The owl, which was carrying a large parcel, swooped in through the open window of The Burrow's kitchen as Adam and the Weasley family were eating breakfast. Adam ignored it; he never received any post. However, several minutes later, the owl was still circling the room as if searching for someone to deliver the parcel to.
"What's up with that owl?" Ron asked irritably, as he stood up and held out his arm towards the owl.
The owl immediately flew down and perched on his arm.
"I never thought it would be that easy," he said in a surprised tone, as he examined the package. "Oh, it's for you, Adam."
"What? Me?" Adam said, jumping up in surprise.
"Here you go," replied Ron, passing the parcel over the table to Adam.
Adam examined the parcel. It was wrapped in brown paper and felt soft. Attached to the outside of the package was an envelope that was addressed to him. Adam opened the envelope. Inside was another envelope with a short note scrawled on it.
Adam, open in private.
Adam quickly placed the envelope back inside the outer one. He looked up to see the Weasleys looking at him curiously.
"Oh, it's—erm—only some clothes I left at school," Adam replied as he shoved the package under his seat.
As quickly as he could, Adam finished his breakfast, dashed upstairs to his room and sat down on the bed. He wanted to find out what was in that parcel. He opened both envelopes, took out the sheet of parchment that was inside and started reading.
Dear Harry, This letter may well come as a surprise to you, but I wanted to wish you a Happy Birthday. For today, July 31st, is your birthday. Your full date of birth is 31st July 1980. I have also enclosed something that your father left with me before he died. I believe he would have wanted you to have it. Additionally, your godfather, Sirius, has asked if you can visit him over the summer. I have agreed to his request and I will ask an Auror friend of mine, Nymphadora Tonks, to come and bring you to him. She is aware of Sirius' situation; however, she is not aware of your identity. She will be coming for you next Saturday. I will write to the Weasleys to inform them of your trip; I will inform them that we are doing some research into locating some distant relatives of yours. The fact that you will leave The Burrow with an Auror will lend credence to this. I will meet with you upon your return to Hogwarts on September 1st. Regards, Albus Dumbledore
Adam gripped the letter tightly in his hand, feeling his anger at Professor Dumbledore surfacing again. I have a godfather! Yet another thing that Dumbledore has kept from me!
As he sat there fuming to himself, a knock on the door disturbed him.
"Come in," he said tensely as he shoved the letter under his pillow.
Ginny slipped in through the door and closed it behind her. She sat down on the bed next to Adam.
"So what was really in the parcel?" she asked.
Adam passed her the note that Professor Dumbledore had written. He watched her reactions carefully as she read the letter; they flickered between surprise, annoyance and finally anger.
"He really does like keeping secrets and telling you what to do, doesn't he?" said Ginny bitterly.
"Yeah," Adam responded angrily, glad that Ginny agreed with him. "First, he finally decides to tell me that Sirius is actually my godfather, then he generously agrees that I can see him!"
"I can't believe he didn't tell you!" Ginny responded in a quieter voice, as she lowered her head and began reading the letter again.
"I know," Adam growled. "Why didn't he tell me! Sirius was sitting right there in the room!"
"Adam," Ginny began, her voice softening. "You did sort-of storm out...."
Adam suddenly felt himself deflate at Ginny's words. Maybe she was right? Maybe they were going to tell him, but he stormed out of the room before they could?
"Isn't it kind-of cool to have a godfather, though?" Ginny added softly.
Adam turned to look at her, and felt the last of his anger draining away. "Especially one who's a wanted criminal," he replied with a chuckle.
"I know," Ginny gave a short laugh. "But nothing's ever normal for you, eh?"
"Nope," Adam replied tiredly.
"You'll go and see him, then?" Ginny questioned, after a short silence.
"Yeah," Adam replied, feeling himself smiling slightly. "I will. It may be fun and I bet he'll be able to tell me more about my parents."
"Do you reckon I can come with you on one of your visits?" Ginny asked, slightly hesitantly.
"I'll have to ask Sirius, I guess," Adam replied.
"And I'll have to ask my mum," Ginny finished with a sigh.
They sat in silence for a few seconds while Ginny peered again at the letter.
"So," Ginny said, looking back up at Adam, "Happy Birthday, I guess."
Adam grinned. "Thanks. I guess I'm lucky that I get two."
"So, you're a year older than me," Ginny said quietly.
"Yeah, I guess so," Adam replied.
"Well, I reckon I knew that. I mean, I knew that Harry Potter was born a year before me, but somehow I didn't tie that up with you."
Adam put his arm around Ginny's shoulders and pulled her close.
"If they try, I'll refuse," he said.
Ginny wrapped her arms around his middle and gave him a hug. "Thanks! I'd be so lonely without you in classes."
They sat there for several minutes, simply enjoying the close contact between them.
"What was it that Professor Dumbledore sent you, by the way?" Ginny asked, suddenly breaking the silence.
"Oh, I didn't open it," Adam replied. He'd been so focused on the letter he'd almost forgotten about the parcel.
Ginny uncoiled her arms from around Adam, lent across the bed and passed the parcel to Adam.
Adam ripped off the paper. Inside, there was a large silvery grey piece of cloth; it seemed to shimmer as Adam ran his fingers through it. He pulled it out of the parcel as Ginny leaned over to look at it.
"It's a cloak!" she exclaimed. "Go on! Put it on!"
Adam grabbed the cloak and pulled it on so it covered his entire body apart from his head. Ginny suddenly burst out in laughter.
"What?" Adam asked.
"Y-Y-You're just—" she laughed, "—just a floating head!"
Adam looked down. He couldn't see his body. He frantically moved his hands and patted himself down. His body was still there, he just couldn't see it.
"How?" Adam asked in amazement.
"It must be an Invisibility Cloak!" Ginny exclaimed. "They're so rare, I've never seen one!"
"Do you want a go?" Adam asked, pulling the Cloak off.
Ginny squealed in excitement and pulled it on. Soon, there was just a floating Ginny-head in the air in front of Adam, her long hair flowing down over where her body would have been, if he could see it.
"Wow!" Adam exclaimed.
Ginny twirled around in the Cloak, her hair fanning out around her floating head. She giggled.
"This is awesome!" she cried.
A sudden knock on the door made them jump. Ginny put one finger to her lips and pulled the Cloak over her head, disappearing from sight.
"Come in," Adam said.
Mrs Weasley poked her head in through the door.
"Hello, dear, I'm just wondering if you've seen Ginny?" she asked. Adam could see her eyes scanning the room.
"N-N-No, I haven't, Mrs. Weasley," Adam said. He felt a tiny bit guilty about lying to her, but he couldn't exactly tell her that Ginny was currently invisible.
"Oh, okay," Mrs Weasley replied. "Oh, by the way, I had a letter from Professor Dumbledore this morning, about him wanting to do some research to see if you had any extended family."
"Yeah," Adam replied. "I had the same. Apparently, I'm going with an Auror next Saturday."
Mrs Weasley nodded. "Yes," she paused. "You do know you're always welcome here though, Adam."
"I know," Adam paused. "Mrs. Weasley, I can never thank you enough for all you've done for me," he finished awkwardly.
"You don't have to thank us, dear," Mrs Weasley replied, with a wide smile on her face. "Now, I'll leave you to it."
Once Mrs Weasley had left the room, Adam scanned the room, looking for any sign of where Ginny might have gone.
"Ginny?" he called.
"Ginny?" he called again. Perhaps she had left the room.
Suddenly, an invisible set of arms grabbed him across his chest and pulled him backwards. Taken by surprise, Adam fell backwards and landed on top of an invisible person. He heard Ginny giggling. So he turned over and tried desperately to grab her invisible arms which were busy trying to tickle him. After several seconds of frantic wrestling, Adam was able to pin down her arms and grab hold of the top of the Cloak. He pulled it back to reveal Ginny's face, which was plastered with a massive grin.
"I surrender!" she giggled.
Adam stared into Ginny's eyes, blushing as he realised the position the two of them were in.
"Go on," Ginny said with a smile.
"Your mum..." Adam said hesitantly.
"She knows I'm not in here."
Adam couldn't fault Ginny's logic. So he kissed her.
Once they broke apart, Ginny exclaimed gleefully. "We could get into so much trouble with this Cloak!"
Tonks August 5th 1995
Tonks approached the front door of The Burrow. Sirius had told her that the Weasley family lived here, as did the kid, Adam, that she had been sent to fetch. When she reached the house, Tonks knocked on the front door. A minute or so later, the door opened to reveal a slightly plump woman who had red hair and was about the same height as Tonks.
"Hi," Tonks began.
"Oh, you must be Nymphadora," the woman exclaimed. "Professor Dumbledore told us you would be coming."
Why did Professor Dumbledore always insist on introducing her by her full name?
"Do come in. My name is Molly Weasley. I'll just get Adam for you," the woman replied as she held the door open for Tonks.
Tonks followed Molly into the kitchen and waited patiently by the large table that dominated the room.
"ADAM!!" she heard Molly shouting up the stairs.
A few minutes later, Molly and two teenagers came into the kitchen, a boy and a girl. The girl was obviously a Weasley; her long red hair was her most distinctive feature. The boy was a couple of inches taller than the girl. He had short, very light brown hair and wore glasses.
"Adam?" she asked.
"Yes, erm…" he hesitated.
"Just call me Tonks," Tonks replied with a smile. The boy looked strangely nervous.
"Okay," he replied.
"Shall we go then?" Tonks asked.
"What time will you be back?" Molly asked.
"By dinner time, I'd expect," Tonks replied, glancing at her watch. "But we better get going."
"Have you ever Side-Along-Apparated before?" Tonks asked Adam, as they left the house and began walking towards the perimeter of the property.
He shook his head.
"Okay, take my arm. It'll feel like you're being squeezed through a tube."
Adam took her arm and Tonks promptly Disapparated to Grimmauld Place.
They reappeared with a pop in the small park opposite Sirius' house and Adam promptly fell to his knees, breathing heavily.
"Whoa," he said shakily.
Tonks giggled. "It does take a bit of getting used to," she said as she helped Adam to his feet.
"Where are we?" Adam asked.
"We're near his house," Tonks replied, deliberately keeping her answer vague so they couldn't be overheard.
Tonks rummaged in her pockets and withdrew a slip of paper, which she showed to Adam.
"Read it and remember it," she told him.
Once Adam was finished, Tonks put the paper away securely in her pocket; she would need to give it back to Sirius. Professor Dumbledore had, for Sirius' protection, placed the house under the Fidelius Charm.
"Right let's go in," Tonks said, as she led Adam across the street.
Once the entered the house, Tonks noticed that Adam was looking around warily. Sirius had done a bit of cleaning up, but his efforts had mainly focused on the kitchen and his bedroom. His enthusiasm seemed to soon dim when it came to cleaning any of the other rooms.
Tonks led Adam down the stairs to the kitchen where she expected Sirius would be. She pushed open the door and Sirius leapt up from where he was sitting at the table reading the paper.
"Tonks!" he exclaimed. "Adam! Welcome to my home. Please, sit down."
Tonks noticed that Sirius seemed incredibly pleased to see the boy. She wondered what exactly Sirius' relationship with the boy was.
"Tonks," Sirius said hesitantly, "would... would you..."
"I'll head upstairs and do some more cleaning," Tonks said brightly. She wanted to avoid the embarrassment of Sirius asking her leave. Albus had asked her not to ask any questions and she wouldn't. She was used to restricted information in her job and this was no different.
Tonks headed back to the hallway. It badly needed cleaning up and she felt it was a very bad first impression of the building, as had been proved by Adam's earlier reaction. Her first task was to levitate the incredibly ugly troll's foot umbrella stand into one of the corners so it was out of the way. I'm not tripping over that thing again! she thought triumphantly. And who uses umbrellas anyway!
With the offending umbrella stand out of the way, Tonks began banishing the piles of muck and dust that littered the floor.
A short time later, she was disturbed by a light knock on the door. She took out her wand and approached it cautiously. She didn't know who else, apart from her, Sirius, Albus —and now Adam — knew the secret.
When Tonks cautiously opened the door, she saw a man on the other side. He was several inches taller than she and had light brown hair which was sprinkled slightly with a nice tinge of grey.
"Uh, hi," he said awkwardly, blushing slightly. He obviously hadn't expected her to answer the door.
"Hi," she replied lamely, amazed that she was blushing back slightly as well. How old are you, Tonks? Fifteen!?
"Hi," he said again and extended his hand. "Remus Lupin. I'm a friend of Padfoot."
"Oh, hi," she shook his hand. "Nymphadora Tonks, but I'm just Tonks."
They stood there for a second.
"What am I doing?" Tonks exclaimed. "Come in, come in!"
Remus stepped inside the house and Tonks closed the door behind him.
"So, Tonks," Remus began, "what brings you here?"
"Oh, I brought this kid, Adam, to see Sirius. Albus asked me to help Sirius out."
"I'm Sirius' cousin," blurted Tonks.
"Shall we go and join Sirius and Adam then?" Remus suggested.
"Erm… it seemed to me as if he and Sirius were having a private conversation."
"Oh," said Remus. "Let's give them some space then." Remus seemed to be looking awkwardly around the room. "So, tell me a bit about yourself then, Tonks?" Remus chuckled. "Have you been trying to domesticate Sirius? "
Adam August 5th 1995
"So how's your summer been so far?" Sirius asked, once Tonks had left the room.
"Alright, I suppose. I've finished some of my homework. Oh, and the Weasleys had a birthday party for me!" Adam said, smiling at the memory of that day.
Sirius grinned back at him.
"I have something for your birthday as well. I didn't send it. I—er—wanted to give it to you myself. To be honest, it's a present from Remus too, really. He helped me loads with it," Sirius paused. "Sorry. I'm rambling."
"Thanks, Sirius," Adam replied with a smile.
Sirius went to a shelf in the kitchen and retrieved a wrapped parcel. He placed it in front of Adam.
Adam tore the paper off eagerly. Inside was a leather-bound book. Adam opened the book and looked on the first page. On the page was a large picture of a man, a woman and a small child. It was a wizarding photo, so the people in it were moving. The man and the woman both placed a kiss on the head of the small boy and then hugged each other. The woman had long dark red hair, the man had messy black hair and glasses, and the boy had short black hair.
"That's you and your parents," Sirius added gently.
Adam continued to stare at the photo. He ran his thumb slowly over his mum and dad's faces and then, finally, stared at his own.
"My hair," he commented.
"What?" Sirius questioned.
"My hair is a different colour."
"Yeah," Sirius agreed uncertainly.
Adam continued to look through the photo album. He saw many pictures of his parents, ranging in age from their time at Hogwarts to some taken only weeks before they were killed. Sirius, Remus and even Peter were in several photos.
"T-T-Thank you... thank you so much!" Adam exclaimed, once he had finished. He immediately turned back to the first page; he couldn't take his eyes off the photos.
"It's yours to keep, so you can look through it as much as you like. I've charmed it so only you'll be able to open it. Make sure to close it when you're finished," Sirius informed him.
"Thank you," Adam said again. He was still flicking through the album, drinking in the images of himself with his parents. "This is so amazing! I've no memories of them at all. I-I-I can't thank you enough."
"It's no problem, Adam," Sirius replied.
"I-I-I've been such an arse about all this. It can't be easy for you guys knowing that I'm alive after all this time," Adam confessed.
"You had every right to behave like you did. It must have been a massive shock for you. I was incredibly angry with Albus and Remus when I found out they had kept it from you, even if it was to protect you."
An awkward silence fell between the two of them.
"Sirius," a familiar voice called from the doorway behind Adam.
Adam spun around and saw Professor Lupin standing in the doorway.
"Come in, Remus!" Sirius exclaimed.
"Hi, Har—" Professor Lupin began, but Adam saw Sirius glare at him. "Sorry, Adam. What did you think of the photos?"
"They're wonderful, thank you, Professor," Adam replied. He felt genuinely grateful, despite the anger he still felt towards Professor Lupin for hiding the truth from him.
"It's no problem, Adam," he chuckled slightly. "I'm not your professor anymore so if you want to call me Remus that's fine."
"Okay, Pro- er, Remus," Adam replied.
"I have something for you as well, Adam," Professor Lupin replied.
Adam saw Sirius look at Professor Lupin curiously. It seemed Sirius didn't know about this present.
Professor Lupin rummaged in his pocket, and pulled out another parcel wrapped in brown paper.
Adam felt the parcel. It was soft and rather small. What could it be? He ripped open the paper and pulled out a tiny blue blanket. He stared at it, puzzled.
"Is that—?!" Sirius exclaimed.
"Yes," replied Professor Lupin with a smile.
"What is it?" Adam asked.
"That's the blanket you were wrapped in when you were found," Professor Lupin replied.
"Oh," Adam said numbly. What was he supposed to do with it? "Thanks," he said after a pause. It was nice to have, but it didn't even begin to compare to the photos.
They sat there in uncomfortable silence for several minutes. Finally, Adam folded up the blanket and turned his attention back to the photos.
"Now, I was thinking, if you want to ask us anything about your mum and dad, we will answer your questions as best we can," said Sirius, breaking the silence.
Adam nodded. He was feeling slightly uncomfortable now with Sirius and Professor Lupin looking at him intently.
"I want to know what happened that night. Why did Voldemort attack us?" Adam asked. He was surprised when Sirius and Remus both flinched at the name.
Sirius was the first to speak. "Well, when I reached your house... half of the side of it was missing. James was dead in the living room. Lily was... Lily...” Sirius swallowed. "I'm sorry, there wasn't much... much left of your mother and no trace whatsoever of you. Your room was practically destroyed. It was like someone had set off a large explosion in there. There was hardly anything left of your mum or You-Know-Who. You were so small. We thought...." Sirius rubbed his eyes. "We thought... there was nothing left of you at all," Sirius paused. "I was the only one who knew that Peter was the Secret Keeper. I knew he had to have had something to do with it. So I went off after him and — well, I think you know the rest."
"But why did he attack us?" Adam questioned.
Sirius looked blankly back at him.
"Professor?" Adam asked.
"I-I don't know," Professor Lupin replied. "We knew he was after them, but why...."
"You don't know," Adam finished softly.
"I'm sorry," replied Sirius. "Your best bet would be to talk to Professor Dumbledore."
"I will," Adam replied coldly.
Another awkward silence fell in the room.
"Well, shall we have some tea and a bite to eat?" Sirius asked, breaking the silence. He stood up and started bustling around the kitchen.
"Shall we invite Tonks down? I think the serious conversations are done for the day," Professor Lupin suggested.
"Sure," Adam replied and Professor Lupin quickly left the room.
Soon Professor Lupin and Tonks returned and the four of them sat around the table in the kitchen. Adam was torn. He was partly relieved to not have to discuss his past anymore, but he was still desperately curious about his parents; what were they like and why had they been killed? However, it seemed that some of the answers he wanted neither Remus nor Sirius were able to give.
Ginny August 10th 1995
Ginny bounced down the stairs. She was getting excited now. Tomorrow was her birthday! She reached the kitchen to find that, as usual, Adam was already up and had made a start on his breakfast.
"Morning," Ginny said brightly.
"Morning," Adam grunted in reply. He was still focused on his breakfast.
"Morning, dear," said mum.
Ginny sat down next to Adam and tucked into her breakfast. She gave him a nudge.
Adam turned and grinned at her.
"You're lively this morning," he said.
"It's my birthday tomorrow!" Ginny exclaimed.
Adam clapped his hand to his mouth. "Oh, no! I forgot!" he cried with a wink.
Adam's antics caused Ginny to smile. He had been a lot livelier recently, so much improved from his depressed state at the beginning of the holidays.
Over the last couple of days, they had spent hours together looking through the album that Sirius had given him. Ginny was amazed at the sheer amount of pleasure that just looking at the photos brought Adam. She supposed it was only natural, since he'd not known anything about his parents all his life and now, in comparison, he had a treasure trove of information about them. Much to Ginny's delight Adam had also showed her the photos of him as a baby. He was so cute!
"Stop it, you two!" Mum said suddenly.
Ginny turned to face her mum and blushed. Mum was looking at her and Adam with a strange expression on her face. Turning back to her plate, Ginny tucked into her breakfast.
Ginny had finished her breakfast before any of the other boys had even arrived at the table. While she and Adam were cleaning up their plates, an owl flew in through the kitchen window and Mum quickly grabbed the set of envelopes that were attached to the owl's leg.
"Hogwarts letters!" she exclaimed. "Ginny, go and get the others up. Tell them their Hogwarts letters are here."
Ginny ran to the foot of the stairs and shouted up. "Ron, Fred, George! Hogwarts letters!" She listened for a few minutes and, satisfied that she could hear movement up the stairs, she returned to the kitchen.
Adam was already opening and reading through his Hogwarts letter when she returned. She slid into her chair again and did the same. Soon they were joined by Fred, George and Ron, who also eagerly grabbed their letters and ripped them open.
"Nothing unusual this year," Adam commented when he had finished reading.
A strangled cough from Ron attracted Ginny's attention. She turned to face her brother to see that he was holding a golden badge in the shape of the letter P. He looked horrified.
"Ron! A prefect!" Mum exclaimed with an excited squeal and wrapped Ron in a hug.
"Nice one, Ron!" Ginny exclaimed and hugged her brother.
"Nice one, mate," Adam added.
"Oh no," Fred exclaimed. "Our Ronnie! One of our own, a prefect! How will we cope?"
"Shut it, Fred," Ron replied, now with a large smile on his face.
Ron was still twirling the badge in his hand. It still seemed as if he couldn't believe he had been made a prefect.
"I wonder who the girl fifth-year prefect is?" Fred asked with a wink.
"Yeah, who'd you reckon?" Ron asked.
"Hermione!" she cried. "Really, who else could it be?"
"Oh," Ron replied blushing slightly. "I suppose I could write to her and find out."
"What a brilliant idea, Ron. You can invite her to come over for a few days as well, if you want," added Mum.
"Oh, erm. Yes, er. Yes, I will," Ron spluttered, and he dashed out of the kitchen.
"When are those two just going to snog?" Ginny asked the table at large.
The twins and Adam burst out in laughter.
"Ginny!" Mum scolded her. "Be nice to your brother!"
Even though she had scolded her, Ginny couldn't help but notice that a smile had formed on her mum's face.