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Cartographer's Craft
Chapter 3

By copperbadge

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Shacklebolt left soon after Sirius changed, presumably gone to fetch other members of the Order. It wasn't long before Harry sat back from the enormous, slightly gawky black dog and announced that they had better find somewhere to talk. The dog trotted obediently at his heels, head and tail hung low, as Harry removed a large brown book from his trunk and passed into the other room, closing the door behind him and leaving Tonks in his bedroom with Remus.

Harry flung himself down on a sofa, opening the book and balancing it on his lap while Padfoot carefully and gingerly hoisted himself up next to him. The enormous dog tucked his nose in his paws and regarded Harry with sober, watchful eyes as he sketched out the history of the last twenty years.

Most of it was grim. In a few brief sentences he explained the rise of the Dark Lord and his subsequent unexpected defeat; how the Death Eaters had merely lain low until Voldemort showed signs of regaining power, and how they were now in a war that had already claimed Dumbledore and Sirius' own older self. Once in a while Harry would show him a photograph to prove his point -- James and Lily at their wedding with Sirius nearby, or Harry himself and Sirius, sitting together in front of the Christmas tree in Grimmauld Place the year before last. The photographs, difficult to understand with doggy vision, prompted Sirius to change back, but he didn't speak.

Harry seemed disinclined to mind; he merely continued talking -- now about his life with the Dursleys and the too-brief holidays he was allowed with his godfather. Sirius studied the photographs; that was indubitably him, standing between James and Evans at what was clearly a wedding. And there was Evans cradling a baby boy that would be Harry, and there was James, arm slung around Moony's shoulders while Moony held the baby, before it opened its mouth in a silent wail and James took it back.

Sirius listened more and more raptly to Harry's story, an angry fire burning behind his eyes at each new betrayal and atrocity committed in the name of Voldemort. When he finally stopped, Sirius watched him for a few moments before speaking.

"Thank you," he said. "For...telling me all of it. I guess you probably don't like me much. For um...I mean it sounds like I was a bit of a rotten godfather."

"Sirius was a great godfather," Harry said sharply.

"Oh." Sirius digested this. "Well, that's...good."

There was an awkward silence then, which was interrupted by Shacklebolt's return and Tonks' emergence from the bedroom.

"I've sent out messages to the Order," Kingsley said to Harry. "I'm scrambling most of them for a meeting tonight. Better we do this once with almost everyone here than over and over again with every single person. The ones who aren't there can get it from the others."

"Might be better if we told them," Tonks said thoughtfully. "It'd be sort of awful to make Sirius stand up and recite, you know. He's too young to join the Order, besides."

"Excuse me, but I don't believe I've left the room," Sirius said loudly, and they both gave him a sharp look.

"It won't be business as usual," Harry said. "I'll be there. Sirius should too."

"We're going to have to decide what to do with him," Kingsley said.

"Do with me?" Sirius interrupted. "I'm not twelve, you know."

"You're still not of majority age -- you're still in school," Tonks said.

"I've passed my OWLs." Sirius glared at them defiantly. "I was head of my year."

Tonks and Kingsley exchanged a look.

"You certainly are Sirius Black," Tonks sighed.


Sirius, under protest, finally agreed to wait in the kitchen while the rest of the Order assembled in the large sitting room. Kingsley paced the floor; Harry stood guard near the kitchen door, and Tonks greeted people as they came. When most of them had assembled, Kingsley looked to Harry, who shrugged and moved forward. Silence naturally followed. Tonks gave him a slightly admiring look.

"Thank you for coming back," Harry said. "We wouldn't have called you if it wasn't important. There's been an accident."

A murmur went round the room; he could almost see them taking a head count and finding Lupin missing.

"Remus -- has been injured," Harry said, stumbling over calling him something other than "Professor Lupin" to this many people. "Augustus Pye says he's all right, anyway. He's sleeping upstairs."

"Should make a full recovery," Pye confirmed. Harry saw Tonks slip into the kitchen.

"Most of you," Kingsley said, taking up the story, "are familiar with the story of Tom Riddle's diary, and the dangers inherent in it. A second and similar magical tool has come into our possession. Lupin's experimentation with it has led to his injuries. Fortunately, he is...sturdier than most humans. As a result, we have managed to recover a younger version of the artifact's author."

Worried murmuring swept the room. Surely not another Tom Riddle?

"Tonks...?" Kingsley prompted. Most of the Order looked to where she was emerging from the kitchen, trailed by a dark-haired boy who strutted just a little.

"This is Sirius," Harry said.

"Or rather, a copy of him made at the age of sixteen," Kingsley added.

"Is this some kind of joke?" Molly Weasley asked. "I don't find it in good taste at all."

"Unfortunately not," Kingsley replied.

"I think it's pretty bloody fortunate," Sirius retorted.

"No offence was meant," Kingsley said mildly. The twins were staring at Sirius as if he were some kind of new life form they couldn't wait to dissect.

"How very interesting," Professor Mcgonagall said, leaning forward in her chair. "Mister Black."

"Professor," Sirius muttered respectfully.

"Headmistress," she corrected. He gaped.

"Shall I explain the Map Diary, Sirius, or would you prefer to do it?" Kingsley asked. "It is your creation, after all."

Sirius crossed his arms and lifted his chin. "How do I know I can trust all these people? Harry told me some of them thought I was a murderer. And that some woman named Molly still doesn't like me."

"Harry!" Molly said scoldingly.

"Well, you didn't much," Harry answered, unrepentant.

"I believe you know Bill Weasley, Sirius?" McGonagall asked.

"Titchy little first-year?" Sirius said indifferently. "Sure."

Bill stood up. He was taller than Sirius by a few inches and his scars, though healed over, stood out white on his freckled skin.

"All right, your point's made," Sirius rolled his eyes. "I haven't got a choice and whatnot. Cheery bunch you are," he added.

"I really do think someone should explain things," Tonks said in a reasonable voice. "Since Sirius seems to be in a foul mood, which I think everyone would agree is only natural after being stuck in a diary for twenty years, I'll just tell the story, shall I?"

Everyone turned to look at the pink-haired witch, who gave them all a bright smile before settling into the narrative.


After the meeting had disbanded, with promises of updates on Lupin's condition and the situation with Sirius, a small knot remained in the meeting room -- McGonagall and Kingsley, Tonks, Harry, Sirius of course, and Moody, who kept examining Sirius with his magical eye, as if he suspected he might be able to see through him if he waited long enough.

"Very well-handled, Nymphadora," McGonagall said briskly, and Tonks visibly stifled the urge to correct her. "Good to have this out in the open, if only amongst the Order. Now then, there are one or two remaining questions to clear up."

She turned his gaze to Harry, who looked back defiantly. "I believe, Harry, that we must collect that map."

"It's mine," Harry said.

"It's mine," Sirius corrected.

"The questionable ownership of the map is an issue for another time. Clearly it is a powerful and possibly harmful tool in the hands of the inexperienced."

"I'm very experienced with it," Sirius objected.

"He has a point," Harry said. "If anyone's going to figure out how this happened, it'd be Sirius. He wrote it."

McGonagall studied Sirius' youthful face. "Yes; breaking two dozen school rules in the process. I am loathe to leave a powerful tool in the hands of -- "

"The person who created it?" Harry asked abruptly. She looked taken aback. "It's my inheritance and I'm not a student anymore. You can't confiscate it from me."

He turned to Kingsley, who took the map out of an inside pocket in his robe.

"I, however," Kingsley said, smoothing out the folds, "can confiscate it as an Auror. I would prefer not to. I should therefore like your word that you will not remove the map from this house, nor will you allow anyone but myself and Harry access to it."

"I'll want a look at it," Moody grunted. Sirius, taking the measure of this peg-legged, crazy-eyed old man, nodded carefully and accepted the map from Kingsley.

"We must also ensure your own safety," McGonagall continued, apparently determined to ignore Harry's backtalk entirely. "I think it would be wise if Sirius remained -- "

" -- because that worked so well last time," Harry snarled. McGonagall looked at him over the tops of her glasses.

" -- Sirius remained in Grimmauld Place as much as possible," she finished. "For his own safety, Harry."

"Nobody knows who I am," Sirius said. "I don't see why -- "

"Because you are young and impetuous and recognisable," she said sharply. "Harry may not be my pupil, but you are not yet of age. Do you wish to defy me, Mister Black?"

Sirius looked away. "No, Headmistress," he muttered. Harry opened his mouth, but a warning look from Moody made him shut it again.

"As clever as you may be at...improvisation," McGonagall continued, "You cannot use your magic outside of school. You are underage still, and not yet a fully trained wizard -- "

"My OWLs -- "

"Will be consulted, no doubt, before you return to school in September. Presuming the school still exists in September, something the Board of Governors has not yet agreed to."

Harry and Sirius both stared at her, dumbfounded.

"What, as a student?" Tonks asked curiously. "You don't think someone's going to ask questions when, you know, Sirius Smith shows up as an extra Gryffindor sixth-year?"

"Hogwarts'll be safe, at least," Moody grunted.

"Something could undoubtedly be arranged," Kingsley rumbled. "Certainly young Black is enough of a...self-starter to conduct his own course of studies without regular classroom apperances? As I recall, Hogwarts did once have a tradition of resident tutors."

Moody chuckled. "Ah yes, I remember, didn't the one bloke get fired over -- "

"Be that as it may," McGonagall cut him off, "Perhaps it is time we reinstated the fellowship and invited Sirius to study independently while he is assisting the younger students."

Sirius was staring at her, round-eyed.

"I don't want to go back to school," he said finally. "I want to stay here and fight. Harry told me about it -- about everything. I'm already a better wizard than some ever will be -- "

"But you're not of age, Sirius," Tonks reminded him.

"Since when has that ever stopped me doing anything?"

"It should have," McGonagall said sharply. Sirius looked at her. "You were a fool twenty years ago and you're a fool now and I won't have anyone else dying because of your impetuous bad judgement -- "

"That's enough, I think," Kingsley interrupted. Both Harry and Sirius looked furious.

"It might be useful," Tonks said quietly.

"What?" Sirius turned to her.

"Well, the Death Eaters already have children doing their dirty work all over the school. Why shouldn't we? A fellowship tutor would be able to go where other students can't and talk to all the students, not just the ones in their own house."

"It'd be like...spywork," Sirius said thoughtfully. Deep in his eyes, a spark gleamed.

"You could, of course, remain here at Grimmauld Place."

"That is not a choice. That's a sentence."

"As you wish, then. We shall have to provide you with an alias -- "

"You'll pay me."

McGonagall looked at him, surprised. "Pay you?"

Sirius nodded. "If I work at the school. You'll pay me."

"You will be recieving a continued education -- "

"But not in classes, and on my own time, isn't that it?" Sirius gave her a shrewd look. "You want me at Hogwarts where you can keep an eye on me, but I'll go on my own terms."

"The usual fellowship is barely fifty Galleons above what tuition would cost -- "

"Then you'll pay me those Galleons. If I'm going to be imprisoned at least I'll be paid to keep my peace."

"Will you keep your peace?" Moody asked.

"If I'm fairly paid and respected," Sirius answered. "I am the youngest Animagus in the world. It's not as though I won't actually be able to tutor people."

"Yes, well, we shall see once we look up your History of Magic scores," McGonagall said. "Agreed, then. You will remain here until the start of school, at which point you will accompany the other students north on the Hogwarts Express. You will be provided with separate rooms and a marginal salary in return for which you will follow courses of study laid out for you by your professors, and make yourself available as a tutor and adjunct instructor."

McGonagall held out her hand, and Sirius shook it cautiously.

"Who wants cake?" Tonks asked brightly.


Harry was almost asleep that evening -- exhausted after the day's events, plus an hour spent listening to Moody and Kingsley argue politics -- when there was a gentle scratch at his door.

"Who is it?" he asked, sitting up in bed. Remus' bed, in fact; it seemed only a fair trade.

"It's Black, can I come in?"

"Door's unlocked."

Sirius appeared in the doorway, face lit eerily by the candle he carried. He paused on the doorstep.

"This used to be my brother's room," he said.

"Well, it's not my normal room," Harry answered, peevish at having had his sleep delayed. "Remus still has mine."

"Yeah, that was a guest suite."

"Are you going to stand there letting the draft in?"

Sirius came into the room, closing the door behind him. He set the candle on the bedside table.

"Did you need something?" Harry asked.

"Bill Weasley got tall, didn't he?"

"He's always been that tall to me."

"I think Remus put on a few extra inches too. He'll be all right, won't he? That Pye chap's trustworthy?"

"Yeah, he's decent. He fixed Mr. Weasley up a while ago when a snake got at him."

"That's all right then." Sirius stared out the window, through a gap in the drapes. "Listen, this place is a bit creepy, would you mind if I bunked in here? I'd have gone to Moony's room only I didn't want to bother him. He looks awful."

"There's just the one bed," Harry said dubiously.

"Oh, I'll sleep on the floor -- or the chair," Sirius added. "Padfoot, you know."

"I always called him Snuffles."

"Snuffles?" Sirius demanded.

"Well, yeah, that's what you told me to call him."

"I never would!"

"It was just code," Harry said, exasperated.

"All right, well, can I or can't I?"

Harry looked at Sirius, actually studying his face for the first time since he'd come into the room, and realised that there was a quiet desperation in the other boy's eyes; he had run away from this house not even a year ago, in his personal timeline, and now he had come back to find it drastically changed, and a strange boy sleeping in his brother's bed.

"Look, if you're going to be shedding everywhere anyway you might as well sleep on the bed, I can wash the duvet but the chair's a bit harder to clean," Harry said. "Mrs. Weasley's mad for keeping things clean."

"You sure?"

"It's big enough."

Sirius gave him a dubious look, but blew out the candle and crossed his arms. "Well, are you going to stare while I do it?"

"Shouldn't I?"

"Fine." Sirius turned his back and a moment later Padfoot leapt up onto the bed, making the springs creak. Harry scooted over to give the enormous dog some room, and Padfoot circled a bit before settling down among the blankets, nose on bottom, and heaving a great doggy sigh.

"I hate this house too," Harry said, adjusting his head on the pillow and curling his legs around the bulk of Padfoot on top of the blankets.


Had Sirius gone to Harry's bedroom, where Remus was still sleeping, he would have found company at any rate, though less inclined to share than Harry probably was.

Tonks had seen her partner and Moody off and said goodbye to McGonagall before fixing herself a cup of tea and having a nervous breakdown. She'd had to administer first aid, manage an emergency situation, lead a meeting, and speak in public. She felt she was entitled to a bit of quiet in which to hyperventilate.

It had been so quiet in the kitchen, though, that she'd felt rather like an intruder in the big old house. So she'd taken her cup of tea upstairs and found herself outside of Harry's room, where she could hear soft breathing -- Remus, asleep in Harry's bed, monitored by medicharms that would alert Augustus Pye if anything went wrong in the night. Not that she thought anything would. Pye knew what he was doing and Remus, for all he sometimes looked like he might blow over in a strong wind, was a resilient sort. He'd had to be, after all.

She pushed the door open quietly and crossed the floor, rearranging the drapes slightly so that she could sit on the windowseat, her back to one of the walls, and watch him. He wasn't moving; he hadn't even shifted position.

She slid forward on the window-seat and leaned over to brush back some shaggy hair that had fallen in his face. It wasn't a handsome face -- too much nose, too many lines, and the occasional scar -- but it was friendly and familiar, and she rather fancied it. Of course he was too old for her and all that sort of thing, but her mum had been forcibly engaged to a man yonks older than her before she ran away to marry her dad. She'd tried that out on Remus one time, when he gave her the too-old excuse, and he had infuratingly pointed out that Andromeda had run away.

Given the chance, Remus would probably have given up his life to bring Sirius back to them. She'd seen him watching Harry and Sirius during holidays, seen the obvious pleasure he took in their getting along; they were really all the family he had. Whether he would have given his life to bring a rather arrogant, sulky, impulsive sixteen-year-old out of the past was another story. She certainly wouldn't have advised the trade, for all she had loved Sirius and mourned his death.

Sirius had better be bloody grateful when Remus woke up.


"I need a name," Sirius said at breakfast the next morning.

Harry had awoken to find Padfoot's reassuring bulk gone already; he'd stumbled downstairs to find Tonks fixing breakfast -- or rather attempting to, while Moody ordered her around and Bill Weasley watched in amusement.

"Morning -- Ron and Hermione are coming this afternoon," Bill had said, by way of greeting. "You still haven't let them in on your great plan."

"I'm still working on it," Harry replied, acceping a glass of milk. Sirius stumbled down the stairs and into the kitchen just then, looking sleek and washed, still wearing the blue-speckled white Hogwarts shirt and uniform trousers he'd arrived in. He hadn't spoken much until breakfast was fully laid out.

"A name?" Tonks asked Sirius, pouring syrup on her waffles. "I think maybe you need some new clothes more."

"Aye, I went looking for some," Sirius replied. "What's happened to all the things?"

"What things?" Bill asked.

"Everything. It's like a hotel upstairs. All the books and Dad's collections and everything."

"We got rid of the dark artefacts," Tonks said matter-of-factly, "and most of the Dark books. You said to," she added. "Well. Our Sirius did."

"Oh," Sirius said, and glanced down at the waffles in front of him.

"There's some books still. Remus kept them," Harry volunteered sleepily.

"It's just...different, that's all." Sirius picked up his fork and began to cut his waffles into tiny pieces. Harry, remembering other breakfasts with his Sirius, his godfather Sirius, grinned.

"What?" Sirius asked, as he continued to cut the waffles up.

"Sorry, it's always do that," Harry said, pointing at the waffles. Sirius looked confused, then stopped and began eating the bite-sized bits, almost defiantly.

"You were talking about a new name?" Bill asked, to cover the awkward silence.

"Oh..." Sirius nodded. "Yeah, Professor McGonagall said I needed a new name because they can't have Sirius Black running around the school."

"What about a middle name?" Bill asked.

Harry coughed something which sounded very much like "Aedelbert."

"You shut your mouth!" Sirius cried. "Nobody knew that!"

"You told me," Harry shot back.

"Traditional Wizarding name," Moody said approvingly. "You could do far worse."

"Yes, like Bilius," Bill murmured. "Anyway, there's all sorts of associations with the dog star to be made. I mean, it's the basis of the whole Egyptian lunar calendar."

"Oh yeah?" Sirius asked, apparently genuinely interested.

"Course they called it Sopdet, which is no good, she's a goddess, that'd never work for you," Bill said with a laugh. Sirius was drinking in his words interestedly. "She was married to Sah -- that's Orion -- and their son was Soped."

"Soped?" Sirius wrinkled his nose.

"Yes -- he was the god of the eastern frontier. He was a hawk-god," Bill continued, in his element when discussing Egyptian myth. "But Sopdet was the important one. When she was visible over the horizon at dawn it was called the Heliacal Rising."

"Nothing much there, I suppose," Sirius said.

"What about Padfoot?" Harry asked. Sirius frowned at him. "Everyone knows, it's no good trying to keep it secret around here."

"Make a nice surname," Bill said. "I mean, it sounds Wizarding through and through. Not a boring Muggle name like Jones or Smith."

"Nigel," Tonks said suddenly.

"Nigel?" Sirius asked, horrified.

"Well, it means 'black'..."


"Have you got a better idea?"

"Anything's better than Nigel," Sirius said.

"Bit of a snob, isn't he?" Tonks asked Bill, who laughed.

"Upper crust through and through!" he answered.

Sirius fixed him with an icy glare.

"I am not a snob," he snarled, and stood so fast his chair almost fell over.

"She didn't mean anything by it," Bill protested.

"I am not!" Sirius insisted. Harry touched his arm and he jerked it away. "Take that back. It's bad enough I'm here in this bloody house without you insinuating that I'm right where I belong with all the rest of the stupid, horrible Blacks!"

"We don't think that, lad," Moody said. "Sit down and finish your breakfast. We know all about your family."

Sirius glanced at Harry, who gave him an encouraging smile. Slowly he sat again, stabbing a bite of waffle viciously with his fork.

"I left, you know," he said.

"We know, Sirius," Harry murmured.

"All of it. They disowned me. I would've starved if the Potters hadn't taken me in," Sirius added. "I gave all of it up."

"Of course you did," Tonks reassured him. "Like my mum did."

"Because I hate who they are," Sirius continued wrathfully. "I'm not like that."

"Were," Bill said quietly. Sirius glanced up at him. "Your mum's been dead ten years, Sirius. Your brother's been dead fifteen. You're the last of the Blacks, unless you count Tonks and her mum, or the Malfoy branch."

"Excuse me," Sirius said, and this time no-one stopped him when he rose and left the room. Harry fought the urge to follow him, knowing what it was like to want a bit of private time to oneself, and instead concentrated on his suddenly tasteless breakfast.

The only noise for several minutes was the scrape of cutlery on plates, until Tonks finally said, "Well, I like the name Nigel."

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