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

It was a foregone conclusion that Sirius would sleep on Harry's bed that night. Neither of them even bothered to discuss it.

Ron and Hermione had returned to the Burrow early after dinner; it was easier to get in touch with most of the Order from there through Arthur and the twins. Seeing that Sirius was content to read and Harry wanted a closer look at the Aurors' manual, the nominal adults of Grimmauld Place sprawled lazily nearby, drinking wine while Tonks finished paperwork from her last shift and Remus idly wrote letters to be sent the following day.

Sirius was making headway on Shop Gods, apparently; he looked to be nearly halfway through and plowing onward at a prodigious rate. Harry had never been very interested in novels, but he supposed he ought to read it when Sirius was done so they'd at least have something in common to talk about. Sirius had confided over dinner that he was more interested in Animagus Winter, but he was determined to finish the other book first.

"You're going to wear through that shirt, soon," Remus observed out of nowhere, and Harry looked up to see him watching Sirius, who was rubbing at a threadbare spot on his shirtcuff. It looked as though it was an absentminded habit; the other cuff had a bare patch in the same place. "You'll need more when you go back to Hogwarts anyway. I'll speak with McGonagall about a stipend advance for uniform and books, if you like."

"I'll pay for it," Harry said. "It's his money anyway, really."

"Blood money," Sirius replied. Harry groaned inwardly. It was bad enough that Remus politely rejected every offer; he couldn't cope with two idiots in the same house.

"Fine, then I'll pay for it with my dad's money. Unless Potter money isn't good enough for you," he taunted. Sirius scowled, but shrugged.

"If you want to," he said. "Can we go to Diagon to get everything?"

"Best not," Remus said. "We'll get what you need. You won't have regular robes, I don't think; resident tutors get professors' robes."

Sirius grinned. "Me, influencing young minds. Molding and shaping the leaders of tomorrow..."

"Terrifying, isn't it?"

Tonks, who had been sorting out scrolls of parchment, began to pack them into an old school bag.

"That's it for me, I think," she said, standing and straightening the strap over her shoulder. "I should go home -- another early shift tomorrow. Day after's free, though. I can come with you to Diagon if you go then."

"If she's coming, I want to go," Sirius insisted. "She's an Auror, it'll be perfectly safe. You can't keep me locked up forever."

"Do we have to fight about it tonight?" Harry asked. Remus shot him an amused look which seemed to ask and what were you fighting me about yesterday? but Harry ignored it. "There will be lots of time to be tiresome about it tomorrow, and I think I'm for bed so that I'll be well-rested and ready for it."

It had the desired effect; Sirius grinned at him and Remus shrugged off the other man's objections, giving Tonks his usual subdued goodbye as he sent her off into the floo.

"Bed sounds good," he said, shoulders slumping a little. "You two all right, then?"

"We'll be fine," Harry promised. Sirius was already on the stairs.

"I'll need Hedwig tomorrow, Harry, if I can borrow her."

Harry waved a hand at the kitchen, where Hedwig was asleep on her perch. "I haven't got anyone to write to. Are you going to send her all the way to Russia?"

"No -- I'm sending those by floo express. Which reminds me, since that won't be cheap..." He paused. Sirius hesitated too, three steps up. "I still have access to some of your vaults, Harry, from last year when I was doing the food shopping and such. Do you mind terribly....?"

"All Order expenses," Harry confirmed. "Don't ask me, and I don't want to know accounting."

Remus nodded, looking mildly relieved. "Goodnight, then."

"Goodnight, Remus," Harry said, closing his book. He heard Sirius say "'Night, Moony," as the older man passed.

Upstairs, Sirius drew the blinds in the sitting room while Harry changed into his pyjamas. When Harry opened the bedroom door again, Padfoot was sitting patiently in front of it, tongue lolling out slightly in a comical doggy grin. He trotted past Harry and jumped on the bed, trampling the blankets down cheerfully. Harry shoved him over as he climbed into bed, lying on his back and staring up at the ceiling, framed by the high bedposts.

Padfoot rested his head on Harry's stomach and Harry grinned, scratching between his furry shoulders.

Sirius had reached out to ruffle his hair today and he'd caught his wrist defensively; even Harry was aware that this was not a good thing. It wasn't as though the idea was alien. He and Ginny had...oh, done a lot of things, and Ron used to rough-house with him when they were younger. But lately, particularly after the realisation that Dumbledore had been the last barrier between him and harsh reality, he had been solitary even in crowds.

Still, Sirius trusted him enough to curl up against his hip as Padfoot and snooze while he enjoyed the benefits of being a very pettable dog; he owed Sirius at least that much back again.

He had always, since he'd known Sirius was innocent, liked his godfather. Admired him, even, for his courage and the way he never simply ran away from fights though he had every right to want to flee. Sirius had given him decent advice and written him a lot of letters. But there were twelve lost years and there had been James between them like a ghost.

James should stand between him and Sirius still, he supposed, but he didn't sense that from this incarnation. This Sirius was what he had hoped for -- someone who was fun and cheerful and headstrong, teasing him when he got too grave, reassuring in the dark, shadowy times. And that wasn't really what godfathers did, precisely, but then Sirius wasn't his godfather, never would be now.

He wondered if Remus would hate him for preferring this Sirius to the other one. He wondered if Sirius himself would hate him, but he decided not. Sirius would say that sixteen was a lot more fun than thirty-six.

Padfoot huffed in his sleep and wriggled a little against Harry's side. Harry closed his eyes and let himself drift off, one hand still resting on the silky black fur between Padfoot's shoulders.


Hermione didn't come to Grimmauld Place with Ron after breakfast the next day. He came alone, giving them her regards and saying that she had gone off with Bill to Gringotts to have a poke around their considerable library regarding curses, hexes, jinxes, charms, and methods of breaking all of the above.

"And it's just as well, really," Ron said, cramming a leftover piece of toast into his mouth, "because Dad says it's high time he was back at work and Mum didn't think Bill was ever going to go back, so it's got him off his arse at least. And Hermione likes him, so that's no problem."

"Don't her parents worry?" Remus asked, quill scritching over the day's list of things to do.

Ron shrugged. "I don't think they really get it," he said. "I mean, they love her and all, but they've never really understood it all, I think. I mean it's not their world, is it? I dunno how much she even tells them."

"Well, she has the Weasleys, at any rate," Remus answered. Ron grinned at him. "Anything from your father?"

"About finding things? Well, yeah," Ron said, frowning in concentration. "He said it depended on the thing, and what it was made of, and how much you know about it. He said he'd look into it on Monday. He doesn't really deal with that part, it's another department, but there's some bloke there he used to work with."

"Small steps," Remus murmured.

"Meeting on for tonight?" Harry asked Ron, who nodded.

"Everyone in London, anyway."

"We should have food for them," Remus murmured.

"Well, that's what the vaults are for," Harry answered comfortably. "If you're not up to it, I can go."

"How domestic of you," Remus said, amused. "No, I'm going directly to Gringotts, and from there straight to Hogsmeade. The bakery and butchers' shop are both on their way to the Floo Express office."

"You're going alone?" Harry asked, carefully.

"Yes. It's not as bad as Diagon. I'll be fine."

"Ron, go with him?" Harry asked. Ron grinned and nodded.

"I don't need a bodyguard."

"If you don't agree, I'll just follow you," Ron said.

Remus cast his eyes heavenwards in supplication. Sirius laughed.

"You can carry the food, in that case. Ready to leave?"

Ron dusted crumbs off his shirt and nodded, picking up Remus' satchel before he could.

"I don't like his colour," Sirius said, when they'd vanished in the living room fireplace.

"Neither do I," Harry said. "But I had a word with Tonks this morning before he was up. She says he's getting better."

"That's where you were when I woke up?"

"Yep. You'll never defeat the Dark Lord lying in bed all day," Harry scolded, in a decent imitation of Molly Weasley. "And we do have work to do. Got the map?"

Sirius took the folded and now-blank piece of parchment out of his back pocket. He opened it and spread it on the table, touching it with his wand. "I solemnly swear that I am up to no good," he said, watching with his usual delight as the map sprawled across the page.

"All this is Moony," he said to Harry, hands enclosing the area surrounding the Ravenclaw tower. "He was seeing a girl in Ravenclaw. James did most of the first three floors with his cloak. All the handwriting's mine -- we put a charm on that replicated their handwriting into mine, I mean. Well, sort of mine. The spell that found all the hidden stuff cleaned up my handwriting. And see? The animagus stuff doesn't cause a problem anymore, either."

He pointed to a pair of pawprints moving towards the Headmaster's -- the Headmistress's -- office, labeled McGonagall.

"Whole thing used to freeze up when it detected an animagus. Took Remus six hours one night, figuring out why."

"What was it?" Harry asked.

"One of the nested detection spells didn't have a protocol for cats," Sirius shrugged. "We put in a general animal protocol, though I guess if it were something really exotic, it might freeze up again."

"Can you show me the journals?"

Sirius nodded and touched his wand to the map again. "I solemnly swear that I am Sirius Black."

"Would that work if it weren't you?" Harry asked. "If I said I was?"

"Yeah -- I think so. It's just a password -- there were four. James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and Peter Pettigrew."

Harry watched as the map filled with four columns of text again. Harry turned it around enough that he could read the black ink, his father's writing. The last entry had no date, but was clearly sometime in seventh year.

Moony, I won't make the Full tonight. Herself is getting suspicious and she specifically asked me to sneak her into Hogsmeade for a moonlit dinner. Sorry mate, know you'll understand.

"Dad stood up Remus!"

"Well, he still had us," Sirius said reasonably. "Who's this Herself? Is that Evans?"

"Must be."

"Well, stands to reason then. Evans couldn't find out about Remus, could she?"

"She must have, sooner or later."

"Dunno. You could ask him when he gets back."

The very lowest entry on the page was in gold, the colour Remus had claimed as his own.

Happy Graduation! We survived. I guess nobody's going to ever read this again, but that's all right. Padfoot, did you pick out someone to give it to yet?

Everyone meet in Hogsmeade tonight, I got Madam Rosmerta to let us use the back room so it'll be a proper party and Prongs and I won't have to write anyone up for anything, since it's off school grounds. I've asked Byrnbaum and Derrik and some of the Ravenclaws and Wormtail's going to invite his girlfriend in Hufflepuff and all the other Huffle sevenths girls. And Herself's bringing people, of course.


"Do you know what all that stuff about picking people is?" Sirius asked. "It's after my time."

"No..." Harry shrugged. "Fred and George gave me the map. They stole it from Filch's office."

"That bastard," Sirius grunted.

"Maybe you gave the map to someone else? When you graduated, I mean. It's not very useful outside of Hogwarts."

Sirius rested his chin on one hand, studying the journals.

"Sirius..." Harry said, hesitantly.


"Do you think maybe this journal is the reason you came back?"

Sirius turned to look at him. Harry shrugged.

"I you think maybe...if we could bring you back...maybe my dad..." Harry let the idea hang in the air between them. Sirius stared down at James' handwriting.

"I don't know how it works," Sirius admitted finally. "Or...if the writing stops here..."

He touched his own blue ink, thoughtfully.

I have money to pay Rosmerta with. Tonight we dine on steaks and firewhiskey! Tomorrow we will have splendid hangovers for graduation and life begins.

How many NEWTs do you suppose Moony got? Think he collected the full set?

"If it stops here, why didn't...I come from then?" he asked, though he had a sudden suspicion that he knew the answer. "I don't think it's the journals, I don't think it could be, but...well, Moony always had a suspicion the magic was a little darker than we thought."

Harry folded his arms on the table and leaned one cheek on them. "I didn't think so," he said, disappointed.

"I think maybe it's...there's a second journal," Sirius said reluctantly.

"A second journal?"

"I put a secret one in. Just for me. I was the keeper, so it seemed to make sense, right?" Sirius cleared the map with a quick "Mischief Managed!" and looked down at the blank parchment.

"The thing is," Harry said, after a moment, "If there's a way to put someone into a horcrux without killing anyone, and we can figure out what it is, we can break the horcruxes too."

"I don't think you should call it that," Sirius answered.

"Call it what?"

"The map. It's not really any kind of horcrux. It should be..." his lips moved silently for a moment, "an orcelo. A container in which I hide secrets."

"What does it matter?"

"It matters to me. I came from one."

"Oh," Harry said. "Yeah, I guess it would."

Sirius touched his finger to an outer corner of the parchment and drew it inward in a spiral, moving in the opposite direction as Remus had when he drew Sirius out of the map in the first place. Harry watched ink seem to appear and gather around his fingertip, a little like the tail of a comet. When he reached the centre, Sirius lifted his finger and touched the map with his wand. "Libellus ater," he said, softly.

This time the entire parchment filled once more with row after row of script in blue ink, recognisable as Sirius' hand but hopelessly garbled.

"This was mine," Sirius said. "I didn't write in it much..."

That it has proven the average of the truth interests the product of the rock. "Enormously, pattern of the old fashioned building" came to make sculptor.

Then you and I go, if the night were represented to satisfy the sky, because the ways.

In the east the proximities nevertheless are enthusiasm of these, these situations, in the ordered order to advance it to be strong. "The calm surface of the existence of the instruction to read, the ruptures and half of the face." Parallel of the word, of that the material of the hand; and the source writes the source, that one that looks like words.

The ways, that one that like painful argument to a question that it presses to execute itself...that covered with the mine and where and because he was forgotten.

In order to print ye of the mine and desperations of the work! It sees the end. Another one is remaining. If in the infinite ruins with the fallen tax discovered him for the other way around, extend itself in the distance. It has taken to the man and the ways in the thrown one. I meant the sonorous signal, in the ordered order to sing, everything yet. Sings it. I saw for this, this air that it had pushed in the hats, if the wind completely burned. The black color of the water we were done when we delayed it in the spaces of the sea. The girls of the sea, of that one with the red and of the brown one of the color they twisted it. The voices above for above did not wake up to us inside, in us, and we skirted them.

"What were you drinking when you did write in it?" Harry asked.

"It's encoded. Babble-speak. That's not Remus or James, there; just their mapselves responding."

Harry looked cautious. "Tom Riddle's journal did that. Responded on its own."

"Well, that bit of the spell's not hard to fake. With enough practice, a simple mynah charm can be trained to sound like another person replying."

"Can you read that? Or is there another password?"

"This is mine," Sirius said. "I'm not teaching you how to read it."

"But if this is the -- "

"Mine," Sirius repeated. "Nobody else reads this but me. If this is the reason I'm here today, I'll find it out on my own."

Harry cocked his head. "Can you tell me when the last entry was written? Do you remember writing it?"

Sirius cleared the map by simply running his palm across the blue ink.

"The last entry I made is the last entry I made," he said. "I remember watching it get babbelised."

They regarded each other across the blank parchment, Sirius warily defiant, Harry perplexed. The older boy spoke first.

"It'll take Remus and Ron another two hours to get the post and shopping done at this time of day, and then there's lunch," he said. "If I know Hermione, she'll probably show up late to the meeting and still complaining there was one more book she wanted to see. I'm going to Godric's Hollow. Want to come?"

Sirius blinked owlishly at him. "What?"

"I told Ron to distract Remus. We have until one o'clock at least. I've found a floo point and I'm going. Want to come along?"

Sirius had to admit that Harry, however unlike his father in other respects, had James' audacity.

"Yes," he said simply, because that was what he'd always said to James.


The village of Godric's Hollow had once been nearly entirely wizarding, although Muggles had always abounded as well. Like Hogsmeade, it boasted several High Street shops that catered to the magically inclined; unlike Hogsmeade, it had been slowly filling up with Muggles in the past sixteen years, and one by one the magical businesses had sold or folded or died out.

The owner of the Witch And Wardrobe Pub called it 'gentrification' with an ironic twist of the lip that showed her mild contempt for the magicless creatures that rarely ventured into her pub. The Muggles favoured the King's Arms, and her business had flagged accordingly, but there were still just enough magical people to keep her afloat. And then there was the tourist trade of course. Visitors to the Potter house had picked up ever since You Know Who's return, which was a nice little bonus for her.

The two boys who stumbled out of the floo at the back of the room were probably tourists, she decided; Hogwarts graduates doing the grand tour, flooing round England before taking off for the continent. The good-looking boy with the messy black hair was obviously wealthy, even if he still wore a shabby, untucked shirt with the Hogwarts crest on. The other boy, who had shock-charmed blond hair and sunglasses on, wore baggy Muggle clothing a few sizes too large.

"What'll you lads have?" she asked, leaning on the counter.

"We're in a hurry," the blond boy said as they passed.

"Floo hookup's not free, you know," she called after them. He turned and made a stone-skipping motion with his hand; she caught the whizzing gold disc neatly. A Galleon for floo service was overpaying, but the pair were already out the door.

"I remember her," Sirius said, as they emerged into welcome sunlight. He lifted his face to the sky, drinking it in; he'd missed the sun on his face. When he left Hogwarts it had been late winter, too early for much natural light. "We stole three bottles of apple brandy from her last summer and got drunk in James' dad's broom shed."

"I'll want to talk to her later," Harry said, examining the street-signpost on the corner. Blond hair didn't suit him, but neither did being recognised. "Can you show me where my grandparents lived?"

"Sure, it's not far," Sirius said, still enjoying just being out in the fresh air. Harry's walking pace was quicker than he liked, but then it was true they didn't have all the leisure time in the world. It was just one block down, a right turn, and two blocks over...

"There," he said, stopping Harry and turning to face a pretty little house with blue paint and green trim. They were across the street from it, but Sirius recognised it even with an unfamiliar Muggle automobile parked in front and strange furniture on the porch. "That's where Mr. and Mrs. Potter lived. Brilliant climbing trellis in the back."

Harry looked at it with an odd hunger on his face that Sirius couldn't quite fathom. It was only a house, and clearly Mr. and Mrs. Potter didn't live there anymore. Perhaps they'd died; they'd had James when both of them were already well-on in years and it wasn't inconcievable. At any rate, they would never own a car, let alone a hideous boxy thing like that. James' father's fortune had been made in broomsticks and broomsticks was all the Potters would ever use.

"You've been inside?" Harry asked.

"Sure. Your average house, really. Small kitchen, poky upstairs, nice garden."

Harry reluctantly turned away from the house and took a scrap of paper out of his pocket, consulting it.

"I got the address of the house from Hermione -- looked it up in an old Prophet article."

"She's been a busy bee, hasn't she?" Sirius asked.

"Always was. Says they lived at Fourteen Back, Richard Court, Alley," Harry said.

"Well, Richard Court Alley runs parallel to Richard Court, off of Henry Street," Sirius said. "Which is..."

He leaned out into the road, checking the sign from a distance. "...this way. Come on, I know how to get into the alley."

"Fourteen Back, that means they were behind a proper house, right?" Harry asked.

"Yeah -- lots of the bigger houses around here have guest houses. Cottages, I guess you'd call 'em," Sirius said. "Usually not that impressive, though. Some of 'em were nice enough. Here's Henry," he added, turning them to the left. "Why're we here, anyway?"

Harry shrugged, stowing the address away again. "Dumbledore spent most of last year showing me what Tom Riddle's past was like. What he knew of it. History is important."

"Some history is," Sirius allowed.

"That history was. I saw him when he was eleven, and when he was at school, and once or twice after he left school. Enough to think I sort of know him, a little."

"S'weird," Sirius mused as they walked. "At school we heard stories of course, and they were getting more and more frequent. We knew his name and all, but nobody ever thought of him as a person. And nobody knew Tom Riddle, not that I ever heard."

Harry nodded. "I don't know much about him between the time he left Knockturn Alley and the time he came back to try to get a job teaching at Hogwarts, not really. That's what Hermione and Ron are going to work on. But...the story wasn't over when he died -- or when everyone thought he died, anyway."

"How do you mean?"

"This," Harry gestured at the little houses lining the street, each with their tidy gardens and fresh paint, "This is where I would have grown up. My parents lived here, died here...but I don't know anything about it. I don't know anything about my grandparents, and my only living family are horrible people. I don't know what happened when my parents died; where they're buried, whether there were bodies left to be buried. I don't know if the cottage is still standing, if it was destroyed, if there's anything left."

They passed Richard Court, crossing the nearly-empty street. A young woman was walking a dog in the distance, but otherwise they were alone.

"What if someone else is living there?" Sirius asked. "Look -- here it is."

He pointed to a small stone arch emerging from a wall, fronted by a red wooden gate. Two rows of houses, one on either side, backed onto a narrow dirt lane beyond. Harry pushed on the gate and it opened without trouble on well-oiled hinges.

Most of the alley was simply a patchwork of different stone and brick garden walls, with the occasional board fence or cottage doorway. The cottages, numbers facing into the alley, started at twenty-two and descended; they reached fourteen before they would have had to cross another street, and Harry stood before it quietly. Sirius could see the tension in his shoulders, the clenched muscles of his back and neck.

"Still standing," Sirius said lightly. "Doesn't look like anyone's home, though."

It was a simple building, two floors, very narrow; the windows were dusty on the outside but had obviously been cleaned recently, and the drapes drawn across them on the inside looked fairly well-kept. The step up to the house was covered in dust from the lane and bare of potted plants, but the trim looked as though it had been painted in the not-too-distant past. There was a lion's-head knocker on the door, shining in the morning sun. It was impossible to tell if anyone lived there or not.

"Hullo there, lads!" said a voice suddenly, startling both of them. A straw hat appeared at the top of the wall that ran into the house on either side, and was followed by a small, wizened face. "Be right with ye in just a minute."

There was a grunt and the sound of metal creaking, and then the man's shoulders and chest became visible as well as he stepped onto what was apparenly an old stepstool set there for the express purpose of talking to people over his wall. He took off his straw hat and rested his arms on the top of the wall. Harry was still staring.

"I'm Bowman," he said, cheerfully. "Come t'see t'house, did ye?" He didn't wait for reply before continuing. "Lucky. Lots of rush after lunchtime. Most folks come to t'front door, though."

"Yes; we've come to see the house," Sirius answered quickly. "This it, is it?"

"Aye, that's t'one. Number Fourteen Back. Tourists?"

"Yes, sir."

"Come around by t'passage and I'll let ye in."

His arm flailed in the direction of a narrow corridor between the wall of his garden and the garden of the house adjoining his; Sirius, without hesitation, shoved Harry into the passage.

"I know him," he said in Harry's ear.

"How?" Harry asked.

"I didn't realise it. We used to steal mangoes from his garden."


Sirius didn't have time to answer; they'd reached another red-painted door which opened inward.

From the lane they had been able to see the cottage and the house to which it belonged, as well as everything in the garden above about six feet. Or rather, they thought they'd been able to see everything. Stepping into the garden, they were met with the humid smell of cut grass, multiplied a hundredfold. From the outside the garden had looked treeless and bare, but from the inside it was full of plant life.

"Always been proud of my garden," the mysterious Bowman said, beaming at Harry's surprise. "Charmed it 'specially to grow all sorts of things. Not easy, a good atmosphere charm."

Before them lay a broad stretch of bright green grass, broken here and there by carefully mulched beds of roses and neatly trimmed berry bushes. Apple and fig trees towered over the walls, covered in not-quite-ripe fruit; in the centre of the garden stood a ring of three mango trees, and a pair of walnut trees flanked the cottage's back door.

"T'missus makes jams and things," Bowman said, waving his hand at the back porch of the actual house, where several mysterious vats were steaming under the supervision of an elderly woman who smiled at them. "Twelve sickles a jar and zucchini free for the taking. Give you my name? Bowman Jenkins."

He held out his hand and Harry took it automatically.

"I'm S -- amuel Padfoot," Sirius said, hesitating barely a fraction of a second before plunging ahead. "This is Harold."

"Pleasure, pleasure," Bowman answered, shaking Sirius' hand too. "Now, t'way we does it is, it's one sickle t'see t'cottage and three sickles t'get a speech by me, as has lived here since afore the Potters took t'cottage. One extra and I gives ye a basket t'pick yer own mangoes with." He pointed to a little metal box which was standing nearby. "No cameras, no touching anything in t'cottage, and t'money is strickly for upkeep and the like."

"You give tours of their house?" Harry demanded, finally finding his voice in outrage.

"Innat what you came t'see?" Bowman asked, complacently. "We treats it with respect, an' it's an education for t'kiddies as come from school to see it."

"Don't you think that's a bit...unseemly?" Sirius said, elbowing Harry in the ribs to shut him up.

Bowman seemed to give it actual consideration. "Can't see that it is, myself. Historical landmark and all. We doesn't charge the schoolkids," he added. "Say it's a sight more seemly than some as has come around wantin' to rent it. Now, that's morbid, I call it. No; I tells 'em it's not for rent. The Potters paid for a ten year lease and used up hardly a year anna half; but I says, tis young Harry Potter's right to the other eight anna half, and until he comes to either take back his money or take up living there, I'm not rentin' to nowt. Haven't got to; I owns the land and there's plenty of money in my vaults for my tobacco and t'missus' canning jars without we must be taking on renters again."

"So you knew them," Harry said, sounding a little less furious now. "James and Lily Potter."

"Oh aye," Bowman said. "A sweet young pair, if a leetle tempestuous now and agin. She had a fiery temper, she had, and he didn't half make mischief sometimes, but he was a good lad all in all. And never a man did dote on his boy more. That'd be young Harry Potter, what the papers say is the Chosen One. A handsome little lad he was, wandering round the garden in his nappies with his mum..."

Harry flushed red at this, but Bowman, off in some distant past, didn't notice. "She had him in this cottage with t'missus for a midwife -- "

" -- I'm surprised you didn't get made into preserves," Sirius whispered to Harry.

" -- and a very good job too," Bowman continued. "Lily said she wanted her baby growing up in a nice garden, see, which is why they moved here, though for what they paid they could've had a nice city house somewhere." He sniffed. "Can't find mangoes like mine in the city."

"We'd like two of the delux tours, please," Sirius said, nudging Harry again. Harry produced six sickles and put them in the box, mechanically. "And er, does your wife make mango jam?"

"That she does, that she does," the man chuckled. "Tour first, jam after!"

"He's right, you know," Sirius said, as they followed him across the tidy green lawn towards the cottage that Lily and James Potter had died in. "You really can't get mangoes like this anywhere else..."


Endnote: Lest anyone think I am wiser than I am, let it be known that the garbled entry in Sirius' journal is not of any deep meaning; it is merely a mildly modified multiple-language translation of: Ozymandias (Sirius), The Lovesong of J Alfred Prufrock (map-Remus), and What Lips My Lips Have Kissed (map-James).

  • Previous
  • Next