Sign of the Lion
Chapter 3 - Sirius' Will
"Hello, Harry." Lupin gave him a small smile. "Can you get your things packed?"
Uncle Vernon's face had quickly turned a deeper shade of purple and he demanded, "How did you get out of that room, boy?"
Harry hesitated, twirling his wand through rigid fingers. He didn't know how, but he suspected he had Apparated without much effort. What was he thinking? He didn't even know how Apparating worked! Quickly, he answered, "Do you even bother to lock that door properly?"
Then Harry bolted upstairs and this time the door allowed him to pass. He threw open his trunk and began tossing in various items he came across. When he came across the mirror, he made sure to wrap it up in his pillow covering and placed it gently inside. Hedwig was sitting on his bed already, and such on short notice.
Harry grabbed his Firebolt and went as fast as he could out the door, dragging his trunk with him. It seemed lighter than usual so Harry ran back into his room and scoured the corners for anything he'd left behind. Frowning, he held onto Hedwig's cage with one hand, sticking the tail of the broom through one of the bars and hauled the trunk downstairs with the other, bumping on each step and bouncing, painfully taking Harry's wrist with it each time.
Panting only slightly, he made it into the living room and straightened up. Obviously something had transpired in his absence because Aunt Petunia was backed into one corner, meekly looking at Tonk's wand, which seemed to enjoy being tossed from one hand to the other. Harry smiled at Lupin, but found it was almost false. He felt a sudden surge of hatred swell up in his guts. That man, he thought angrily, that man tried to stop me from saving Sirius.
Surprised, he masked this by walking the length of the living room and stopping just feet from the last remaining true friend of his father. "So are we going to the Burrow this time, Professor Lupin?"
"I'm afraid not, Harry." Something shifted in the werewolf's eyes. "Dumbledore has some, uh, business you need to sort out at you-know-where."
Harry's anger floated up to the surface and he set his lips firmly. Why should he go? Did Dumbledore want him to come to terms with Sirius' death? Well he had come to terms with it! The hand holding his wand trembled slightly. Tonks looked at him anxiously, eyebrows dipped in concern. The eyebrows in question were bushier than they had been minutes before.
"I'm not going," Harry said quietly.
"What?" Tonks was startled - she'd been expecting something else, obviously.
She looked pointedly at Lupin, who shifted uncomfortably and asked, "Why not, Harry?"
The anger broke through the surface of Harry's blank mask and he found his wand raised in front of him, his voice pulsing, "Why do you think I don't want to go? Huh? He died and there's nothing I can do about it! I tried to save him, didn't I, Professor Lupin? But noooo, he was beyond the veil. I've come to terms with it, I may not like it, but, hey, c'est la vie! Dumbledore has NO IDEA! He doesn't know how much this hurts! He can't possibly know!"
The Dursleys looked taken aback, not used to hearing Harry shout so vehemently. Lupin's eyes narrowed and he grabbed Harry on the shoulders in a decidedly ungentle gesture. "Sirius died for you! We're trying to understand Harry, we really are, but you're not making things any easier. Can't you see we're here to help you?"
Harry went still with rage, his green eyes burning into Lupin's. Tonks was saying something, but neither could hear it. Something passed between them and Harry realised he wasn't the only one who was hurting. Lupin suddenly drew the teen to him and wrapped his arms around Harry. Shaken, Uncle Vernon's eyes were bugging out of his head. Aunt Petunia looked like a goldfish out of water.
Harry felt tears on his face, tasting salt on his lips. He could feel Lupin's arms around him, could feel the pain that they both shared. Time seemed forgotten, nibbled away at the edges and shattered down the middle. The clock ticked slower than ever, the minute hand resting on twelve o'clock.
"You're all I've got left," Harry muttered desperately.
Lupin sighed and got the teen to look at him. "That's not true, Harry. You've got the Weasleys, you've got Hermione and, yes, Dumbledore."
They both then seemed to remember there were others in the room. Mrs Dursley's face had regained some of its colour and she added surprisingly, "You have us."
Tonks, Lupin, Harry and Uncle Vernon all looked at her as if she had gone mad. The flesh tightened on her cheek bones, but she appeared unwavering. Harry managed a smile at her, startled though he was. Lupin took the initiative and got a firm grip on the trunk and Hedwig in her cage. "Come on, Harry. We're taking the Knight Bus."
"Bye," the last Potter said to his aunt and uncle, hesitantly. "See you next summer."
Tonks put her hand on Harry's shoulder and guided him towards the door. The drenched soil ran off water into the gutters of Privet Drive noisily, but not loud enough to drown out the calls of birds, signalling the end of the rain. Tonks raised her wand and with a bang, the dubious bus arrived. Harry gave it a resigned look. "Do I have to go?"
"I'll buy you hot chocolate," Lupin offered lightly.
"Good enough for me."
Then all three of them stepped on one after the other. Ernie, the driver, beamed at Harry and opened his mouth to start a barrage of questions but Lupin shot him a silencing look, merely saying, "Windill Avenue, London."
The money handed over, he guided Harry to a seat by the window and waved over the conductor for some hot chocolate. Lupin grabbed a fistful of Shunpike's violent orange cloak. "The boy's not to be disturbed, you hear?"
Stan looked pained, but left them alone with steaming mugs of hot chocolate. Tonks suddenly sprouted black biker chick's hair artistically striped pink. She winked at Harry who smiled weakly. Then everyone on board was thrown back into - or from - their seats as the Knight Bus took off.
Lupin turned to Harry. "Finally I get to ask you - did you get contacts?"
Windill Avenue was a narrow road branching off a main route, quiet and lined with haphazard hedges and pathways. Even thought Harry knew Muggles could not hear the Knight Bus, he winced as a huge bang signalled its departure. He kept close to Lupin, offering to carry something but was turned down firmly. They walked onto an off branching road where Tonks bent down and pulled up a Frisbee that had a huge bite mark out of it.
"Here, grab hold," she held it out to Harry. "Remus and I will be along as soon as you get there. It's a Portkey."
Harry barely noticed the leap, but he sure noticed landing hard on his backside in the entrance parlour of number twelve, Grimmauld Place. With a pop, Tonks and Lupin appeared, each balancing Harry's trunk and Hedwig's cage. Harry sighed and got to his feet, blinking his eyes rapidly. The house was a dim as he remembered, but now something more oppressive hung on it. It was missing the key thing and Harry knew what it was.
"Good, you're here," said a quiet amused voice from the doorway leading down to the kitchen.
Albus Dumbledore stood there, eyes barely twinkling behind his half moon spectacles.
"Hello Professor Dumbledore," Harry said cautiously. "What business do I need to sort out?"
The wizard straightened a little and the teen noticed how frail Dumbledore looked. The older smiled tightly. "This way, Harry."
Lupin squeezed his shoulder and made his way upstairs with Tonks. Harry followed Dumbledore past the kitchen and into a small study that he was sure he hadn't seen before. It was dark, black curtains drawn over the grimy window and only lit by a single candelabra sitting on a sideboard. The desk in the middle had lost its tarnish, chipped off savagely in areas. On it lay some pieces of parchment, ink lines scribbled over it.
With a sickening lurch, Harry recognised Sirius' handwriting. Dumbledore seated himself behind the desk and gestured for his student to do the same. Harry had a feeling he knew what sort of business was in stall for him now. The professor shuffled the parchment and read from the top, "This is the last will and testimony of Sirius Orion Black, this fifth day of February, 1996."
Harry closed his eyes to stop the tears falling, listening to Dumbledore's voice.
"It is stated that Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore shall handle the affairs of the will. As witnessed by Remus Jake Lupin and Nymphadora Celia Tonks. To Harry James Potter, I leave the contents of my Gringotts vault, number 712, the asset of number twelve Grimmauld Place and my only vehicle, the Flymot Series X-12."
Dumbledore set the parchment down and looked levelly across at Harry who now opened his eyes and stared back hollowly. Silence dominated the dark room, a clock on a mantelpiece over a blocked fireplace ticking loudly. Finally, Dumbledore spoke again, "Sirius allowed the Order of the Phoenix to use this house as headquarters. It is understood if you do not wish to do so, but it would be most appreciated if you did."
"You can still use it, sir." Harry's eyes hardened. "Voldemort must pay for what he has done."
Again, silence. The professor studied him intently, then smiled. "You have grown over the summer and I see you have opted to wear contact lenses. Miss Granger and Mr Weasley are most keen to see you, I believe. However, I thought it wise they do not disturb you until tomorrow. You can have Sirius' old room - Remus will show you where to go. I might suggest you take a look at the Flymot, a spectacular design if I may say so."
Harry mustered up a smile in return. "Thanks, Professor. Uh - does this mean I can stay here, never return to the Dursleys?"
Dumbledore appeared mischievous all of a sudden, something Harry was not used to seeing on that ancient face. The older pressed his fingers together. "Unfortunately, you must remain with your relatives until your seveteenth birthday. However, visits to his house are not prohibited. And Harry - a service will be held for Sirius in a week's time. I advise you come more properly to terms with events of late."
Harry sighed and he stood up, walking towards the door. He paused at the door way, debating whether or not to tell Dumbledore about the wandless magic, but then the moment was gone. Harry forced himself to keep a casual walk as he left the study.
Harry entered the kitchen, shuffling his feet. There was no one in there, strangely, and the premises seemed oppressive without Mrs Weasley bustling about. He sat down at the wooden table and reached for the Daily Prophet, finding no real articles of interest. The newspaper was tossed aside, forgotten. Harry rested his chin in his hands and looked at the surprisingly clean wall.
He felt angry at the injustice of it all. He'd wanted Sirius' name cleared, had high hopes for it, even though the Ministry would never have allowed such a pardon. Harry looked down the table and spied an upturned goblet. He set down one of his hands on the table and mentally ordered the goblet to come to his hand. Nothing happened, but he wasn't expecting anything to. The wandless magic was nothing to worry about - a fluke.
Then what can you say about Apparating? said a nasty voice in the back of his head.
"Shut up," Harry muttered and looked away.
He was surprised to feel the dusty goblet smack into his palm and bounced off the table. Glaring at it, he held out his hand once more and waited. Very slowly, it rose and jiggled a little. Harry made a short beckoning gesture with his fingers and this time it came like a faithful pet to a master. He set it down and stared fixedly at it. That wasn't a fluke and couldn't possibly be a figment of his imagination.
He jumped when he heard voices in the kitchen and instinctively knocked the goblet off the table. Harry winced at the sound it made, spinning towards the rapidly approaching footsteps. He smiled sheepishly when Remus Lupin appeared at the door way, slightly out of breath.
"I'm fine," Harry said before the question was asked. "I was just thinking."
Lupin bent down and picked up the goblet, his face unreadable. "Do you always think this loud?"
Harry snorted, getting up from the table. He looked over at Lupin, trying to see if the werewolf was being serious or not. He gave up on this and said hesitantly, "Professor Lupin, sir, I was wondering...what a Flymot Series X-12 was."
The other smiled distantly. "Ah, yes, I remember. Sirius loved that motorcycle - do you want to see it?"
"Sure!" Harry's eyes lit up and he followed Lupin out excitedly.
The house didn't have a garage (what medieval manor would?) but it had a stone room with open windows where brooms and flying carpets would have been stored. Harry didn't recall this room either, but decided not to ask. The thing that captivated his interest was the black motorbike perched into the middle of the room. He approached it slowly and rested his hand on the seat.
So this was that flying motorcycle from his dreams long ago, the one that Hagrid had taken him to the Dursleys on...All else was forgotten as Harry explored the vehicle with his fingers and eyes. He could almost see the times it had gone through with its rider.
"Do you want lessons?"
Startled, Harry turned to look at Lupin. He'd forgotten the man was there. He smiled back at Sirius' - his - motorcycle. "Yeah, I want lessons. Do you think we could go back down to the kitchen? I'm starved."
Lupin's face lightened somewhat and he turned to go down the narrow stairwell leading up to the room. Harry bit his lip, shot the motorbike one last look and hurried forward. "Professor Lupin? Can I...can I call you Moony?"
Lupin looked over his shoulder at the teen. "Of course, Harry."