- Character Bashing
- Death-Minor Character
- Discussion-Child Abuse
- Hate Crimes
- Alternate Universe
- Fix It
Sirius took his new wand and flicked it “Lumos” he murmured and was delighted when the tip lit up. It felt good to feel his magic connecting with a wand again. The want was seven inches, made out of oak and it had a dragon heartstring core. Ollivander had been delighted by the commission since he enjoyed the challenge. It was apparently a rare treat for him as he’d only made two other custom wands this year.
It had taken Ollivander almost a week to complete it. In that time his papers had been processed, and he was officially a free citizen again, his record clean. The rest of the Wizarding world was eager to embrace him. Sirius had already been invited to several dinners by other members of the aristocracy, including Malfoy. He planned to ignore them all. Sirius had no desire to spend any time with any of them. The good news was he could officially travel anywhere he liked. He was packed and ready to go see Harry.
“Ah very good, very good,” Ollivander said cheerfully as he made some notes on a piece of parchment. “This wand is some of my finest work. How does it feel?”
“It’s perfect,” Sirius assured him. “It feels even better than my first wand.”
Ollivander beamed. “And well it should. This wand was made specifically for you. Personalized wands are superior to the more generic ones I make, but most people cannot afford to have them made, or they find the extra time and effort involved inconvenient.”
Sirius nodded. He knew that, but he didn’t want to be rude. “I can see why it’s worth it. You did amazing work.”
Ollivander beamed again. At his urging Sirius tried a couple more spells. The magic came just as easily as the first. Sirius felt something inside of him settle, having a wand again went a long way toward helping him regain his balance.
While he was there, he bought a new wand holster. He had several to choose from, but he decided to go with a simple leather one. It was spelled to always fit perfectly and feel comfortable. He practiced removing his wand until he was satisfied he could reach it easily. Someday he’d bring Harry here to get his first wand. The thought made Sirius smile.
Sirius was slowly finding his footing again. He had responded to Tony’s letter with one of his own and received a response. They were already getting to know each other better, and Sirius was beginning to honestly believe that he and Tony would raise together. He even hoped they could be friends.
Once he was ready to go, he thanked Ollivander and left the shop. He had already said goodbye to his grandfather, and he was finally heading to Paris. Langdon was meeting him and taking him to the home of Agnes Gueron where Harry and DiNozzo were staying. Sirius wouldn’t be able to find it on his own as the house was heavily warded.
Sirius left Ollivander’s and walked down Diagon Ally toward the book shop where he was meeting Langdon.
Sirius stopped cold at the sound of a familiar voice calling his name. Sirius turned slowly to find Albus Dumbledore walking toward him quickly. He was the last person Sirius wanted to see. He thought about apparating away, but he knew that the confrontation was inevitable.
Dumbledore took out his wand, and Sirius tensed, but Dumbledore cast a silencing charm. Something he shouldn’t have been able to do in public it was still against the law. But not for him, Sirius thought bitterly.
“Sirius, my boy. What a happy accident finding you here,” Dumbledore said jovially.
Sirius doubted it was an accident at all. He wished he’s simply apparated away, but a part of him wanted to hear what Dumbledore had to say for himself. The more information they had, the better.
Albus Dumbledore gave him a look of fatherly concern, and Sirius felt his fist clench in response. “I’ve been trying to reach you my boy, but all of my letters have returned unopened. I wanted to make sure you were well. I know you’ve been through a trying ordeal.” Sirius hadn’t seen any letters. No doubt the owls had been turned away from the house.
The professor’s false concern was grating on his nerves. “I have nothing I want to say to you.” Sirius bit out. “Also I’m not your boy. Stop calling me that.”
He wanted to grab his wand, and curse Dumbledore. But he resisted the urge.
Dumbledore held his hand out to Sirius. “Come now. I understand why you’re angry, but you must understand that I truly believed I was doing the right thing. All the evidence I had indicated you were guilty.”
Sirius took a deep breath before responding. He couldn’t let his temper get the better of him. “That might be true, but all you had to do was have me interviewed under veritaserum, and you would have known I was telling the truth. Yet somehow you convinced me that I deserved to go to prison. How did you do that?”
“I didn’t do anything, my boy. I promise you. I simply chose to spare you the pain of a prolonged interrogation that’s all.”
“Bullshit!” Sirius cried. His fingers were digging into his palm painfully. “Looking back I can’t believe I allowed myself to be locked up without a fight, but that’s exactly what I did. You preyed on my grief and my guilt. You knew how much pain I was in, but even that doesn’t explain my actions, not completely.”
Dumbledore smiled again and stepped forward. Before Sirius could stop him, Dumbledore touched his hand, “My dear boy, I’m sorry you suffered, but I promise you it was for the best. Everything I do is for the greater good. I’m just trying to keep our world safe and make sure everyone is safe and happy. Surely that’s a worthwhile goal.”
His voice as pleasant and Sirius could see the earnestness in his expression. It struck a chord within Sirius. Of course, Albus always did what was best. Sirius really shouldn’t argue with him. Everything was going to be okay. He felt a rush of magic form his heir ring, and Sirius blinked rapidly for a long moment before his mind cleared. What on Earth had just happened? Dumbledore was dead wrong.
Sirius was sure Dumbledore wanted to keep the world safe. Sirius didn’t believe Dumbledore was evil. He always did what he thought was right. That at least was true. Sirius firmly believed Dumbledore had reasons for what he did, but he had no problem manipulating others to achieve his ends. That much was clear. But nothing else he was saying was making any sense. How as Sirius rotting in Azkaban for the greater good?
Sirius decided to play along, however. Dumbledore was clearly using some sort of spell to gain the compliance of others. It made Sirius’ stomach turn. Mind manipulation magic was a terrible violation.
“I know you’re doing what’s best, but I don’t understand what good my being in prison did. Will you explain it to me?” Sirius kept his voice composed, but he added a pleasing note. It made his stomach churn.
Dumbledore’s eyes twinkled again, and he smiled brightly. “There now. That’s better.” He let go of Sirius’ hand. “It would take too long to explain everything. I promise this was for the best. You believe me don’t you?”
“I think so,” he said slowly. “But I don’t understand. Best for who? For me?”
Dumbledore chuckled. “No obviously not. As I said I regret your incarceration, but it couldn’t be helped. I needed access to Harry Potter, and you were in my way. Harry is the key you see. Voldemort might be gone, but the war isn’t over yet. Harry is going to save us all, but if he’s going to be the hero we need, then I needed him to be strong. I couldn’t have you coddling him, you see. You had to be removed from his life for his own good.”
Sirius bit back a scream of fury. He was going to kill the old man, slowly and painfully. He had f=guessed the old man wanted to use Harry, but not for some imaginary war. Dumbledore had ruined his life and put Harry in danger for nothing.
“I see. I understand you thought what you did was best, but why are you telling me this now?” He was surprised Dumbledore had been honest with him. Clearly, he thought he had the situation under control. Sirius fought to remain calm. He had to play this out.
“I can see I don’t have any other choice. Perhaps I should have confided in you from the beginning rather than trying to work around you. You must give me access to Harry. I must know where he is. Lily’s muggle relative cannot be allowed to raise him. He must return to Petunia. You see that don’t you?”
Dumbledore looking so sincere he believed what he was saying. Sirius felt the bile rise in his throat. He needed to get away from him. Perhaps Dumbledore was insane. Sirius almost hoped so, it would be better than all this being deliberate. Harry wasn’t a hero. He was just a little boy who deserved to have a happy life. Sirius didn’t care what anyone said Harry had not killed Voldemort. That was a ridiculous notion. Sirius had thought Dumbledore realized that, but apparently not. In any case, Sirius wasn’t going to enlighten him.
Sirius, my boy, Are you listening?” Dumbledore prompted smiling looking concerned.
“Yes, of course. I understand you did what you thought was best.” He did his best to smile.
Dumbledore nodded. “Good then you’ll take me to Harry, and we can decide what course of action to take next. You must petition for sole custody immediately.”
Sirius found abruptly that he couldn’t pretend anymore. He took out his wand and pointed it at Dumbledore. “Actually no I won’t. Harry will go back to Petunia over my dead body. I don’t know how you’ve been convincing people to go along with you, but as you can see it doesn’t work on me anymore. I do believe you when you say you’re doing what you believe is best, but I also think you’re utterly wrong. You hurt me, and you hurt Harry. I won’t let you manipulate us again. You’ll never get anywhere near Harry again if I have anything to say about it. If you try, I will kill you.”
Before Dumbledore could say or do anything, Sirius apparated away. He was afraid if he didn’t leave right away, he’d do something drastic and permanent to Dumbledore. He wasn’t about to go back to prison. He had to put Harry first. Sirius landed in the front hall at Grimmauld Place and found he was shaking with fury. He punched the wall and anger, and barely felt the pain of it. How could he have been so stupid? How had he let Dumbledore manipulate him to this extent?
Sirius believed Dumbledore had once been a good man, but he was blinded by his zeal to protect the Wizarding world. He believed he alone knew what was best and he’d do anything to achieve his goals. He had to get to Tony and warn him. He had to know the threat to Harry was more serious than anyone had realized.
England, maybe all of Europe wasn’t safe for any of them. Sirius sighed his heart heavy. He knew he wouldn’t be coming back to England for a long time if at all.
“Sirius? What are you doing here? I thought you were leaving for Paris from Diagon Alley?” His grandfather looked at him more closely. “What’s wrong? You’re white as a sheet.”
“I was, but I ran into Albus Dumbledore.” Suddenly he remembered Langdon. Surely the other man was waiting for him by now. Sirius decided to send a Patronus. It took him several long seconds to find a memory to focus on, but finally, his dog Patronus was in front of him. “Change of plans. Come to Grimmauld Place,” he said, and the dog ran off disappearing through the closed door.
His grandfather had been watching and waiting patiently. “What happened?” he asked. He indicated Sirius’ abraded knuckles. “I punched the wall, but it seems fine.”
“I don’t care about that.” His grandfather took out his wand and healed Sirius’ hand. “What has you so upset?”
As he spoke, he led Sirius back to his study. They sat down at the desk across from each other. He poured them both shots of whiskey. After swallowing his in one go, Sirius filled him in on the conversation he’d just had. The anger rose again as he spoke, but Sirius kept it under control.
“Dumbledore just admitted this to you?”
Sirius nodded. “Yes. I don’t think he intended for me to remember, but I startled him by refusing and apparating away. He was definitely influencing me mentally. You were right. The ring protected me. I don’t understand how he keeps getting away with this.”
His grandfather pressed his finger to his lips thinking. “Hmm. I think normally it’s much more subtle. He was desperate to get you to agree with him, so he acted rather rashly.”
Sirius sighed. “He wants control of Harry. He believes Harry will be important in his upcoming war as he put it. Is he insane? Voldemort is dead, and his followers have scattered to the winds.”
His grandfather scowled “Not all, some bought their current freedom and respectability.”
Sirius tapped his finger on the desk. “Yes, but Malfoy and Lestrange won’t dare make waves not now. Dumbledore is another matter. He’s determined that Harry not be ‘coddled.’” Sirius almost spat out the word.
“He wants to turn my great-grandson into a soldier in some imaginary war,” His grandfather said softly. He reached out and touched Sirius’ arm. “We will not allow this I promise you.”
Sirius smiled slightly. His grandfather’s words warmed him despite the situation.
“We can’t stay here,” his grandfather continued. “It isn’t safe for you either. Dumbledore will consider you an even bigger threat to his plans.”
“Agreed. I’ll leave as soon as Langdon arrives.” Then his grandfather’s words sank in “We?” he asked
“Yes, We. Dumbledore knows I’m one of the few people that can effectively oppose him. The sooner you leave, the better.
“Will you go back to the Manor,” Sirius asked. It was a fortress his grandfather would be safe there.
His grandfather shook his head.” No. I’ll be coming with you. We’re stronger together, and it’s high time I met Harry.”