaserum to Peter, and revived the little man. "Hello Peter, we haven't seen you for a long time."
"Pr… Professor Dumbledore! Professor McGonagall! James? Is that you?"
Remus snapped. Running forward he hit the cage - now cell as hard as he could. "HOW COULD YOU PETER? HOW COULD YOU BETRAY JAMES AND LILY?"
"Re…Re… Remus? Remus my old friend! Please, Please you have to help me!"
"Help you? Right now I'd like nothing more then five minutes with you on a full moon. I would make you pay for what you've done."
"But Remus, it didn't have to happen that way! My Lord had promised me that if I could get him the Potter men, Lily could be mine. Don't you see? She was always so nice to me… She loved ME not HIM. He made her marry him. It wasn't her chose! Then they had that little brat! He never liked me. He'd always laugh when you or Sirius held him, but he would cry anytime I got close. Remember all those things that happened at his first birthday party?"
"Lily was nice to everyone Peter, even Severus! Does that mean she was meant to marry Snape? NO! Lily was a kind and loving person to everyone, even you! But she loved James. And when she gave birth to Harry, I had never seen either of them happier."
"Do you really think Lily would be with you after seeing you and Voldemort kill her husband and son? NEVER!" Remus started going at the cage again trying to find someway to get in to finish off this rat of a man.
"STUPIFY!" The spell from 'Mad-eye's wand was fast and true. Remus fell in a mound on the floor.
"Well, it was either that or wait until he found a way to kill him, and have to take him to Azkaban." 'Mad-eye' said as he shrugged his shoulders.
Harry was having a very hard time keeping his feeling in check. He could hear his 'Ma' crying in his mind. That mixed with the exchange Remus has just had with Peter brought Harry very close to the edge himself. He had to keep reminding himself that his 'mission' was not completed yet.
"One moment Madame Bones, Headmaster." Harry said with a false sense of calm.
Turning back to the cell, Harry addressed its occupant.
"Is your name Peter Pettigrew?"
"Were you the secret keeper of James and Lily Potter?"
"Has Sirius Black every been a Death-eater?"
"Sirius? A Death-eater? Never!"
"Are you a Death-eater?"
"What happened on the street when Sirius has you cornered?"
"Oh, that was one of my proudest moments. I was finally able to get the drop on the great Sirius Black!"
"When Sirius caught up with me, I found that I couldn't apparate out of the street. I had already used the portkey that my master had given me to escape him once. It seemed that no matter where I went, Black was right behind me! I guess that was the 'dog' in him."
"The street was filled with muggles, but I knew it was only a matter of time before the aurors would be there. I thought fast, and started yelling as loudly as I could about how Sirius had betrayed the Potters to the Dark Lord, and how the Potters had trusted him. I knew Sirius was confused when I started talking like that, because we both knew I was the traitor."
"I still had to make my escape, and that's when I say it! In the middle of the muggle street were a series of round metal lid embedded in the road. One said 'sewer', one said 'water', and the last one said 'gas'! I knew if I could hit the 'gas' line I could cause an explosion that if I were lucky enough, would finally kill Black, and maybe get rid of some of the muggles as well!"
"I still had the aurors to worry about, I couldn't let them catch me even after Black was taken care of, so I decided to 'leave' a little bit of me behind. I first blasted the gas line that tore up half the street and broke open the sewer line. I had to cut off one of my fingers, then transfigure into my animagus form, and find a wizarding family employed in a low-level ministry position, so I could keep up with the information and listen for my lord's return!"
"I found a gullible wizarding family some distance from London and have been staying there ever since."
While Peter was saying this, his countenance went from stuttering fool, to a complete manic just waiting for the return of Voldemort.
The room was completely still at Peter's confession.
Ron was feeling anger and loss at the same time. Anger that this, this thing had used his family for the last nine plus years. Plus feeling the loss at having one of the few things that was 'his', taken away from him.
"Does anyone else have a question for the prisoner at time?" The Headmaster asked.
Not receiving any feedback, Harry stepped in front of Madame Bones.
"Madame? Are you satisfied that this is Peter Pettigrew?"
"What? Oh, yes, of course Lord Potter."
"Do you feel Sirius Black is guilty of any of the charged leveled against him?"
"No, no of course not Lord Potter."
"Then Madame Bones, do you intend to arrest Mr. Pettigrew and release Mr. Black?"
"Yes, Lord Potter! At once!"
"Then Madame Bones? I want my godfather back... now!"
Madame Bones was in so much shock from the activities of the night that she didn't notice the tone of finality Harry had placed in his 'request' / order.
"Yes, … Yes, of course. I am quite satisfied that this, this thing is in fact Peter Pettigrew. Let me prepare the writs for Professor Dumbledore and Lord Ogden to sign."
'Mad-eye' Moody spoke up at this time to talk to Harry. "Ya know Harry, as soon as we knew there was a problem, Madame Bones had me take steps to insure that Sirius wouldn't go crazy. I've had a house elf taking care of him these last three years to help him get his mind back. Here, let me call him so he can tell you how your godfather is doing. Simons!"
In a moment, there was a proud looking house elf with a Ravenclaw emblem on his robe in front of Mr. Moody.
"Yes, Master Moody, you called?"
"Yes Simons. This young man is Harry Potter, Sirius Black's godson. Could you please tell him how Sirius is now?"
"Certainly sir." Simons knew who Harry was; after all, he had been making reports to him on Sirius' condition over the last three years. He also knew that Harry wanted to keep is Identity as Lord Ravenclaw secret for as long as possible.
"Master Black has been making good progress since Master Moody installed the 'white-noise' dementor box. Though his physical and mental faculties are good, he is feeling very bad that he cannot be with you. He wishes more then anything to be able to fulfill his responsibilities as your godfather."
"Thank you Simons. Could you possible go back and tell my godfather that he will be seeing me tonight? We have caught the Peter, and I plan on making sure he gets out of here as quickly as possible."
'Mad-eye' remembered Harry's little trick at Gringotts three years ago. He still didn't know how he had done it, but he didn't think he could do the same thing at Azkaban.
"Harry, Azkaban is unplottable, you can't apparate or portkey to it, even if your had its location on a map. It also has some of the strongest wards around it for a reason. If a witch or wizard were just able to apparate out of the prison, what good would it be?"
"Yes Master Moody that is correct, but since you put in the 'white-noise' box in Master Black's room, the wards around his room have been getting weaker. I wouldn't be surprised if another house elf not assigned to Azkaban couldn't also make it into his cell." Simons said.
"You mean if a person knows how to 'slide' like a house elf they may be able to get into Sirius' cell?" Harry was getting excited.
"Yes Master Harry, that is correct, however you would only be able to 'slide' as you call it to the magical signal of another person or house elf. If you get it wrong you could end up inside a stone wall, or in a room full of Dementors."
"I've got to try! I have to see him tonight! Haven't you kept him away from me long enough?" Harry said this last part looking at the Headmaster.
"Yes Harry we – I – have. If you are not successful, I will personally leave first thing in the morning to get him." Professor Dumbledore said.
"Okay, Simons, You go back and wake Sirius up. Tell him to get dressed and help him get everything packed. I'll be there in just a few minutes." Harry said.
Professor Dumbledore took over from there: "Madame Bones, could you please take your prisoner out of here. I'm sure Sirius' reaction will even more violent then Remus'".
Turing to the other heads of house: "Could you please escort the students back to their houses, with the exception of Mr. Potter, he is needed in another meeting in the atrium next to the main hall. Minerva, I believe your presence will also be requested at that second meeting as well."
"Mr. Moody, if you could please take care of Mr. Lupin once Mr. Pettigrew is out of the room. I think he may need someone to calm him down as well."
"I'm sure he will."
With that, everyone went to perform their own tasks. Harry had been concentrating on Simons' magical signature. When the magical signature stopped moving, Harry 'slid' towards it. The only people in the Headmasters office at that time were the Headmaster, Tiberius Ogden, 'Mad-eye' Moody, and a very confused, very mad Remus Lupin.
"I told you, you were handling the boy wrong. How many other boys, or grown wizards for that matter could do what he just did? I'm not just talking about capturing Pettigrew, but how many wizards are trusted enough by the house elves, and goblins that they allow him to learn how to 'slid' like they do?"
"You can't apparate out of Hogwarts Albus. You can't even portkey into Azkaban. But something tells me that we will both be seeing Sirius Black very shortly."
The Headmaster for his part just hung his head in shame.
Azkaban Prison – Sirius Black's cell
Sirius was not laughing when Simons woke him up from his sleep. He didn't believe him that he would be seeing Harry shortly that evening. But when he saw how serious Simons was in getting everything packed and cleaned up, he ask Simons what had happened in the Headmasters office.
"They caught him sir! They caught Mr. Pettigrew tonight in the Headmasters office! He had been hiding in his animagus form in the home of large family of wizards. But they caught him!"
"When I left, Madame Bones was writing out a writ for your release and an arrest warrant for Peter Pettigrew."
"But what does Harry have to do with that? How is he going to get here? It takes hours to come across in the boat, and it only sails during the day-light hours."
"Master Harry is a very strong wizard who has a trick or two up his sleeve. Now, quite stalling and get dressed!"
Sirius was dressed, sitting at his little table sipping some tea deep in thought. What would Harry be like? Would he still want him to be his godfather? He was so deep in thought he didn't notice when another young man entered the cell.
"Sirius?" Harry asked quietly.
Sirius looked up into the haunting green eyes of his godson.
Jumping up from the table, Sirius took Harry into a bone-crushing hug. "Harry!"
Both just stood there for several minutes crying on each other.
"Oh Harry, can you ever forgive me?"
"What's to forgive Sirius? I just experienced a little of what you must have felt ten years ago. If there hadn't been other people in the Headmaster's office when Peter was revealed, I'm pretty sure I would have tried to kill him too. I just wanted to get you back. That's all that kept me or Remus from trying to kill him."
Sirius broke the hug and held Harry out at arms length to get a better look at him.
"You look so much like James, but your eyes are belong to Lily."
"Come on Sirius, let's get out of here." Harry said.
"I'm all for that! Ah, Harry? How are we getting out of here?"
"Just hold on." Harry said. "Simons, make sure you pick everything up, and get that 'white noise' box after we leave."
Harry concentrated on creating enough negative matter to create a portal large enough for both he and Sirius to make it to the Headmasters office.
Headmasters office Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
About ten minutes had passed away since Harry had left the Headmasters office. Madame Bones had returned a quickly looked around the room.
"Where's Lord Potter Headmaster?"
'Mad-eye' Moody answered. "It seems our young Lord Potter has taken it upon himself to fetch Mr. Black."
"What! That's impossible! The quickest we'd be able to get Mr. Black out is tomorrow morning."
"Well, I beg to differ with ya Bones. I'd be willing to put money on it that young Mr. Potter will be appearing right here in this room very shortly."
"How is he to do that Mr. Moody? Everyone knows that you can't apparate in Hogwarts!"
Just then, Harry and Sirius appeared to 'walk' right into the Headmaster's office.
Sirius looked around at the room, the people, and his godson and did what anyone else would do… He fainted.
'Mad-eye' laughed as he levitated Sirius to another couch in the Headmasters office. It seems Remus Lupin occupied the first couch when he saw Harry 'walk' in the room with Sirius and he fainted.
Madame Pomfrey was called to make sure each young man was all right, and then with a wave of her wand, and a strong 'Rennervate' revived first Remus, then Sirius.
Getting up slowly, Sirius said: "I must be loosing it Simons. I just had a dream that my godson, Harry, came and took me away from this hell whole. Can you believe that?"
"Yes Uncle Sirius, I can." Harry said.
Sirius shot up in a flash almost falling off his couch. He looked straight at Harry and again looked like he had seen a ghost. Before he could respond however, Remus came into his field of view. "It's all true Sirius. You're a free man. And much of the credit goes to this young man right here." Remus put his arm around Harry's shoulders and gave him a quick squeeze. That was when he noticed how hard Harry was shacking.
Remus got down on his knees and with both hands, turned Harry to face him.
"It's Okay cub, you got him out, everything's going to be okay." With that he pulled Harry in to a tight hug, and felt Harry let go a cry on his shoulder.
"Remus?" Sirius asked.
Remus waited until Harry had himself under control before he stood up and looked at he long-time friend.
"Hello Padfoot, miss me much?" Remus said with a half smile on his face.
Both men went and hugged each other in the middle of the room. For each it was more a test to see if the other were real then anything else, but they were both very happy to see each other again.
After several minutes, Sirius was brought up to speed as to the events that lead to his release. At the end, Professor Dumbledore handed Sirius a rolled up parchment. "This is the writ of your release Sirius. You are, as of this moment, a free man. A copy of this order is being recorded in the Hall of Records, and there is still a slight matter of compensating you for false imprisonment. That should be taken care of in a few weeks."
"I'll be glad to forgo any compensation Headmaster, if you will just give me a few minutes with that rat Pettigrew!"
"I understand your feelings Sirius…" The Headmaster started.
"UNDERSTAND MY 'FEELINGS'? With all due respect Headmaster, until you've spent a few years with dementors you have no way of understanding my feelings!"
"That reminds me Headmaster; WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING PUTTING HARRY WITH THE DURSLEYS?"
Remus had to use a considerable amount of force to keep Sirius from causing serious injury to the Headmaster.
"That's all right Uncle Sirius, I've taken care of that, which brings me to my next issue… We need to be moving to meet our other guest." Harry stated.
Sirius was surprised that someone as young as Harry would be so much in control of things.
"Of course you are correct Harry…"
"That's Mr. Potter, or Lord Potter if you please Headmaster. You haven't earned the right to call me by my given name yet." Harry's voice was cold and final.
For his part, the Headmaster bowed his head meekly and again apologized to Harry.
Sirius looked around the headmasters office for a few moments and then said: "Ya know, as many times has James and I have been in this office, I don't think I've ever look so... nice. What did you do headmaster? Get your room re-furnished?"
"Alas no, the new office and other parts of Hogwarts are courtesy of Lord Ravenclaw. By the way, Minerva, were you able to determine who Lord Ravenclaw was, or what house he was sorted into?"
"I'm sorry headmaster, no. I would have thought the wards around Hogwarts would have reveled him to you."
"No, I'm afraid they did not, unlike forty some years ago. All I know is that the acknowledged heir of Ravenclaw is attending school this year." The headmaster stated.
"Why would you want to know who the heir of Ravenclaw is headmaster?" Harry asked.
The headmaster had to stop and form his answer carefully.
"There has not been a head of the house of Ravenclaw for almost nine hundred years. Apparently, only the heir can enter into one of the founders vault at Gringotts. It would be quite fascinating to see what treasures one could find there. There are also certain artifacts that could be there should be returned here to Hogwarts for well keep and to display the solidarity of the founder."
"Are you sure you want them for the School headmaster?" Harry asked.
"Mr. Potter!" Professor McGonagall stated.
"I'm sorry Professor, I'm of the opinion that the artifact of the founders should be with their families. Don't you agree Madame Bones." Harry asked.
Madame Bones looked up sharply to Harry from her thoughts.
"Oh? What was that Lord Potter? The artifacts of the founders? Oh yes, I think it would be wonderful if the artifacts were returned to the families. You know, my gran use to tell a story the challis of Hufflepuff being a family heirloom in our family at one time. But I haven't seen it. It's like it was just swallowed up in the earth and disappeared."
"Oh, I'm sure it will show up sooner or later," Harry said, looking at Professor Dumbledore, "Don't you Professor?"
"Ah, ... yes, I'm sure it will Amelia, now please, we must be moving on. We don't want to keep our other guest waiting."
Leaving the Headmasters office, Madame Bones, Lord Ogden, 'Mad-eye' Moody, Professor McGonagall, and the Headmaster lead Harry and Sirius, along with Remus, who were all holding back a little, talking, down the hallway to a small meeting room off the Great Hall.
As they walked down the hallway, Sirius and the others kept looking all around him and the changes that had made as a gift from the heir of Ravenclaw.
Everyone was so preoccupied by the changes that no one noticed a lone dark figure that rose from one of the alcoves along the way.
"REDUCTO!" the attacker yelled. The curse was heading directly for Sirius.
Sensing an incoming spell, Harry stepped to the side of the group facing the direction the spell was coming from. Before anyone could respond, Harry had his custom Alere Roboris (Feed Core Shield) activated, around everyone in the group. Even before the attackers spell had hit the shield, Harry fired his own 'Reducto' curse and was pleased when he heard it hit its mark. "ACCIO ATTACKER" Harry yelled.
Everyone was surprised when they saw a full-grown size wizard come flying across the hall. Just before he got to the group, a wall appeared in front of the group, and the wizard hit it full force, with a sickening crunch.
The wall disappeared; everyone looked down in semi-shock to see the bloody face of the potions teacher, Professor Snape.
Harry looked down at a barely conscious Snape and said with a straight face: "Professor Snape, didn't you listen to the announcements at the welcoming feast? No magic in the hallway. You might get hurt."
Everyone was in varying states of shock, but Sirius was the first to come out of his stupor and started laughing hard.
"Oh, if that doesn't bring back good memory!" He roared. "Snivellus trying to get the drop on one of the Marauders, and ending up on the short end of the stick!"
"Mr. Black, please, Professor Snape requires immediate medical attention!" Professor Dumbledore said.
"Yes Professor." Harry said, "But since he initiated the attack, aren't we allowed to defend ourselves?"
"Of course Mr. Potter. But I think that may have been a bit 'extreme'. Don't you?"
"On the contrary Headmaster. The spell was meant to cause serious (you know what I mean, Sirius) injury. I will protect my 'family' sir. And I will make no excuse to that bully for my actions."
"Madame Bones, if this incident had occurred off school grounds, what would have happened?" Harry asked.
"As initiator of the attack, Mr. Snape would have been taken into custody, and, after being healed, charged with assault."
"Headmaster, I rest my case. If he tries to attack my friends, or me I will defend them and me. And Merlin help him if he tries it off campus."
The group was delayed as the Headmaster took Professor Snape to Madame Pomfrey to be healed.
When the group got to the small room off the Main Hall, they found Ragnok, Goldridge, and Stonehand from Gringotts. Madame Bones, 'Mad-eye' Moody and Tiberius Ogden joined them in the front of the room.
Professors McGonagall and Remus joined Professor Flitwick who was waiting with the Goblins.
Professor Dumbledore stood far off to the right of the room.
Harry and Sirius were left in the center of the room facing the Board of Inquiry.
Goldridge started the meeting. "Thank you for bringing the participants to the Board of Inquiry. You are dismissed Professor Dumbledore."
"But, I thought…" the Headmaster started.
"Your services are no longer required in this matter Headmaster." Goldridge said again.
They all waited until the Headmaster had left the room, and then cast several spells to insure there was no more listening spells remaining.
Looking at Sirius, Goldridge began again. "Congratulations Lord Black, it is good to see you out of Azkaban."
"This Board of Inquire has been called by the current Head of the Potter House, who also happens to be the Heir Presumptive of the ancient and noble house of Black. Is it your wish that Lord Potter continues in that function?"
It took Sirius a while to realize what was going on, but when he did, he looked down at Harry, and then back at the Board. "Yes Goldridge."
"Professor McGonagall, since Lord Black has been proven innocent, and is capable of resuming the duties of Guardian, we release you with our thanks."
"The pleasure was mine gentlemen, my Lady."
"Professor Flitwick, as Executor of the Potter Will, I believe you have something to say to Lord Black?"
"Yes I do Goldridge, thank you."
"Lord Black, let me read what part of what James and Lily wrote in their Will:"
"We know you don't need it Sirius, but we bequeath one million galleons to you and the Southern French manor."
"Do you accept this bequeath Lord Black?"
Sirius had his head down low so that people could not see the unshed tears in his eyes.
"They were always too good to me. Yes I will accept the bequeath."
"Uncle Sirius, the manor in France is a little worse for wear right now. Can I have some of my house elves go over and clean it up a bit?" Harry asked innocently.
"Sure Harry, if it's not too much trouble."
"Oh, no trouble at all. Harry grinned."
Sirius looked at him for a minute and said, "Why do I get the feeling that something big is going to happen?"
"Because despite being away for several years, you're still sharp as an old hound dog." Said Remus.
"That concludes the business of this Board of Inquire. Again, welcome back Lord Black, I believe Stonehand has a summary of the activities of your accounts, and your Gringotts keys. We look forward to serving you again in the near future."
With that, the members of the Board of Inquiry got up and left the room.
Sirius looked down at the stack of parchment he had just received. Deciding to ignore it for a moment, he looked up at the group of people still in the room.
"Thank you." He started. "Thank you all for helping Harry and believing in me. I… I just don't know what to say right now."
"That's okay Padfoot, you'll have the rest of your life to figure it out." Remus said.
"Harry, it's after one in the morning, and you still have classes to attend." Professor McGonagall said.
"Ah, Aunt Min, can't I spend more time with Uncle Sirius? I mean he just got here! I have so many questions to ask him!"
"I'm sorry Harry, but I'm sure you'll figure some way to visit with him over the course of the year." She said with a little twinkle in her eye. "But I don't want to hear a word about it, so you better be careful! I'll give you five more minutes. I'll be right outside the door."
"Thanks Aunt Min." Harry said as he gave her a little hug.
"Minerva?" Sirius started. "Thank you for watching after Harry in my absence. It looks like you and Remus have done a great job. Oh, and before I forget, remind me to talk to you about Mad-eye's patronum sometime, okay?"
Professor McGonagall gave Sirius a strange look, but just shook her head. "Thank you Sirius. I think. Well, I guess I'll see you over the weekend. You can tell me then."
Professor Flitwick left with Professor McGonagall.
"Well, it's just us now. We know where Harry will be staying. It sounded like James and Lily gave you their parent's old place Remus. Did you ever get it fixed up? I guess that just leaves me. I really don't want to go back to Number 12, but…"
"Don't worry Padfoot. If you had been read the whole Will, you would know that I have a little 'Dog run' you can use until Harry and Ty get your place fixed up." Remus said.
"Ty? Who's Ty?" Sirius asked.
"You'll find out. Now come on, we have to let Harry get his beauty sleep so he can be all rested and ready for the girls, I mean, for school."
"Okay, just give me a minute." Sirius said.
Sirius faced Harry and looked at him again for several moments. "You look so much like James, but your eyes and your spirit are Lily's." Hugging Harry again, Sirius said, "Thank you Harry, thank you. I don't know how you did it. I don't CARE how you did it. All I know is that you did do it. You got me out of Azkaban. Thank you, thank you, thank you!"
"I'm going to miss being with you, but I'm sure Remus and I have a few things to catch up on. I'll see you as soon as I can."
"I know Uncle Sirius. I'm just glad to have you out of that terrible place."
After a few more hugs, Harry left to join Professor McGonagall and had her show him the way to the Gryffindor common room. "Now hurry straight to bed Harry. Morning will be here before you know it."
"I know Professor McGonagall, thank you and goodnight."
Harry walked into the Common Room and soon found his way to the first year's dorm. Something told him this was going to be a very good year – If he only knew.
End of Chapter 20
Next Chapter – The First Day of School
Please enjoy. If not, oh well, there are plenty of stories to choose from.