- Character Bashing
- Alternate Universe
June 31st 1993 – Gringotts
Sirius knew the Dverger found something dire when he received the emergency directive that he present himself at the bank alone. Karluff met him in the main anteroom of the bank and led him to one of the deepest offices Sirius had ever seen.
“Is there a problem, Karluff?”
“We have finished the audit of the Black and Potter accounts; you will be informed of the vast irregularities. Master Egnast will join us later to give you the report regarding the research on Heir Potter’s status.”
Sirius swallowed and straightened his shoulders, when they stopped in front of a stone-carved door, guarded by two armor-clad Dverger, “Any advice you can offer me, Karluff?”
The Dverger regarded him sympathetically, “If you want to keep your head, keep hold of your magic in this meeting, Lord Black.” he said sagely before leading him into the room.
Sirius watched the Ward Masters impassively as they finished the final calibrations linking the runes around the boundaries of Blackmoor Manor to the master ward stone set in the basement.
The last time he felt this emotionally wrung-out was when he was in Azkaban, his meeting with Chieftain Ragnok and his Account Manager Karluff had lasted three hours. Those three hours had nearly broken him. He understood the need for secrecy, but it was cruel of the Dverger to expect Sirius to handle everything he learned by himself, well technically he could share it with his Sentinel, but he wasn’t bonded to Amelia; her concerns were not his. They had come a long way in forgiving the other for the years of doubt and lack of action, but could they forget so they could finalize their bond? Could he let it all go? Sirius scoffed internally, with what he’d learned earlier, he was a selfish child if he didn’t.
“Lord Black?” Sirius turned his attention to the Ward Master in front of him.
“My apologies Master Gorlig,” He forced himself back to the task at hand as Gorlig linked Sirius to the Ward stone, offering explicit instruction on how to adjust the wards.
Sirius took the chance presented and had the Dverger add the most stringent wards. The punishments of breaching the wards depended on the intent and which layer of the wards was breached; after all, he didn’t need Harry’s limb chopped off if the teenager came home angry.
Gringotts held the magical signatures of all the witches and wizards to ever enter their domain. He gave Amelia, Atwater, and Harry full access through the wards, while Hermione and Susan would be slowed down by the intent ward; he wouldn’t keep them out.
Sirius sighed sadly when he realized he couldn’t add Remus; his childhood friend had yet to respond to his correspondence. He felt the fool for believing what they had as children could survive the turmoil of the past twelve years when the seeds of distrust had been sown more than a year before they lost James and Lily.
Sirius escorted the warding staff to the ward boundaries, signed off on their receipt for services provided before they were portkeyed away. Sirius turned to take in Blackmoor Manor, it truly was a beautiful place; the medieval structure with additional Tudor elements always fascinated him as a young boy, the lands surrounding it and large lake added the finishing touch to his ancestral home, it was nothing like the bleak Georgian terraced Grimmauld Place – his childhood home.
Sirius could see raising Harry and any children he and Amy were blessed with at Blackmoor Manor. He scoffed, “You need their would-be mother to give you a chance before you start planning the nursery, Padfoot,” he muttered before entering the manor.
I need to discuss things privately with you before we return to Norwood, I’ve added you to the wards of Blackmoor Manor
Amelia held the short note that the Owl delivered, she couldn’t get a read from the note of the nature the ‘discussion’ would take. She glance at the clock, she had fifteen minutes remaining before her day ended. Not wanting to risk any surveillance, she would floo home first then from there she would floo to Blackmoor.
Nearly forty minutes later, Amelia stepped out of the fireplace of what looked like the Lord’s office.
“I wasn’t sure you’d come,” Sirius said softly from his seat by the window.
Amelia waved her wand, cleaning away the soot, “There was no reason that I wouldn’t. The tone of your note was worrying.” She admitted.
Sirius frowned, “Worrying?”
Amelia shrugged, “I couldn’t get a read of your mood, I’m very good at telling when someone is mad, concerned, happy, etc… Your note was just… blank.”
Sirius smirked, “That’s very Guide like behavior for a Sentinel, don’t you think?” He teased.
She rolled her eyes, removed her outer robe, and sat next to him on the chesterfield, “Are you going to tell me what’s going on, or are we going to play word games?”
He wiped a hand down his face, “I had a meeting with Ragnok this morning, Voldemort created Horcruxes,” He said wearily.
Horror siphoned the blood from her face, “He made more than one? How… No,” She shook her head in denial as her sharp mind provided her with the answer she sought, “What they pulled from Harry, was that…?” She could hardly finish her sentence, Sirius nodded.
“Dumbledore knew; the wards of Hogwart would have informed him maybe not who but that there was foul magic in his school!” She seethed.
Sirius nodded, “You know from Harry’s memories that Dumbledore knows more than what he’s sharing. He’s setting my boy up, whether it’s to take the fall or to… to be killed, I don’t know. But he’s a danger to Harry and as far as I’m concerned a danger to all the students of Hogwarts.” He said.
“What else?” She waved away Sirius’ surprise, “Don’t piecemeal it, Sirius! Just tell me.” Amelia demanded.
“The results of the audit on the Black and Potter accounts were discussed, apparently Bellatrix just changed her name on her Black trust vault so it still fell under the Black estate; one of the bastard’s Horcruxes was inside… Helga Hufflepuff’s cup, the Dverger are using the soul piece in it to trace the others.”
He took her shock and silence as a prompt to continue, “They traced one to my childhood home, according to Kreatcher – my mother’s old house elf- Regulus stole the Locket and his dying orders were for Kreatcher to destroy it. Of course, he couldn’t, the damn thing had driven the elf nearly mad. The Dverger are trying to heal him but…” he shrugged.
Amelia released a breath, “Two have been found with ties to your family, are the Dverger suspicious?”
He shook his head, “I gave them Bellatrix’s vault in forfeit of housing the Horcrux in the bank, which seemed to smooth things over. They’ve set up teams to deal with the remaining three.” He said.
“He created six?” She asked in shock.
He shook his head, “Seven. The Diary Harry destroyed at the end of the semester, was a Horcrux. Including the one tethered to Harry, four have been destroyed, three remain. One of them is near a muggle village, one is in a living being – by the patterns of movements the Dverger believe it’s a snake, the last one… is in Hogwarts.”
“We are not sending the children back there until that thing is removed,” Amelia growled.
“Dumbledore or the Horcrux?” Sirius asked with a smirk, he laughed at the glare he received for his attempt at levity.
“Anything else revealed at this meeting?” She asked mockingly, her mouth dropped when Sirius nodded, “What else could there possibly be, Sirius? We’re going to need Mind healers by the end of this!” She exclaimed.
“In times of war the bonding of a Sentinel and Guide release power not often needed, they’ll also draw other S&G towards them, to protect the tribe, their family,” He said looking out the window.
Amelia’s eyes narrowed, “What are you saying, Sirius?”
He met her gaze, “If our bonding would stop more than one madman, save lives and keep our children safe. Would you do it?”
The silence became unbearable, but Amelia felt she needed to give his question the consideration it deserved, “I have to admit I’m disappointed we -as a couple- aren’t factored into the equation, since the beginning I’ve wanted your forgiveness, for you to give us a chance,” Her voice broke before she cleared her throat, “I can’t think of another I would rather be bonded with for whatever reason.” Amelia assured.
“I forgave you, Amy,” Sirius assured, “I just couldn’t be sure that I deserved you, I was afraid that I’d be holding you back and you’d end up resenting me, I couldn’t bear that.” He explained.
Amelia shook her head, “You are so seeing a mind healer,”
He smirked, his eyes dropped to her glove clad hand before meeting her eyes again, and waited, challenging her to go through with it; to start the words that would bind them.
She pulled off her gloves tossing them aside, reached behind her neck to unclasp the Suppression Amulet storing it in her bracelet. Her senses came to life in his presence, she took a fortifying breath, held out both hands palms up.
Sirius reached out and took her hands in his, he saw her eyes squeeze shut, they felt the magic stir around them, their Spirit animals appeared before them.
Amelia licked her dry lower lip, his scent, touch, and sound were intoxicating she took a deep breath and began their shared vow, “I promise on this day to share your joy, your pain, your burdens, and your dreams, and to help you navigate the maze of life together, I bind my spirit to yours.” She vowed, and her white wolf Dara lowered her head.
Sirius repeated the vow, his black wolf Kilo lowered his head and the spirit animals merged.
Sirius pulled Amelia into his lap; she could feel the heat of his body caress the entire length of hers, his lips brushed against hers as he spoke “My Sentinel,”
Shivers of delight coursed through her, “My Guide,” Their first kiss was surprisingly gentle before their magic surged out of their separate bodies, joined, and sank back into them. She felt the merger of their mental shields, the swell of emotions was overwhelming, she couldn’t hold back the gasp.
“Shh, I’ve got you,” Sirius reassured, she felt him pick her up and walk away with her. Apparition would be agonizing on their senses so soon after the bonding.
“We should have relocated before we began the bonding,” Amelia grumbled running her hands everywhere she could find purchase until they got to the master bedroom.
She smiled when Sirius gently eased her down onto the bed, “How did I get so lucky? What could a gorgeous Sentinel like you, see in a grim like me?”
Amelia was glad for the semi-darkness that hid the flush in her cheeks, she ran her hand through his hair pulling him closer, “Sweet talker, let’s complete the bonding because we have a war to get to.”