Chapter 2: 12 Grimmauld Place
Walking up the stairway with Sirius behind him and Hedwig swooping up above, Harry went to his room then switched on the lights once he was inside.
“Alright let’s move it.” Sirius called out from behind Harry.
“Sure.” Harry replied he then whispered to himself, “But it’s going to take a while.” Hastily picking up his clothing which laid about on the ground in messy piles, Harry bundled them up then tossed them in his trunk.
As he was doing that an arm reached down and picked up one of Dudley’s hand me downs, “What is this?” Sirius asked in a deadly serious tone.
“Ahh, some of my clothing.” Harry answered back as he blushed in embarrassment. The garments were items too wide to fit him, so when he wore them they were very baggy on him like he got a shirt several sizes too big.
“Leave them.” Sirius stated in a tone leaving no room for argument.
“But, but...” Harry stuttered as numerous questions filtered through his mind but mainly what was he going to wear?
Before Harry could argue anything, Sirius waved his wand in a gesture signaling the use of a spell then suddenly every article of clothing lit on fire. “Just get your school supplies and broom, I will take you shopping so that we can upgrade your wardrobe and have proper clothing.”
“Alright.” Harry said, as he saw no point in arguing any more since whatever there was literally got set on fire. After his luggage got reduced to a bare minimum, packing up everything else was a lot easier now.
“Wait,” Sirius called out as he held Harry’s divination book in his hand, “You take Divination?”
“Yeah.” Harry replied with a shrug as he took the book from Sirius’s hand and tossed it into his trunk.
“Lily would so kill me if she ever knew that I let you take such a worthless subject.” Sirius whispered to himself as a look of fear crossed his face.
Hearing what Sirius said Harry perked up, rarely if ever do people talk about his parents in front of his face, whenever they do, it is usually to tell him how sorry they are for his loss. Nobody ever really wants to hear that, what Harry really wanted is actual facts about them, who they were, what they liked. So when Sirius mentioned them, Harry wanted to know more thus he asked, “Really?”
“Yeah,” Sirius replied as he had a far off look on his face, “She would have made you taken Ancient Runes and Arithmancy.”
“Well, I can speak to Professor McGonagall about changing my courses from Divination into Ancient Runes and Arithmancy.” Harry stated, coming to a decision on the spot, if his mother would have wanted that for him then he was all for it. “I think she would really love that, she does have a great dislike for anything that has to do with fortune-telling as she likes to call it, plus Professor Trelawney as well.”
“Mhh,” Sirius said thinking over that thought while he rubbed his chin, “You will be a year behind, but I can get you caught up.”
“You too took Ancient Runes and Arithmancy?” Harry asked in surprised, Sirius did always look like the students who would want to coast by just like he and Ron did.
“Yep,” Sirius answered with a grin as he read Harry’s thought, “And so did your father as well. All purebloods are required by their parents to take those two courses.”
“Why?” asked Harry, curious to know the answer.
“Well for starters it has to do with Enchanting and Spell crafting, you need a pretty good understanding of runes to enchant whatever item you need and you need Arithmancy to create new and powerful spells. Also, these two subjects are used in great effects for Warding, understanding ancient languages, predicting the weather, and all sorts of stuff.”
“Wow.” Harry simply said, if he had known that beforehand he would have been one of the first ones signing up for those two courses. That more than anything really went to show how little he knew about the wizarding world. Pureblooded children truly have an advantage over muggleborn children, Harry wondered what other small mistakes he made just like this one. He really wished that there was a handbook that covered everything you had to know about wizarding culture and traditions, though he could only wish.
Finishing packing up his school supplies, Harry closed his trunk then grabbed Hedwig’s cage which she had long ago got in so that it would be much easier to carry her. “Alright, I am ready to go.” Harry announced as he turned to face Sirius.
“Well, then let’s quickly get out of here,” Sirius said as he headed out the room. “I do not want to stay in this place for a moment longer.”
Harry could wholeheartedly agree with that so he quickly rushed over to catch up to Sirius.
Passing by the Dursley’ who were still transfixed on the couch, Harry blankly stared down at them and quickly moved along. Right when the two wizards reached the front door, the handle slowly turned in its place. Harry and Sirius paused in their places as the entrance swung open and Dudley came into view.
All three blokes stared at each other until finally, Dudley broke the silence by uttering in a shrill voice as he pointed towards Sirius, “You’re that wanted criminal who was on the telly!”
“I am,” Sirius answered back as he gave a wicked grin. “What of it, little piggy?” he asked, as if daring the fat young man to say anything.
Stuttering in cohesively to himself, Dudley slowly took a step back, then a couple more until he was right up against the front door. Finally just as he was seemingly starting to fuse himself to the door, as if it would really help, Petunia called out in a wavering voice, “Dudley, dear, please come here to mommy.”
The two adult Dursley’ stood fixedly at the mouth of the living room with worry and anger written all over their face. For the first time, Dudley seemed to have a bit of intelligence as he looked up to Sirius for permission. Sirius angled his head towards the Petunia and said, “Run along, little piggy to dear old mommy, and do let me see you again” then he gave a snap of his jaws which got Dudley moving like never before.
Without another word, Sirius seemed to have telekinetically swung the door open with a wave of his hand, and Harry quickly followed in his wake.
Once the two wizards were some distance away from the Dursley’ house, Harry spoke up, “Wow, just wow!” the young wizard exclaimed as he didn’t even have the words to describe what happened today.
“You just put them in their place like some domineering pureblood.” Harry declared, giving away a compliment freely.
However instead of having the intended effect that Harry expected, Sirius’s face slowly contorted scowl. Harry quickly took notice of that and realized who or what he just compared Sirius too, a bigot pureblood. Stammering out a quick response, Harry tried to clarify himself, “I did not mean it like that. I just meant you were awesome out there.”
“I know you did not mean it like that, pup,” Sirius answered back with a sigh, “But there really is no escaping what I am.”
Seeing the depressing turn that the conversation had taken, Harry tried to steer it to another direction. “Anyways,” Harry said, hating himself for taking the direction this way, but if it would be taking Sirius’s mind of his family and blood status, Harry would do it. “How did you know that the Dursley’ were treating me poorly?”
Patting Harry on the back, Sirius softly spoke, “I had a true harpy of a devil for a mother, so you could say I am an expert when it comes to emotional abuse and could distinguish at ease.”
Turning his head to face the man who was his Godfather Harry realized that they were alike in more ways than one.
Carrying on with what he was saying, Sirius declared, “I promise you, pup, I will make up for all the lost time we had and you will never have to go back to that place whatever Dumbledore and anyone else has to say.”
Once he heard the older man’s promise Harry’s heart started to swell and he nearly started to burst into tears of joy and relief.
“Anyways,” Sirius pronounced as his tone took on a much cheerful tone, “It would be just like the good old times.”
“What do you mean?” Harry asked.
“Well just like you are doing right now, I ran away from home and moved in with your father and his parents. Ahh, those were truly the best of days!”
Nodding along, Harry suddenly asked, “Whatever happened to my grandparents?” this was a first that he was hearing about his father’s parents, they surely would have done a lot better job raising him then the Dursley’ did.
Sighing sadly to himself, Sirius replied, “They died just before you were born succumbing to Dragon Pox.”
“Then it seems like I am the only Potter remaining alive.” Harry spoke out loud his thoughts as he quickly came to that grim reality.
Silently and comfortably patting Harry on the shoulder, Sirius spoke softly, “You and me both, pup, you and me both.”
Thanking Sirius for the comforting solace, Harry got back to the matter at hand, his nightmare. “So you said we will be going somewhere to get answers about my nightmare, right?”
“Yes,” Sirius answered as his tone took on a more darker timbre, “We will be visiting my old home.”
Blaargh, Harry spewed out everything he held in his stomach on to the crossroad once he came out of the side along Apparition with Sirius.
“Ahh first time for Apparition, aye?” Sirius asked with a grin as Harry finished heaving out his breakfast and midday snack.
“It felt like I was being shoved by a tiny tube.” Harry answered as he never wanted to relive that sensation. ‘Brooms are truly the best way to travel anywhere,’ he told himself.
“You will get used to it.” Sirius said as he walked ahead.
Harry hurried to catch up to him and the two wizards traveled a short distance until he came to a stop at two residential homes mistakenly numbered 13 and 11.
“Here,” Sirius said as he gave Harry a slip of paper which read; 12 Grimmauld Place. “Did you remember it?” Sirius asked after a short while. Harry nodded his head in answer and Sirius quickly took the slip of paper back then without any wand movement or incantation the paper lit on fire and burned to a crisp until all that was left were ashes that disappeared into the wind.
Once again Harry stared in open fascination as he witnessed Sirius perform wand less, he made no comment but right now he was bristling with endless questions.
Walking forward, Sirius disappeared right in-between the two, for a moment Harry was a bit terrified, but he quickly squashed that down since it was obvious magic was at work. Following after Sirius, a large house was revealed before Harry, he spotted Sirius walking up the front steps and quickly followed.
Sirius came to a pause at the door which had a silver knocker in the shape of a twisted serpent, however, there were no keyholes, handles, or anything else that would indicate that it is an actual door which is used to enter.
Sticking out his right hand, Sirius revealed that he had on a large ring finger which had the crest of three dogs running through the fields. Above the dogs was a hand holding a wand and below that was a Latin phrase which read; Toujours Pur.
Sirius waved his right hand over the door until it clicked it to place and slowly opened giving way to a dark hallway and some flight of stairs that lead up.
“Be careful,” Sirius stated as he entered the house “We do not know what sorts of nasties my mother left before she died.”
At that moment Harry decided to follow in Sirius’s footsteps alone and drawing out his wand from his pocket was a precaution he wasn’t going to give up.
Walking down the darkened hallway, Sirius turned on his first left until he came upon a living room, going to the fireplace, Sirius waved his wand towards the mantelpiece to which it quickly lit up. Grabbing some powder out of a jar which Harry noted was Floo powder, Sirius tossed it in and called out to a place he didn’t recognize.
Before long a head popped into the fireplace, it was a woman a bit older than Sirius but their features were so similar that they could both pass off as siblings. “Hey Dromeda.” Sirius said as a smile played on his face.
“Hello to you too Sirius,” the woman replied, briskly. “Where are you right now?” she asked.
“I am at the old family home,” he answered back with a shrug.
“What!” the woman shouted causing the fire to raise up a bit into the air. “Why would you be at that godforsaken place?!” she asked.
“Well, I never wanted to come back here, but I needed a place to hide and this house is very well protected. Nobody would even look here, or even for that matter, know about its existence.”
“Why would you even come back here? Weren’t you hiding out in the Caribbean?” the witch inquired, catching onto Sirius’s slip up. Narrowing her eyes towards Sirius, the woman asked in a threatening tone, “Are you not telling me something, Sirius?”
“No, of course not, cousin,” Sirius hastily replied, though the only thing his hasty response did was make him look even more suspicious. “I called you only to get some of my medicines, that is all. I promise you, I am not up to anything.”
“Oh ho ho,” the witch uttered as silently chuckled to herself and shook her head from side to side. “You must know dear cousin, whenever you say I promise, I am not up to trouble. It elicits totally the opposite response, right?”
“Ahh...” Sirius said, as he had no response to give since the witch in the fireplace was right on the dot.
Seeing Sirius’s frozen expression, the woman sighed out loud and remarked, “I will shortly be there with your medicine in hand and to make sure you are not causing up a racket. Wait for my arrival,” she finished as her head disappeared from the hearth.
All of a sudden, Sirius went into a panic as he nearly ran around the house screaming and with his hands in the air. “Harry,” he desperately said as he turned to face the young wizard, “Go and hide before she comes.”
However, it was too little too late as a pair of high heels appeared from the fireplace then legs, a torso, and finally a head-- the exact same one in the fireplace.
Once the woman was through all three individuals gazed at each other, frozen in their place.
“Is that Harry Potter?” the witch asked as she pointed towards the young wizard while she narrowed her eyes towards Sirius.
“If I say no, would you believe me?” Sirius replied as he gave an awkward grin.
Before the older wizard could think the woman smacked him over the head with the purse she carried in her hand. “Do you think I am an idiot, Sirius Orion Arcturus Black!” the woman asked in a rhetorical manner.
Harry knew when a woman said your full name, with grandparents included and all, you were in serious trouble.
“I am sorry cousin,” Sirius yelped as he shielded his head, “I just...”
“You just weren’t thinking at all like always, huh!” the woman shouted. Taking a deep breath to calm her nerves, the woman serenely said, “Go into the kitchen, I will be there with you in a moment.”
That more than anything seemed to have an effect on Sirius as he nervously walked out of the living room. Turning her gaze towards Harry, the young wizard took a gulp of air and a subconscious step back as he awaited his punishment. However, the witch’s expression seemed to have softened up when she faced Harry and she warmly asked, “Are you alright, dear?”
“Andromeda Tonks,” the woman said, giving a full name to her face. “I am Nymphadora’s mother,” she added, helpfully.
“I am sorry,” Harry stammered, feeling awkward, “I do not know of this Nymphadora, you speak about Mrs. Tonks.”
“Ahh, that girl,” the older witch sighed as she shook her head, turning to face Harry she clarified. “I told her to watch out for you. Your grandmother, my aunt was the best of us Blacks. It was her duty as your older cousin to have your back.”
“Its alright, Mrs. Tonks,” Harry said, not wanting to get the older girl in trouble with her mother.
“You are too kind, dear,” the woman said as she pinched Harry’s cheek, picking up his thoughts from his expression.
“Are you hungry?” she suddenly asked.
Harry thought back to that dinner he left on the floor and at that thought his stomach growled in response.
“It seems like you are,” the older witch said with a warm smile as Harry blushed in embarrassment. “Come along,” she added as she headed to the kitchen, “I also need to deal with your irresponsible godfather. I have no idea what your parents were thinking when they gave him such a heavy burden.”
At that off-handed remark, Harry quickly came to the defense of his guardian, “Mrs. Tonks, Sirius might be remiss at times, but his intentions always mean well, and that more than anything counts far above everything in my books.”
Taking no offense at all but instead chuckling softly, the woman once again commented, “Just like I said, dear, you are too kind. You must meet my daughter, now.”