Author's Note: Hello everyone, welcome to my little version of the wonderful world of Harry Potter. Many thanks to Paula (a.k.a. Firebolt909) for her wonderful beta suggestions.
This chapter is in honor of Risa, Shinou, Washuu, or whatever she's decided to call herself today. Without her love and support, I would have never committed to any sort of fanfiction, let alone the fandoms in which I dabble.
Disclaimer: If I owned it…I wouldn't be publishing it here.
Happy sixteenth birthday. James asked me to give you this should anything ever happen to him and well…obviously something did, and anyway…
Sirius crumpled up the paper, irritated that he couldn't even write a sentence that made sense. Hmph. Maybe he should just go ahead and write the blasted thing and then write the letter to Harry. There was a sharp knock on the door.
He was staying at Remus Lupin's house for the summer, and it looked as if it might turn out to be an even longer visit. He had been cleared of all charges by the Ministry, but there wasn't anywhere he could get a job that he knew of, so he was sort of stuck.
"Sirius? What are you doing?" He turned and faced a worried looking Remus. I shouldn't wonder he's looking worried. Look at this mess. I must have thrown out at least 25 letters…
"Remember when James…?" His voice trailed off. "Well, you know when James asked us to make sure Harry knew what really happened between Lily and him… Tell him all about Prongs and all that?" Remus nodded, still confused.
"Well, an owl sent me this today, when I was eating breakfast," he said and shoved a piece of parchment underneath of Remus's nose.
"What is it?"
"It's from Prongs." Remus shook his head in disbelief.
"Somebody's pulling something over on you…"
"No. It's sealed with James' Marauder's Mark. You know- his personal stamp."
"Yes, of course I remember. We each had our own," he said crossly.
"Right. There was only one for each individual. And only that particular person could use the stamp, remember?"
"I haven't gone completely daft, Sirius." He turned the folded paper over and sure enough, there was the antlers and JP symbol with the Potter ivy growing around it. The Prongs stamp. He unfurled the paper and suddenly words started to appear.
Padfoot and Moony!
Dear friends, how absolutely spiffing to get to write you again, only I'm afraid that this time there is no Dungbomb enclosed, as Lily said that it would be improper to include one in such a serious letter. (She always spoils my fun)
I have a request to make. I'm sure that the both of you are taking great care of Harry, but there is something you must tell him. I understand that it is probably painful for you to talk about Lily and me, but he must know the truth. Between Severus Snape and Lucius Malfoy (who will both try to come into contact with Harry, I am quite sure) he will never get a chance to know what really happened at Hogwarts that year.
I know that you, in particular, Sirius, do not believe the prophecy, but you must tell him. It is in his best interest. That it what we all want, after all.
If you received this letter what we all feared has happened, and I (as well as Lily) am dead at the moment. Harry needs to know all about the Potters, and no one knows more about them than you, Sirius. He also needs to know about the prophecy and how to defend himself, and that's your area of expertise, Remus. Please, I implore you, help your old friend Prongs this one last time. Harry means the world to Lily and I and we cannot bear the thought of anything happening to him.
See you all…hopefully sometime!
Remus's mouth dropped open in surprise. "Wait a minute," he stuttered, "he doesn't mention Wormtail anywhere."
"That's because if he was dead, Wormtail would have leaked. Or anyway, that's what James would have assumed," Sirius said.
"Are you going to tell him all about this?" Remus asked.
"I don't think so. I think I'm going to apply for that job at Hogwarts."
"James wanted us to tell him about the prophecy," Remus objected.
"That prophecy is a load of rubbish," Sirius said and ran a hand back through his dark hair.
"Why is Voldemort so interested in the Potters, then?" Remus countered.
"They're powerful, rich, and Lily and James were on to him. Why not go after them?" Remus narrowed his eyes.
"There's more to it than that, and you know it." Sirius just shook his head and threw some powder onto the fire.
"Albus Dumbledore," he said loudly and clearly.
"You mean to tell me that he just called you out of the blue and asked for the job?" Minerva McGonagall was having a bit of trouble believing that Sirius Black would do something so ridiculous.
"Yes. I mean exactly what I said," Professor Dumbledore responded, a little tired of this line of questioning.
"He's going to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts? I thought Remus was going to do that again."
"Only if we couldn't get someone else to fill the position," he said firmly.
"Aren't some of the parents going to make a stink about Sirius Black teaching their children?"
"Honestly, Minerva, if I didn't know any better I would think that you don't want him teaching here." She sighed.
"Just remember all the trouble he caused when he was here. What kind of teacher would he be?" Dumbledore laughed.
"Surely you're not basing your opinion of him on the boy you knew twenty years ago? You've met him since then. You know he's changed."
"I know it's just that with Harry here and all…"
"That's why Sirius is here: to keep an extra eye on Harry. We can never have too
many people here looking after him. Voldermort is increasing his efforts. Twenty Muggles dead today, all with connections to the wizarding world, and the Muggle police have no leads. The bodies all look suspiciously like they've had one of the Unforgiveables put on them." Professor McGonagall shook her head and breathed in shaky gulp of air.
"I was hoping that it would be all over when Harry survived."
"We all were. Mrs. Weasley sent me a letter today," Dumbledore said briskly.
"Oh?" McGonagall wasn't going to say any more than that Dumbledore saw, so he continued.
"She was asking me if it would be okay for Harry to come spend a month or so with them." The head of Gryffindor House shook her head slightly.
"It's your decision, Headmaster," she said formally.
"Well, what do you think?"
"I don't know that it's safe, but those Muggles he's staying with are just horrible, and they get worse every year. I can hardly believe she's related to Lily." Her eyes filled with tears, and Dumbledore thought that she was in serious danger of crying.
"We all know how much Lily meant to you, Minerva. Perhaps you could spend your summer holidays with the Weasleys. You have, after all, remained in touch with them, I suppose. All seven of them are in Gryffindor, and those twins… I'm certain they'd love to have you."
"They invited me?"
"Yes. You all haven't had a chance to visit without me there in such a long time that Molly thought it would be nice. Of course, she didn't say it that way in the letter, but that's the way it came out."
"Don't you think it will be weird for the children to have a Professor visiting their house over the summer?" Dumbledore grinned.
"I'm sure that Harry and Ron will think of something that will make it not so awkward. Besides, I understand that Ms. Granger will be visiting at the same time, so they will hardly be around. The other advantage to you going is that Voldemort won't attack with Molly, Arthur, you and all the boys home."
"All of the Weasley boys are coming home for the summer?"
"I suspect it's going to be slightly crowded at the Burrow," Dumbledore said and his eyes twinkled.