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The secret was never supposed to be discovered. When fate caused two heartbroken young women to bump into one another one winter day and for a terrible secret to form they never expected that one day that secret would be exposed. Of course they expected to survive the war, to continue to guard their secret. Unfortunately that did not happen for either one of them and so they took their secret to the grave, leaving no one alive who knew the truth. No one who could stop it from coming to the surface. Because often times even the deepest, darkest, most hidden secrets have a way of coming to the surface.
Harry James Potter groaned as rolled over in bed. He'd been woken up by a loud pounding and an insistent shrieking outside his door. It was a reminder that today was Harry's first day of summer. Most teenagers loved summer the chance to sleep in and a break from schoolwork. But not Harry. For Harry summer meant an endless list of chores, meager meals and the loving company of his relatives, the dear sweet Dursleys.
Not wanting to but having no choice Harry rolled out of bed and fumbled with his glasses before opening his eyes. However something strange happened when he opened his eyes. His surroundings were incredibly blurry. Frowning he pulled off his glasses to clean them. They must have gotten smudged or something when Dudley pushed him into the bushes in front of the house when they got back yesterday. Once his glasses were off he realized he could see perfectly. His jaw hanging open in shock Harry quickly lifted his head to look around the room in awe of being able to see so clearly without his glasses. Then just like that everything was blurry again and he had to put his glasses on once more. Confused and worried that maybe he was going a bit mad he shrugged it off and trudged downstairs to start breakfast.
The incident was soon forgotten until he woke up several days later in the middle of the night to extreme cramps. His whole body was tingling and tensing. It felt like he was being stretched and it was painful. There was nothing he could do about though and so he simply tried to relax and get back to sleep. He brought it up with his aunt the next day and she hardly spared him a glance before saying he probably just hit a growth spurt. Harry did notice that he was a few inches taller. He'd always been average in a height, maybe a little on the short side, but average nonetheless and gaining a few inches was exciting to him. However he wasn't quite sure that you were supposed to grow several inches in just one night.
He decided to send a letter to Sirius just mentioning it. Who knows maybe puberty was more severe and happened more quickly for wizards than muggles. Harry smiled to think that he had someone, an adult someone that he could confide in and ask questions to. Sure he'd only met Sirius this past year and for most of that year he'd thought he was a crazed murderer but he was the closest thing Harry had to a parent and who actually wanted the role.
As Harry waited for Sirius' response he noticed other changes about himself. His hair wasn't quite as messy as it was before. In fact it was such a small change that he wasn't sure if it actually was real or if he was just making things up and he was making more out of these physically changes than there are actually were. When Sirius's letter finally arrived it said something along those same lines. He assured Harry that everything was fine and it was a natural part of growing up. Harry had to agree and tried to calm down. Being cooped at the Dursleys was making him crazy. For once was just a normal boy going through normal changes. He sent Sirius a thank you letter and a request for some stories about his dad as teenager.
His feelings of peace all changed when a week later Harry was working in the yard and everything suddenly went blurry. He took off his glasses and everything was once again in perfect clarity. Feeling extremely strange Harry rubbed at his eyes and blinked a few times to see if it would go away. It didn't. He stood there not knowing what to do. Harry wasn't quite as smart as Hermione or had as much experience in the wizarding world as Ron but even Harry knew that going from being as blind as a bat to seeing in perfect detail wasn't a normal part of growing up, even for wizards.
"Boy what do you think you're doing just standing about?" Aunt Petunia demanded.
Harry turned to look at her still at lost for words as to what was going on.
"What have you done to your eyes!?" She shrieked, her voice shriller than normal.
"What? What's wrong with them?" Harry gasped his hands immediately going to his face. He looked around for a reflective surface he could look into. What could possibly be happening to his eyes?
"We told you, you couldn't use any of that freakishness here!" She shouted.
"I didn't do anything. I swear. Aunt Petunia what's wrong with my eyes?" Harry begged feeling his panic rising.
For once his Aunt seemed to take pity on him or else even her prejudiced mind was able to realize that her nephew was truly terrified about what was going on.
"Your eyes are blue," she said.
"Blue?" Harry said feeling off.
"Yes, well send a letter off to those other freaks then. I'm sure they'll know what's wrong with you. I won't have whatever freakish thing that's wrong with you affecting my Duddykins," she said dismissively, seeming to have reached her kindness level towards Harry for the day.
Harry raced to do just that before realizing that Hedwig was still off delivering his most recent letter to Sirius. He didn't know how else to contact anyone. He tried not to panic. It couldn't be anything too serious it wasn't even harmful. It was actually sort of a good thing being able to see without his glasses. He walked to the bathroom and looked into the mirror. Harry stared into his newly acquired bright sapphire blue eyes not really knowing how to feel about them. Was this permanent or would they be able to change them back into the vibrant green of his mum's? Everyone always said he had his mother's eyes and he didn't want to lose that.
Shaking it off he informed his aunt that because Hedwig was gone the call would have to wait and then went back to the yard work. It was an hour or so later that his body was hit by a wave of painful tremors. They sent him to his knees and through a blur of pain he managed to get back into the house. With his last bit of strength he called to his aunt hoping that she'd think of something or at least be able to put him out of his misery before he collapsed into blissful nothingness.
When he woke again it was to the all too familiar smell of the hospital wing at Hogwarts, however when he opened his eyes he found himself in an unfamiliar hospital room. He looked around and noted the moving portraits on the walls and figured this must be the wizarding hospital he'd heard about, St. Mungo's. He couldn't remember how he'd gotten here but he was feeling somewhat more relaxed knowing he was now in the wizarding world and that they would most likely be able to take care of anything that was wrong with him.
He was just forcing his achy limbs into an upright position when a brown haired gentleman in his forties with kind brown eyes entered the room. He wore green robes and exuded a calm professional demeanor that immediately put Harry at ease. Besides he wouldn't be smiling if something truly bad had happened to Harry.
"Hello Harry, I'm Healer Baybridge. You are in St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries and I've been put in charge of your care," he informed sitting himself down in a chair besides Harry's bed.
"Okay," Harry said shakily. "What happened?"
"After you fainted your aunt took you to a muggle hospital. St. Mungo's has fail safes in place in regards to muggleborn children. If they happen to enter a muggle hospital with an injury St. Mungo's is immediately notified and someone is sent out to collect them in case that child has an ailment that needs magical intervention which muggle doctors are unable to provide. So when your aunt brought you in we were notified here and went to collect you. You've been asleep for about two hours now," he explained calmly.
"So what's wrong with me?" Harry asked hesitantly.
"Nothing is wrong with you per say. Your case is actually rather unique. One we've never actually dealt with before. But to make the long story short your body is simply reverting to its natural state," the Healer elaborated carefully.
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"Do you know anything about adoption rituals Harry?" Healer Baybridge asked.
"No," replied Harry.
"Well you see adoption rituals and potions have been around for quite some time in our world. Almost all of them are now illegal because of the purposes they served back in the old days and the type of magic they involve. When a witch or wizard was unable to have children they would steal a muggleborn child and use a blood adoption potion to save face and keep everyone from knowing they were infertile. The potion when mixed with the blood of the two adoptive parents would alter the child to appear as if they were the child of the adoptive parents. The potion would start to wear off after about thirteen years from when it was first taken unless the potion was administered a second time, just before the effects wore off, then the changes would remain permanent. If not then the potions effects would wear off and the child would slowly revert to his or her natural state."
The blood in Harry's ears was roaring. He knew where this was leading but he was frozen unable to do anything but sit and listen as Healer Baybridge crushed the fragile reality of Harry's life.
"Now as you've probably guessed I'm telling you this information because you were under the effects of a blood adoption potion. I believe it has lasted a bit longer than the normal thirteen years and with more severe withdrawal symptoms because it was taken while you were still in the womb. The effects of which have never been documented. We've looked over your birth records because as you can imagine we were quite shocked to discover this and many are unable to believe that you aren't the child of Lily and James Potter," he paused a moment to let that thought sink in a bit before he continued.
"But on further investigation it seems that you were reported to have been born at home and were only brought in after. Both Lily and James claimed you as their biological child so of course no one ever suspected anything differently which led to problems because there were no leads as to who your biological parents were. Because of legal matters since you were never formally adopted you still legally belong to your biological parents. We here at the hospital were required under law to perform a Paternis charm to reveal who your biological parents were so that they may notified and so you could be placed within their care," here the Healer paused again looking at Harry as if trying to gauge if he was ready for the next bit of information.
Harry's mind was in a whirlwind. James and Lily Potter weren't his parents? They'd adopted him through some sort of blood potion and apparently hadn't done it legally. Did anyone else know about this? How could they have lied to him? The Dursleys weren't really his relatives. His real parents might still be alive. But they had given him up for adoption so they hadn't wanted him right? Unless he'd been stolen. Oh Merlin what if he'd been stolen? All of these thoughts and so many more were just bouncing around inside his head with no clear organization or way to stop them.
"Who are they? Who are my parents?" Harry croaked.
Healer Baybridge took a deep breath what he said next wasn't going to be easy for the poor boy to hear. He was already going through so much having something like this added to it was just adding insult to injury.
"Your mother's name is Iphigenia Malfoy. I'm afraid she passed away in June of 1981. But the good news is that your mother's parents are still alive as well as an older brother. You may have heard of him? Lucius Malfoy? They are quite well off from what I hear. Your grandparents have been notified about the situation and even now are in the process of gaining legal custody of you," the Healer said.
Harry gaped at him. Good news? It was good news that he was related to the Malfoys? Oh Merlin Lucius Malfoy that smarmy, slimy bastard was his uncle! And Malfoy, Draco freaking Malfoy, was his cousin! No this was a mistake, a dream and any moment now Harry would wake up and laugh at this crazy dream.
"Now as for your father. This might be a little more difficult for you to hear," said the Healer.
What could be worse than being related to the Malfoys?
"Your father's name is Sirius Black," Healer Baybridge told him.
Harry gaped at him, not caring that his jaw was hanging on the floor or that he probably resembled a codfish. Sirius was his father? Did he know? Why hadn't he said anything to Harry? Had he really not wanted him? But he had seemed to genuinely want Harry before, even asking him to come live with him when he thought he was going to get his name cleared.
"I know this is difficult knowing what he's done but you have nothing to fear he has no legal right to you and I'm sure your mother's relatives will keep you safe from him," the Healer assured patting him on the back.
He had mistaken Harry's utter shock as fear. But truthfully Harry was happier to discover that Sirius was his father than the Malfoys were his relatives. It was also a joke to think that the Malfoys needed to protect him from Sirius when in truth it was the other way around.
Another Healer bustled into the room holding some vials of potions and some scrolls. They had a brief chat in which they used a silencing spell around them so Harry couldn't eavesdrop before the other Healer departed. Healer Baybridge looked over the scrolls and nodded before turning to look back at Harry.
"Well it seems that your maternal grandparents have been granted custody of you and we can now move along with your treatment. As I mentioned earlier because the blood adoption potion was delivered to you while you were still in your mother's womb it has caused more adverse effects. You will continue to be plagued by random bouts of severe pain and discomfort as your body shifts back into its natural form. There are two ways to treat this: one is to give you a second dose of the blood adoption potion or to give you the antidote. The first option however is impossible, one because brewing the potion is illegal and two because we no longer have access to James or Lily Potter's blood."
"So I have to take the antidote?" asked Harry feeling like the walls were closing in on him and wishing that there was someone else here to help him figure all of this out.
"I'm afraid so, yes. It will be a shocking change of course but it is something that must be done unless you want to suffer for the foreseeable future as your body reverts to it's natural state," Healer Baybridge said firmly.
"So I'll look completely different? Will there be any other changes?" Harry asked hesitantly.
"Your magic will be different. For example a subject you were once good at may now be a struggle for you or vice versus. It won't change your personality or your memories. You'll still be you just closer to the you, you should have been born as," he explained neutrally.
Harry looked at the vials in his hand. He couldn't see any way out of this. He was already changing and there was no going back. He might as well just do it quickly, like a band aid just yank it off quickly and be done with it. As for being in the custody of the Malfoys, there wasn't much he could do about it since he was a minor and not taking the potion wasn't going to stop them from taking him. And if Harry was being honest with himself he was curious as to what he really looked like. What would it be like to not look in the mirror and see his wild black hair, green eyes and spectacles? As long as his face wasn't as pointy as Malfoy's he didn't really care. What would it be like not to have knobby knees or be one of the shorter boys in his class? Would he be better at magic? Harry wanted to know.
"Alright," he murmured before he could lose his nerve.
"Here first take this. It's a numbing potion to keep you from feeling the pain from the rapid changes. Then this one. It's a high quality nutrient potion to make sure your body has the correct amount of weight and nutrients for your new body's size and weight. After all you look like you'll be a bit taller and we don't want you getting too thin or cause your bones to become brittle. Finally the blood adoption antidote," Healer Baybridge explained as he handed the vials of potions to Harry one by one.
Harry gulped each one down quickly only hesitating for a moment on the last one before it too was swallowed. Healer Baybridge helped him relax back against the bed as the tingling started. Harry could feel the shifting of his body and though the sensation was off putting it wasn't as unpleasant as the jarring pain of before. It swept out through every part of his body and he swore he could even feel his hair tingling. He could feel his bones lengthening and skin stretching and tried to keep himself from panicking as even his magic was rearranging itself inside him. He wondered vaguely if he would need a new wand after this.
Finally it was over. It had felt like an eternity had passed but Healer Baybridge calmly informed him that it been more like five minutes. He made Harry lie still on the bed for another five minutes to allow himself to settle down and make sure that the changes were complete. Harry felt strange. Even the way his tongue moved in his mouth and the feel of his teeth against it was different than he was used to. When he'd spoken his voice was different, smoother and not at all like he'd sounded before.
He looked over his hands which were bigger, the palms broader and somehow more aristocratic looking with more elegantly shaped fingers. His skin was paler; it no longer held the slightly always tanned look it had before. It was now a pale cream, much like Malfoy's. The thought made him shudder and anxious to see the rest of his new face. Healer Baybridge finally relented and helped him into the bathroom. Harry wasn't really feeling any sort of negative after affects, in fact he felt better than he could ever remember feeling, but with his new greater height and larger feet he would have taken several headers into the floor if Healer Baybridge hadn't caught him.
When they got to the mirror Harry could only stare unable to believe that the boy looking back at him was actually him. Harry couldn't deny there was rightness to this new look, this new body. It was as if he'd been wearing his tie too tight for so long that he'd stopped noticing until he'd finally removed it and felt the relief of no longer being so constricted. He was relieved to discover that he greatly resembled Sirius or at least what he thought Sirius would look like had he not been in Azkaban the for the past twelve years. He had the same square jaw with sharp aristocratic cheekbones. His hair was somehow an even deeper black than before and fell silky straight against his scalp. His lips were fuller than he was used to which he wasn't sure he liked. His nose though the general shape and size of Sirius's seemed a bit pointier, more like Malfoy's as did his chin. But luckily for him Sirius's other features drowned them out and kept him from looking too much like ferret faced Malfoy. He had elegantly arched thick black brows over his eyes which were a piercing sapphire blue which must have come from his mother.
Harry felt a sudden pang that he would still never get the chance to know his mum and couldn't help but wonder why she hadn't kept him. After all the potion was taken while she'd been pregnant with him; surely she'd done it willingly and then given him to James and Lily Potter. He also felt a little remorse for using James and Lily's names and how easy it was for him not to think of them as his parents. They had died for him after all but he realized it was so easy to accept they weren't his parents because until he got to Hogwarts he hadn't even known anything about them. It was so much easier to latch on to thinking of Sirius as his father knowing he was alive and having actually met him.
But all in all Harry had to admit he was much more handsome now. He'd never really been vain before but now even he had to admit he was quite good looking. He was also taller with a wider frame, which would probably only continue to grow since he was only a few months shy of his fourteenth birthday. Really the only way someone would ever be able to know that he was Harry Potter was the lightning bolt shape scar on his brow. Harry was disappointed to find it was still there but Healer Baybridge said that it was a curse scar and nothing would be able to get rid of it.
Healer Baybridge had had to leave shortly after that and made sure Harry was settled in with some lunch before heading off. Harry sat eating his lunch his mind going over and over the things that had happened in just a few hours. What would this mean for him? Baybridge had said the Malfoy's had custody of him but surely that didn't mean he'd have to live with them right? Of course if it was between the Malfoys and the Dursleys it would be a tough call. They probably wouldn't even want Harry. Lucius and Draco hated him so surely that meant that Lucius's father would hate him too. But the man was his grandfather. Harry's grandfather! Harry had always dreamed of finding out he had more family somewhere. He'd always wanted grandparents to spoil him and coo over him like Dudley's did. It was just his luck that he'd get stuck with the Malfoys.
Adopted from savya398.
Here's Chapter 2! I hope you enjoy it. :)
He was still so deep in his own thoughts that he barely even noticed when the door to his room opened and shut quietly admitting five people.
Hearing a deep familiar voice say "Oh Merlin," was the only thing that made Harry aware he was no longer alone. He turned towards the noise and locked eyes with a familiar set of charcoal gray eyes.
"Sirius," Harry perked up smiling at the man and forgetting all of his fears and doubts about being abandoned by him from his mind. He was just too relieved to actually see the man.
"Harry? Is that really you pup?" He asked his voice quivering.
"Yes," Harry said firmly.
Sirius looked so shocked, so stunned and awed as he gazed at him that Harry knew without a shadow of a doubt that Sirius had had no idea about any of this. In the next instant it was confirmed as Sirius yanked him into a fierce hug and started stammering apologies about how he hadn't known and how sorry he was and how he would be there for him now in any way that he could and that he wanted to be Harry's father more than anything, as long as Harry wanted him. Harry could do nothing but hug him back and assure Sirius that he wanted him to be his father too, a feeling of warmth spreading through him in the knowledge that he was wanted. That this man was his father and that he wanted Harry as his son, that he was happy to have Harry as his son.
Sirius pulled back after a moment and looked him over closely as if trying to memorize every little detail. Harry stared back equally devoted to looking at the face of his father. He looked a lot better than Harry had last seen him a couple of weeks ago but he knew he still had a lot of recovering to do before he was back into top shape. Harry was just relieved that he was recovering and would pull through.
"Sirius, my boy, I know this is a shock and you want the chance to discuss things with Harry in more depth but we haven't the time. I was lucky to get us the time we have now and I need Madame Pomfrey to check Harry over to insure that this all hasn't been some elaborate hoax," Dumbledore's voice came from behind Sirius and Harry was reminded that there were others in the room with them.
Harry looked over Sirius's shoulder to see his Headmaster Albus Dumbledore in his normal bright colored robes but he lacked the expected twinkle in his blue eyes. With him was a man Harry adored, Remus Lupin. He looked utterly floored as he stared from Harry to Sirius although a faint smile was beginning to curve his lips. Then there was Snape looking just as greasy and foul tempered as always as he sneered at Harry with even more venom than usual. The last person was Madame Pomfrey someone Harry really wished he wasn't so well acquainted with. Oh she was a wonderful person but she was also the school nurse and someone who had had to patch Harry up on more than one occasion.
"Right of course," Sirius agreed instantly stepping back so Madame Pomfrey could step forward. Sirius did look a bit irritated which Harry could understand. Why would Dumbledore think this was a hoax? How could someone manage to pull something as elaborate as this? What could they gain from doing such a thing? Harry had no idea.
Madame Pomfrey was her normal professional but warm self as she cast several diagnostic spells on Harry before finally casting one that caused two silvery clouds to float above his head and formed into two separate pictures. One was of a younger, healthier Sirius with his name, Sirius Orion Black, underneath causing Harry to stifle a chuckle at his initials. The second cloud formed the picture of a lovely young woman with pretty, pointed features, long silky straight white blonde hair and bright sapphire blue eyes much like the pair Harry now possessed. Underneath the cloud the name Iphigenia Alcmene Malfoy appeared.
"I told you Albus. They would not try to fake something like this. There is nothing we can do unless we somehow manage to clear the mutt's name," Snape snarled. Harry looked at Dumbledore as he stroked his beard and looked troubled.
"Surely the Ministry will take into account Harry's wishes and the fact that he has grown up with the Dursleys," Dumbledore said.
"No, they'll only see an illegal adoption and the fact that Pott—Black is the biological grandson of Abraxas Malfoy who has the rightful claim to him with Iphigenia dead and his father a fugitive. And even then Lucius has the Minister eating out of the palm of his hand so whatever the Malfoys want they will get. And I'm sure they'll want nothing more than to get their hands on the Boy-Who-Lived. We can't stop them," Snape argued back. Harry was thrown by the fact that Snape had just referred to him as Black instead of Potter.
"Even if we did stop the Malfoys the next claim would fall to my family and I'm sure they'd do anything to make sure they assumed complete control over him," Sirius muttered.
"Why would they want that?" Harry asked a little startled.
"I'm the last male heir to the Most Ancient and Noble House of Black and though I may be a failure you're their last chance from letting the family die out completely. Trust me, finding out about you will make the miserable old bastards dance a jig knowing I managed to do something right and produce a pureblooded offspring especially with a Malfoy," Sirius said with more than a hint of bitterness.
"So wait you're saying that there's nothing you can do? I'm going to have to go live with the Malfoys?" Harry asked panicking a little.
"I'm afraid so Harry. They're finalizing the paperwork now. I did try and delay them a bit but unfortunately they will be taking you home with them this evening," said Dumbledore. Harry wasn't sure what to do. This was all happening too quickly. He didn't especially like the Dursleys but he knew what to expect from them. But he knew he hated Lucius and Draco Malfoy and Abraxas Malfoy was an unknown entity. Although, Harry was a bit put off with Dumbledore trying to stop him from being placed with the Malfoys. Shouldn't he have at least asked Harry's opinion on what he wanted to do in regards to his newly discovered family before meddling?
"Albus I'm afraid we're going to have to leave now our time is almost up," Remus reminded gently.
"Yes of course," Dumbledore said. "Harry we will try to sort things out but at the very least you will be back at school September 1st."
With that he nodded a goodbye and swept out looking determined. Snape didn't even bother to look at him and followed Dumbledore out. Madame Pomfrey said her goodbyes and left as well.
"It will be alright Harry, you'll see. The Malfoys will be kind to you knowing that you are their grandson. They loved Iphigenia and were quite crushed when she died," Remus told him.
"Will you tell me about her? About what happened to her? Why did she give me up for adoption?" Harry asked.
"I don't really know all the details pup but I'll try to find out what I can while we're apart," assured Sirius.
"But now we really have to go," Remus tugged on his friend's shirt. "Goodbye Harry, try to keep a positive outlook towards things. Who knows maybe you'll enjoy it? Just remember to give them a chance."
"Bye pup, be safe and we'll see each other again before you know it," Sirius said enveloping him in a tight embrace.
"Bye," Harry whispered back, feeling tears threaten at being separated from his newly discovered father so soon after finding him. Sirius returned to being Padfoot with a pop and followed Remus from the room with a lingering backwards glance. Harry was once again alone but this time feeling a bit more confidant. Sirius hadn't known he was his son. Hadn't been involved in his adoption so had truly never wanted to not be his father and now that he knew he wanted to be there for Harry. It was more than Harry had ever expected having. He had a father who was alive and more importantly wanted him.
His musings were once more interrupted when the door to his room was thrown open and a tall man with perfectly styled graying black hair swept into the room. He looked like an older Sirius but with colder dark gray eyes and carried himself with a proper rigidness that would seem out of place on Sirius. His cool dark gray eyes swept over Harry from top to bottom in an assessing, calculating manner.
"Hello sir, can I help you?" Harry asked trying to be polite and remain confidant under such assessing gaze especially when it seemed that gaze seemed to find him lacking.
"My name is Orion Black. I'm your grandfather boy, but you wouldn't know anything about that now would you since your mother decided it would be better for you to be raised by complete strangers instead of with your family?" He said coolly.
"Um I…" Harry said not really knowing what to say.
"Orion don't you dare insult my daughter in front of her own child," snapped a tall lean older blonde man as he swept into the room.
He had long straight white blonde hair tied back by a black ribbon. He reminded Harry a lot of Lucius Malfoy except that this man's eyes were a bright sapphire blue like Iphigenia's and Harry's. His features weren't quite as pointed whether from age or because they were traits Lucius inherited from his mother.
"Her child? I believe she gave up that right when she handed my grandson off to be raised by the Potters," sneered an older woman with long black curls done up in an elegant style, as she swept into the room. She didn't raise her voice but it was still quite effective in the intimidation department considering the way her dark gray eyes flashed menacingly at the blonde man.
"She was young and confused perhaps if your son had stuck by her side she wouldn't have felt the need to do what she did," Abraxas sneered right back.
"Perhaps he would have if given the chance. Perhaps it would have been just the push Sirius needed during those times, however we'll never know since she never thought to inform him she was carrying his child and thus never gave him the chance to prove himself," snapped Orion.
"You can't prove that she never told him and Sirius was far from being a responsible adult during that time period," Abraxas shot back.
Orion was about to snap something back when an older woman stepped into the room. She was dressed elegantly and carried herself in a dignified and easy fashion despite her age. She had long pale gold hair with familiar pale blue gray eyes. Harry had seen those same eyes in the faces of Lucius and Draco.
"I believe you are all setting a poor example to our grandson by having such a foolish and petty squabble in front of him," said the blonde woman. Both men glared at one another but did look somewhat discomfited by their behavior. The dark haired woman however didn't look a bit repentant and simply sneered at the blonde woman.
"You must be Harry. It is wonderful to finally meet you," the blonde woman said turning to look at him a bright smile on her pretty, pointed features.
Harry searched her face carefully and tentatively came to the conclusion that she was being genuine.
"It's nice to meet you too, ma'am," Harry replied giving a timid smile back.
"My name is Calliope Malfoy and I am your mother's mother. But I insist you call me grandmother or grandmum or gran or whatever you are most comfortable with," she insisted.
"Alright, grandmum," said Harry smiling even brighter at getting the chance to use the title.
"And I am Walburga Black. I'm your grandmother, I'm your father's mother. You may refer to me as grandmother," said the black haired woman with the cold gray eyes. Her fierce gaze and harsh tone made Harry a little nervous and intimidated him.
Harry only nodded before forcing a smile and giving her the politest greeting he could muster. So far Sirius's parents weren't anything like he thought they would be. It was definitely a strange discovery that so far he preferred the Malfoys over Sirius's own parents.
"I am Abraxas Malfoy your mother's father. You can call me granddad if you wish," said Abraxas holding out a hand to Harry. Harry took his hand and shook it his eyes flickering up to lock on sapphire blue eyes that were an exact match to those he'd seen in his reflection earlier. It was a little eerie to have such concrete proof that he was related to this man.
"Merlin you have Gena's eyes," Abraxas whispered in awe smiling at him. Harry smiled back at Abraxas wanting to ask about his mother but not wanting to do so in front of Orion Black who obviously didn't have a high opinion of her.
"The boy should be coming home with us," Orion demanded breaking up their moment.
"Our claim to the boy is closer and considering your son's indiscretions the Ministry obviously thought it best to place him in our care," replied Abraxas calmly.
"Yes but he is a Black. You already agreed to that when you signed the paperwork to change his name. He is a Black and should be raised as one. Merlin knows we've already lost
enough time with him being raised by filthy muggles," Walburga said.
"I don't really care what you want. You agreed to make him your heir regardless because you have no other options. Now he is my daughter's son and I'm not letting him go," Abraxas snapped back.
"Your daughter—" Walburga began.
"You will not speak about my daughter," Abraxas said harshly.
"We'll take this up with the Wizengamot. As you've said you already legally acknowledged him as the Black Heir it should be a simple matter to ensure that his custody is turned over to us. It may a take a while but I'm sure in the end the vote will be favorably towards the Most Noble and Ancient House of Black," Orion said calmly glaring at Abraxas.
Abraxas looked furious at the suggestion but he also looked a little uncertain which made Harry nervous. Abraxas's uncertainty meant that the Blacks might just be able to follow through with what Orion was suggesting and Harry certainly didn't want to end up being stuck with the Blacks permanently.
"Why don't we have some sort of compromise?" Harry offered.
"Compromise?" Walburga asked as if it were a dirty word.
"Well… err from what I understand the Malfoys err—grandmum and granddad— have legal custody and you can try to fight but then that will just waste more time without you having any access to me. So why don't we compromise I can visit on weekends or something so you can tutor me in what you want me to know about the Blacks, which is really what you want right? But I'd still be living with the Malf— grandmum and granddad. I would like to get to know both of my families. I've never really had a family before and it would be nice to get to know both of them," Harry said truly meaning it.
Even if Orion and Walburga seemed like arrogant snobs Harry still wanted the chance to know them and learn about the Black family history. He hadn't known anything about the Potter's because there wasn't anyone to tell him. He'd had no one, no relatives but the Dursleys who had hated his guts. He wanted a history a chance to say this is where he came from and if once learned he didn't like them then he could simply decide not to associate with them anymore. This way he'd still legally belong to the Malfoys but if it turned out the Blacks ended being the better option then he could tell them he wanted them to petition for full custody and his problems would be solved. At this point in time he definitely thought it would be wise to keep all of options open.
"A wonderful idea Harry," Calliope said with a bright smile.
Abraxas nodded, even Orion looked more than a little thoughtful. He was also looking at Harry more closely now and seemed to be reevaluating his initial opinion of him. It made Harry wanted to grin smugly and continue to prove the pompous git wrong about him. The two men turned back to one another and seemed to be hashing out the details of the compromise. Calliope had moved closer to him to gently stroke Harry's hair and it calmed him to have someone pet his hair in such a tender manner. Harry didn't think that anyone had ever touched him that like before or at least not that he could remember.
Maybe this wouldn't turn out to be that bad after all.
"So it's decide he will stay the week with us then on Friday nights we will bring him to Grimmauld Place for the weekend where we will pick him up again on Sunday nights," Abraxas stated.
"And during the weeks you will allow Walburga's aunt Cassiopeia to tutor the boy for three hours a day," Orion said.
"Agreed," Abraxas and the two men shook hands.
Harry felt a little nervous about the whole three hour tutoring thing but figured there wasn't much he could do about it.
"Abraxas, Calliope, Herakles," Orion said nodding to each of them before departing Walburga followed behind him after giving Harry one more fierce departing glare.
"And they wonder why Sirius turned out the way he did," Calliope muttered under breath. She probably hadn't meant for Harry to hear.
"Did he just call me Herakles?" asked Harry feeling his stomach twist unpleasantly.
"Yes, we needed to put a name on your new birth certificate and we thought you might like one that could be shortened into Harry for a nickname," explained Calliope.
"Why couldn't it just be Harry?" he asked feeling a surge of anger.
"You are the heir of the Most Noble and Ancient House of Black and more importantly you are a Malfoy. You cannot have such a common muggle name. It's fine for a nickname but legally your name is now Herakles Sirius Black. Sirius for your father even though he is in a bit of trouble now," Abraxas said with a firmness and arrogance that said his word was law and couldn't be changed. Considering they'd already had the papers drawn up without him, there wasn't much Harry could do until he was of age and then maybe try to change it back.
"It's custom in the Malfoy family to use Greek or Roman names and in the Blacks they often use the name of constellations or stars which is why we chose Herakles," Calliope explained in a soothing tone.
"I thought it was pronounced Hercules," Harry said.
"That's the Roman spelling and pronunciation. The Greek version is Hair-uh-clees," she replied.
"Right. So I can still go by Harry?"
"If that's what you prefer. We will in private but in formal settings you will be referred to as Herakles," said Abraxas firmly.
Formal settings? What did he mean by that?
"I'm sure this has been a long and tiring day. Why don't we head home now and get you settled in?" Calliope asked with a warm smile.
"What about my things? My wand and trunk? Harry asked.
"We'll send a house elf to pick up your things from the muggles," said Abraxas dismissively.
Harry nodded, pleased that he didn't have to see the Dursleys again.
"We brought you some clothing. The Healers said that after the change your old clothing probably wouldn't fit and we won't make you go traipsing about in a hospital gown." Calliope handed him a bundle of clothes.
Harry murmured a thank you and moved to stand. He almost did another face plant but luckily Abraxas caught him. Harry flushed in embarrassment and murmured something about not being used to his new body and disappeared into the bathroom. Once there he took his time dressing in the obviously expensive robes. This was all happening too quickly. His life had been yanked out from under him in a matter of moments. He didn't look like himself anymore and now he had to have a new name? He looked at his reflection tracing his scar. He hated his scar but now he was suddenly grateful it had survived the transformation because it was proof that he was still the same person on the inside. He was still Harry, just Harry even if on paper it said his name Herakles Black now.
Once dressed, he went back into his room where he met with Healer Baybridge once more before being officially declared healthy and good to go. Then they headed out. Harry never would have guessed in a million years that he would actually be somewhat happy about going home with the Malfoys. When it came down to it they seemed the much better option over going with the Blacks or even the Dursleys.
Adopted from savya398.
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoy this chapter.
Malfoy Manor was massive and stately and elegant. White peacocks roamed the lawns and there were stables filled with beautiful Abraxan horses which were winged horses that could actually fly. Abraxas had offered to teach him to ride which Harry was quite looking forward to. He loved anything that had to do with flying.
Harry had been given his own massive room along with several other adjoining rooms which included a sitting room, a study and a luxury bathroom. Harry wasn't quite sure what to make of all the space. He'd never had a room of his own before let alone rooms. The closest he'd got was Dudley's second bedroom but even then the room hadn't really been his. Now he had a bunch of space to call his own. Abraxas even had a portrait of his mother moved into the sitting room.
It was wonderful to discover that the portrait had been done just before her death so she had the knowledge of why she had given Harry to Lily and James Potter. Harry had shut himself in the sitting room for an entire day talking to her and hearing her side of the story. She and Sirius had been friends growing up despite the fact that she was three years younger. They'd been in the same social circles and had similar ideas about wanting to break out of the family mold. Though she'd been in Slytherin and he in Gryffindor they'd stayed in touch and remained on good terms. She had just graduated from Hogwarts when they had bumped into one another. They'd had lunch and one thing led to another and they had had a brief affair that lasted a couple of months before parting on good terms for neither had wanted anything serious at the time.
It wasn't until two months after they'd ended things that Iphigenia or Gena as she preferred to be called found out she was pregnant. Apparently she wanted to be a dancer, she had her whole life which was something she and her parents had fought over constantly thinking that dancing was too plebian a pastime for a proper pureblood daughter. Gena explained how badly she wanted to prove them wrong, how she'd gotten a position dancing on stage in France and wanted more than anything to go. When she'd found out she was pregnant with Harry she'd been terrified. She was only eighteen and hadn't been ready to be a mother. She said she felt like the walls were closing in on her and that she would be forced into marrying Sirius and becoming a housewife with her dreams of dancing completely crushed. Until she ran into Lily Potter.
Gena explained how she had run into Lily coming out of a muggle doctor's office where Gena herself had been going to hide her pregnancy from her family and the wizarding community. Lily had been distraught since she had just been informed she had had a miscarriage and it would be unlikely that she would ever be able to carry another child. The two young women had started talking and Gena had realized how much of a wonderful mother Lily would be and offered Lily her own child. It was a win-win situation for both women Lily got the child she greatly desired and Gena found a good home for her child so she could pursue her dreams. Lily had used a charm to keep up the pretense of being pregnant and Gena hid hers. No one would ever know the truth but the two of them. When Gena went into labor Lily made sure to get James out of the way and Lily helped with the birth. Gena went off to France and Lily passed it off as if Harry had been an unexpected home birth.
Gena said she never even told Lily that Sirius was the father and Lily never told James that Harry wasn't really his. Gena was glad to hear that Sirius had been named his godfather and would therefore be in his life. Gena herself had even come to visit once a couple of months before his first birthday. It was the last time she had seen him for she had been murdered in June. When Harry asked if she knew who had murdered her she believed that it had been Death Eaters. She had refused to join or be a part of their ranks several times despite her own brother's involvement and Voldemort hadn't taken her decision to be a dancer over one of his supporters very well. It made Harry proud of her that she had stood up to Voldemort. He'd been a little nervous knowing what he knew about Lucius Malfoy.
She said that she was sorry for giving Harry up and that maybe if she had kept him he wouldn't have had to grow up without parents. Harry couldn't help but wonder the same thing. He did feel some resentment about her choosing her dream over him but he tried to think in terms of how she felt and how scared and young she had been. She had given him to good parents though. Both Lily and James had died for Harry and Harry knew they both would have made incredible parents if they had been given the chance. Lily and Gena had both lied and kept a terrible secret but in the long run they thought they were doing what was best. What was best for them and for Harry.
So Harry pushed his resentment aside, after all what's done is done and he couldn't change it. He could get to know his birth mother and hear more about Lily who had been his other mother even if was for only a short period of time. By the end of the day Harry was feeling much more comfortable with the entire situation and coming to better terms with the fact that he had two sets of parents that had cherished him.
Harry sent letters to Ron, Hermione and Sirius explaining what was going and that he was doing fine so far. He wanted to be able to tell them first because Abraxas had told him that the Daily Prophet had somehow already found out about the story and were printing it as soon as they could. It was a scandal about the Boy-Who-Lived and two of the wealthiest pureblood families around not to mention the notorious Sirius Black. Harry was sort of glad that he had the combined efforts of Abraxas and Orion on his side to make sure the Daily Prophet printed an article that cast the situation in a favorable light. This would no doubt be a huge shock to the entire wizarding world that their boy hero Harry Potter wasn't really even a Potter. No their hero wasn't the son of a muggleborn witch a pureblood Light wizard instead he was the child of two Dark wizards from families with questionable alliances. The Prophet wanted an interview and pictures of what Harry now looked like and what he thought of the situation as soon as possible but again Abraxas assured Harry that they would keep the reporters off his back for now so that he had time to settle in to his life with them.
His letter to Sirius had been extra-long considered he'd included the story Gena had told him about giving him to Lily and James. Ron and Hermione had both written back supportive letters in their own ways. Ron offered his condolences on being half Malfoy but was happy for him that Sirius turned out to be his dad and Hermione said that at least this would be a chance to learn more about pureblood wizarding culture along with gaining a family. He couldn't have agreed more. Ron even invited him to the Quidditch World Cup with him and the Weasleys. Abraxas's response had been to buy tickets for all of the Malfoys so Harry had to settle for telling Ron that he'd see him at the game.
It was going on Harry's fifth day at Malfoy Manor and he was just starting to get comfortable with the place. He'd been given the week to get used to his new setting before having to start lessons with his great-great aunt Cassiopeia. He'd been having etiquette lessons with his grandmum after being informed that having proper manners and knowing how to conduct himself in public were skills that all pureblood witches and wizards should have. This brought up so many things about wizarding culture that Harry hadn't even realized and frankly it fascinated him seeing into a whole different culture even if he found the lessons themselves tedious.
Harry was looking through the library when Abra— his granddad found him.
"Hello Harry," he greeted.
"Hello granddad," Harry smiled at the man.
So far Abraxas had been nothing but kind and welcoming. Gena said he felt guilty for driving her away. She had told him how much she loved her parents and how they loved her but that their views had been completely different. It had been strange for Harry to think that the Malfoys actually and truly loved one another. He'd always just assumed that they were cold, stuck up snobs that only cared about their status and making fun of people who were different from them. Gena and his grandparents had quickly disabused him of the idea by the way they treated him and each other. They truly wanted Harry around and wanted him to be a part of their family and it was a wonderful feeling to have.
"I was hoping to find you here. Lucius, Narcissa and Draco will be arriving home in an hour or so. They were in Italy on holiday but once they got my owl about you they decided to come home right away," Abraxas said.
"Home?" Harry asked already knowing he wasn't going to like the answer.
"Yes of course, home. They live in the East Wing of the manor. It's customary for the parents as well as the eldest son to remain living in the ancestral manor home," his grandfather explained.
Oh Merlin. Harry had been dreading finally seeing Lucius and Draco but actually having to live with them? At least Malfoy Manor was big enough for him to avoid them if he needed.
"Oh alright," Harry said not really sure what else he could say.
"I've heard you and Draco had a bit of a rivalry at school but now that you know you are family I'm sure the two of you can put aside your differences and be good friends," Abraxas replied enthusiastically.
"Friends, right," Harry said even thinking the word friend in context to Draco Malfoy left a bad taste in his mouth.
The little ferret had always been cruel to Harry and looked down on his friends. He was spoiled and arrogant which were the reasons that had turned Harry against him from the beginning. How could Draco be such a snot and Abraxas and Calliope so nice. Unless Abraxas and Calliope were just nice to him because he was family and they were just as arrogant to muggleborns and poor people as Draco was. Harry really hoped not, he liked his newfound grandparents and didn't want to discover they were pompous gits too.
Calliope had him dress in one of his new robes. They had bought him a whole new wardrobe believing he would need one because of his change in size. In actuality most of Dudley's clothes would probably still fit him although the trousers might have been a bit short at the leg. He didn't mention that though and was simply grateful to have clothes other than his school uniforms that actually fit him. He'd gotten more comfortable in his new body thanks to dancing lessons with his grandmum. He no longer tripped over his own feet or knocked things over. Though he was now comfortable in his new appearance he couldn't help but wonder what Malfoy would make of it. He was a completely different person now in regards to appearance and it was sure to stun the little git. It was too bad that they would be introduced it would have been so much fun to have met him without revealing his true identity only to reveal it later to stun him.
At precisely noon Harry was in the formal sitting room waiting with Abraxas and Calliope for the younger Malfoys to arrive. They only had to wait for a moment before the floo activated and Narcissa Malfoy stepped out. She was very beautiful with long blonde waves and slate gray eyes. He'd been shocked to learn she was in fact Sirius's cousin, which in turn meant he was doubly related to Draco. She gave a brief nod to her in-laws before stepping aside and so that Draco could step through. The ferret's pointed face was even more pinched than normal but he did actually smile when Calliope embraced him. Finally Lucius stepped through looking just as cold and imperious as Harry remembered him with his long blonde hair flowing loosely around his shoulders and that damn cane of his. He was the first one to actually notice Harry and Harry was gratified to see his eyes widen in shocked disbelief before he could get control of himself.
"Mother, father it's wonderful to see you," he greeted formally.
"You as well Lucius, Narcissa, Draco," Abraxas said smiling especially wide for Draco.
"Now for introductions, you've met before but I think a re-introduction is in order. Harry dear come over here," Calliope commanded and Harry reluctantly drew closer to the three other Malfoys.
He was rewarded when Narcissa's and Draco's eyes refocused on him and both were unable to control their shocked expressions. Draco's mouth was literally hanging open and Narcissa gave a soft exclamation of 'Merlin'.
"Harry may I introduce you to your Uncle Lucius, your Aunt Narcissa and your cousin Draco," Calliope said smiling happily.
"Hello, it's nice to see you again," Harry greeted politely forcing an awkward smile.
"And may I introduce to you to Herakles Sirius Black," Calliope introduced and Harry really wished she hadn't used his new name.
Draco was already smirking and would no doubt be using this as a new method of teasing him.
"You look so much like Sirius when he was a boy but you have Gena's eyes," Narcissa said with a bright and warm smile. It seemed like even undergoing a vast physical change wasn't going to stop people from telling him he looked like his father and had his mother's eyes he thought glumly.
"Yes, let us all hope you don't turn out quite as rash as he was. You already are quite Gryffindor-like enough as it is," Lucius said despairingly. Draco's smirk widened.
Abraxas sent him a sharp look which Lucius ignored in favor of continuing to size Harry up.
"Actually I'm going to have Harry resorted. It hardly seems fair after all he was sorted under false pretenses," Abraxas said.
"What?" Harry gasped. This was the first that he'd heard such news about that.
"Yes it's only right for you to be resorted now that the adoption potion has been removed. I've already had Dumbledore agree to it," Abraxas waved the statement off as if it was nothing.
It made Harry nervous and a bit angry. Nervous because the hat had wanted him in Slytherin in the first place and he was worried about being placed there the second go round. He was angry because he was doing things without consulting Harry. He knew he was Harry's guardian and grandfather but Harry was used to being on his own he wasn't sure if he liked someone stepping and suddenly taking over his life.
"Well I suppose we'll just have to wait and see won't we?" Lucius sent a cold smile towards Harry.
Harry glared back.
They moved the little reunion into the dining room where a nice lunch had been laid out by the house elves. Harry almost wished that he hadn't freed Dobby so that he'd at least have a familiar face at this very awkward family luncheon. Lucius and Abraxas instantly fell into a debate about politics while Narcissa and Calliope discussed some sort of party which left Draco and Harry sending one another death glares across the table. Draco had already 'accidentally' kicked him three times under the table and Harry swore if he did it again he was going to strangle him with the stupid fancy cloth napkin Calliope had taught him how to properly tuck over himself.
Calliope seemed to notice the tension between her two grandsons and before the meal was complete she suggested, in disguise of a demand, that Draco show Harry the Quidditch Pitch. Draco looked like he'd rather spend the day helping Hagrid with his numerous and dangerous pets but he stood and imperiously commanded Harry to fetch his broom and to meet him in the back parlor probably hoping Harry wouldn't know where that was.
Harry changed into some more comfortable clothing and grabbed his Firebolt. It wouldn't be that bad he tried telling himself. He would get to fly and it would be easy enough to just ignore Malfoy. But what was he going to do for the rest of the summer? No doubt their grandparents would keep pushing the two of them together for the sake of them being one big happy family. That was another sore spot for Harry. He'd already started to come to think if Calliope and Abraxas as his grandparents now he had to share them with Malfoy.
Draco was already in the back parlor changed and with his broom when Harry arrived. He sneered at Harry and without a word started stalking outside. As they were walking over the lawn Harry couldn't help but notice that he was now taller than Malfoy. It was petty but it was a small boost to Harry's ego knowing that he was taller. He felt so out of his depth here that anything helped in making him feel more comfortable and in control. This was Draco's home, he was comfortable here. He knew how to behave and move in this world of wealth and power. Harry felt like an unwelcome stranger in comparison.
Draco led him past the horse stables and all the way down to where a decent sized Quidditch Pitch sat with nice stands. Harry couldn't wait to get back into the air even if he was a little nervous. His center of balance was no doubt much different and he worried he wouldn't be as good of a flyer as he was before.
Before he could take off however Malfoy suddenly whirled on him.
"Let's get one thing straight Potter. Those are my grandparents, this is my house, my Quidditch Pitch and my life. You don't belong here and just because my grandparents took pity on you and took you in and expect me to be nice to you and welcome you doesn't mean I'm going to do it in private. As far as I'm concerned you're still the same arrogant Gryffindor Golden Boy as always. But you are a Malfoy now and I won't have you embarrassing me," Malfoy declared haughtily.
"Me? Arrogant? Have you looked in the mirror lately Malfoy? And by the way those are our grandparents and this is my house now too. And do you think that I wanted any of this to happen? Do you think I want to be related to you ferret face?" Harry snarled back.
"Take that back," Malfoy said his pale gray eyes narrowing on Harry.
"Or what you'll glare me to death? Please like I'd ever be afraid of you Malfoy. You're the one that whined about a little scratch on your arm for months this past year," Harry scoffed.
"Oh you'd be surprised what I can do Herakles," Malfoy hissed.
"Don't call me that," Harry growled.
"What? It is your new name after all. It's actually rather fitting he was a brave idiot too, with more brawn than brains who barreled through life like a buffoon just like you," Malfoy taunted. He'd realized he'd hit a nerve and was going to draw it out.
"I'm warning you Malfoy."
"I'm so scared Herakles the Heroic Gryffindor is going to attack me," he mocked.
Harry could feel his temper snap and though he knew it was a bad idea he lunged at Malfoy. Malfoy unfortunately had been prepared and dodged Harry while simultaneously lashing out with a punch to Harry's face. Harry found he was a tad bit slower with his greater height and wider frame. He wanted to strangle Malfoy but first he had to catch the little ferret. He managed to catch Malfoy off guard by feinting in one direction and attacking in another. They both ended up rolling around on the ground trying to pin the other.
Regrettably he was yanked away from Malfoy before he could succeed in his mission to kill him. He was hoisted into the air by an invisible hand and it took a few moments of struggle to release he wasn't getting away. Harry noted that Malfoy was likewise restrained. He also noticed that Malfoy was thoroughly roughed up. He had a fat lip and several scratches. His clothes were torn and his normally always perfectly styled hair was in a wild disarray and Harry wondered how badly he looked in comparison.
That was all forgotten however when he caught sight of an exceedingly pissed off Abraxas Malfoy. Harry's stomach dropped and for a moment he actually feared for his life. His eyes were actually glowing as he looked from Harry to Draco and he could physically feel the waves of angry magic coming off him.
"What the hell do you boys think you are doing?" he demanded.
"Granddad, he started it. He—" Draco started.
"That was a rhetorical question Draco," Abraxas snapped.
Harry would have been amused to see Draco Malfoy put in his place like that but he was too terrified to feel anything resembling amusement.
"I thought I made it clear to you Harry that you and Draco are family now. And I know your mother and father told you the same thing Draco. Family is the most important thing in the world. They are the only people you can truly count on to be there for you. You two should have one another's back not trying to beat the shit out of each other. I am deeply ashamed of the two," Abraxas said and for some reason those words were like a knife to Harry's heart.
"Sorry granddad," Draco murmured hanging his head in dejection.
Harry quickly murmured his own heartfelt apology.
The two of them were dropped back to their feet.
"I don't care about what happened to cause this fight or your petty little school boy rivalry. But I expect better from both of you. I will not have my grandsons fighting with one another. You are both Malfoys and should be exuding a united front. From now on the two of you will be spending the next three weeks mucking out the horse stables together as punishment. I'll also be holding on to your brooms for the foreseeable future. Now go inside and let your grandmother patch the two of you up," Abraxas commanded.
The two of them scrambled to obey. Harry couldn't really even be angry about the punishment he was just in too much shock over the fact that Abraxas had treated Malfoy and him the same. He thought for sure that he'd take Draco's word over Harry's after all he'd known Draco longer and he was sure that he favored him. But no he'd actually treated them exactly the same. It thrilled Harry to think that the man was treating him like his grandson, that he didn't just blame Harry for the fight and then send him away.
Calliope, Narcissa and Lucius were equally angry about their fight. But Calliope and Narcissa still cooed over them when it came time to heal their wounds. It was nice to have them be so attentive. Calliope was just as thorough in her taking care of Harry as she was of Draco. Even Narcissa was quite helpful she of course favored Draco but he was her son so that was understandable. Yes though the fight had angered him it ended up being a very positive thing. It finally made him see that the Malfoys especially his grandparents were serious about him being a part of the family and it made Harry determined to try and live up to their expectations.
Adopted from savya398.
Draco and Harry's punishment for fighting was put on hold until Monday because the day after their big fight was Friday and the first day Harry would be going to stay with the Blacks. He was just getting comfortable with the Malfoys and now he was off to stay with his other grandparents who hadn't seemed anywhere near as kind and welcoming as Calliope and Abraxas.
A house elf packed a small bag for Harry and then promptly at five on Friday he and Abraxas flooed to Orion and Walburga Black's home of Number 12 Grimmauld Place. Stepping into the house Harry was immediately ill at ease and was wondering what his reasons were for bringing up a compromise were again. The place was dark with a lot silver and green and snakes. It was clean and filled with rich furnishings of course but it still left Harry a little uneasy.
In the sitting room Harry had stepped into were Orion and Walburga, two older couples and an older woman with wild black hair with minimal gray streaks and piercing gray eyes that seemed the norm for all Blacks.
Abraxas and Orion shook hands. Abraxas also gave a quick greeting to the others in the room before turning to Harry to say goodbye. He said his goodbyes and promised to pick him up at five o'clock on Sunday. Had Harry been younger he'd be clinging to him and begging him not to leave him. As it was he was still quite close to actually doing it. But he managed to hold on to his dignity and bid Abraxas goodbye.
"Hello Herakles," Orion said formally.
Harry managed not to wince at the name and returned the greeting adding a small bow like Calliope had been teaching him. "Hello grandfather Orion."
"I see the Malfoys have taught you some manners. You catch on quick, very good," Orion praised.
Harry wanted to snap at him that he wasn't a dog but held his tongue. He was stuck with these people every weekend for the foreseeable future he didn't want to get on their bad sides.
He greeted Walburga as well and looked expectantly at the others in the room waiting for an introduction. He wasn't disappointed. The older couples were his great grandparents. There were Orion's parents whose names were Arcturus and Melania Black. Then there were Walburga's parents whose names were Pollux and Irma Black. He hadn't realized until they brought it up that Walburga's maiden name was Black too and he was confused about how this came about. It was all cleared up however when Harry was shown the family tree tapestry and realized that Pollux and Arcturus were in fact cousins making his grandparents, Walburga and Orion, second cousins. Well it seemed that the Blacks liked to keep things in the family. At least there weren't any other female cousins they could try to set him up with.
The other woman was Cassiopeia Black, Pollux's sister making her Harry's great-great aunt. She simply told him to call her Auntie Cassie. She would be the one tutoring him about the Black family and other 'things' as she had put it making Harry intensely nervous about what sorts of 'things' she meant. She was more than a bit intimidating and Harry was intensely nervous about starting lessons with her.
After the introduction they all headed into the dining room where even more people arrived causing Harry to really work to remember names, faces and how they were related to him. There was Orion's sister Lucretia and her husband Ignatius Prewett. Then Druella Black who was married to Walburga's older brother Cygnus, who was now dead, making her Narcissa's mother and Draco's grandmother. They were served by the most ancient house elf that Harry had ever seen, called Kreacher, and Harry really wouldn't have been surprised if he dropped dead at any moment. He also appeared insane mumbling to himself about a locket and his master.
Things were made even more unpleasant when Arcturus and Pollux got into a fight over something that had happened when they both were aligned to a Dark Wizard called Grindlewald. Harry was fairly certain that he had been the wizard that Dumbledore had defeated and was a little uncomfortable to be in the presence of people who had actually been on his side.
Things escalated even further when Druella remembered how dear Auntie Cassie had turned her dress bright red on her wedding day and in the end they couldn't get it back to its original white and had to buy a new one at the very last minute. Druella ended up trying to hex her across the dining table. Auntie Cassie deflected the curse with casual ease causing it to be cast to the side and since Harry happened to be sitting on that side he'd had to dive in order to avoid being hit. He managed it just in time only for it to hit Irma instead, who then sprouted red feathers everywhere. She got pissed at Druella and started screaming about how she was a harlot who had tricked her precious baby boy into marrying him which led to an all out duel between Druella, Irma and Auntie Cassie with Walburga sending hexes at both sides.
Harry had a feeling that if they had these dinners every weekend for the rest of the summer he'd be the most accomplished dueler at Hogwarts come fall as he watched them duel with increasingly more powerful and dark spells. He'd also have excellent reflexives as he dodged yet another spell that made the wall behind him sizzle and burn.
"So Harry how do you like Hogwarts? What's your favorite subject? I always liked Charms myself," Melania said pleasantly as if Auntie Cassie and Irma weren't getting ready to kill Druella right next to them with Walburga cackling in delight.
"Umm well I guess it would uh have to be Defense Against the Dark Arts. I've always been pretty good at it. But I think the Healer said my magic changed when the potion was removed so I'm not really sure what my best subject will be now," Harry offered trying not to react when his two great grandfather's suddenly pulled their wands on each other.
"That's nice dear. What about friends do you get along well with anyone?" She asked.
"Well my two best friends are Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. They're really great," Harry enthused wishing that he was with them now.
"Weasley you say?" Ignatius Prewett demanded.
"One of my nieces married a Weasley, Molly was her name. I don't know what she was thinking," Ignatius shook his head in despair.
"Well I know Molly Weasley and she seems very happy with her choice," Harry bit out.
"Humph, I'm sure she is in her little hovel," replied Ignatius snootily.
Harry glared. The Weasleys were the closest he'd ever had to a family and he didn't like someone being rude towards them in front of him.
"Oh come off it who cares what Molly Prewett is doing?" Lucretia snapped glaring at her husband.
"What about this Granger girl? I've never heard of any Grangers," Ignatius said.
"That's because she's a muggleborn sir," replied Harry.
"A muggleborn?" This demand came from Walburga who had paused in her avid watching of the women's duel to whirl on Harry.
"Yes, she's my best friend," Harry said glaring at Walburga and daring her to say something against her.
"I'll not have you associating with a muggleborn," Walburga stated.
"You can't stop me and besides just because she's a muggleborn doesn't mean she isn't a brilliant witch. In fact she's the best witch in our year if not the entire school. She's gotten top marks every year since first year," Harry declared glaring at her.
Walburga glared at him and looked like she would snarl something else. But Orion interrupted her.
"You'll not be marrying her," was all he said before returning to his meal and that was that Ignatius and Lucretia started fighting again and Walburga returned to her own amusement.
Harry was surprised at how easily Orion accepted it. Harry was a little incensed about the not marrying her comment, not that Harry saw Hermione that way, but still he wouldn't let the Blacks dictate who he could and could not see.
"Harry dear, do you have a sweetheart?" Melania asked still in her pleasant, perfectly calm voice as if nothing had happened.
"Come again?" Harry asked startled.
"Do you have a girlfriend? Yes, I believe that's what they call them nowadays," Melania commented.
"Umm no," he replied flushing brightly.
"My friend, Laurel has the loveliest granddaughter. I believe you should be about the same age. Daphne is her name, Daphne Greengrass," she informed.
"Oh yes, Daphne's in my year. I don't really know her well but she seems alright," Harry offered offhandedly trying to be polite.
"Marvelous, I'll have to set up a luncheon for the two of you," Melania smiled placidly and leaving Harry with the distinct impression that he'd just been set up and that even now grandmother Melania was plotting his marriage to Daphne Greengrass. There was no way he was letting that happen.
Finally dinner ended. Druella was covered in boils, Arcturus had a swollen nose and Ignatius had a red handprint across his cheek. Harry was just thankful that he'd survived. Everyone but Auntie Cassie, Orion and Walburga filed out. Melania promised to owl him with the date of his lunch with Daphne before he could say he had no desire to have lunch with Daphne Greengrass she'd kissed him on the cheek and disappeared into the fire.
"Well boy I'm impressed you survived your first Black family dinner without even having so much as a hint of a panic attack," Auntie Cassie grinned at him.
"Thanks, does this sort of thing happen often?" Harry asked warily.
"We Blacks are known for three things: Our dubious involvement with the Dark Arts. Our questionable sanity. And finally our volatile tempers," explained Auntie Cassie with a grin.
Harry thought about it for a moment. "Well I've definitely got the temper," he murmured.
Auntie Cassie cackled. "The others will come in time."
"I have to agree with Cassiopeia you did conduct yourself very well. With a bit more training you might even make a fine Lord for the Most Ancient and Noble House of Black," Orion pronounced actually deigning to smile at Harry.
"Come let's get you settled in," he announced.
So Orion and Walburga ended up giving him a tour of Grimmauld Place. Walburga hadn't forgotten the statement about him being friends with Hermione and quickly started berating him about it. She then started in on a rant about Sirius being a blood traitor and how he was a disgrace to the family name. Harry wasn't able to stand hearing Sirius so belittled and quickly snapped back at her about how maybe if she wasn't such a screeching harpy she wouldn't have driven Sirius away he'd then turned and marched away leaving his grandmother with her mouth hanging open in shock.
"Yes boy, I think you'll do just fine," Orion said with another smirk as he led Harry upstairs to his room not at all offended that he'd just insulted his grandmother and Orion's wife.
As Harry fell asleep that night in Sirius's old bedroom he came to the conclusion that if he made it into adulthood completely sane with Black genetics it would be a miracle. They were all a bunch of nutters; although, a part of Harry had actually had a lot of fun tonight. Sure their involvement with the Dark Arts and Dark Wizards made Harry nervous but they were sort of funny in their own crazed, unique way. They also seemed to have welcomed Harry with open arms even if they did expect him to fall in line and become the perfect little Black heir.
The next day Harry snooped around Sirius's old room surprised to find that his family hadn't bothered cleaning it out since the day that Sirius ran away from home. He hadn't even known that Sirius had run away until Walburga had screamed it at him the other night. Harry really couldn't blame him considering how horrible Walburga seemed. Even Orion seemed to agree with the sentiment that Walburga was nothing but a nagging shrew. He also realized how little he knew about Sirius and how much he wanted to know about him. The man was no longer just his godfather he was Harry's father, his only living parent. It was so unfair to think that Harry had to be separated from him now, knowing what he did.
So Harry looked through his things. He had old textbooks with lots of doodles in the margins. There were wizard and muggle magazines as well as photos from Sirius's Hogwarts days which Harry eagerly pored over. He found Sirius's old beater bat and couldn't wait to ask him about it.
Of course the rest of the day was spent with Orion and Auntie Cassie. They went over pretty much the same etiquette things that Calliope was going over with him before deeming him somewhat acceptable but stating that he had a long way to go before he would truly be able to succeed in the upper crust of pureblood wizard society.
Then Auntie Cassie began asking him about every spell he knew and quizzing him about his knowledge in certain subjects. She was making note of his answers on a piece of parchment and by the end she curtly informed him that he would be getting his act together this summer and the next school year they expected him to get nothing less than O's in all his subjects or else. The 'or else' part really had Harry worried considering the gleam in Auntie Cassie's eyes and what he'd seen her do to Druella yesterday.
Sunday was spent talking about politics and Orion trying to get him to see his point of view as to why so many pureblood wizards didn't like muggleborns. There were those that hated them no matter what and then there were apparently those like Orion who didn't mind them as long as they proved themselves capable witches and wizards and didn't impose their muggle beliefs on wizarding culture and didn't marry into any of dark pureblood wizarding families.
This explained why Orion was okay with Harry's friendship with Hermione. Orion said that to him it wasn't so much that they were muggleborns as the fact that many tried to get wizards to change things to fit in with the views of the muggle world. He then brought up a list of policies and laws and cultural changes that had occurred in his lifetime.
He framed the lesson in such a way that Harry actually found himself interested and unable to do anything but agree with him on several points. However, Harry did point out that sometimes change was good and that killing or discriminating against people really didn't help. Orion surprisingly agreed and even stated how he thought Voldemort was an insane fool and it was a shame that he'd lost his two sons to the man which had surprised Harry to hear that he had had an uncle who had died.
Getting to know the Blacks wasn't really that bad after all. Harry was almost going to miss dark and gloomy Grimmauld Place when five o'clock rolled around and he had to return to Malfoy Manor. There was almost something about the atmosphere in Grimmauld Place it called to something in Harry that had recently been released thanks to blood adoption antidote. It left Harry feeling strange and curious about just how different his magic had become thanks to the removal of the potion.
He bid Orion and Walburga polite goodbyes and Auntie Cassie an 'I'll see you tomorrow' then he was stepping through the floo back into the parlor of Malfoy Manor where his grandmother greeted him with a warm hug and Narcissa gave a friendly hello while Draco and Lucius were barely cordial. Harry shrugged it off not really caring about what they thought of him.
Chapter 5: Chapter 5
Adopted from savya398.
The next couple weeks fell into a neat routine. In the mornings he had his etiquette lessons with his grandmother; unfortunately, she insisted that Draco join them so that they could have cousinly bonding time. After lunch Auntie Cassie would come over and she'd give him vigorous lessons from Black family history to complicated spells only Blacks were supposed to know. He didn't know how they had been able to get around the no magic outside of Hogwarts but she didn't bring it up and neither did Harry and since no Ministry workers showed he figured they were safe.
She also did a lot of review of Harry's previous school years until the knowledge was firmly lodged in his brain. The review helped a great deal because his magic worked a lot differently now and it took a lot of practice to once more become familiar with the way it worked now. His wand still worked for him in fact it worked even better for him and he found that spells and magic in general seemed to come more easily to him now especially the Black family spells she was teaching him. She then moved on to teaching him more advanced magic which again Harry was surprised to find himself succeeding at. He'd definitely become more powerful and he didn't quite understand why however he was definitely grateful for the change.
Auntie Cassie also gave Harry homework and she was even stricter than McGonagall and Snape when it came to grading. She expected nothing less than perfection from Harry and he had never had to work so hard at schoolwork in his life. He had really hated her for the first couple weeks what with her critiques and slave driver pace.
They had gotten into plenty of arguments which normally led to Harry being silencio-ed, levitated upside down and left to stew while Auntie Cassie sat and calmly read a book. Harry had begrudgingly learned to study and try harder. It was nice knowing more spells and having a better background knowledge on the theories of magic but Harry knew in his heart that he would never be a Ravenclaw or get as much joy in learning new things that Hermione or even Auntie Cassie did.
In the evenings Harry was forced into the stables with Draco to muck out the stalls. The punishment of listening to Draco whine the whole time was even worse than the actual task itself. Harry was just glad that the three weeks were coming to an end and they only had two more days to endure the punishment. The only time he would then be forced into the company of the ferret would be in the morning etiquette lessons which were normally short.
"Watch it Herakles," snapped Draco as Harry swung by him with his loaded down shovel.
Harry gritted his teeth and refused to acknowledge his use of the name. He'd gotten pretty used to other people calling him that by now since all of the Blacks insisted on calling him that but it still irked him to hear Draco call him that mostly because he used it in a mocking manner while the others actually respected the name he'd been given.
He dumped out the shovel still ignoring Draco and turned to walk back to the stables. However ignoring Draco was not wise because he failed to notice the way he'd stuck out his foot and Harry tripped and went sprawling into the muck. Draco burst into loud peals of laughter.
"Still just a clumsy oaf aren't you Herakles?"
"You tripped me!" Harry snarled his rage boiling over. He knew this fight would get him nothing but another punishment but at this moment in time there was no punishment great enough to deter him from his desire of shoving Draco's face into the muck.
"It's not my fault that you're as ungainly as a newborn foal," said Draco with an arrogant smirk.
"I know you tripped me," Harry said his voice dropping to a deadly hiss and getting to his feet.
"I should have brought the camera. This is a good look for you, covered in filth. It suits you. It shows the world just where you really belong, in the dung pile. You may fooled my grandparents but I know you don't really belong here," Draco's gray eyes flashed like liquid mercury.
It hit Harry, with all the force of stampeding hippogriff, as to why Draco was being so hostile. He was jealous. He was worried that his grandparents would like Harry better. Harry had just never noticed before because he was always so angry at Draco and that nagging inner fear that was constantly saying that maybe Draco was right and he really didn't belong here at Malfoy Manor. It did make sense, though; Draco was an only child and had been the only grandchild. He'd never had competition before and it thrilled Harry to think that Draco thought of Harry as competition. It meant that Calliope and Abraxas really thought of Harry as part of their family.
"You're jealous," Harry smirked haughtily with the power of his newly discovered knowledge.
"As if I could ever be jealous of you," Draco scoffed.
"But you are," said Harry grinning.
"I am not, you arrogant arse," Draco snarled.
"Me arrogant? But about you? Your pompous attitude is the reason I hated you in the first place because you were so bloody arrogant," Harry snapped.
"What do you mean? I was perfectly respectful to you. I even offered you my friendship which you looked down at as if I wasn't good enough to be friends with the Bloody-Boy-Who-Lived," Draco shot back.
"I don't mean at Hogwarts and you were still insulting there too considering what you said to Ron. But I'm talking about Madam Malkins. It was my first time in the wizarding world and you were the first other wizard boy I'd met and you were ordering everyone about like a spoiled little git. It reminded me of my cousin and I hated you for it," Harry argued.
"We met in Madam Malkins?" said Draco looking truly perplexed.
"Yes, you insulted Hagrid who was the first person who had ever been truly kind to me and went on about wonderful Slytherin was and how you'd leave if you didn't get in," Harry replied.
"What do mean the first person who was ever kind to you?" Draco asked.
"That's not what we're talking about right now Malfoy. We're talking about how you're such a rude, obnoxious snob," Harry snapped having no desire to talk with Draco about how the Dursleys had treated him. It would just give Draco even more fodder to taunt him about.
"Oh no, you're not getting off that easily. Why did you say that? You said I reminded you of your cousin why?" Draco could feel a strange suspicion start to form and though he didn't like Potter err Black he was related to Draco and if he had been mistreated by muggles then appropriate actions needed to be taken.
"This may surprise you but my cousin is even more of a spoiled arse than you are Malfoy," said Harry.
"What about you? Are you honestly expecting me to believe that the muggles didn't spoil you? You the famous Boy-Who-Lived-To-Annoy? You're too arrogant to be anything but a spoiled brat," said Draco snidely. He watched in amusement as Black puffed up and filled with righteous anger. Stupid Gryffindor. He smirked knowing that Black had fallen right into his trap.
"They never spoiled me. I didn't even know I was a wizard, let alone famous, until I got my Hogwarts letter. They hated magic and thought I was a freak so no they had never fawned over me. As for being spoiled I only ever got Dudley's hand-me-downs. I never even got birthday or Christmas presents while Dudley got piles of them so when I see someone like you who gets everything they want it makes me sick. You're even self-centered enough to think that Abraxas and Calliope belong to you. Well this may be hard to get through your big head but they're my grandparents too! And I want the chance to have a real family and there's nothing you can do to make me leave!" By the end of the tirade Harry was shouting and his eyes looked suspiciously wet.
Harry looked shocked by his outburst and quickly turned and sprinted back up towards the manor. Draco didn't even bother shouting at him to come back and finish he too was in shock. He was shocked at the things that Harry had said about how the muggles had thought he was freak and didn't get him gifts.
But Draco was even more worried about the things Harry hadn't said. He obviously held a lot of rage inside him towards the muggles and made Draco wonder about what other sorts of things they had done. Draco himself had taunted Harry about how his relatives never sent him letters but he had thought it was because they were muggles and too stupid to use owls what if they just never bothered to contact Harry? It had been almost a month now and Harry had never even asked for the chance to see his muggle relatives. He knew he'd asked for the chance to see the Weasel and Granger but not the people who he'd grown up with.
It definitely didn't sit right with him.
Draco finished mucking out the stables by himself and then went in search of his father and grandfather to report on what he'd found. He came upon them in his grandfather's office discussing some political coup.
"Draco come in. What brings you by?" His grandfather asked pleasantly. His father gave him a smile as well. To the world the Malfoys seemed cold and aloof but they were a very tight knit family and though they didn't often show their love in outrageous displays like the Weasleys it didn't mean that they didn't love one another to the same the degree as they did.
"Does this have to do with Herakles stomping through the house like an enraged Hungarian Horntail earlier?" Lucius asked knowingly.
The Malfoy heir still wasn't sure where his father stood in regards to Harry. He knew his father had loved his younger sister but everyone knew she'd been killed by Death Eaters and his father was a Death Eater. But at the same time even if he did love his sister could that love extend to his sister's newly discovered son who had caused the downfall of the Dark Lord? Draco wasn't really sure and spent a lot of time watching his father's face and actions when Harry was around.
"Yes," agreed Draco.
"You two got into another fight again," his grandfather stated disapprovingly.
"Yes but that's not why I'm here. He said something while he was angry," said Draco hesitantly no longer certain has grandfather and father would react to what he had to tell them.
"Has he insulted you?" Lucius demanded looking irate on Draco's behalf.
"Yes, but that's not it."
"Well, what is it Draco? I think you've danced around the subject enough," grandfather said.
"He said the muggles he lived with hated magic and thought he was freak. That they only ever gave him old clothing to wear and never gave him Christmas or birthday presents. He was really angry at the time and I don't think he even meant for it to slip out. When it did he got this really nervous look on his face and ran off," Draco said.
His grandfather and father were both silent for a long moment.
"He hasn't once asked to contact the muggles," His grandfather spoke breaking the silence.
"It hadn't even crossed my mind until this moment. I was too caught up in actually coming to terms that he was Gena's child to even realize that something might be wrong. He was quite clingy with you that first week wasn't he? And he's still always asking and making sure he hasn't done anything to offend you or mother," his father noted.
"As if he's afraid we will rebuke him or punish him. . . If those filthy muggles have mistreated my grandson they will severely regret it," his grandfather vowed, his tone was cold and fierce and left Draco feeling sorry for whoever had displeased him.
"No one, especially not muggle scum, should ever get away with treating a Malfoy in anyway less than befits their status in society," agreed his father and it was the first time Draco had heard his father refer to Harry as a Malfoy.
"Mopsy!" his grandfather called.
The little house elf popped into existence almost immediately. "What can Mopsy do for Masters Malfoy sirs?"
"Tell my grandson Herakles to come down to my office immediately," his grandfather commanded Mopsy nodded and disappeared. "We'll get to the bottom of this tonight."
It was several moments later before Harry arrived. He'd obviously taken a bath and was wearing clean clothes but he was pale and nervous looking as if he knew what was about to happen.
"Why don't you take a seat Harry," Abraxas nodded to the empty seat beside Draco.
Harry's heart was racing as he seated himself beside Draco. He had a feeling that the git had went and blabbed to granddad and his father about what Harry had said earlier. The Malfoys were the last people that Harry would tell about the Dursleys. He didn't need anyone to belittle him and taunt him about how he wasn't able to stand up to muggles or even worse he didn't need the pity.
"I won't beat around the issue. I want to know about the muggles you lived with," Abraxas started his voice gently yet at the same time demanding.
"There's nothing to tell," said Harry firmly staring back determinedly back into Abraxas's eyes.
"I think we all know that that isn't the case," Lucius said his voice surprisingly soft.
He was looking at Harry strangely as if he had truly never seen Harry before this moment and it was making him distinctly uncomfortable. He felt like he was being ganged up on and that there was no way to escape. But he didn't want to tell them!
"I don't want to talk about it. It's in the past and I'll never have to see them again," said Harry resolutely.
"From what Draco has told us of what you said their treatment of you is something that we are concerned about," Abraxas said.
"Well Draco should have kept his big mouth shut!" snapped Harry turning to glare daggers at the Malfoy in question.
However instead of getting riled up like Harry had hoped Draco only gazed at him with the same fierce determined look on his face that Abraxas and Lucius wore. The look that said they weren't letting Harry get out of this until they got what they wanted from him.
"Harry we are your family. Your blood. We care about you. We care about what happens to you and we care about what happened to you," said Abraxas in that same calm firm voice.
"Yeah right. I'm sure you'd turn me over to Voldemort the first chance you got," Harry hoped accusing them of being aligned with Voldemort would cause their tempers to flare.
"You impertinent little—" Lucius began.
Abraxas cut him off. "The more hostile you become the more I'm going to think you're hiding something truly horrible."
A look of understanding and surprise flashed across Lucius's fine, aristocratic features.
"How very Slytherin of you," he murmured apprising Harry more closely.
"Harry we want to know, we want to help you," Abraxas said.
"How can you help me with something that's already happened?"
"We can't but we can help you move on. Help you realize that you are part of a family that cares about you and will support and be there for you always. And most importantly that we love you and that your pain is our pain. We want to rid you of pain that has been caused by these muggles," replied Abraxas.
"You can do all that without knowing about the Dursleys," Harry retorted.
"Harry we aren't going to use this against you. You're a Malfoy now we may not care about anyone else but we help each other," Draco said firmly surprising Harry with the sincerity in his voice.
"Why are you so adamant that we don't know about them? What did they do to you? Did they physically harm you?" Abraxas said his voice losing some of its calm and Harry began to waver.
"No it wasn't like that," Harry softly answered.
"Then what was it like?" Abraxas persisted.
"They hated me," Harry finally bit out as if the words had been forcibly pulled from his lips.
"It's alright Harry, you're safe here. As Draco has said we would never use this information against you we just want to know the truth," said Abraxas.
"We only want what's best for you," Lucius agreed. "And what's best is seeing the muggles punished for their treatment of you."
Could he truly trust them? Perhaps Abraxas maybe even Draco but Lucius? He looked so focused so sincere. He seemed like he wanted justice for Harry something no one had ever really seemed to do before. No adult had ever been on Harry's side before except for Sirius and Remus. But Harry wasn't sure. He was sure however that they wouldn't be satisfied until he told them something. He'd already told quite a bit to Draco anyway so what did it truly matter if he told them the rest? He'd never told anyone the whole story. Hermione and Ron suspected but they had never pushed for the information. They had never tried to dig deeper. Maybe it was time to tell someone and it would be nice to see the Dursleys pay knowing that he would never have to go back there again.
"They called me a freak," he began and once he began he couldn't stop. "They punished me for everything. Even when Dudley broke his own toys they would say it was my fault. They always told me I was a burden that they never wanted me. They told all the neighbors I was a delinquent and Dudley would threaten any kid who wanted to be my friend. I wasn't allowed to get better grades than Dudley on tests and if I did I was punished because surely I was using my freakishness to outperform the stupid lug. They let him bully me and did nothing when him and the other school children chased me and beat me. I was never allowed to go with them on vacations they made me stay with the crazy cat lady down the street, Mrs. Figg. They made me sleep under the cupboard under the stairs until I was eleven. They made me do all the housework; cooking, cleaning, the yard work, everything. If I did something they didn't like I was locked inside my cupboard for days without food. They never told me I was a wizard."
Harry kept going listing grievance after grievance. He started giving specifics like the time Aunt Petunia hit him with a frying pan and the time when he was five and touched one of Dudley's Christmas presents only to be slapped and informed that freaks didn't get presents. Harry felt his anger levels raising as his recited all of the things that had been done to him.
He had never truly allowed himself to feel anything about how the Dursleys treated him. He couldn't allow himself the weakness of feeling anything but indifference but now that he was looking at everything that they had done to him he was furious. How could they have treated him that way? He'd been a baby, he hadn't known anything about magic or being a wizard and they had still hated him. Finally his tirade wound down but still Harry could feel his anger pulsing inside him like a living, breathing entity that demanded retribution.
"No one ever came to check on you? The muggles? The Ministry? Dumbledore?" Abraxas demanded his voice low and cold enough to freeze.
"No, should they have?" Harry asked.
"Of course, Dumbledore should have checked on you! He was your guardian in the Wizarding World it was his responsibility to make sure you were well taken care of by your muggle guardians and that you were aware of your heritage!" Lucius snarled jumping to his feet and beginning to pace surprising Harry with his sudden outburst.
"He should have done a home visit the moment your Hogwarts letter was addressed to the cupboard under the stairs," said Abraxas a scathing look in his eyes.
"I never really thought about that. I was just too thrilled at the time to actually be going to Hogwarts that I never thought about the address on the letter," murmured Harry realizing that such a thing was a huge overlook on his part.
"It was all some great manipulative plot of the old coot's no doubt," Lucius snarled and continued to pace.
"What do you mean? He didn't make the Dursleys hate me," Harry defended.
"But he must have known they would. He must have known at some point that they were abusing you," Lucius snapped.
"They didn't abuse me…"
"Not physically, well not most of the time. But what they did was worse. They treated you like a slave. They showed you no love and made you feel worthless," Abraxas said.
"Which was exactly what the old coot wanted," Lucius hissed halting in his pacing as his pale blue gray eyes lit up in understanding.
"He wanted Harry to be broken so that he could easily be manipulated to his purposes. If he had been shown no love and care then of course he'd be more dependent on Dumbledore and Hogwarts or whoever showed him an ounce of kindness," Abraxas' blue eyes suddenly blazing.
"What are you going on about? You're making it sound like Dumbledore is some nefarious villain. You're making more out of it than there is. It's not some dastardly plot to control my life," Harry said but it was more to convince himself then them.
He was thinking back to how determined Dumbledore had been to make sure he stayed with the Dursleys and how much he had tried to delay the Malfoys getting custody of him. At the time he thought he was trying to help him but he hadn't exactly taken Harry's opinion on the matter which seemed to be what Dumbledore ended up doing most of the time in regards to Harry.
"But it is. There's more to Dumbledore then the persona he projects. He wants nothing more than to see an end to all Dark magic and he'll do whatever he can to achieve his own ends. For the Greater Good and all that," Lucius said with a sneer.
"Isn't getting rid of Dark magic a good thing?" Harry asked hesitantly after all since beginning his lessons with Auntie Cassie his views had changed slightly. It was hard to believe that something he was using and actually enjoyed using was evil.
"He's filled your head with lies and prejudices. It's not your fault but you must learn the truth," Abraxas spat. "Dark magic isn't evil and Light magic isn't good. You can heal with Dark magic the same as with Light in different ways of course but it achieves the same purpose. There are those wizards who are born with Light magic making them Light wizards and making them more capable of Light magic and then there are Dark wizards who are more capable of controlling Dark magic. Of course either can practice the opposite magic but it comes more difficult to them. Over the past few decades Dark magic has been discriminated against until it has come to be seen by the general public as something and more and more laws have been made to limit its practice," explained Abraxas.
"This is in large part thanks to mudbloods and their views. They think of the Dark Arts and thanks to their stupid misconceptions about magic they automatically assume that because it's Dark it's evil. They have been foisting these views on the Wizarding Community and have caused the slowly ever growing shift towards Light magic while truly there should always be somewhat of a balance between the two. That is why we have had two Dark Lords spring up so closely together. They have done so to try and regain the rights of Dark wizards. So that we may practice our heritage and our magic in the open once more," explained Lucius.
"Muggleborns also dilute the magic in our bloods when we intermarry with them. The magic in their blood is weaker and causes their children to have weaker blood," said Abraxas.
"That can't be true. They have magic the same as us. Hermione is brilliant at magic," Harry said.
"I'll admit that Granger is brilliant but that's because she's book smart. Sure she can normally get the wand movements and incantations down quickly but still you could get more power behind her spells than she could. That was before your change as well. I've seen you working with Auntie Cassie and you're much more powerful than you used to be," said Draco.
"And you think it's because I'm a pureblood now," Harry said.
"You were always a pureblood but now that blood has been allowed to come out. Magic is in the blood and now that your true blood had been restored you have your full pureblooded powers," Abraxas confirmed.
"But if magic is in blood that doesn't explain muggleborns," Harry argued.
"It has been proven that muggleborns are in fact the descendents of squibs and muggles. By a quirk of what muggles call genetics they are born with some of the magic that their wizard ancestors had. Unfortunately it is much weaker due to all the muggle blood infused in it. In effect it has neutralized the magic in their blood so that it is neither Light nor Dark. And when they pass on that blood it also neutralizes the blood of their children to some extent allowing the magic of the child to be swayed towards whatever magic they use more of growing up," Abraxas countered.
Harry was silent for a moment.
"Why doesn't everyone know this?" Harry demanded.
"Because if the general public knew about this then they would turn against the muggleborns and the Light needs the support of the muggleborns. There are so many of them now and more are born every year since apparently muggles breed like rabbits," said Lucius harshly.
"The Light also supports the muggleborns and hides the neutralizing effects of their blood in the hopes of them intermarrying with Dark families and neutralizing the Dark magic in their blood and turning it towards the Light. That's what Dumbledore truly wants Harry the complete obliteration of Dark magic. We Dark wizards at least understand that there must be some sort of balance. But Dumbledore and others like him wrongly believe that we are evil and want to upset that balance," Abraxas stated.
Harry's mind was in turmoil. Could he truly believe what they were telling him? It just didn't seem real. But they were so sure and confident in their explanations. They obviously deeply believed in what they were telling him and their beliefs couldn't just be based on random theories there had to be some truth.
He'd gotten to know Abraxas and even Lucius a great deal these past few weeks and he knew they weren't the type of men to easily be led around. They were intelligent and cunning and wouldn't just blindly believe something that they hadn't looked into themselves. So where did that leave Harry? He needed to do more research.
"Are there books on this?" Harry asked.
Abraxas gave him a proud look. Lucius too actually nodded at him with an assessing and approving look.
"We have quite a few on the subject and I believe the Black Family Library has even more on the subject," agreed Abraxas.
"Back to the subject of the muggles. We'll be seeking justice against them," Abraxas said in a cold tone.
"Justice?" Harry asked nervously. "I don't want anyone to know about it."
"As you wish. We won't let anything become public that you don't want but the muggles will pay I'll stand for nothing less considering the way they treated you," Abraxas said his blue eyes flashing with his rage.
Harry felt his being suffuse with warmth. No one had ever tried to stand up to the Dursleys for him. No one had ever wanted to make them pay for what they had done to Harry and he would be lying to himself if he said that he didn't want to see them pay for what they did.
Chapter 6: Chapter 6
I've been busy researching about how muggleborn magic is different from magic like ours. Did you know about this? Well I'd imagined that you did since you grew up with a dark pureblood family. It's interesting and I've for the first time enjoyed spending time in the Malfoy Library.
Oh you'll never believe this, but Draco and I are sort of getting along now! Shocking, I know, right? There were some things that made us look past what we know about each other. It's not smooth sailing yet. At least I don't want to pummel him every time he opens his mouth now. Lucius is still kind of stand offish, but I don't really mind.
I'm going to be spending another weekend with the Blacks. I think grandfather Orion said that I would be going to one of the Black family homes in France where great grandfather Pollux and his wife live. Have you been there?
Snuffles, I really want to help you and I know you said that Professor Dumbledore is looking to help you with your little problem but I was thinking maybe I could. Well not me per say, but the family. I know you don't want anything to do with them. I just think if we want this problem solved during this century that I should talk with someone. I'm going to see who I think would help and just mention you and see what happens. Trust me, Snuffles, okay?
I hope you are doing well and I really can't wait to see you,
Sirius absentmindedly petted Hedwig from where she was perched on the back of a chair in the kitchen. He put down the letter from Harry and rubbed a hand down his face. The black haired man looked forward to each and every letter that he received from his son. Wasn't that strange that he had a son now? Of course, he had always wanted children, but back then he had not been ready to settle down.
He had been a ladies man flitting from one woman to another never committing to a serious relationship. Sometimes he would stay with one person longer than the other although most of the time they were one night stands. Sirius had just never been capable of the love that James had for Lily. That had driven his best friend's wife nuts. She would always tell him that he needed a woman to tame his wild ways. Oh, he had been a little envious of James for having someone that he loved with his entire being however Sirius was too busy getting his rocks off to really pay attention to those feelings.
His mind slipped to the Mother of his son. A large part of him was pissed at Iphigenia for just giving up Harry to Lily and not bothering to tell him that he was the father. He liked to think that even though he had been young and reckless that he would have taken responsibility of his actions. From what Harry had told him, from his letters, Gena had wanted to live her young life without a child pulling her in an unwanted marriage which probably would have happened if she had allowed Sirius in on the pregnancy.
If she had not wanted to be a part of his son's life then she still should have told him so that he could take Harry in. Sirius would have done it too. So he had every right to be pissed at her even if she was dead. However, he couldn't be too mad at her since she at least didn't terminate the pregnancy which might have happened if Lily hadn't bumped into her.
Sirius ran a hand through his shoulder length black hair his stormy gray eyes looking down at long aristocratic fingers that were drumming on the table. He hadn't even noticed that he had been doing it. He couldn't even be mad at his best friends for taking in his son, because he knew how much they loved him. He had witnessed it and if anyone other than himself were to raise Harry he would have wanted them to do it. No, he wasn't at all upset at them especially since they didn't know he had been Harry's father.
Bloody hell, he was just feeling too much all at once and only wanted to see Harry. Things would be better once he had his son in his day to day life. Not only was he being introspective on his current situation about his son, but the haunting memories of Azkaban were never too far away from his thoughts. He sometimes blanked in conversations with Moony which he would always be snapped out of when Remus sent mild stinging hexes at him because everything else hadn't worked. It worked as well as pinching did so that he knew that he was actually out of the hell hole. He was still weak so having all these emotions plaguing him was not conducive to his healing as Remus always reminded him.
Was it too much to ask to see his child?
Apparently it was when everyone believed him to be a mass murderer.
The last paragraph from the letter replayed in his mind on a loop. He thought it over the positives and consequences to such an outcome. He couldn't help, but know that if he had the support of his 'family' that he would be free sooner than what he imagined the Headmaster was doing. The Blacks were a powerful family that nobody messed with for fear of them. That was why the Dark Lord had tried to court as many of them to his side as he could. The family was not only knowledgeable in the Dark Arts but they were one of the most powerful pureblooded families both politically and magically.
Sirius sneered at the thought of his parents getting him free, no his father because he was sure his mother would have him thrown back into Azkaban for being a blood traitor. She wouldn't at all care that he was innocent. He didn't want to owe them anything. If Harry managed to convince them that he was innocent than he would be indebted to them and that was something he did not like. However, he had to ask himself if his hesitance was worth costing him his freedom.
Now that was the question.
His immediate reaction was that Dumbledore would be able to help him, but he didn't want to owe him a debt either. Sirius was screwed with both choices. Which was the lesser of two evils? There was something about the headmaster that made him weary about Albus' interest in his son.
Although was his family really any better with their intentions?
"Is that a letter from Harry?" Remus voice cut through Sirius' thoughts.
"Uh yes it is," he answered picking up the letter from the table and handing it to his best friend who took a seat at the table and began to read the letter. Sirius looked around the mostly empty kitchen while Remus read. He had been told to stay inside the house. It was one of Dumbledore's and he would have gone mental if not for his friend staying with him. As it was he did not like being cooped up, but he really had no other choice.
The werewolf hummed when he set down the letter and looked to where his longtime friend was fidgeting in his seat.
"What do you think about what Harry said at the end?"
"I don't know Moony," Sirius was frustrated because he still did not come to a decision. Although he was inwardly glad that he had his level headed and planning ahead friend to talk this through with. "Part of me wants Harry to go ahead with his plan but I don't trust my family as far as I can throw them."
"It seems like Harry is getting along quite well with them, Padfoot."
"I know that!" Sirius rubbed a hand down his face again.
"I think we should let Harry talk with your family and see if anyone is sympathetic to your problems. We shouldn't borrow trouble Sirius."
"I don't want to owe a debt to those old bastards."
"You misunderstand me, I know it's not ideal just think about it for a minute. If you get custody then you would be able to better protect Harry from any danger. I think you'll need them if you ever want to have a more active role in his life."
"Bloody hell, Moony, sometimes I hate you and your logic."
Remus gave him a small smile and patted Sirius on the shoulder.
"You better write your reply to him."
Harry was sitting in his study with his legs thrown over the arm of the chair with a thick book open on his lap. It was on his weekend reading list from Auntie Cassie and he would have to write about the magical theory of what was written in the book. It came from the Black Family library so it was interesting even if he didn't want to write the paper.
His Aunt didn't care that she was giving him homework on a weekend. She still didn't find him adequate enough in his magical education. The book he was reading was on curses, hexes, and dueling strategies that were written by his great hundred times over grandfather. Harry didn't know what he felt about such a text. Well the dueling strategies wasn't so bad a read since he always found dueling fascinating and he couldn't wait to better himself at it. The curses and hexes in this book were the things that were making him a little nervous.
They were of the darker gray magic that Harry would probably easily tap into. He guessed he should be grateful that they weren't completely dark where they were used for torture. That would cause Harry to put his foot down. No, these spells were used only for dueling fast spells that would immobilize an opponent or cause him some pain. Okay, maybe not some but at least it wasn't anything like turning his body inside out.
Harry had accidently stumbled on that spell when he was looking through a book while doing another assignment in Malfoy Manor. There had been a graphic description and a picture. He wasn't ashamed that it had almost caused him to vomit up his breakfast. That had caused Harry to be more careful while looking through the shelves in the manor.
Sighing he looked up at the clock to see that it was four thirty so he had about an half hour to kill before he had to go to his great Grandfather Pollux's home. Sirius' father had told him that he would be attending business this weekend so he would stay with Pollux.
Grandfather Orion had stated that he was to be expected to eventually join him on these business meetings with him since Harry was the heir to their Most Ancient and Noble house. His Grandmother had rudely told him he still wasn't up to par on his pureblood education to be able to go. Harry restrained himself from snapping at her, only giving her a heated glare, but he wasn't too upset. Those meetings sounded boring so he was kind of glad that he 'wasn't up to par' enough to go.
At fifteen minutes till Harry sat up properly in his seat before straightening his robes glad that his Grandmum wasn't there to see him sitting as he had been. He walked out of his study and down the long winding hallways of the manor that he still sometimes got lost in.
When he was in the formal sitting room where Calliope and Narcissa where drinking tea. He didn't know where Abraxas and Lucius were and he was relieved that Draco wasn't there. They weren't at each other's throat anymore it was just hard for them to be anything other than enemies since that was what they had come to expect from their relationship. He certainly didn't need nor want Draco to feel sorry for him so he was happy to know that his cousin, still awkward to call him that, did not pity him.
"Are you ready, Harry?" Calliope asked looking at the huge grandfather clock that was up against the wall.
"Yes, Grandmum," he answered politely remembering all the manners that had been drilled into his head. Narcissa smiled, before going back to reading a thin looking book that was in her lap. She had been getting warmer towards him and he guessed that Lucius must have told her his life story. He really wished it didn't take his sob story to get them to see him for who he is rather than the distorted image that they had come up for him. Harry didn't know exactly what their plans were regarding the Dursleys but he knew they weren't going to torture them so he was at least appeased by that.
Calliope got up and enveloped him into warm hug stroking a pale hand down his cheek before patting it gently. She called for Mopsy to gather the bag Harry was taking with him to France. It wasn't long before he called out the address for the home of Pollux and Irma Black and was whisked away into the green flames.
He landed in an entryway where a house elf was waiting. Harry was only just able to keep his balance since Calliope had him practicing because, no grandson of hers, was not going to be able to floo without keeping their dignity.
"Welcomes Heir Black. The Master and Mistress be in the private sitting room please follow Dippy." The female house elf snapped her fingers and his bag promptly disappeared to where he assumed the room he would be sleeping in.
Hopefully this weekend wouldn't be too horrible, Harry hoped before following the house elf.
"What if you could save Sirius?" Harry asked casually. If he had learned one thing about spending all weekend in Pollux's company was that the man was fiercely dedicated to his family. It was just after lunch on Sunday when he decided that Pollux would be the most helpful to prove his father's innocence.
Actually when Harry looked past the haughty image his great Grandfather had he was kind of pleasant company. That had been unexpected but not unwelcomed.
It was like with Orion who was quiet and stern but passionate about his politics. Harry was adapting more and more of his Grandfather's ideas although they did differ on some opinions. He always had to back everything he said or thought up so that added even more homework to his already full load.
At first Harry had been hesitant about spending time with Pollux since he had been a follower of a Dark Lord, but he could clearly see that his Great Grandfather had not been all too happy with Voldemort. They had not outright discussed it yet he knew that the older wizard was upset that the last wizarding war had pretty much cost all of his family leaving Harry the last male heir that could carry on the family. Of course, there was Sirius, but what with him being disowned he no longer counted.
Harry refused to think much farther than getting his father freed because he knew it was going to be one hell of a bumpy road to get Sirius and his family to get along. There was a reason Sirius had run away and though he didn't have the courage to ask said man he still was dreading a face to face confrontation.
The young teen couldn't help but want the Blacks to all get along. He had never had family before and to have them, even if they were all a bit mad, in his life was some kind of miracle. So, he would have to find some way to get them to get along. The biggest hurdle would be keeping Walburga and Sirius from killing each other. Harry didn't know how Walburga had gotten to be how she was with a father like Pollux. He hadn't had all that much interaction with Irma maybe she was the reason for it.
He shook his head to get back on track.
"I know you must want to save your father, Herakles, but I'm afraid there isn't anything that can be done. The best that can be hoped is that he stays far away or else he'll end up caught and he'll get the dementor's kiss," said Pollux a note of sadness in his voice.
"Alright say you had a legitimate reason and knew he was innocent would you try and help him?" Harry asked.
"Do you know something?" Pollux demanded searching his face.
"I know he's innocent. He didn't betray the Potters. Peter Pettigrew set him up and the little rat is still alive," said Harry his temper flaring at the thought of the rat.
"How do you know for sure?"
"Because I've seen him with my own two eyes and heard him confess. We could have gotten Sirius off but he escaped before we could take him to the Aurors. We tried telling Fudge but he refuses to believe us so Sirius is still stuck being a fugitive," said Harry.
"Tell me everything that happened," Pollux demanded looking utterly shocked.
Harry quickly and briefly described his entire third year experiences in regards to Sirius and Pettigrew.
"So you think he has a chance?" Harry asked eagerly once he was through telling his story.
"I don't understand how this could have happened. It should have been proven during Sirius's trial they would have given him Veritaserum and it would have proven his innocence," Pollux said frowning deeply.
"I don't know maybe they didn't use it but I know he's telling the truth. I saw Pettigrew with my own eyes and I know in my bones that Sirius is innocent. So you will try to help him?" Harry asked desperately.
"He's a Black and my grandson. I will do everything in my power to see his name cleared. You deserve to have your father not to mention it will get you out from under Malfoy's pointed nose. You are Black you should be raised amongst Black's," said Pollux once again haughty.
Harry hoped that this would be the start of the process of getting Sirius freed.
Chapter 7: Chapter 7
Thanks for reading and reviewing! I really appreciate you taking the time to do so. :)
By Polaris Aries Black
The Black Secret
He strode through the atrium of the Ministry of Magic with purpose as he headed to the Minister's office for the meeting discussing his son. Orion had been stunned when Pollux had come to his home to inform him of what Herakles had told him. Although a very large part of him had been relieved, because no matter what happened in the past he loved his son in his own way.
The Lord Black was not a demonstrative Father nor did he discuss his feelings with others, but he knew he had failed both of his sons. Regulus for he did not keep him away from the blasted Dark Lord. Sirius, his only living son, had been sent to jail without trial and Orion didn't bother ever finding out if he was actually guilty. He also didn't protect his eldest from his own family when it showed Sirius was different from the rest of them not only because he ended up in Gryffindor. His son would never bow to the Dark Lord, and Orion couldn't be more grateful that Sirius did end up choosing to not be marked. He could not imagined what would have happened if both of his children were lost to the Dark Lord.
He pushed the button for Level 1 to get to the Minister's office and held onto the strap connected to the ceiling. A brief moment later he heard the voice announcing his arrival at Minister for Magic and Support Staff. Striding out of the lift his black robes billowing out behind him the few employees there were quick to move out of the way of the powerful Lord. Not bothering to knock on Cornelius' office door he opened it with confidence. After all it was he and Lucius who made him Minister. Most Wizengamot members tended to follow their votes for they wanted to be part of the Black Alliance with the exception of the few that were blinded by the Chief Warlock. It was common knowledge that Orion and Dumbledore were often on opposing sides. It had been that way even when his father, Arcturus, was Lord Black.
Gray eyes noted that both Madame Bones and the Minister were already there. Lucius would be there on the dot as he was punctual, and Orion had come a few minutes early. "Minister," Orion shook hands with him when Cornelius rose from behind his desk and he then turned to Amelia. When she placed her hand in his he shook it gently instead of kissing the air above the back of it. She was not there on House business, but as the Head of the DMLE.
"Lord Black, a pleasure to see you again." She greeted as they all retook their seats.
"Indeed it is Madame Bones," he returned.
"Yes, it is always good to see you Lord Black." The Minister piped in. Orion withheld a sneer knowing Cornelius only wanted more money from him. "How is young Herakles?"
Amelia sat up straighter most likely interested in his answer. Dumbledore had obviously tried to use her to stop the Malfoys getting custody of his grandson. He didn't know her opinion on the current subject, but she knew that the law had been on their side so the Headmaster could not use her to continue to be his grandson's Magical Guardian. Although Orion was looking forward to when Herakles would be in the custody of the Blacks. He would be the Black Heir and he needed to be amongst his family. With Sirius gaining his freedom he would be able to take up his responsibilities as Father of Herakles.
"He is doing very well and settling fine into the both my family and his maternal one," Orion said refusing to give out details of his family. He was a private man after all.
"That's good to hear, Lord Black. If you ever need anything my door is always open." The Minister said.
Orion inclined his head.
Further conversation was stalled as the last person for the meeting came through the door. They all stood when Lucius walked further into the office. He greeted the Minister first, and then Amelia Bones because of protocol and her title carried weight there. "Lord Black," they shook hands firmly.
Once they were all seated and pleasantries were out of the way. The Minister got right down to business. "Lord Black, you said that this matter was of great importance."
"Yes I am afraid the Ministry has greatly wronged my family," Orion started with. He could see sweat break out on Fudge's face, because no one was stupid enough to anger the Most Ancient and Noble House of Black. Lucius' expression did not change for he had already been informed of the issue of Sirius.
"Oh what is the problem?" Amelia asked calmly.
"My son, Sirius, is innocent of the crimes he was taken to Azkaban for. He was also never given a trial to prove this."
The Head of the DMLE frowned at this news.
"I remember it being a chaotic time, and Minister Bagnold had been overwhelmed. No excuse, but there had been a lot going on then." Lucius mused aloud.
"Yes it was," Lord Black agreed. "We should not have failed him, but I understand that the then Minster was under a lot of pressure."
"But everyone knows he is guilty!" Fudge burst out.
Orion raised an eyebrow as if questioning his intelligence. "It was never proved and we could not go on by just people's word."
"Lord Black is right. Do you have any proof of this?"
Orion pulled out the vials of pensive memories Pollux had collected from Herakles.
It was time to start the process of getting Sirius freed.
Harry grabbed his Firebolt from the shed filled with all the brooms and quidditch supplies of the Malfoys. His blue eyes looked up at the sky and a smile tugged at his lips as he noted the good weather that would allow him to fly. There was a snitch on one of the shelves and he grabbed it as well. He could do with some practice not that he ever lost a match, except when the dementors interrupted the game last year, but he wasn't arrogant enough not to keep on practicing.
After shutting the door to the shed he climbed onto his broom and flew over to the quidditch pitch. He had never got to play his favorite sport in the summers, because he lived with the Dursleys. He only played when he was at the Weasleys, but it was never enough for him. Now he had the option of flying whenever he wanted too. Well only not when he was in lessons.
It was great not having to be cut off from the wizarding world that he had come to love. Even better was being allowed to do magic! No more ministry letters wanting to expel him. Harry felt a little bad for enjoying it so much when Hermione wasn't able to do magic like him. Thinking of his friends he had to remember to send them a letter soon. It had been a while since he had spoken to them.
Harry did lazy laps around the pitch just enjoying the winding ruffling his black hair and the sun warming him. Deciding he wanted to try out the snitch he brought it out of his quidditch robe's pocket but before he could release it he saw Draco flying up to be level with him.
"Hey," Harry greeted when it looked like Draco wasn't going to speak first.
Draco nodded before pushing onto what he wanted to say. "I've never had to share my family before and with our past it didn't help matters."
Harry wondered where this was going, but he hoped that maybe some of the awkwardness they felt with one another would abate a little.
"I want a truce between us. I never had a cousin that's not in France and one I actually had to deal with on a day to day basis…" Draco trailed off looking uncomfortable with discussing all this.
"It wasn't only you," Harry sighed. "I was as much of a prat as you were. Let's start over and I have the perfect idea for it."
"Feeling up to a seekers match, cousin?"
They would overcome their past… eventually.
But right now Harry had a cousin to win against.
To my son,
I know you may not want to hear from me, and I do not blame you. I will admit that I failed you as your Father. It took meeting your son for me to realize this. I do not know if he has mentioned this to you, but he had brought to our family's attention the wrongs the Ministry committed against you.
Today I met with both the Minister and Madame Bones regarding your innocence. They had not truly believed me until I showed them the memories Herakles provided me with. It proved to them you were not guilty of giving away the Potters' location, but you will need to turn yourself in to Madame Bones for the formal trial. They will use Veritaserum and the pensieve memories to prove that you are innocent of all charges.
Of course, being an illegal animagus will be brought up, but I have been assured that you have already served the allotted time for that particular offense. Turn yourself in, Sirius. Do not worry you will not be going to Azkaban to wait out the trial, but instead you will be in a holding cell at the Ministry. It's not a comfort, but it is better than the other option. The hearing will take place in two days' time. We will discuss more in regarding your son when we meet.
Orion A. Black
Lord of the Most Ancient and Noble House of Black
Sirius placed the letter down on the table before shouting out for Remus. "Harry did it!" He didn't know if he wanted to cry in relief or laugh in excitement. His son was a miracle in all ways possible. First, because he was a part of him and he couldn't help but love him more than he thought was possible. Harry was his son, and Sirius was going to do him proud. Now his son had gotten him a trial. Okay, his Father could take credit for it. But he was thankful for Harry who brought it up with his family in the first place.
It would have taken forever if he had left it in the hands of the Headmaster who kept telling him that he was working on it. His Father proved to be more efficient for he got him a hearing in a matter of days after finding out he was not guilty.
Sirius would finally be able to see his son!
He was truly excited to see Harry, but nerves flitted through him for a brief moment. It was nerve wracking, because he didn't know how to be a Father. Yes, Harry had accepted him when he saw him in St. Mungos, and he wrote to him often. It still left Sirius doubting himself, because what if he wasn't a good Father? What if he screwed everything up? He loved Harry there was no doubt about it, but he didn't know how to be someone's Dad.
He sucked in a deep breath calming himself down. Even if he was clueless he hoped him and Harry could work towards having the relationship they were always meant to have. Sirius knew he missed out on all the important childhood milestones, and Harry must have not had the best of time growing up. Why else would he agree to move in with a stranger he had only known for an hour when they first met? He mused to himself. He was determined to find out more about how those muggles treated his son.
Sirius was brought out of his thoughts when Remus came out from where he had been in the small library in the house they had been staying in.
"What's going on?" He asked placing a small book onto the table his green eyes looking at him in amusement when Sirius jumped up with a brilliant smile on his face.
"You are looking at a soon to be free man, Moony!"
"Harry, may I have a moment of your time?" Abraxas asked at the open doorway leading into Harry's study. The young teen looked up from the essay he was working on for his tutoring. It was on the theory of spells he would be learning. They were dark dueling spells, and although Harry was hesitant at learning them, Auntie Cassie had been adamant he would learn them no matter what excuse he tried using.
"Of course Granddad," Harry said rising from the desk and motioning for Abraxas to sit in the arm chair before the fireplace. He took the other after his Granddad sat gracefully into the offered seat.
"I have some good news for you."
Harry perked up hoping that this was about his Dad.
His Grandfather smiled indulgently. "Yes, your Father was granted a trial. It will be happening in two days."
"That's great. I can't wait to see him. I can go to the trial right?"
"Of course, they may call you on the witness stand, but I think his questioning under vertisamsm should be sufficient enough."
"I also wanted to tell you that your Father would most likely gain custody of you once he is proven innocent."
"I know," he said.
"It will happen after he gets treated at St. Mungos as long as the healers state he is fit to take care of you."
Abraxas nodded standing. "I have enjoyed having you in my home, Harry." He looked like he wanted to say more, but he ending up just squeezing his shoulder gently before leaving the study.
Harry sat back in his chair wondering what it would be like to see Sirius again. His Father wanted him that much he knew, but he was still afraid what would happen when Sirius would see the family he ran away from once again. He hoped they would be able to move past it, because he didn't want to see them fighting. Harry had never had a family before, and he wanted them all to get along.
Returning to his desk to finish his essay he put those worries out of his head, and just let the excitement of seeing Sirius again flow through him. Everything would work out… eventually.
Chapter 8: Chapter 8
By Polaris Aries Black
The Black Secret
Thank you for reading/reviewing! I hope you enjoy this chapter.
Harry smoothed down the expensive fabric of his dark blue robes that had the Black Family crest upon his breast. His Grandfather Orion bought it for him and sent it over with Kreacher yesterday afternoon. It was what he was supposed to wear to the trial today. Nerves wracked through his body as he couldn't help but worry about his Father. Logically he knew Sirius was innocent and he also knew Orion would never let his son go back to prison. It still didn't make him worry any less. If the Ministry could send an innocent man to prison without a trial what was to stop them now.
He shook his head to clear those thoughts from his mind. He would not worry knowing his family wouldn't let anything happen to Sirius. They were the Black Family and after spending time with his relatives he could take pride in his family. He wasn't arrogant, but after talking with Orion about the Wizengamot he knew House Black was very important. They were both respected and feared by the public. No one would dare cross them. Harry tried to find comfort in that.
Another thing plaguing his thoughts was him being seen by the public for the first time today. His picture was sure to end up in the Daily Prophet. He tried to comfort himself with knowing it would be easier if his classmates saw his new look before seeing him at school. Maybe he would be stared at less, but the pessimistic part of him thought the staring would be just as horrible as it had been when everyone thought him to be Slytherin's heir.
Firmly pushing away all thoughts of school from his mind he looked around his room that the elves packed most of his belongings away to be taken to Grimmauld Place. There were a few things left in his rooms of Malfoy Manor and some clothes but for the most part he would be taking everything with him. He knew he wouldn't be officially in Sirius' custody, but Grandfather Orion was allowed to let him live with them until his Father could gain his custody legally after being seen by the healers in St. Mungos. Harry would miss his maternal family, but it wasn't like it would be the last time he saw them.
When he glanced at the clock he knew he should go eat an early lunch before he had to floo over to Grimmauld Place to meet up with Grandfather Orion so they could go to the Ministry together. He calmly made his way towards the informal dining hall. There sitting at the table was his grandparents and Draco. Harry was pretty sure he had heard that Lucius and Narcissa had business in Diagon Alley they had to take care of before the trial. He stepped into the room giving a polite incline of his head to Abraxas and a soft smile at Calliope. Granddad was sitting at the head of the table and on his left was his Grandmother and on his other side was Draco. Harry took a seat next to his cousin. It wasn't all that hard to think of him as a relative as it had been in the beginning. Sure Draco was still an arrogant snob sometimes, okay most of the time, but he was surprisingly not that hard to get along with when they weren't sniping at each other.
"Hello Draco," he greeted when the blonde looked up from his plate when he sat down. His grandparents were having a conversation of their own about some investment Abraxas was going to encourage his son to look further into.
"Harry," Draco said in return and passed the plate of finger sandwiches over to him. "Nervous about today?"
"Yeah actually I am."
"I wouldn't be. How could they deny a pureblood of his standing his innocence," he said looking down his nose at Harry. His lips twitched knowing that Draco was mostly joking about what he said.
"Of course, how could they? They would be fools to not believe a son of the Most Ancient and Noble House of Black." Harry returned snootily causing his cousin to roll his eyes when he was sure their grandparents weren't looking.
Taking a bite of his turkey and ham sandwich their conversation lulled as they ate. Draco spoke after wiping his mouth on the cloth napkin the elves had given them for the meal. "I am thinking of having some friends come over after the news of the trial is blown over, and I was wondering if you would like to meet them."
"I don't know. I mean I guess it would be better to meet them here than when I get sorted into Slytherin." Harry frowned. He had been doing his best not to think of the resort, but he knew both Sirius' parents had been pleased that he would be resorted when school started up again.
"So sure you'd make it into Slytherin?"
"I think so. It's where the hat first wanted to place me."
"I don't think I quite believe you."
"Then how did you end up in Gryffindor?"
Harry paused deciding not to tell Draco the whole truth in order to not get into a fight when they had finally got past the animosity between them.
"All I had heard about the house previously was they there wasn't a witch or wizard who hadn't gone Dark coming from that house. So it was a house I definitely didn't want to get into."
"Figures the little weasel would color your view on the best house of Hogwarts," Draco said.
"Don't call him that," Harry said but dropped the subject not wanting to get into this conversation and who told him all about the horrors of Slytheirn especially on today of all days.
It was a little while later when he was standing before the floo in the formal sitting room with Abraxas and Calliope beside him. He had already said goodbye to Draco who would be staying at the manor instead of going to the trial. A lump formed in his throat at the thought of leaving his maternal grandparents. He tried to remind himself he would see them again, but it was upsetting he wouldn't be seeing them every day. Harry had gotten very close to his Grandmum since he spent so many hours with her during his etiquette lessons.
"We will see you soon," Calliope said reaching out and pulling him into a hug. "Be good for your Father, and remember what I've taught you."
"Of course Grandmum," Harry said pulling away from her.
"It has been a pleasure to have you with us, Harry. You are always welcome here." Abraxas said giving a brief but strong hug. "Do us proud."
With the goodbyes out of the way he threw a pinch of floo powder into the fireplace and stepped into the green flames. "Grimmauld Place," he called out being whisked away from Malfoy Manor.
The ministry was very busy with all sorts of people bustling from place to place. Most conversations he could hear were of the trial that was about to happen in courtroom ten. Harry stood with his back straight and his expression as neutral as he could manage since it was expected of him. He was walking next to his Grandfather who cut an impressive figure striding confidently towards the elevators. On his other side was his Grandmother who looked down upon all those she deemed beneath her.
It was impossible for him to blend in the background as everyone looked at him and his family. There was no denying their relationship because he had the chiseled features of a Black with some of the Malfoy features as well. He was just thankful that he had his hair blocking the famous scar. Although from the way people were staring and pointing they must have known who he was. It was a relief when they finally were able to reach the elevator and no one else was in it which gave him time to breathe a little.
"You are doing well Herakles," Orion spoke for the first time since they have arrived at the Ministry.
"Don't coddle the boy," Grandmother sneered.
"Remember your place, wife." He returned coolly.
Harry grimaced when the tension in the small space escalated. He was relieved when they reached the floor where the hearing was to take place. There were people heading in through a door closest to them and he could see the different Head of House rings on their finger as they disappeared behind the thick door. Orion briefly squeezed his shoulder before following the other Lords and Ladies who were a part of the Wizengamot.
"Come along," Walburga demanded and he reluctantly followed her through the other door where the public was entering. It was very hectic inside the courtroom. He did his best to not show his anxiousness on his face as he walked up the steps towards where the family of the Most Ancient and Noble Houses were seated at. He could see Grandfather Pollux seated there beside his wife and Auntie Cassie. He sat beside his Great Grandfather with Walburga on the end. The moment he sat flashes of light blinded him for a second and he looked at the reporters who looked as if they wanted to run and interview him.
"Don't mind them Herakles," Pollux said barely taking his eyes away from looking at the court officials.
Harry swallowed doing his best to ignore everyone who was staring at him. He reminded himself he would finally get to see Sirius after all this was done and over with. The thought made him feel better, but at the same time it worried him. He knew Sirius was innocent, but he was still worried something would go wrong and they would send his Father back to Azkaban. No, he wouldn't think of that possibility. Orion would not let them do that and so he had to have faith in his Grandfather and Lucius who he had heard had been part of the meeting which led to having Sirius finally getting his long overdue trial. His breath caught when finally Sirius was brought out and silence filled the courtroom. Sirius looked better than when he last saw him, but there was still a little gauntness in his face. He was wearing a silver and black robe that looked like it was tailored to fit him. Harry assumed Orion had arranged for him to wear it. There were two Auror guards on either side of him who led him to the seat and the moment he sat the chair chained him to it.
The Minister droned on for the first part of the trial, but he hardly paid attention too busy watching Sirius who was doing his best to hide his emotions as Harry had tried earlier. It looked like he was similar to his Father in that way of having trouble wearing a neutral expression. There was a flashes of the camera every once in a while as the photographers snapped pictures of Sirius and the proceedings. He could see the reporters looking over their spelled quills they had to write down all that was being said. Harry was pulled out of his thoughts when Madam Bones called for Veritaserum. He watched an Auror come up to Sirius and put three drops on his tongue.
"What is your name?"
"Sirius Orion Black," he said in a monotone voice.
"What house were you sorted in?"
Once she was sure the truth serum was working the questions began.
"Did you give the Potters location to the Dark Lord named Voldemort?" Harry was impressed that she didn't even stumble over Voldemort's name, but he frowned when there were gasps from the crowd. It was just a name so he didn't really understand people's fears.
The crowd went wild at the answer.
A bang from Dumbledore's wand shut them up as quickly as the noise came. It hadn't surprised Harry when he had first seen the Headmaster there. He learned from Orion how Dumbledore was the Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot.
"Who was the Secret Keeper of the Potters location?"
"Peter Pettigrew." Harry knew if Sirius hadn't been under the potion's effects he would have snarled the name like it was a curse word. The people who had been watching went silent after another bang came from the Chief Warlock's wand and the warning of being kicked out if they interrupted another time. A hard pinch on his arm snapped him out of his focus on the questioning and he turned to look at Walburga who glared at him.
"Stop fidgeting like a mudblood. I will not have you embarrassing my House." She hissed in his ear. Harry glared at her for a moment, but did his best to still his movements. He hadn't even realized he had been moving in his nervousness. With that distraction he had missed the last bit of questioning and he couldn't help but curse his Grandmother in his head.
Sirius was blinking owlishly after having been under the serum and Harry wondered what it had been like to be under such a powerful potion. Those thoughts were pushed away as he refocused on what was going on in the trial. Madame Bones cleared her throat before turning towards those on the Wizengamot. "All those in favor of Sirius Black's guilt please raise your wand."
Harry looked at them and sighed in relief when all wands remained down.
"All those in favor of clearing him of all charges please raise your wand." Every wand rose in agreement and for the first time he could say he was truly happy. For once in his life everything was perfect. He went from being an orphan with hardly any family to having a living parent who made it clear he wanted Harry and a family that was bigger than he knew how to deal with. But in a good way. Maybe they were all a bunch of nutters, but he wouldn't change them for the world. There was no one happier than him was the thought that remained with him as he followed his family out of the courtroom.
He met Sirius in a private room that was on the same floor and away from all the reporters. The moment he passed through the door that was a simple room with a table and a few chairs. He was pulled into hug and being squeezed hard making him laugh. Finally after long moments his Dad pulled away to hold him at arm's length and he could see his charcoal gray eyes taking in all his features even though he had already seen him. Harry was just as observant and he knew he very much resembled his Father.
"Harry," Sirius breathed the hands on his shoulders squeezing gently before finally letting him go reluctantly. He seemed just as a loss for words as Harry himself. The door behind them opened once more and it snapped both father and son from their own little world and back to reality. Orion Black looked down at his son with a blank expression but his eyes gave way to the warmth he felt at seeing his son after so long. Pollux, Irma, and Cassiopeia must have left because only Walburga and Orion were there in the room with them. Harry's sapphire blue eyes looked at his Grandmother who had a pinched look on her face, but she seemed to be holding in all that she wanted to say. He wondered if his Grandfather had spoken to her before they left Grimmauld Place.
"Son," Orion stepped up shaking his only living son's hand firmly. Harry could see some of the tension in both of their frames relax a bit.
"Father, I'd like to thank you for getting me a trial."
Orion nodded. "I am glad Herakles brought it to our attention."
"Herakles?" Sirius questioned with a furrowed brow his eyes going towards his son. Harry mouthed 'later' at him.
"I do hate cutting this reunion short, but I must get Sirius to St. Mungos."
"Can I have a moment with my son first and then we can go."
His Grandfather inclined his head and ushered his wife out. He saw Sirius relax completely when his parents were out of the room. Harry wasn't surprised that he hadn't greeted his Mother in any way. From what he heard there was a lot of bad history between the two. So Sirius ignoring her for the moment was probably for the best.
"It's really good to see you, Harry. Are you okay? They haven't been treating you too horribly have they? I'm sorry you've been stuck with them for so long." He said running a hand through his shoulder length hair.
"I'm good. They're not so bad you know. I've actually learned quite a bit from both of my families."
Sirius grimaced so Harry continued to reassure him. "Really it's been great getting to know them. I think if you gave them a chance you'd be surprised."
"Pup, I've known them all my life and they are unpleasant old bastards."
Harry sighed having expected this reaction.
"Look I don't have a lot of time to talk, but I promise you we will revisit this conversation. I wanted to make sure you were okay."
"I am okay, don't worry," Harry said.
He was pulled into another hug. Harry breathed in the scent of Sirius that comforted him more than he would ever admit. Never before had he thought he would ever know what a Father's hug would feel like so it caused a whole bunch of emotions to filter through him as he returned his Dad's embrace. There was so much they needed to talk about, and not to mention trying to build a relationship between them. But they had family in each other that they never had before and so Harry knew they would both work hard to develop a true father and son bond. As he pulled away from Sirius to look into his eyes he didn't see the haunted look in them that he did when he had first met him in the Shrieking Shack. He saw the love of a parent and even though he knew his Father still had a long way to go to heal Harry couldn't help but feel hope for the future.
Chapter 9: Chapter 9
By Polaris Aries Black
The Black Secret
Thanks for reading/reviewing the previous chapters!
Harry walked down the stairs of Grimmauld Place dressed in dark gray robes, with once again the Black Family crest stitched on it, which had been set out for him by Kreacher. He could only assume he would be going out today. He hoped it would be to see Sirius since the trial had taken place the day before yesterday. They were told by the mediwitch who was overseeing his care that they would not be allowed to visit yesterday. Healer Lee told them that the healers would need to start treating his Father right away and that she would not allow them to visit him. At least Harry was reassured that they expected Sirius to make a full recovery, but he would need to see a mind healer for a while after he was released from St. Mungo's.
He reached the dining room where they usually had breakfast since it was beneath the Blacks to eat in a lowly place such as a kitchen. The table was a very dark brown almost black with the chairs having silver cushioning. It was very expensive looking especially with the crystal chandelier hovering above the table with little lights that looked like the lumos charm to light it. On the wall across from him behind the head of the table was painted with the large family crest on it. The crest was made of two snakes of a deep obsidian color poised to strike and a silver sword down the middle of the two snakes. The words 'Toujours Pur' were written in elegant calligraphy beneath it.
Sitting at the table was Orion and Cassiopeia both eating breakfast and talking in low tones. He had no idea where Walburga was, but was thankful he didn't have to deal with her so early in the morning.
"Good morning, Grandfather, Auntie Cassie," Harry greeted giving a half bow to Orion who motioned for him to take a seat on his right which was across from his Aunt.
"Hello, Herakles." Orion said. "We have business to attend to in Gringotts, and then we will go see your Father at St. Mungo's."
"What business do we have at the bank?" He asked as he picked up his fork to eat the food which had appeared on his plate. It was eggs, sausage, and bacon served with freshly made orange juice.
"I think you are ready to fulfill your responsibilities as the Black Heir. You will need to sign paperwork and have the ring accept you as our family's heir."
"What if the ring doesn't accept me?" Harry asked nervously.
Auntie Cassie cackled. "Well my dear that is a good question. If the ring doesn't accept you, it will curse you for not being a worthy heir. You remember the first Lord Black that I taught you about, yes?"
Harry nodded warily. Of course, he remembered the ancestor that had been the first Black. They had gone by another name before that, but when they created the Most Ancient and Noble Houses the first Lord had changed their last name. Altair Black was the first of a long line of Lords. The thing which really stood out to him when he first learned about his ancestor was the fact that Altair was a magical genius. A lot of grey and dark magic found today were actually created by him. From the history Harry learned about him that the first Lord Black was not all that mentally stable, but it still did not diminish his intelligence. Although it did make the fact that he created the heir ring even scarier at the thought of what would happen should it deem him unworthy.
She continued with a gleam in her eyes. "Should it not accept you I'm sure from all that you learned about the Great and Noble Lord Black that you will-"
"Cassie!" Grandfather interrupted her sternly. "Do not worry Herakles. If you are finished we shall ready ourselves to leave." The Lord Black stood from his chair shooting a glare at Cassiopeia before swiftly leaving the room.
Harry looked at his Aunt who shot him one last smirk as she left the dining room.
"What am I getting myself into?" The teen wondered out loud.
It wasn't very long until Harry was dusting off the soot from the fireplace in the floo room at Gringotts bank. He stepped to the side so Orion could floo in after him. Thankfully it was just the two of them visiting both the bank and then later Sirius at St. Mungo's. The specific room he was in was reserved only for clients who had enough money in their vault for an account manager to oversee. Everyone else had to floo in at the Leaky Cauldron and walk to the main entrance of the bank. His sapphire eyes looked over the room and saw it was filled with all sort of weapons from different eras and the portraits depicted bloody battles. By the door that led to a hallway were two goblins standing guard with wickedly looking sharp spears in their tiny hands. They were dressed in full battle armor and looked deadly despite their small stature. There was another goblin stood in front of him who was dressed in a neatly pressed suit with his name tag that looked like real gold that had his name engraved on it. Darksteel was his name and he was the account manager of the Black vaults.
"Good morning Account Manager Darksteel. May your enemies perish as their gold becomes yours." Orion said formally with an incline of his head.
Darksteel responded with a toothy smirk. "Greetings Lord Black. May your gold increase evermore. Follow me." He said leaving the room not waiting for a response.
When they got to his office Harry stood by the chair as they waited for Darksteel to take his seat first. The room itself was plain, but still screamed expensive even without all the usual clutter found in an office. The goblin took his seat and motioned to the two chairs in front of the mahogany desk for them to sit at.
Harry took his seat making sure to sit up properly and not slouch. Calliope had him sitting for what felt like hours to break the habit of slouching from him. He loved his Grandmum, but the kind woman sure knew how to torture somebody without the aid of magic. It was lessons he didn't look forward to however he could admit they had really paid off in the end.
"What business do you have with Gringotts today, Lord Black?"
Grandfather spoke firmly and all business like. "Today, I would like my grandson Herakles to try on the heir ring."
"So shall we be taking Sirius Black officially off as heir?" The goblin said pulling parchments out of a drawer in his desk.
"That is correct Master Darksteel. He will still have access to his vault and have all rights any member of the Black family have. I will come back at a later date to fix my will with the changes."
"Yes, of course." The account manager wrote quickly with a quill and then asked Orion to sign at the bottom. Once finished the parchment glowed gold before vanishing. Darksteel took a ring box from his desk sliding it across the surface of it towards Harry. "The heir ring."
Taking a deep breath in Harry looked at the innocent looking black box with the family crest on it. The snakes looked even more menacing than usual. He went to open it but when his thumb touched the clasp he felt a pinch on his skin. It shouldn't surprise him that it took his blood, but still a little warning would have been nice. He opened it as blue eyes looked over the ring that was smaller than the Lord ring he knew his grandfather wore. There was a small version of the Black family crest on it.
With another deep breath in he took the ring out placing the box on the desk. Harry could feel a sort of thrumming coming from it and he knew there was some powerful magic in the silver ring. He didn't look up at the others in the room too fascinated with the object in his hands. It felt like there was something pulling at him to wear it. He did not ignore the pull and simply slid the ring onto its place on his right hand's ring finger. For a moment nothing happened, but before he could be disappointed that it did nothing, he felt darkness creep upon his mind. A feeling of dark magic swept through his body. It was both addicting and scary and he felt it reach every part of him. It seemed to dance along his core before sweeping up to the scar on his forehead. Indescribable pain filled him then and with a scream he fell into the blackness slowly taking over him.
When Harry came to he smelled the same scent as the infirmary at Hogwarts. Although the room he was in was at a lot cooler temperature than what Madame Pomfrey kept hers at. It almost felt like he was deeper underground. He opened his eyes to see a goblin who was dressed in healer robes waving her hands over him and speaking in a guttural language. A white light shone from his body before the goblin healer stopped whatever she was doing to look over him and to his left. He followed her eyes to see Grandfather sitting by his side. It was at that moment that he noticed the warm hand in his. For a second, Harry was sure someone was using polyjuice to pretend to be Orion. The elder man had never touched him in a paternal way and with such worry. It was both strange and alien. Yes, sometime the man would squeeze his shoulder or pat him on the back, but the man was never the touchy feely sort. Now he was really worried about what was wrong with him.
"He is fine, Lord Black. Actually he is healthier than he was before what with the parasite attached to his scar gone."
"Parasite?" Both Blacks asked at the same time.
"Yes, Lord Black. Do you know what a horcrux is?"
Orion narrowed his eyes in thought. "I remember reading about such a thing, but the information is not coming to mind."
"What's a horcrux?" Harry asked cautiously knowing it was something bad judging by the goblin's face.
"A horcrux is a most foul piece of magic, and only the most evil of man would think about creating one." The healer paused. "Now what it is exactly is a container to hold a part of a soul to tie the wizard to the earth even if his body is destroyed. As long as there is a horcrux this evil cannot die."
Harry wrinkled his nose in disgust. He knew better to play around with death and he couldn't imagine who would be so desperate to do something like that. Then someone did come to mind when he thought of a person doing this to avoid death.
"Can I guess that the Dark Lord is the one to create a horcrux? And that my heir was one?"
Now the teen was beyond disgusted. To think he had been carrying the person who killed James and Lily soul around with him was truly horrendous.
"Yes, Lord Black. It seemed Heir Black's scar was one of the foul things, but it was destroyed by the magic in the ring."
"Was that the only one?" Orion asked.
"I believe since it was such a small piece I would wager that there are at least a few more out there." The goblin said with a growl.
"Is there a way to find and destroy them?"
"I would need to research horcruxs to find a ritual we may be able to use as Gringotts hasn't dealt with them in a very long time."
"Of course, please inform me when you have an answer." The goblin gave a sharp nod. "If my grandson is cleared to go then we will take our leave."
"Yes, he may be discharged."
"Thank you for your service, Healer."
Orion placed his hand on Harry's shoulder before the teen could open the door. "I think you should not inform your Father about the horcrux until he has been discharged."
The younger wizard felt bad about keeping things from Sirius, but he did agree with Grandfather since it would only upset his Father to hear about what Voldemort did to him. Sirius was in a fragile state and Harry knew they should wait to tell him until he was a little bit healthier. "I agree, Grandfather."
"Very good, let's put this Dark Lord business to the back of our minds today to look into further later on. You should enjoy your visit with Sirius. I will allow you to visit on your own while I settle some paperwork the healers would like me to fill out." Harry nodded and then turned back to open the door and step into the room.
The room was bright and airy with the curtains pulled back to let the light in. Harry saw that Sirius was sitting up in bed and was writing something down on some parchment. His Father's charcoal gray eyes looked up at the sound of the door opening. He smiled at Harry and for the first time he noticed that they had similar smiles. It was made even more obvious since the teen looked so much like Sirius.
"Harry!" The older man said happily. "I'd get up and hug you, but the healers have stuck my arse to the bed with a spell." Sirius said with a bark of laughter.
"Really?" Harry asked. "Why am I not surprised?"
Sirius shrugged before patting the space beside him on the bed. The younger wizard took a seat there and was immediately pulled into a hug. Harry hardly flinched after having dealt with Calliope's maternal hugs that had broken him out of the habit of avoiding touch. The gray eyed man pulled back with a smile spreading on his gaunt face. "How are you, son?"
Warmth spread in his chest at the fact that Sirius had called him 'son'. It was still hard to get used to the fact that he had a lot of family now especially having a Father when he used to be an orphan. When Harry was younger and living in the cupboard under the stairs he had wished that a long lost family member would appear and save him from the Dursleys. Even if it hadn't happened to him until he was much older or finding out he wasn't a Potter it still made him undeniably happy to no longer by the lonely Harry Potter he used to be. He did have friends and of course Sirius as his godfather, but the life he was living right now was better than he could have ever imagined.
"I'm doing great. I've just moved into Grimmauld Place."
Sirius grimaced at the mention of his childhood home, but chose to keep his mouth shut. "So tell me about everything I've missed."
And Harry began to tell in great detail to Sirius about his summer so far. He left nothing out as he wanted to share with his Father everything that he was not there to enjoy with him. Sirius had laughed when he described the first couple lessons he had with Auntie Cassie which led the older man to talk about the lessons he shared with his little brother Regulus with the woman.
"We'll probably have another Black Family dinner when you come home." Harry finished after taking a sip of water from Sirius' cup.
"Joy," Sirius said not sounding at all excited. "You do realize they're all insane, right?"
"Yeah, if I make it into adulthood with all my sanity it'd be a miracle."
"You'll be alright since you're too much like me and I'm perfectly sane." Sirius puffed out his chest.
Harry laughed. "Whatever helps you sleep at night."
Sirius barked out a laugh. "Fine, let's hope the Malfoy genes balance out the Black ones."
It was silent for a moment between them.
"So why did my Father call you Herakles?"
The teen grimaced. "They changed my name when they signed the custody papers."
Sirius looked angry on his behalf. "What did they change it to?"
"Herakles Sirius Black."
His Father went quiet for a second. "And you don't like it? I can always change it back."
"No, no. I like it now, but it took a little getting used to."
"I can imagine."
They were interrupted when a loud pop announcing the arrival of Kreacher into the hospital room. He bowed low to Harry before glaring at Sirius and grudgingly bowing to him while muttering under his breath about blood traitors.
"Master Herakles be receiving letter from Heir Malfoy."
"Thanks Kreacher," he said taking the letter from the elf's hands who popped away after bowing and more muttering.
"I've always hated that blasted old thing."
"He's not so bad," Harry said. "Only just a little on the crazy side."
Sirius snorted before motioning towards the letter. "So what does little Malfoy want? I still can't believe you guys were able to move on from being enemies. I still remember my rival from school and I would never overcome my hate for Snivellus." He sneered. Harry was curious about who he was talking about, but was too busy reading the letter he got from Draco.
"He's invited me to have lunch at the Manor."
"I hope he's grown up a little from what I saw last year."
"Not really," Harry grinned, "but I can tolerate him more now."
"Alright. Now tell me more about the Quidditch World Cup going on this summer."
The young teen smiled at Sirius thinking that he was so glad it was the man in front of him who turned out being his Father.
Reviews are appreciated!
Chapter 10: Chapter 10
By Polaris Aries Black
The Black Secret
Harry groaned rolling over onto his side as a croaky voice slowly made its way through his sleep muddled mind. "Master Herakles be waking up. Master Black be meeting young master in the dining room."
"Five more minutes," he mumbled blearily opening one eye to peak at the elderly elf.
"Master Black be wanting Kreacher to wake Master Herakles now," Kreacher said sternly and with a snap of his fingers the curtains flew open bringing in the light of the rising sun. All Harry could think was it was too bloody early to be awake. The house elf refused to leave so it was a very tired Harry that started getting ready for the day. After taking a refreshing shower that helped wake him up, he got dressed in very expensive crimson and black robes. They had been laid out on his bed for him to wear. As he walked down the stairs to the dining room he muttered about being able to dress himself instead of having someone else do it for him.
In the room where breakfast was served was Orion, who once more sat at the head of the table going over some letters, and Walburga sitting on his right was looking over her copy of the Daily Prophet. Harry still remembered the article that had come out after Sirius' trial proclaiming his father's innocence. It mentioned how he was wrongly thrown in Azkaban for twelve years and the reparations the Ministry was giving the Most Ancient and Noble House of Black. Of course, they blamed the whole matter on Bagnold who had been minister at the time of Sirius' arrest and was now dead. Harry too had made the newspaper with his picture splashed across the front page next to the article about his father. Thankfully, the Malfoys and the Blacks had made both pieces on father and son written in a light that was favorable to them. He didn't want to imagine what would have happened had he never found out he was adopted.
Harry cleared his thoughts as he stepped over the threshold of the dining room. "Grandfather, Grandmother," he greeted bowing to Orion. He took the motioned seat and picked up his silverware to eat the porridge that appeared before him.
"Good morning Herakles," Orion returned the greeting absentmindedly as he looked over some documents that had been in one of the letters.
Walburga barely glanced at him and greeted him in a irritated tone. Harry knew not to interact with her until she had at least two cups of coffee in the morning. She was not a morning person. In fact even with two cups of coffee her mood was only marginally better. Not that he spent much time with woman because her constant nagging was annoying and so he tried to avoid spending time with her. The teen just knew they would never get along.
"Your great grandmother has sent you a letter," Orion said pushing an envelope towards him. Harry wiped his hands on the cloth napkin on his lap. The black haired teen opened it pulling out the strawberry scented parchment. His eyes scanned the letter his great grandmother Melania had sent him and he made a choking sound at the invitation to a luncheon with her, Laurel and Daphne Greengrass.
Walburga shot him a disapproving look at the undignified sound he just made. Harry did his best not to roll his eyes at her as he tried to keep in mind Calliope's pureblood training. Orion looked over at him expectantly having stopped reading and setting aside his letters.
"I'm sorry for disrupting your meal Grandmother. I was simply surprised at the letter I have received."
She frowned at him but nodded anyways. "See that you remember you are not some unseemly mudblood." Harry bit down the urge to argue with her instead he turned his attention to his grandfather.
"Grandmother Melania has invited me for a luncheon with Laurel and Daphne Greengrass." He said to Orion's unspoken question.
The older man looked on approvingly. "I am working on having Lord Greengrass on my side for the upcoming bill the Wizengamot is trying to push through so be sure to make a good impression on his daughter, Herakles."
"Of course, Grandfather." Harry said although now he felt pressure on doing his best to act like a proper pureblood heir tomorrow. It didn't help that he did not want to go and really hoped his great grandmother wasn't trying to set up his marriage to Daphne.
"Now, you and I shall be leaving after breakfast." Orion said changing the subject. "I have an appointment with Darksteel about going over some investments and business. I am taking you with me so you can start to learn how to handle the Black accounts and to see what will happen to the Potters accounts now that you are no longer a Potter."
Harry felt a little anxious about the last thing his grandfather said. He knew he wasn't a Potter anymore by blood so it made him a little nervous about what would happen to everything his adoptive family owned. Even though he knew James and Lily weren't his parents he still didn't think he wanted to part with their things. They did after all love him and sacrificed their lives for him.
He was brought out of his thoughts when Orion stood from his seat. Since he was finished eating he too got up to leave the dining room and go to the floo room so he could floo to Gringotts.
"Greetings Master Darksteel," Grandfather said as they both took the seat they were motioned to sit at in front of the large desk. "May your gold increase as your enemies die by your hands."
"Lord Black, may your enemies be torn apart as their gold goes to you." Darksteel finished the greeting. "Now you had an appointment that you wanted to discuss somethings concerning your account, yes?"
"Correct," Orion said.
They began the discussion of the Black accounts talking about investing in certain companies both in the magical and muggle worlds. A winery in Italy was discussed and the profits the Blacks were receiving from it. While they were talking Orion had Harry writing down notes on what was being discussed. It was to help him memorize the meeting and so they could discuss what he wrote over the next lesson he had with the older wizard. Finally the conversation came to a close as they ended it with increasing their shares in the Daily Prophet.
"I would like to ask what will happen to the Potters accounts now that Herakles is no longer a blood relative to that line." Orion said bringing the conversation to the last thing they needed to discuss with Darksteel. Harry put the journal with all his notes from both this meeting and his lessons aside.
"I am now handling the frozen account since the previous manager has handed over the money and investments over to me. Like I said it is still frozen since Heir Black was a minor when he was the Potter heir and never put the ring on."
"So the money will go to him, then?"
"Yes it still all belongs to him, but he will not be able to become Lord Potter when he reaches his majority as he is not blood related to them. Essentially he has all the money, investments, and properties belonging to the Potters, but he will not be able to ever take up the Head of the family position."
"I would like to be sent the paperwork for the money the Potters have accumulated in the next few days."
"Of course Lord Black expect it by the end of the week."
"If that is all we will be taking our leave."
Darksteel nodded and after goodbyes were exchanged the wizards left the office.
The moment he stepped gracefully out of the large marble fireplace of Malfoy Manor he took out his wand and used the spell Calliope taught him to clear the soot from his robes and straighten them at the same time. A pop was heard and he looked down to the little elf that stood in front of him. It was Mopsy and she bowed low to him.
"Mopsy be telling Master Herakles that Mistress Calliope be asking Master to join her in the informal sitting room."
"Thank you, Mopsy."
The elf squeaked in surprise still not used to being thanked for doing her job and popped away. Harry smiled before walking out of the entrance room and towards the room Mopsy had told him she was in. He wondered where Draco was since his purpose for being there was to visit him and his friends. It wasn't that he didn't want to see his grandmum because he had missed her so he was glad he could see her first.
He came upon the sitting room to see Calliope sitting on one of the black sofas. She stood at his entrance. "Harry, it is very good seeing you again. The manor hasn't been the same since your leaving." She said pulling him into a hug. "Come sit beside me."
Harry took the seat next to her. "I missed you too Grandmum." He said truly meaning it.
"How is your father doing?"
The teen began to talk excitedly about how his visit to Sirius went and how he was planning on visiting again the day after next. She was softly smiling the whole time he was talking.
"I am glad he is recovering," Calliope said when he paused. "Now the reason I called you in here for is not only because I missed you, but I wanted to discuss something with you."
"What did you need to tell me?"
"We hold a ball every summer and it is very important that you be at your best for the event. Ministry officials, Lords and Ladies of the Wizengamot, and important people from all around Europe will be in attendance for it. I wanted to tell you this so that we could set up a time to go to Twilfitt and Tattings to get dress robes for you."
Harry swallowed heavily at the news. He knew he was prepared for such a formal event with all the training he had undergone over the summer, but it was still nerve wracking to have to attend a ball. There would be dancing and although he had lessons on it he still didn't think he would want to dance at a ball with all those people there. He didn't voice any of his thoughts aloud as he didn't want to disappoint his grandmum with all his worries so he put a smile on his face and nodded. "It sounds like fun."
Calliope squeezed his hand. "It truly is a marvelous event you will definitely enjoy it. Now why don't you go find Draco. His guests should be arriving any minute. I will owl you when I have the appointment for Twilfitt and Tattings."
Harry found Draco in the entrance hall where he stood next to a simpering Pansy Parkinson. His blonde cousin looked most relieved at his entrance. The pug nosed girl took one look at him and her eyes widened comically.
"Pansy, I'd like to introduce you to my cousin Herakles Black." Draco said using his new name instead of Harry. He understood why because he had to make a good impression on his friends because most if not all were part of the Black alliance.
"Hello Miss Parkinson it is a pleasure to meet you formally," Harry greeted taking Pansy's offered hand and kissing the air above the back of it. Her eyes landed on the heir ring on his right hand and if possible her brown eyes got even larger.
"Indeed it is Heir Black, but please call me Pansy." She said batting her eyelashes at him and tossing her chestnut hair over her shoulder. Harry did his best to ignore Draco's laugh turned cough.
"Thank you and please call me Herakles," he returned. He wished that he could use his name Harry, but since they had just met and were not close friends he would have to stick with his more formal name. They were interrupted from any more conversation when the floo once more chimed as Theodore Nott stepped out of the fireplace dusting off his robes. He had golden blonde hair that curled atop his head and dark blue eyes.
The Nott heir nodded at his friends in greeting. Harry remembered from what little he observed of the Slytherins that Theo was very quiet and always had a book in hand when they were at school. Draco smoothly introduced the two to each other as he did with Pansy.
"It is nice to meet you, Heir Nott."
"You as well, Heir Black." Theodore said as he gave a firm handshake. Harry did notice the fact that the other boy did not give permission to use his first name. He assumed he would have to prove himself to the other heir.
The blonde too came from a Most Ancient and Noble House so it stood to reason that they were of almost of the same standing. Harry's paternal family was older than the Notts so he did have more clout to his name. Orion had taught him all about the other Houses on the Wizengamot and where they stood on the hierarchy. Not surprisingly the Blacks were at the top with the other four Most Ancient and Noble Families. Houses Longbottom and Bones were for the light side of the political spectrum. House Greengrass was the sole neutral family in their category, but they did sometimes lean towards dark pureblood family ideals. Blacks and Notts made up for the dark Houses. So Harry knew that he would have to prove to not just Theodore but all the other heirs that he was not just given the Black Heir title because of his birth but that he was the perfect heir for his prestigious house. Never before that moment had he felt the pressure of his place in pureblood society.
Introductions went the same with Crabbe and Goyle as they both came through the floo, but they did give permission to Harry to use their first names. Since Blaise was still in Italy visiting family and the Greengrass girls both were busy today they all left to go out to the garden where the house elves had set up their lunch at the table out in pavilion that was in the heart of the magnificent garden. The weather outside was just right to eat out there comfortably.
Once they were seated at the glass table and the first entrée was served Draco started the conversation. "Is everyone going to the Quidditch World Cup? My grandfather has gotten all of us tickets in the top box." He boasted in his usual arrogant way. Harry withheld an eye roll.
"Puh-lease like I would miss seeing all of the yummy guys in their quidditch uniforms," Pansy said in a too sweet voice. Theodore frowned at the tone most likely as irritated as Harry at the sound of her whiney voice.
"My family will be attending," The Nott heir said after wiping his mouth on the cloth napkin the house elves set out.
"Will you and your father go to the World Cup?" Pansy asked once more batting her eyelashes at Harry flirtatiously. It made him distinctly uncomfortable and wishing she would turn her attentions back onto Draco.
"It is a very good possibility, and if my father goes he will be going with my maternal family and me." Harry said putting down his silverware as the next course appeared on the table.
"I'm sure Grandfather would be most pleased to have Uncle Sirius join us." Even though Sirius and Iphigenia weren't married they were being treated as if they were since Harry was supposed to call Draco's parents Aunt and Uncle. Not that he had so far. He did his best not to have to use their names as it would be really uncomfortable to call Lucius Uncle.
"How is your father?" Pansy asked.
"He is well and recovering from his time spent in Azkaban."
"It was surprising to find out he was innocent of his crimes." Theodore stated.
Crabbe grunted in agreement, but otherwise both large boys were trying their best to eat the food laid out on the table as fast as they could. Harry was sure they could out eat Ron.
"Was that the end of year adventure you had last year?" Draco asked curiously. All eyes turned to Harry even Crabbe and Goyle. It was no secret the Black heir had 'adventures' at the end of every year. But they only had rumors to go off of since Harry never spoke of what happened.
Harry's sapphire eyes glanced at the curious faces around of him before deciding to give a little of the truth. "Yes I saved my father from having his soul sucked out by dementors. I had just found out Pettigrew was responsible for my adoptive parents' death."
"What do you mean 'saved'?" Draco asked putting his goblet down and giving the dark haired wizard his full attention.
"The only way to fend off a dementor is the patronus charm. Are you telling us that you can successfully cast it?" Nott asked disbelievingly.
"I used that exact charm to save Sirius."
Draco whistled appreciatively knowing that Harry must be pretty powerful to be able to cast it at his age.
"Did you really defeat Slytherin's monster then?" Theodore wondered.
"Yeah," Harry said forgetting to use the proper 'yes' in his embarrassment at the impressed looks he was receiving from the others.
"And Quirrell?" Draco questioned. Harry grimaced at the name, but nodded all the same. "I was so angry at the fact that the Gryffindorks won the house cup first year when it really should have gone to us." His cousin whined.
"Yes well you didn't." Harry said smiling brightly at his cousin who huffed.
The conversation moved on from there, but the Black heir couldn't help but feel like he proved himself to this group of people. He would make his family proud. It was the least he could do since they had saved him from a life of loneliness. Yes he had the Weasleys and Hermione but nothing could beat having family that was actually related to him.
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