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The Marauder Path

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Sirius Black sighed as he looked around the entrance of his family home. It was clear his dear old mum had really lost the plot in her final years. It was blatantly obvious from the elf heads that hung in the hall. Those hadn’t been there when he had left, although it did explain why the house was such a mess. Originally there had been 6 elves that had cared for the place and those who inhabited it.

“YOU!”

Sirius jumped and spun around, reaching for a wand that wasn’t there when he heard an all to familiar voice screech. Upon closer inspection of his surroundings he saw a life-size portrait.

“Hello mummy dearest. Aren’t you happy to see me?” Sirius grinned at the painted woman.

There was a pop and an old house elf in a disgustingly dirty pillowcase was glaring up at him. “Disgrace of the Black name has returned. Broke his mother’s heart he did. Always was such a nasty little child. No manners at all. You is not welcome here master.”

Sirius smiled larger as he saw horror on both of their faces.

“What was that Kreacher? Who am I?”

“M…M…Master.” Kreacher whimpered.

“No he is not. I refuse to allow him to be the master of this house.” The painting shrieked.

“You have no choice in this, your just the painting of a dead woman. Didn’t grandfather tell you mummy dearest. He named me his heir after Regulus showed up as dead on the family tapestry. Apparently he felt that I had chosen the right side in the war and as such I was to get the spoils. But then again I am also the last male member of the direct line of the Black family so it’s mine anyways.”

“I disowned you.” She screamed at him.

“True, but as we all know the Black family is a patriarchy, and you have never been the head of the family. Grandfather just let you run on about disowning me, but he gave me permission to move in with James.

Kreacher, why is this house such a mess?”

Kreacher shuffled his feet and glanced at his mothers portrait.

“She is not in charge, I am. From this point on, I, Sirius Orion Black, Heir and presumptive Lord of House Black claim you, Kreacher, as my elf.”

There was a slight glow around the elf and Sirius could then feel the bond. He was stunned at just how damaged Kreacher was. He had barely any magic and both his body and mind had been damaged severely by something.

“Kreacher must obey.” The elf grumbled.

“I order you to never tell anyone my location without my permission. I order you to never share my secrets with anyone without my permission. But most importantly, I order you to go and clean my room and prepare my bed. After that you will clean my fathers old office.”

“Yes master.”

Sirius sighed as the elf popped away. He hated this place, but he had no other choice. His godson needed him. He had failed the boy more times then he would cared to think about, but he forced himself to do it anyway.

After the loss of his parents Sirius had surrendered him to Hagrid and gone after the rat. He had trusted that Dumbledore would keep him safe until he could get back, but he had trusted the wrong man. After escaping Azkaban he had followed his godfather bond to Harry, but rather then a happy teenager he saw a to thin child fleeing from relatives that clearly hated him.

Over the year he watched the boy as often as he could without getting distracted by the  intermittent insanity from the dementors. At that age James had been loud and boisterous, always laughing about something. Lily had been focused, always with books around her, but a joyful girl that was almost always smiling. Harry was neither of those things. He was serious and brooding, it was like he had the weight of the world on his skinny shoulders.

What did it say about a childs home life that he would be ecstatic about moving in with a man that he had thought had assisted in the murder of his parents less than 20 minutes before. It just wasn’t right. Sirius had wanted to take the boy and flee, showing him what a real family was, but he had had to leave alone.

A life on the run was no life for the boy, he deserved better. In the end Sirius had had to leave the boy behind again, once again to the care of Dumbledore.

Sirius had traveled south for weeks, it had taken every ounce of strength to not turn around and go and kidnap Harry. Like him, Remus had also been forced to leave the country while the public got over his furry little problem so he had come to join Sirius. 

This had been extremely beneficial to Sirius because Remus was always the best at handling Sirius when he was in a crazy mood. Remus managed to arrange for him to get a few rounds of dementor recovery treatments. Even now he still kept a few on hand just in case, although he was almost fully recovered, he hadn’t lost time in four months. 

Remus had also been able to get him to talk about his feelings, they had ended up trading one for one. Sirius had never really realized just how hard life was for Remus, or the self hate issues that came as a result. Like him, Remus was furious with himself for not being there for Harry. He had sent him letters and presents when he could, but Harry had never written back so Remus had just given up.

Seeing Harry the year he had taught Remus had come to the same conclusion as Sirius, Harry was abused. Except Remus had even more information since he hadn’t been hiding as a dog. Through subtle questioning he learned that Harry was treated differently not only by the students, but by the teachers as well. All the staff had expected Harry to be like his parents and when he wasn’t they were disappointed, a fact that Remus said they didn’t even try to hide. They had also punished him differently. It was literally written in the teachers handbook that the first time a student was caught out of bed after curfew they could lose a maximum of 10 points but it was recommended to just give a warning. Remus had been furious when he was flipping through the points ledger to see that McGonagall had taken 50 from Harry and his friends and also assigned them a detention.

To Sirius’s mind it seemed that no one in their world just saw Harry, a kid, they saw an image that they had created and then punished the boy when he didn’t measure up. If Lily and James were alive when this happened they would burn those fools at the stake for daring to treat their little boy like that, and Sirius planned to do so for them.

There was a reason he had returned to the home he had hated, and that was to take control. At the end of the last school year Harry had been forced to bear witness to the murder of a friend, the rebirth of the monster that murdered his parents, dual the monster, be tortured by the monster, and see the echos of his parents. Then, after all that, Albus bloody Dumbledore had the audacity to return him to his hateful relatives without ever getting him any emotional support.

That was something that Sirius was not going to take lying down.

Dumbledore had requested that he and the others get in touch with all the old Order of the Phoenix members so they could get to work. That was where Sirius came in. The Black home had some of the strongest wards imaginable, so Sirius was going to arrange for it to become the headquarters, in exchange he would demand that they allow Harry to live there since it would be the safest place.

Sirius knew that it wasn’t going to be that easy, but he wasn’t going to give up on Harry ever again. From this point on Harry would come first, no matter what.

 


 

The next morning when he got up Sirius found Fawkes sitting at the foot of his bed. “Well, what is it? What does the manipulative old codger want?”

Fawkes gave him a reproachful look but dropped a letter and flashed away

 

Sirius my dear boy, I have arranged for our first official meeting to be held at Hestia Jones’s house beginning at 4pm. The floo address is Hestia’s Home. If you would please arrive 5 minutes late or so, so that I can make sure everyone knows you are innocent that would be wonderful.

See you soon,

Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore

 

Sirius growled at the letter, sounding very much like his animigus. The man had known he was innocent for over a year and had never even bothered to tell anyone else. of course not, because then Sirius wouldn’t have been so isolated.

Getting up Sirius pulled out some of his old clothes that had for some reason remained after he had run away. He was honestly surprised his mother hadn’t gutted the room.

After getting dressed he went to his fathers old office. He was pleased to find it spotless. 

“Kreacher.”

“Master calls?”

“Yes Kreacher. Is there any food for breakfast?”

“There is some bread and preserves that has been under preservation.”

“That will have to do. Please bring that up here. After that I want you to clean yourself, put on a freshly laundered pillow case, this is not to be considered clothes, and go and get some basic supplies from an elf market. You can take the money from the vault in the basement. And, I do hope I don’t need to remind you that you are not to tell anyone that I’m here.”

“Kreacher understands.” With that the elf popped out, the food appearing in front of Sirius a few seconds later.

Sitting down Sirius made quick work of the food. Once he was relatively full he opened one of the cabinets and pulled out the old family wands. His was still in ministry custody so he needed a new one. He had considered buying one while he was away but his magic had been so unstable he wasn’t sure if he would even be able to use it, then there was the fact that wand makers were required to do a check to ensure the person they were selling to is allowed to own a wand. An escaped man would immediately fail any check and aurors would have been called.

Moving his hand over the box a few times he felt a pull. Picking up the wand he saw the tag said it had been his great great grandfathers wand, ironically Sirius had been named after the man. The wand wasn’t an exact fit, but it would be more than good enough for anything he needed.

Pulling out some parchment Sirius got to work on his plan.