Content Harry Potter Crossovers/Multiple Fandoms Metafandom
  • Previous
  • Next

At the end of the day Harry was almost glad to be rid of Remus and Sirius. The pair of them were both as jumpy as first-years; Remus didn't like that he wasn't going to be taking the train, but he had to admit the wisdom of letting the Aurors be the ones to patrol the corridors and defend against any comers. Harry realised now that the reason Remus had been on the train the first time round was almost entirely because of the Dementors. Surely it would have been easier on him to have floo'd in to Hogwarts, rather than suffer a day-long train ride fresh from the full moon.

Sirius was just excitable and enthusiastic, but an entire day of Sirius' excitability could be a little wearing on a person. When McGonagall's head finally appeared in their floo and the pair prepared to leave, Harry was relieved. He'd never really been alone at Fourteen Back before, anyway, and he wondered what it would feel like to be left to himself in his own home, the first real place that was his. Remus would be back, of course, but not for hours -- there was the Sorting and the feast and then the faculty usually had a brew up and an informal sort of meeting. Tonks was staying the night in Hogsmeade with friends, so until Remus returned around midnight it would just be Harry, king of the cottage.

He stood in front of the hearth and watched Sirius disappear, spinning away towards Hogwarts. After a second, McGonagall's voice called out to say that they'd both arrived safely and she was closing down the floo point.

"All right, Professor," Harry replied. He half expected that she, like Sirius and later Remus, would offer him one last chance to return, but someone must have warned her that he was getting impatient with them; she merely said "Look after yourself, Harry" and closed the connection.

Harry stood there for a good five minutes, right hand rubbing his left arm thoughtfully, just listening to the sudden silence in the normally noisy house. He could hear one or two birds in Bowman's garden and people occasionally passed by in the alley on their way to other cottages, but the presence or absence of human voices made all the difference.

He padded barefoot into the kitchen, dim and dark in the post-twilight evening, lit as all magical houses were by rows of candles in stands on the walls. Only a few were actually burning, and he set the rest ablaze with a flick of his wand, only now feeling as though he was justified in using magic despite having been seventeen for a full month. Now it felt right; now he would have been back at school, if he hadn't made this decision. But he didn't think he could have gone back to schoolbooks and Quidditch, not knowing what he knew. Things weren't normal. No use in pretending. And because he was not going back, nothing was changing for him, not really.

He didn't feel like cooking, so he made some tea and assembled a cheese sandwich, settling in at the kitchen table to continue poring over books of magical mythology and museum catalogues.

Slytherin's locket, still unopened and apparently indestructible, lay under heavy wards in one of the cupboards. It was the only thing in the cupboard; Sirius refused to keep food near it, and Remus said it wasn't at all a bad idea to keep it isolated.

It was like the sort of spell you read about before you knew that magic really existed. A ring, a book, a locket, a cup; Nagini, a living embodiment (a sacrifice, part of his mind insisted) and an object of mystery. Ring and book gone, locket safely in hand; they would deal with Nagini when they had to and not before, because it would tip their hand.

Book, bell, and candle -- wasn't that an old ritual? He wasn't sure why or from where, but he was certain he'd heard of it somewhere. Objects had power. Just look to the Marauder's Map, now riding safely in the inner pocket of Sirius' robes, for proof. Certain things had power by dint of simply being what they were. Maps. Playing cards. Coins. Clocks. Rings. Books -- yes, and bells. And some types of things -- iron and glass.

Old magic, given up when wands and funny words proved easier -- magic which was orderly and civilised, chipped slowly out of the old folk ways. Harry had the sudden wish that they had learned that in History of Magic instead of the dates of political rebellions; how magic had come to be from what it had been.

Tom Riddle would have studied the old magic, would have studied that history all on his own. He didn't simply want one horcrux made of any old thing; he wanted six, and he wanted them to be objects of power. What could it be then? A clock, like the old one ticking away at Grimmauld Place which fired crossbow bolts at bystanders? A bell?

Tom's first try had been the diary, which was cheap, flimsy, easily destroyed -- its value was in its ability to communicate and manipulate. He'd obviously learned from making it, since the next one was a ring with a stone that must crack before the ghost was, as it were, given up. He'd used metal objects, hard to kill -- and Harry had no illusions that killing them wasn't the proper term for it. Nagini was more troubling; if it was true that Tom trusted no living soul, it seemed foolishness itself to use even a snake. Break its back or chop off its head and there you were, down one horcrux. But Harry himself had said that Voldemort understood snakes. Look at Arabella Figg, who might be a member of the magical world but was still a crazy cat lady. Look at Ron, if it came to that, who had been willing to break with Hermione for good over the supposed death-by-Crookshanks of Scabbers. Pets had power over people, even people who hated other people.

What a capricious creature Tom Riddle was.

Harry settled his chin on his hands and began to read again.


"Professor," McGonagall said, by way of greeting.

"Headmistress," Remus answered. They smiled at each other as if over a private joke, while a handful of house-elves converged on Sirius and confiscated his trunk, disappearing with it.

"And Mr. Padfoot," McGonagall said, while Sirius gave her a sheepish grin. "Your tutor's robes suit you."

"Yes," Sirius agreed, straightening the high, banded collar of the deep red robes. "They do."

"Professor Lupin, you are welcome to go down to the feast; I'll be down in just a few moments to start the Sorting," she said. "Mr. Padfoot and I have things to discuss."

Remus smiled. "My cue to depart. I'll see you at the Sorting, S -- " he stopped himself. " -- Nigel."

Sirius rolled his eyes at Remus as he vanished down the spiral staircase leading out of the Headmaster's -- Headmistress's -- office. When he was gone, McGonagall crossed her arms and regarded the new Tutor with her merely-terrifying stare. He'd grown used to the merely-terrifying stare; it was worse than the stern stare but of course much better than the furious stare.

"You reviewed the Code of Conduct I sent you?" she said finally.

"Yes, Headmistress."

"Very well. You understand that you will be serving your tutorship under the name of Nigel Padfoot, and that you are expected to behave as though you are a graduate of an undisclosed school for Wizards, where you were accredited three years ago at the age of seventeen."

"I don't look twenty," Sirius said dubiously.

"To children, anyone they are forced to address with respect automatically looks forty, I assure you," she answered, somewhat wryly. "You will be entering into an independent course of study based on your OWLs and career intentions; you'll have a week to settle in before we begin to discuss precisely what your continuing education will be composed of. I located your file..."

Sirius eyed the thick, red-coloured file. He'd never seen his educational file before. Apparently they stored disciplinary records in them too because his academic record, while outstanding, was certainly not what was padding it out to the bursting point.

"In addition, I reviewed the on-file notes I made during your fifth year vocational consultation," McGonagall said. "They were...indirect at best. I seem to recall you being rather vague on the subject of your future prospects. Have you given any new thought to where your particular...aptitudes might lead you?"

"Well, teaching seems rather prime at the moment, doesn't it?" Sirius asked. McGonagall had time to look horrified before there was a sudden outraged exclamation from one of the portraits behind her.

"Who, pray tell, is that?" demanded the portrait. Sirius turned to look at it.

"Isn't it obvious, Phineas?" came another, rather more familiar voice. The portrait of Albus Dumbledore adjusted his glasses, leaning forward in his frame. "I hardly expected to see you in my -- I beg your pardon, Minerva -- this office again, Sirius Black."

"I must ask you to call him Nigel, Albus," McGonagall said politely. "He is...undercover."

"Oh! Quite. Welcome to Hogwarts, Nigel," Albus said with a smile. "You are taking up the position of Tutor?"

"Yes, sir."

"Splendid! Splendid. The last young gentleman, you know, was somewhat -- "

"The less said about him, the better," McGonagall said firmly.

"Tutor? Here? What? Eh?"

Sirius turned in the opposite direction and was subject to the gimlet stare of Phineas Nigellus, who was looking put out. "Great-Great Grandfather," he said grudgingly.

"What on earth is the meaning of all this?" Nigellus demanded.

"If you deigned to visit Grimmauld Place, you would have known," Sirius answered shortly. "I see you were too busy haranguing the Headmistress."

"That is quite enough of your talk, youngster," Nigellus said severely.

"What are you going to do, strap me?" Sirius asked. "You're not really my ancestor, you're nothing but pigment and varnish and a few cheap charms -- "

"Sirius!" McGonagall said, forgetting her own rule.

"Don't think I couldn't!" Nigellus retorted. "You young troublemaker, you've come to a bad end once already and however you've returned, you will again! It's all your drunkard father's blood -- "

"I'll set his bloody portrait on fire," Sirius said, starting forward and drawing his wand. McGonagall stopped him with an arm around his chest.

"I should like to see you try, worthless Gryffindor! Cull!" Phineas taunted.

"Phineas, do shut up," Dumbledore admonished. Several of the other portraits cried "Hear Hear!" and a few murmured about bad form. Sirius visibly gathered himself.

"Sorry," he said to McGonagall.

"Remember you have an example to set now, Nigel," she scolded. "And you," she added, turning to Phineas, "If you don't keep your mouth shut I shall have you rolled up and put in storage."

Nigellus scowled, but fell silent nonetheless. McGonagall took a deep breath.

"I think perhaps we should go down to the Feast," she said. "No doubt the train -- ah yes," she added, as the Hogwarts Express blew its whistle at the station down below, near Hogsmeade. She took down the Sorting Hat from its stand behind her desk and turned to face him. "Time to meet the new class. Shoulders straight please, Mr. Padfoot, and head back."

"Headmistress," Sirius said, as they left her office and began the walk down the many flights of stairs to the Great Hall. "May I ask you something?"

"I should hope so, Mr. Padfoot."

"Hiring Remus -- "

"Professor Lupin."

"Hiring Professor Lupin...I mean...I've heard him and Harry talking. I know what went on. Even if most of the parents won't care, it can't have been an easy sell, can it?"

"How do you mean?"

"Well, he's still not in the running for most popular man in Wizarding Britain," Sirius said.

"Ah. Yes, but he does have a reputation, as a werewolf," she replied.

"He does?"

"All werewolves do. Strong, powerful, dangerous, volatile -- "

"He isn't!"

"He is, by his very nature, abnormally strong might call him durable," McGonagall replied. "The rest is taken as given by those who do not care to know him."

"But that's hardly in his favour, here."

"On the contrary; many parents have expressed their concern over the safety of their children from outside attackers. Hiring a known werewolf has settled many worried minds. So long as he isn't left alone with the students..."

"And yet that pervert Slughorn -- "

"You will address your comments on professors in a respectful and couteous manner, Nigel, or not at all," McGonagall replied, sharply. "Professor Slughorn's behaviour amongst the students may not be all one could wish, but no accusation of misconduct has ever been brought against him."

"He has beady eyes," Sirius insisted. "And you know the way he stares at the girls' arses."

"So long as staring is all he does, we cannot afford to lose another teacher this term," McGonagall sighed. They reached the Great Hall at that point and heard the clattering of feet in the corridor. The first-years were arriving.

"This way," she said, leading him away from the firsties and through a side door into the hall before abandoning him. The rest of the students were already there, chattering away as if a war wasn't occurring outside their gates. Big Hagrid, the Groundskeeper who used to chase them out of his pumpkin patch, sat at the table; Remus had told him Hagrid taught Care of Magical Creatures now. Vector and Slughorn -- both of whom had been Sirius' teachers twenty years ago -- were also seated, Slughorn leaning forward slightly to talk across the table at the Weasley girl, who looked like she'd rather be elsewhere. The small, rather boring-looking man who would be replacing McGonagall as Transfiguration professor sat next to Hagrid on his far side.

Between Hagrid and Slughorn sat a dreamy-looking woman with a deck of tarot cards in one hand. Sirius gave her a wide berth as he passed; Remus had warned him about Professor Trelawney.

McGonagall's chair was flanked by Vector on one side and Professor Sprout, who'd been a very young, very new professor in Sirius' fourth year, on the other. Past her, an unknown witch who must be the Astronomy professor sat idly watching the students.

Then, on the end, three empty seats, one of them being scaled slowly by tiny Professor Flitwick.

Sirius realised that the seat on the very end was his own; he was to sit at the head table now. The other was for Moony, who was --

Down amongst the students, surrounded by a crowd of mixed Houses, mostly Gryffindor and Ravenclaw.

Oh, Moony. The first rule of being a professor is that you never fraternise at dinner! Even Sirius knew that. But of course Moony never did anything quite by the rules; he merely managed to make it look as if he were while subtly disobeying anything he didn't agree with.

The students who surrounded him were all from the upper years, and as Sirius dropped into his seat he grinned at their obvious idolatry of his Moony. Remus was smiling and talking and shaking hands, looking possibly the happiest Sirius had seen him since -- since he came out of the map, really. Other students, still streaming into the Great Hall, skirted the area as if lycanthropy was catching, but Remus clearly couldn't even see that, over the assortment of students grouped about him.

"Have you met our Professor Lupin?" someone asked, and Sirius looked up into the slightly unfocused gaze of Professor Trelawney. He cursed to himself.

"Yes; we've known each other for some time," Sirius said. It was true, after all.

"Such a dear man, and so brave in the face of his mortality," Trelawney said airily. "When he came here four years ago I could see at once, of course, that he was a werewolf, but I held my tongue; discretion is a necessary part of the gift of the third eye."

"Where?" Sirius asked. She looked down at him.

"Where?" she repeated.

"Where's your third eye?" he said, unable to resist. "Is it under your hair?"

She looked at him, shocked and (hopefully) insulted. "Young man, have you never been educated in the divinatory arts?"

"Where I come from, they're considered a load of tosh," he said amiably. "I'm willing to keep an open mind, though," he added.

"I should hope so, for I can see..." she drifted off dreamily. "I can see that your life...indeed, your very future...depends upon it. Would you care to draw a card?" she asked, offering him the tarot deck.

"No, thank you," he said. "I think they're going to start the Sorting soon."

"Are you certain, young tutor?" she asked. "I really believe you ought to draw a card."

"You'll be sorry," he warned her, taking a card. He turned it up. "Magician."

"A master of all things," she said gravely. "Beware of arrogance, Mr..."

"Padfoot. Nigel Padfoot," he said, returning the card to the deck. "Hadn't you better sit down? There's the firsties now."

Trelawney floated away, looking vaguely offended. Slughorn slunk around McGonagall's chair and ended up in Remus' seat, even as Remus called for order and consulted the list McGonagall had given him.

"You must be Nigel," Slughorn said, quietly. "If you know what's good for your sanity you'll keep away from Trelawney. Nice woman, not a thought in her head."

"Abbot, Miriam! Hallo, are you Hannah's sister?" Remus paused to ask. The girl blushed pink and nodded. Remus set the hat on her head.

"Thank you for the advice," Sirius replied. "You must be Horace Slughorn; I've heard a lot about you."


Slughorn beamed. "Just a humble Potions Master, I'm sure," he said.

"Bagnold, Harold!"

"And Head of Slytherin House, I think?" Sirius asked.

"Yes -- a finer group of students than this year's I've never seen, I'm sure," Slughorn said. "I wondered if I might ask -- "


" -- if you were free tomorrow evening," Slughorn continued. "I'm having a small party in my office -- just faculty and a few seventh-years."

"Bletchley, Aaron! Any relation to Miles?"

"Cousin, sir."

"Up you go then."

Sirius groped for a reason to tell Slughorn no. Oh god, not another round of Join The Slug Club. He'd had enough of that the first time as a third-year, and it had taken him threatening to form a club of his own to get Slughorn to back off.

"I'm afraid I'm busy," he said finally.


"Well, not unexpected, off that way...Dawlish, Tricia!"

"Do you know, you quite remind me of someone," Slughorn said ruminatively. "I don't suppose you're any relation to the famed Black clan?"


"Goshawk, Miranda -- named for your gran?" Remus asked a young girl, who grinned and nodded.


"I don't think so," Sirius said calmly. "Then again it's a wise man as knows his own father, don't you think so, Professor?"

Slughorn looked taken aback by this. "I suppose so!" he said jovially, after a minute. "Still, it's no insult to be compared to the Blacks -- a handsomer young man than Regulus Black I'm sure I never knew, and you favour him remarkably."

Sirius suppressed the urge to punch the professor in his fat face.

"Mr. Padfoot, your assistance please," Remus said, saving Sirius from a summons on charges of assault. A young boy had burst into tears in the line. Remus jerked his head at the kid and Sirius nodded, descending to the level of the House tables and making his way along the line as Remus continued with the sorting.

"What's all this then?" he asked, gently shoving a couple of older Hufflepuffs out of the way. Before him stood a very small boy, his robes on slightly askew and badly done up, still wearing Muggle trainers. "Come now, you can't make a scene in the Great Hall, you know, it isn't done."

"I'm sorry," the boy stammered, sniffling and trying to wipe his tears away. "But I've forgot my shoes and someone's taken my wand and I'm af-f-fraid..."

He burst into a fresh stream of tears, and Sirius sighed. This had not been in the job description.

"What's your name?" he asked, crouching.

"Alexander," the boy said thickly.

"Your last name?"


"Well, that's something, there's plenty of time before you go up. How'd you lose your wand?"

"I don't know..."

Sirius took out his own wand and bent to tap it against the trainers, hastily casting a quick glamour over them. To the casual observer, they looked like quite a nice pair of brown wing-tips. The boy stared at him, wide-eyed.

"Let me guess -- Muggle-born," Sirius said. The boy nodded. Sirius indicated the front of the room. "See the man calling names?"

"They say he's a werewolf!" Alexander said urgently.

"Well, yes. But he's also half-Muggle himself. And see that big seventh-year girl over there?" he gestured to where Hermione was sitting. "She's a Muggle-born too, and she's Head Girl."

Alexander, tears all but forgotten in the sudden barrage of information, looked shyly at Sirius. "Can you help me find my wand?" he whispered.

"Of course. What's it made of?"

"Ash and dragon heartstring, ten inches," Alexander recited promptly.

"I'll be sure and have a house-elf find it. You just worry about getting Sorted, all right? It doesn't hurt at all, I promise," Sirius said. He turned to walk back up to the front when he heard a slight scuffle and one of the other boys say "Nancy boy! Sissy!"

He turned quick enough to see that it had been two others shoving Alexander and taunting; before he even thought of it, he'd fetched his hands up against their ears and knocked their heads together. They both cried out in surprise.

"Is there a problem, Mr. Padfoot?" McGonagall called.

"Not anymore, Headmistress," Sirius answered. Most of the Hall began to giggle. He crouched in front of the pair.

"I catch you looking wrong at anyone, it's a week's detention for the both of you," he said quietly. "And you think about the sound your heads made knocking together, the next time you get the urge to call someone a nancy boy."

He felt rather like a hero, walking back to the high table. Remus gave him a sardonic look as he passed, but returned quickly to his roll-call. Sirius managed to catch a house-elf watching in the doorway and asked him to have someone look around for a ten-inch ash wand and return it to Alexander Worthington, who was a first-year --

Gryffindor! the hat called, and Alexander bolted for the Gryffindor table. He was the last but one to be called.

"Young, Andrea, last and most patient," Remus said. The girl hopped eagerly onto the stool and was a Ravenclaw! almost before the Hat touched her head.

The Sorting having been settled, McGonagall stepped to the front of the platform where the high table stood, holding up her hands for silence. Slughorn having slithered back to his own seat, Remus took the chair next to Sirius.

"I am aware," McGonagall said, voice carrying throughout the hall, "That it has been a long day, and that many of you are very hungry. I will attempt to keep my remarks brief. As you know, Headmaster Albus Dumbledore has left me with the difficult position of filling his considerable place at the school, but I can assure you that classes and exams will proceed on time and on schedule. Those of you who know me know that I do not brook chaos in my classes, and I do not intend to brook it as Headmistress, either."

Sirius glanced at Hermione and winked. Ron looked annoyed.

"I would like to introduce you to the new members of our faculty -- some of you may recall Professor Lupin, who is returning to take up his post as Defence Against the Dark Arts professor. In addition, Professor Lupin will be replacing me as Head of Gryffindor House."

There was uproarious applause from the Gryffindors as Remus stood and acknowledged the introduction.

"I would also like to introduce Professor Dextra, who will be replacing me as Transfigurations instructor," she continued, as the boring-looking man bowed to a less enthusiastic round of applause.

"Our other new member comes to fill a position which for too long has been left vacant," McGonagall continued. "The position of Tutor of the School is one of great responsibility; the Tutor makes himself available to assist you in your studies and compositions, and I advise you to make good use of him. This year we welcome Nigel Padfoot to the post."

Sirius stood and imitated Remus, nodding his head slightly and trying to look self-deprecating.

"And now, as was Headmaster Dumbledore's habit, I shall desist and allow you to enjoy your dinners in peace," McGonagall concluded.

"What was Slughorn oiling up to you about?" Remus asked as the food appeared in front of their plates. Sirius suddenly realised he was ravenous.

"Oh, the usual. Wants to ask me to a little get-together tomorrow night," he answered, dumping nearly half a bowl of mashed potatoes on his plate.

"Hasn't asked me. No need to wonder why," Remus said with a smile. "No family, no prospects, and a werewolf to boot."

"I should bring you along just to see his face," Sirius said.

"You couldn't pay me."

"Asked if I was related to the Blacks, too."

Remus glanced at him. "What did you answer?"

"Told him I didn't think so, and intimated I was of low birth," Sirius drawled.

"And what happened to the boy who started crying in the line? What was his name, Worthington?"

"Yeah. Poor kid lost his wand and had the wrong shoes on. Terrorstruck."

"Horrors," Remus laughed. "Do you remember -- "

"A scrawny, funny-haired kid I made fun of for having a weird name?" Sirius asked. "Yeah, he sticks in the mind for some reason."

"And James telling you off for picking on me -- not because you shouldn't pick on people, but because it was a waste of time to pick on the weak," Remus said, transferring several steaming slices of roast chicken onto his plate. "Much more challenging to make fun of the cool kids."

"I never looked at Hogwarts from this side of the table before," Sirius reflected.

"Get used to it," Remus advised. "From now on, you're one of us."

"I don't like being a grown-up. The pay is good but the hours are awful," Sirius complained.

"Sorry, Mr. Padfoot. We all go that way sooner or later," Remus said. From down below, Alexander Worthington stared up at Sirius with a look of pure and unadulterated devotion.

Sirius had the sudden feeling that he was probably in way over his head.

On the other hand, most of the best things in life had happened to him while he was in over his head or running for his life, so that was just as well.


Remus returned to Fourteen Back around one in the morning, sleepy from the late hours and slightly drunk from the redcurrant wine served in the faculty common room. He'd seen Sirius safely to his new quarters and made sure nothing was amiss, then gratefully stumbled into the floo and allowed it to carry him home.

"Harry?" he called softly, in case the boy had already gone to bed. "Are you up?"

No answer; there were candles burning still in the kitchen, and Remus walked carefully so as not to make the floorboards creak.

"Anyone here?" he asked, putting his head in the door.

Harry was sitting at the table, or rather slumped over it, one cheek resting on an open book, shoulders moving in the slow rhythm of sleeping breath. His right hand lay atop a sheet of parchment, the quill having fallen from tired fingers to the floor. The handwriting on the page became progressively less legible the further down it went.

Remus leaned over his shoulder and read a few words; it didn't look like anything that couldn't, at this point, wait until tomorrow. Harry, on the other hand...

He put his hand out and ruffled Harry's hair gently. He was a good lad, and didn't deserve any of this.

"Harry," he said softly, rocking Harry's shoulder. "You'll cramp if you sleep that way all night."

"Mmh?" Harry asked, sitting up slowly. "Wossit, om. You make bre'fas', I'm knackered."

"Not breakfast. Bedtime. Up you go," Remus said, lifting Harry out of the chair by his arm encouragingly. Harry yawned and wandered back into the living room, climbing the stairs slowly.

"Sortin' go okay?" he asked.

"More or less."


"Safely asleep, which is more than I can say for you."

"M'going," Harry answered, even as his head and shoulders disappeared, blocked from his view by the upper floor. "G'night."

"Goodnight, Harry," Remus said, drifting back into his own room. In short order he was in his pyjamas and under the blankets; if he heard Harry pacing upstairs into the wee hours, it was only as an echo of footsteps in his dreams.

  • Previous
  • Next