- Character Bashing
- Alternate Universe
June, 21st 1993
Things have been crazy over the last two weeks; to think that I’m now living with my Godfather, someone who knew and loved my parents. I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the changes … I wish you were here. Sirius said that once Blackmoor manor was repaired and cleaned that you would get an invitation to stay for the rest of the summer, I know you’ve missed your parents but I hope you’ll agree to spend some time with us as well.
Yesterday, Sirius showed me his Animagus form; he can turn into a grim! My dad could turn into a stag. Sirius said he’d tutor me if I wanted to become an Animagus. I’ll probably take him up on the offer; I feel like it would bring me closer to my dad, silly reasoning I know, but that’s how I feel.
You know from the articles that Sirius is a Guide, I think he knows who his Sentinel is, but they’ve had a row. I get the impression Sirius is hiding behind me; like he’s using me as an excuse not to bond. I hope I’m wrong.
Speaking of Sentinel and Guides, do they develop differently in the magical world? Should Madam Pumfrey be testing us? The last testing I had was in muggle primary school. Lately, I’ve been feeling like my Sentinel wants to break out of my skin; it’s harder to settle down, it’s a bit scary. Do you have any books on the magical S&G?
I almost forgot to tell you, I’ve finished the Transfiguration and Charms homework; Sirius read through them and said they were pretty good. Anyway, thank you for writing to me and being my friend.
Hermione frowned, folded her latest letter from her best friend, and left her bedroom. She paused at the entrance of the kitchen watching her parents finish their morning routine.
“Something wrong, princess?” Patrick regarded his daughter over the top of his newspaper.
Hermione squared her shoulders and handed her letter to her father, “I need your advice,” her serious tone was not new to her parents, it never failed to amuse them.
Her mother smiled and pulled her chair closer to her father’s to read over his shoulder, Hermione knew her father reached the part that had troubled her when his shoulders tensed and his jaw clenched. Her mother smoothed her hand up his back and then through his hair. She watched her father’s demeanor closely, despite the reassuring aura her mother released around them, he remained upset.
Patrick’s firm eyes cut towards his daughter, “We were assured that all children would be tested and monitored yearly, during the same appointments for your health check-ups. Are you telling me that you’ve never had those appointments? Those wellness notes from your school were fakes?”
Hermione met his accusing eyes without flinching, “No Daddy! I had those check-ups! I didn’t fake anything!”
“But Harry didn’t,” Erin murmured, her hands grounding her father in their caress over his tense shoulders. “Thank you for bringing this to our attention, dear. Go get your father the supplies he needs to write a letter to Harry’s godfather.”
Hermione nodded, hesitated before she turned, “What will you say?”
“We have an obligation to Harry, not only as medical professionals but as a bonded Sentinel and Guide pair. If he’s in a situation where his Gifts could be harmed by neglect, we’ll take him to the Burton’s Foundation for the check-ups and the education courses he’ll need so he doesn’t hurt himself or others. If his godfather can’t help him in the magical world, we’ll help him in our world.” Her father explained.
Ever since Sirius had said his mother loved Potions, Harry decided to try harder and not let Snape influence how he regarded the subject. Lord Atwater had lent him The Ingredients to Potions’ Success which explained the why and how ingredients needed to be used, along with his school textbook he was halfway through his Potions homework.
Tapping on the window broke his concentration, he was surprised to find Hedwig, “Hey girl, are you alright? Hermione usually lets you rest before she responds to my letter.”
She rubbed her head under his chin; he quickly supplied her with water and removed the letters from around her talons. He was surprised by the second letter addressed to Lord Sirius Black – Earl of Blackmoor in a handwriting he didn’t recognize. He opened Hermione’s letter hoping to find answers.
My father has written to Lord Black regarding your comment about Sentinels and Guides. I have been tested and monitored every year at Hogwarts, your comment was worrisome so I asked my parents for advice, and they will give your godfather the chance to provide you the proper care a Sentinel of your age needs. My parents are prepared to escort you to the Burton’s Foundation yearly and help you choose the courses you need for your developing gifts. I hope you forgive me for sharing our private correspondence.
These are the books I’ve read on magical S&G:
* Sentinels and Guides: Your Magical Spirits by Hobert Poults
* Nurturing Your Spirit Animal by Sorrel Hawthorne
“Bloody hell,” Harry murmured, he ignored Hedwig’s bark of reprimand. He took both letters, went looking for Sirius.
He found Sirius in the library with Lord Atwater, “Um, Sirius. This letter is for you.”
Sirius took the letter with a frown, “What’s wrong, pup? You feel… upset?”
Harry swallowed nervously, “I sent Hermione a letter this morning, and I said something about Sentinel & Guides in the magical world that has her parents worried, that one is from her dad.”
Sirius and Atwater exchanged a startled look. His godfather opened the letter and read through it quickly, the distressed aura leaking from him had Harry taking steps back. Atwater rose, quickly shuffled through his desk then placed the Suppression cuff on Sirius’ left wrist before taking the letter and reading it himself.
Sirius was cradling his head in his hands, “what have they done?” he murmured.
Atwater’s calculating eyes met Harry’s, “Sit down, child. We’ve made assumptions in error and need to hear everything from your lips. Start with your acceptance letter.”
Harry nodded, “My first acceptance letter was delivered by Muggle post, when Uncle Vernon saw it addressed to my cupboard, he burned it, then moved me to Dudley’s second bedroom. The next day there were hundreds addressed to the smallest bedroom and they kept coming even when Aunt Petunia opened one, hoping that if it was opened it would stop more from coming. Just to get away, Uncle Vernon took us to the Hut-on-the-Rock. That night Hagrid showed up with a letter and my first Birthday cake.”
At Sirius’ whimper of distress, Atwater flicked his wand and silenced the distressed Guide.
“Please continue, Harry.” Atwater encouraged.
“Um, well, Hagrid explained that I was a wizard. I found out my parents didn’t die in a car crash.” He stopped abruptly when Sirius stood and started pacing, his hands tugging his hair; he could see his godfather’s mouth moving but heard nothing.
Atwater waved away his hesitation, “Never mind him, go on.”
“Ah, next morning he took me to Diagon Alley. He had my bank key and supplies list, I took out some galleons and we went shopping.” He ended with a shrug.
“Did you meet your Account Manager at Gringotts?” Atwater asked.
Harry’s eyes widened, “I didn’t know I had one, my vault was full but I don’t think I need an Account Manager.”
He jumped when he heard Sirius slamming his hand against the desk. Atwater turned, and sighed when Sirius motioned towards his face, he removed the silencing charm.
“Call Bones, I want to bring charges on every damn person involved in this mess! We’re going to Gringotts. I’m requesting a Dverger healer to check Harry thoroughly, you can interview him or take a copy of his memories, but I am NOT waiting any longer, Atwater.” Sirius ended with a growl.
“What’s a Dverger?”
Sirius’ head whipped around so fast, Harry was sure he snapped his neck. Atwater’s frown was more difficult to interpret.
“Um, sorry… I,” Harry spluttered.
Atwater held up a reassuring hand, shook his head sadly, “Never apologize for asking questions, Harry.” He continued once he saw the boy’s posture relax, “I will assume that since you don’t know the term, that you have been taught, and have been using the racial slur ‘goblin’ to refer to the magical species that run Gringotts,” He stated calmly.
Harry’s horror-stricken face nearly broke Sirius’ heart, “Harry,” he tried to console.
“Why? Why would Hogwarts teach us that term?” Harry was appalled, he shook his head in denial, “I’m not a bigot, Hermione isn’t one either; if anyone would know about that racial slur, she would and she would correct me! What kind of sick world is this? Although why should I be surprised when you lot fought a war over blood purity,” he spat the term, he knew he was sounding hysterical, but he felt sick, he wanted to run. He wanted to take Hermione and run away from the magical world.
“Alright, I think we need to get to the Healer, and if you’re amenable I will take copies of your memories at Hogwarts, there is more than one thing you have said that needs further investigation. I promise you, that we will find the answers,” Atwater vowed.
Sirius pulled his godson into his arms, “Come on pup, go get ready we’ll leave in thirty minutes.” He nudged Harry out of the library and sighed.
“I need to talk to her,” Sirius said softly.
Atwater nodded and pulled out a compact mirror, “Amelia Bones,” he said calmly, he handed the mirror to Sirius before the mirrors connected and left the library.
“Sirius? Are you alright?” Her concerned tone almost undid him, he shook his head.
“I need you to meet us at Gringotts.”
Even bewildered she was beautiful, “In what capacity?”
He drew in a breath, “As the Director of the DMLE, as the Guardian of a student enrolled at Hogwarts, as an advocate for Sentinel rights.” He paused, “I need you there, Amy,” he murmured miserably.
She nodded, “I’ll be there,” she assured softly, “Regarding Sentinel advocate, may I bring Lenore Colibiri from the S&G Liaison office? It would cover all legal aspects.”
“If you trust her, then yes. Don’t tell anyone else in the Ministry, no Aurors.”
Amelia nodded, “I have business with my account manager, I overheard Lenore say she had business to settle at the bank, we’ll make it a girls’ day out,” She finished convincingly.
Sirius chortled, “You chose the crankiest Guide in history to have a girls’ day out with?”
Amelia smiled, “Whatever it takes.”
Little by little, warmth crept up his neck, he knew he was on dangerous ground with the Sentinel, “Um…”
“Sirius, I’m ready.” He turned to find Harry waiting for him in the doorway.
“I’ll see you soon,” Amelia reassured softly, then ended the call before either of them said anything embarrassing. He would have to get his godson a special gift for his timing.
“Alright, let me get my cloak and we’ll be off,” Sirius’ merry demeanor was surface deep, both he and Harry knew it. But sometimes you had to fake it till you made it.
Sirius paced the waiting room in Gringotts, the Dverger had taken Harry further into the Healing Suites an hour ago. He knew from the stories Karluff had told him when he was younger, the further one went into the Healing Suites, the higher status their warriors would attain for their sacrifices. Why did they need to take Harry there?
“Sirius?” Though he was loath to admit his weakness, just having Amelia near him helped settle his frayed nerves.
She stepped further into the room, sat close but not next to him. He noticed the dragon-hide gloves covering her hands and forearms; while Sirius appreciated Amelia respecting his reticence on their bonding and her measures to avoid the bonding, a part of him, wished she wouldn’t.
“The healers needed to move Harry; they said there was dark magic tethered to his core. And his… His Sentinel might be awakening, he’s too young for this,” the break in his voice was hard to ignore.
Amelia frowned in concern; he saw her start to reach out to comfort him before she held herself back. Sirius needed something the Suppression Cuff was incapable of providing, he took the step for them and grabbed her glove clad hand. It was enough to prevent the touch imprint, while still offering the terrified Guide the support he sought.
“Have the healers updated you since taking him? Where’s Atwater?”
“No updates, but they let Atwater go in with them, probably with his work experience,” Sirius trailed off.
Amelia stiffened, but Sirius waved away her worries, “I know who he is Amy, that’s part of what made your silence so painful. You’re the Director of the DMLE, your Godfather is the Director of the DOM.” He explained, stopping himself with a shake of his head, “I… I can’t do this now,” he pleaded.
Amelia tightened her hand around his, “Let me tell you what happened, please! I don’t expect you to change your mind about us, but you need to understand what we found before Croaker retrieved you from Azkaban,” she begged.
Sirius nodded wearily, “Alright,” he leaned back in the chair, subsequently releasing her hand, mentally barricading himself from the hurt he had come to expect from the Sentinel.
Amelia couldn’t afford to be distracted by the loss of her Guide’s hand; she had a chance to explain everything. She wasn’t naive enough to think it would solve their issues, but at least he would understand that he wasn’t the only one who had been hurt.
“I admit that I wronged you, the Registry showed me your name every time I checked the tome. Last Yule I was determined to investigate why you were still listed. I don’t remember why I didn’t, I went to Croaker. He ran a full examination; he found that my memories had been manipulated thirty-seven times in the last twelve years.” She paused when Sirius’ breathing changed; she gave him a moment before she continued.
“I was supposed to retrieve your case file from the Archives. When Atwater showed up for dinner that night, I was surprised; I didn’t remember inviting him over, I didn’t remember any of my suspicions or going to the Archives.” She took a deep breath, her hands shook remembering the manipulations she suffered.
Amelia’s gaze snapped up to his, when she felt his hand in hers again, “What happened, Amy?”
The concern she heard in his soft question nearly broke her, “Your file was covered with an inlay of Runes, set to dissuade the reader and disregard action.”
“What about your memories?” Sirius regarded her closely,
She sighed, “If my magical signature came in contact with the file, a different set of Runes would activate, altering the last twelve hours.” Amelia said, she felt a sense of relief, he finally knew the truth.
She wasn’t surprised by his cussing; but she was surprised when he drew her closer to his side.
“Was Croaker able to harvest a signature? Does he know who did this?” Sirius demanded.
She shook her head, “If I had investigated two years ago, we might have harvested a partial trace. It’s too late now,” She said with regret.
“I’m sorry, Amy,” His regret sparked hope in her. A clearing of the throat drew their attention.
“I didn’t know Gringotts supplied bonding suites.” Lenore Colibiri stated dryly.
Amelia felt like a student caught in a broom-closet, she blushed while the older Guide settled into a seat not far from her.
“I don’t believe they do offer those services, Lenore,” Amelia said.
“Then you best move away from your Guide, Lass. You two are a hair’s breadth away from bonding whether you like it or not,” Colibiri smirked.
Sirius quirked an eyebrow, “We’ve lasted twelve years, we’ll be fine,” trying to deny the older Guide’s assessment.
Colibiri snorted, “Sure you will lad, your wolves are in the corner over there trying to get down to business, the only thing stopping them and you, are the Amulet and Cuff.”
Sirius and Amelia found their spirit animals; Dara- Amelia’s white wolf and Kilo- Sirius’ Black wolf trying to reach the other but held apart by an invisible shield.
“That’s the first I’ve seen Kilo in twelve years,” Sirius choked out sadly.
“He’s not interested in you at the moment. Sit further away from Amelia. Best not to tempt Fate, your boy’s doing enough of that as is.”
At Colibiri’s reminder of Harry’s situation, Amelia saw Sirius deflate; he aged ten years right before her eyes.
“Did you learn anything?”Amelia asked the older woman.
She shook her head, “Not about what’s going on, Atwater told me to bring a friend of the boy’s, Hermione Granger.” Colibiri shook her head sadly, “The boy won’t stop asking for her, I’ll need her address.”
“Thank you for coming with me, Daddy,” Hermione said seriously, she wrung her hands together while taking in every detail of the room Guide Colibiri had asked them to wait in.
Patrick grunted, “You honestly think I was going to let you go anywhere without me after what we learned happened to your friend?”
Hermione frowned and regarded her father seriously, “Should Mom have come as well?”
“I’ll be good Hermione, as long as my child is safe, my Sentinel will remain calm, vigilant but calm,” her father smirked.
She rose to her feet when she saw the man she had read of in the magical newspapers enter the room. She reached out to shake her fellow Guide’s hand; belatedly she realized given his title she might have committed a social faux pas.
“Lord Black, my name is Hermione Granger. This is my father Sentinel Dr. Patrick Granger. Is Harry alright?” Her frank delivery was amusing to the adults around her.
“A pleasure, but there’s no need for formalities, Call me Sirius. This is Amelia Bones.” Sirius pointed to the woman who entered the room with him.
Her father greeted the adults as was proper while keeping a hand on her shoulder, Hermione was unnerved that her question about her friend went unanswered.
Sirius’ gaze met hers, “Harry’s been asking for you,” he had to put up his hands to hold off her advance towards the door.
“The healers found worrisome traces of black magic tethered to his core, right now we’re worried about his Sentinel Gifts; they’re emerging, the healers estimate they’ve been emerging since mid-May,” Sirius informed them.
Hermione blinked, “So after his encounter with the basilisk, it’s not uncommon for traumatic events to speed up magical maturation and hence his Sentinel awakening,” She stated bluntly.
The gob-smacked looks worried her, “Are these healers simply waving wands at Harry, or have they taken a proper history? You know what, don’t answer just take me to him.” She demanded.
“I like you, lass,” Colibiri said, then turned to lead them out the door, Hermione followed quickly, dragging her father by the wrist.
“Amy, please tell me that girl didn’t say my godson interacted with a basilisk,” Amelia winced at Sirius’ soft plea. She took his hand and tugged him along, “We need to keep up with them.”
Sirius huffed, “Nice evasion,” he growled.
Harry was glad to be in a recliner, it was comfortable and he felt in more control than when he had to be in a bed. He knew the healers were hiding something. Atwater assured him that he’d sent for Hermione. He supposed her parents could object to her coming, he wouldn’t fault them that.
Thank Merlin, he thought before he was engulfed in one of his best friend’s hugs, Harry pulled Hermione into his lap and held on for dear life, his head turned into her neck taking in her scent, the roiling in his stomach he’d felt all month calmed the longer he held her.
“Thank you, thank you for coming,” he whispered, he meant it for her ears along but Harry knew that any Sentinel would hear him.
She tutted, “Of course, I’m here.” She pulled away enough to leave a kiss on his cheek, his arms tightened around her when he felt her pulling to get off his lap.
“All right, pup. She’s not a squishy toy,” Sirius mocked.
Harry felt the heat rise up his neck, but between the glare Hermione sent his godfather and the head-slap Amelia delivered, he relaxed quickly enough.
“Master Egnast, Hermione had a theory about Harry’s Sentinel emergence.”
The Dverger healer looked toward the young witch, his skepticism was clear. Atwater was the one to encourage her to speak.
“During my research on magical maturation, I read that traumatic events may accelerate the maturation. If Harry’s first magical maturation began early, then the first step of his Sentinel awakening would start early as well.”
Harry frowned as he took in the new information, “What ages would the maturations normally be?”
“Fifteen, seventeen and the third ranges from twenty-one to twenty-five. Regarding magical S&G the first stage encompasses the senses and instincts, the next stage is the introduction of your Spirit Animal through dreams, and the final stage is the integration of your Spirit Animal from the psionic realm to our realm and the ability to form bonds between Sentinels and Guides.” Hermione stated confidently.
“She just summarized a book into a paragraph… A paragraph that made sense, not like the rubbish the Ministry hands out,” Colibiri murmured.
“So you think my second maturations will be at fifteen then my final maturation between nineteen and twenty-three?” Harry asked.
Hermione shrugged, Atwater interrupted before the teens could delve more into their theory, “What traumatic event do you attribute this to?”
Harry and Hermione replied together, “Basilisk bite.”
The uproar of their unanimous statement was startling; everything was so loud all of a sudden. Harry tugged Hermione closer to him, he felt like he had to have her behind him, he closed his eyes with a wince. A shrill whistle broke through the noise.
Harry’s eyes opened and focused on the muggle shirt and jeans standing in front of him, facing the others.
“I don’t know what magicals go through when Sentinels emerge, but if it is anything like what I had to go through, you just tortured this poor boy. Hermione’s theory may be outlandish, but his reaction to noise and the protective instincts he’s showing towards a close Guide is enough for me. If you can’t control yourselves and help him, I’m taking the children somewhere that can. Do I make myself clear?”
Harry had to admire Patrick’s delivery, he got his point across without shouting and he felt himself relaxing his grip on his friend knowing her father had their backs. Hermione wiggled until she was back in his lap, “You ok?” She whispered as she ran her hand through his hair like she’d seen her mother do for her father.
Harry nodded, he returned his attention to the adults when Amelia stepped forward, “Harry, I apologize for our reactions. Sentinel Granger is correct in his reprimand, but we do need to clarify some things that have happened, do you understand?”
“Headmaster Dumbledore knows all of this already,” He shook his head unsure of what benefit he could be.
“Of course he does, that bastard,” Colibiri grumbled before moving further away from the children when Patrick growled at her.
“I’m going to be sick,” Sirius moaned, Amelia reached for his hand as he slumped into his chair.
Atwater pursed his lips, and looked towards the Dverger healer, “Is it safe to retrieve memories from him? Emotions are running high and I believe we’ll miss something if we don’t see for ourselves what he went through.”
Egnast nodded, “I would recommend the orb rather than a wand, his instincts are too revved up to not react to a wand pointed at him and his witch,” he said.
Harry looked to Hermione, “I think I’m going to get in trouble for the Chamber business,” he murmured.
She snorted, “Then make sure you include in the memories your attempts to get a Professor to help, also your meeting with Dumbledore afterwards.”
Harry nodded, and looked resolutely to Atwater and the healer, “So how do we do this?”