Chapter 3: Check-up
“Wait, so you were in contact with somebody else the whole time.” Harry asked through a mouth full of food.
“Yes, he was dear,” Mrs. Tonks replied for Sirius while she continued brewing the potion in front of her. “And please chew and swallow before you speak, young man. You are the last scion of the House of Potter, a most noble and ancient house, you need to act more befitting for your station.” At that comment, the older witch not only gave Harry a pointed look but Sirius as well who was wolfing down his food with gusto.
“Yes, Mrs. Tonks.” Harry mumbled, he knew nothing about this stuff of most noble and ancient houses, but it was clear the House of Potters carried a lot of weight and history then he had ever imagined.
“Now back to your question,” Mrs. Tonks said once she saw that Harry started to eat with a modicum of decency. “Ever since I heard that Sirius betrayed your mother and father, I had my doubts. The Sirius I knew and grew up with would never have betrayed his friends and family so when he came to me at the end of the school year and told me his story, I nursed him back to health. Now with you in his close company, my hunch has been proven right.”
Harry turned to look at Sirius, now that he had a closer look at the man he noticed that he was a lot more healthier. That thin, pale palate he had on all of the school year was gone and in its place was a charming, young man in his late twenties. “Yea, I do notice that he is a lot more cleaner now.” Harry joked.
“Very funny pup.” Sirius said with a grin and a shake of his head.
“Here,” Mrs. Tonks said, interrupting Sirius and Harry’s light banter. “Drink up,” the woman added as she poured a ladle full of azure colored liquid into a flask then passed it over to Sirius. “All of it.” the witch affixed in a low dangerous voice.
“Alright, alright,” Sirius said as he put the container to his mouth and in one gulp, swallowed. “Agh,” Sirius uttered as he stuck out his tongue in distaste, “That tasted like old wet socks!”
Ignoring the older wizard’s whining the witch continued on with “You will be taking this batch for the rest of the month, a single flask every day, and you shall not argue with me on this or else I will make you drink a more horrible concoction.” The witch added as she saw Sirius’s whimpering face.
“After that,” the woman carried on, “I will put you on some nourishing potions so that we can get some fat in you. Then it will be reinforcement potions to strengthen your muscles and bones so that we can get you back into a proper fighting state.”
“I am already in proper fighting state” Sirius argued as he took out his wand and started to wave it around in a graceful manner.
“No offense dear cousin,” Mrs. Tonks said in a stern manner, “But from what you told me, you had a lot of failings last school year. If you were truly at the height of your power you would never have let that rat escape, or let that Death Eater that Dumbledore likes to keep around have the jump on you, and let us not talk about those soul suckers surrounding you and nearly killing you.”
At those explicit indicators from Mrs. Tonks, Sirius seemed to have gone silent and still, not making a single retort at all.
“Now will you let me continue my ministrations cousin and take my remedies.”
“Yes.” Sirius answered back as he let loose a long sigh, then seemed to sink into himself and went back to being silent, obviously contemplating a lot of different thoughts.
Before Harry could try to uplift the man’s spirit, Mrs. Tonks turned her gaze towards him and uttered, “As a mediwitch I can tell with a look when somebody is a bit scuffed up. When was the last time you had a check-up dear?”
“Uhh... a check-up?” Harry repeated, that really came out of a left field. Yea, the Dursley’ would never have been as kind as that towards him, usually he is left to his own devices whenever he was injured, which is most of the time done in part thanks to Dudley himself and his gang. And he can’t forget when Vernon loses his temper and smacks him around or when his dear old aunt cuffs him with a pan.
“Yes, dear,” Mrs. Tonks patiently answered, “A magical examination to see if you are up to date with your shots and to see if you are healthy.”
“Oh, well you see, I’ve never had one of one those.” Harry replied honestly. He really saw no point in lying since Mrs. Tonks just said she was the magical equivalent of a muggle doctor. She must know a spell or two that could give her a quick diagnosis and tell that he is lying.
“You’ve never had an examination done by a healer or mediwitch at all?” the older witch slowly asked.
“I guess so,” Harry answered, “Though I do not know if a mending from Madam Poppy counts, does it?”
Cutting into the conversation, Sirius spoke up and helpfully added, “Well he has been raised by muggles and they were a half-witted lot scared about magic.”
“That doesn’t matter,” the witch shouted, “McGonagall always brings in the new muggle born children to St. Mungo’s Hospital!”
“Actually it was Hagrid who gave me the tour of Diagon Alley and helped me get my school supplies.” Harry corrected the older witch.
“Hagrid?! Why would Hagrid be introducing you to the wizarding world? It is the head of houses that do that.”
Shrugging his shoulders, Harry answered with an “I don’t know.” Then as if recalling something, he added, “Hagrid was going on about how Professor Dumbledore was the one who entrusted him with the solemn duty.”
“What is that old meddling fool up to,” the older witch asked out loud to no one in particular. Shaking her head, Mrs. Tonks turned to face Harry, “That doesn’t matter, dear. I shall give you a check-up and all the shots and potions you need to stay safe.”
“Okay.” Harry said with a nod.
“KREACHER.” Mrs. Tonks suddenly shouted which made Harry nearly jump out of his seat in at the suddenness of the shout.
“Did he die on us after all thesr years?” the witch asked her cousin.
“We can only hope.” Sirius answered back as he washed down his meal with a butterbeer.
Suddenly a crack echoed in the kitchen as a house-elf with a bulbous snout-like nose, bloodshot eyes, many folds of skin, and white hair growing out of his bat-like ears appeared. The magical creature gazed around the room as he looked at each individual in turn.
Whispering under its breath in a pitch heard by everyone, the creature mumbled, “The blood traitor is back with the family’s shame in tow. Oh, my poor mistress, what would she think if she ever found out that Kreacher let them step into the premises of the Most Noble and Ancient House of Black.”
“Stop skulking in the dark, Kreacher,” Mrs. Tonks said in an exasperated tone. “Are the family’s magical ingredients in stock and is the medical bay open?”
Ignoring the older witch the house elf carried on with his antics, “Oh, my mistress, now the blood traitor wants to pilfer the family.”
Suddenly standing up, Sirius shouted, “Shut up, you miserable lout. You do as Dromeda says and that is a command from the last scion of House Black.”
At that direct command from Sirius, the house elf immediately shut its trap but only after it gave Sirius a hateful look. Silently receding back into the house, the creature appeared to be going about its business though the reluctance was evident in its steps.
Mrs. Tonks silently gave Sirius a pointed look but the older wizard just shrugged his shoulders, shaking her head the witch followed after the house elf and left the kitchen.
“So, who was that?” Harry asked, it was a first that he saw such a hateful little house elf. The house elves that he’s met so far have been an oppressed lot though that didn’t stop them from being good-natured and lighthearted. However, to be fair he only met one house elf and he was killing him but that didn’t stop Dobby from being kind about it.
“That was Kreacher, the family’s house elf,” Sirius answered. “He has always been my mother’s servant first and foremost, though my brother did come a close second.”
“So that is where he got his bigotry from.” Harry concluded as he took a sip of his drink.
“Yes,” Sirius answered back with a nod. “Kreacher is a creature that my mother would be proud of if she didn’t think so little of her servants.”
Once Sirius made his affirmation, silence reigned upon the room as each wizard was left to his own thought. Suddenly speaking up, Harry asked in a low tone, “So when you said me and you both, you meant that you were the last Black just like I am the last Potter.”
“Yes,” Sirius replied, “We were never a large family, to begin with. It was just my aunt, her husband, my mother, father, grandfather, and little brother. But now they’re all gone so it is just me left. Who would have thought,” Sirius whispered, “I was sure that old hag would live longer than the rest of us, but with dear Regulus dead, that fool, it seemed like her heart finally gave in.”
Harry closely scrutinized Sirius’s face and although there was an impassive stare, Harry could still make out the despondency. It was clear that in spite of the fact that there was a lot of bad blood between him and his family, he still felt their loss.
Trying to brighten up Sirius’s mood, Harry asked, “Isn’t Mrs. Tonks a Black?”
“No,” Sirius said with a shake of his head. “First of all, when a pureblood woman marries into another house, she becomes part of it, all ties to her old family simply become a formality. The only thing she could carry is the ‘née’ title and that is even denied from Andromeda since she was removed from the family by my mother when she married a muggle-born wizard.”
“Ohh.” Harry simply said, he really needed to be up to date on pureblood tradition since he didn’t even know a lick of it.
“Yep,” Sirius said, “There used to be Andromeda, Bellatrix,” Sirius added with venom, “and Narcissa.”
“Wait,” Harry said, “You mean like in Narcissa Malfoy, who is Draco’s mother?”
“Mhmm,” Sirius said with a nod as a grin played on his lips. “That means you and Lucius’s spawn are cousins.”
“Oh, no ways,” Harry said with a shake of his head as just the thought of that revolted him. “I can’t be related to that... that pompous ass.”
Sirius just laughed out loud at Harry’s reaction, and somehow got out through the weezing, “If you look hard enough you can also find out that all purebloods are somehow related in some way or form.”
Just as Harry was about to argue his close connection to Draco, Mrs. Tonks walked in with Kreacher in tow mumbling something under his breath, most likely curses at them.
“Well,” Mrs. Tonks said with a deep sigh as she dropped a basket onto the table, “This house has clearly been left to its own devices for too long. The medical bay is in disrepair, you are more likely to get a lung sickness from there. And most of the ingredients in stock are rotten through with barely anything left.”
“Ha,” Sirius barked out and in a mocking tone added, “It seems like Kreacher has failed his mistress deeply.”
“That is enough out of you, Sirius,” the older witch said in a tone of finality. “Harry, dear,” she called out, “Please come up onto this table and lay back, I shall do the evaluation here.”
Turning back to Sirius, the older witch pointed out of the kitchen and ordered, “You young man, leave us be so that I can work.” Then looking down at the house elf she affixed, “Kreacher please try to fix up the house, I must agree with Sirius, you have truly let down Aunt Walburga. If she saw the state the house was in, she would have a fit or more likely curse someone and all nine generations of their family.”
Once again the house-elf went back to its old ways of muttering under its breath, though it didn’t argue with the older witch, which could mean a good sign. Slinking off into the shadows the house elf went deeper into the old home to do the task set before it.
Getting up, Sirius also followed his order but not before he gazed at Harry then at the older witch and was off.
“Up, up, dear,” Mrs. Tonks said as she pointed to the table with her mind quickly vanishing all the used plates and dirt stains. Doing as he was told, Harry laid back on the table and patiently waited for Mrs. Tonks to begin.
“Alright, dear,” the older witch said, “I will be doing a deep diagnostic so I will have to put you under, are you ready.”
Nodding his head in assent, Harry started to feel drowsy, when was the last time he slept, he asked himself. Then before long he was out to the world and at the ministrations of the mediwitch.
“So, how is it going,” Sirius asked as he walked into the kitchen. It has been over four hours now and he heard nothing from his cousin, so finally curiosity and worry got to him and he walked back into the room at the defiance of his cousin.
Sighing deeply as the mediwitch continued her work, she answered, “All I can say is that in all my time that I have been a mediwitch, I have never seen somebody as injured as Harry. He has over a dozen different fractures and breaks in his body ranging from his legs, arms, ribs, and his skull. Also, there are puncture wounds, burns, bites marks, bad resets, and a list of a dozen more injuries marking his body. Furthermore, he is malnourished and his bones are too brittle which is resulting in him having a stunt growth.”
As Sirius listened on and on as Andromeda listed more things, his anger which was slowly building up got the better of him and he shouted, “I swear, I will kill each and every single one of those animals. The things I will do to them, it will even make a Death Eater pale.”
Andromeda ignored the wizard’s outburst but from the slitting of her eyes and the slow nod, it was obvious she was agreement. “What has me a bit shocked,” the older witch continued as Sirius reeled himself in, “Is the poison coursing through his veins, it is the most potent one I have ever seen in my life. I would have already been marking the time of his death if there wasn’t a counter coursing through his veins as well.”
“What- how is that even,” Sirius stammered out as he had no words to describe what he was feeling.
“Now moving on from that, there is even more news to tell.” the mediwitch said.
“There is even more bad news?” Sirius asked, unbelieving at all that was slowly stacking up. He needed answers on how his godson got into such a bad state but he had none at all.
“Yes,” Andromeda said with a sigh, “There is even more. What I have noticed is that Harry here has had half a dozen different tracker spells placed all over his body, a deep and surface scrying spell, anti-mail spells, emotional inhibitor spells, magical and physical stunting spells, bloodline locks, and other spells I can make no heads or tails what they do, but if I were to guess they aren’t up to any good.”
“Who can do all that,” Sirius asked, disbelievingly, though soon he answered his own question by saying out loud, “Dumbledore!”
“I believe so.” Andromeda said with a grim nod of her head.
Sirius slowly prowled around the kitchen clinching and unflinching his fists then he came to a stop at his godson’s lying body and his expression slacken. Resting his hand on his godson’s forehead, Sirius whispered, “I promise you Harry I will make them all pay, all of them,” he repeated.
Turning back to face his cousin Sirius asked in a deadpan voice, “What else is there Dromeda?”
“Two more major things, the rest is of no concern I will deal with it.”
“Go on.” Sirius said as he listened up.
Nodding her head in acquiesce, Andromeda stated, “What I also noticed is there is a ward surrounding to him, one very ancient and powerful. I do not know its purpose but it is draining Harry.”
“How per say?”
“Well, the Protective enchantment is literally taking over 80% of Harry’s magical reserves. Now it is a well known secret among pureblood families that bottoming out your magical reserves is a good thing because it has the inverse effect of slowly increasing your limit. However what this ward is doing is taking all the magic it needs and before little Harry could recover it continues and that has the negative effect of slowly killing him.”
“Could you remove it?” Sirius asked as the worry was evident in his tone.
“Yes, I think I can,” the older witch replied very slowly. “Right now it is inactive plus the main requirement is fulfilled, so I might be able to tackle it.”
“Good,” Sirius said with a nod, “I think I might know who could have made this ward schematic.”
“Who was it?” Mrs. Tonks asked in mild curiosity.