The Sugar Quill
Author: birgit (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: The Godfather Part II - Morals  Chapter: Chapter 2: Gone
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The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

Disclaimer: I'm just playing around with JK Rowling's characters, having a bit of fun while knowing that her stories are at least a hundred times more brilliant than mine.

Author's Note: Lots of thanks to the best beta readers in the world: CornedBee, Jo Wickaninnish and Whimsy!

The Godfather Part II – Morals

by Birgit

Chapter Two – Gone

It was a beautiful day in September. The sun glistened on the roofs of the houses in the small, quiet town, and Sirius greeted a few of his neighbours who were sitting outside in their gardens. Even though he was anxious to get home, he didn’t regret Apparating outside the town, as the ten-minute walk home was very enjoyable. He was looking forward to spending the rest of the afternoon with Harry in the garden. Perhaps they could go over to Remus’ to play Quidditch, as Harry certainly deserved a reward after spending an hour and a half alone at home, for the very first time in his life.

Whistling happily, Sirius crossed the wards protecting his house and stepped inside, looking around for Harry. The kitchen was empty, as were the hallway and the living room. The back door was locked, so Harry was not outside in the garden either. Sirius climbed the staircase and opened the door to Harry’s room. Empty. Fear creeping into his heart, Sirius checked his own bedroom, the bathroom, the spare room, the attic and even his office, which was a strictly prohibited area for Harry.

The house was empty. Harry was not there. Sirius ran down the stairs to the living room, as there was only one possibility left: Harry could have travelled to Remus’ by Floo powder, either because he didn’t like being alone or maybe just because he wanted to fly on his broomstick.

Sirius stuck his head in the fire, calling out Remus’ Floo address. He was starting to feel sick, and he knew it was not because of the spinning fire.

“Remus? Remus!” Sirius called as soon as his head had arrived in Remus’ fireplace.

Remus came running into the room. “Sirius? What –”

“Remus, is Harry there?” Sirius asked, cutting his friend off. As he saw his friend’s eyes widen, panic rose in him. Remus shook his head and said something, but Sirius didn’t hear. He pulled his head back through the fire and sat down on the hearthrug, staring at a picture on the wall. It showed Harry at age three, playing happily with his toy wand.

The fire turned green and Remus came out of it. He said something Sirius didn’t understand and then walked past him into the hallway. Half a minute later he came back with a glass of water. Sirius drank and felt his mind clear up.

“Remus, he didn’t even call in, did he?” he asked.

“No,” Remus said. “Are you sure he isn’t out in the town?”

“I asked him to leave a note if he went anywhere. There’s nothing. Besides, all his friends go to school now. They don’t get home until four.”

Remus nodded, his face grim. “I’m going to call Dumbledore and ask him to check the Floo Office at the Ministry. Floo information is all restricted, of course, but Dumbledore will find a way to get the information we need.”

“Why?” Sirius asked. “Do you think Harry used the Floo Network?”

“The wards aren’t breached,” Remus said. “So either Harry left by himself, or someone came through the fireplace to get him.”

Sirius felt the blood leave his face. It was almost impossible for someone to travel into the house by Floo powder uninvited, but without the usual security, which he had left off so Harry would be able to call Remus, it was not entirely impossible.

“Maybe Harry just went to visit – something,” Sirius whispered. “There are many places in the wizarding world he would like to go, but where he’s not allowed.”

“We’ll find out then,” Remus said briskly, taking a hand of Floo powder and throwing it into the fire.

It took ten minutes for Dumbledore to persuade the Ministry workers to give him the Floo Network information. The result, however, was encouraging: there had been no incoming uses of the Floo Network, and only one outgoing, to Diagon Alley.

Sirius allowed himself a small smile. “So the little brat is in Diagon Alley.” His face turned grim again as he continued, “I suppose he doesn’t have any idea of the danger he is in. Let’s go, Remus. We’ll have to find him, quickly, before someone else does.”

They went to Diagon Alley by Floo powder. In the middle of the crowded Floo House, a middle-aged wizard was watching the visitors with mild interest, his long legs stretched out beneath a large, wooden table. Sirius nodded to Remus and walked towards the man.

“Have you perhaps seen a small, dark-haired boy arriving?” he asked.

The wizard frowned, then nodded thoughtfully. “One without parents? Yes, about an hour ago. I tried to ask him why he was alone, but he ran away. I haven’t seen him since, but I suppose you already know that. You wouldn’t be looking for him if he had returned home again, would you?” He gave them a friendly smile, and Sirius bit back an angry reply. The Floo House Watcher didn’t know that this particular boy’s adventure was life-threatening, and Sirius knew better than to tell the man he had had Harry Potter in his Floo House.

“Where do we go?” Remus asked when they were outside.

Sirius stared at the shop opposite the Floo House without actually seeing it, his mind racing. Where did eight-year-olds usually go in Diagon Alley? Where would Harry go? Sirius had a fleeting vision of Harry rifling through Diagon Alley leaflets and knew the answer at once. “Quality Quidditch Supplies.”

Sirius barely noticed the odd looks people were giving him and Remus as they walked very fast down Diagon Alley in the direction of Gringotts. He did notice, however, every child they passed in the street. None of them was Harry. As the large green and yellow flag of Quality Quidditch Supplies came in sight, Sirius broke into a run, elbowing several people out of the way so he could take the shortest route.

He stopped dead at the threshold of the shop and registered within half a second that none of the children grouped around the newest racing broom was Harry, and that the shop was otherwise empty, as far as he could see. He slowly walked in, feeling Remus’ quickened breath on his neck. Maybe Harry was hiding behind that stack of protection gear, or sitting on the floor in front of the magazines. Together, Remus and Sirius searched the shop, but Harry wasn’t there. Feeling defeated, Sirius followed Remus, who approached the owner of the shop.

“Excuse me, sir,” Remus said, “have you perhaps seen a black-haired boy of around eight years old?”

The owner frowned thoughtfully, supporting his chin with his hand. “It hasn’t been busy today, but I remember a black-haired boy. Younger, though, around six, I think.”

“Was he alone?”

“Alone?” the owner asked surprised. “No, he was with his parents and his sister. There haven’t been any children in the shop alone.”

Sirius’ mouth fell open in horror as the implication of that statement hit him, but Remus tugged at his elbow and pulled him outside before speaking.

“He’s not been here,” Remus said, sounding worried.

Sirius stared into the distance without seeing anything. How could Harry not have been in Quality Quidditch Supplies? How could he have been in Diagon Alley for more than an hour without visiting the shop he had been longing to visit for years?

“It’s impossible,” he whispered. He turned back to Remus, feeling as if someone had emptied a bucket of icy water over him. “Do you think that someone has taken him?”

Remus ran a hand through his hair, his face grim. “We have to look in other places as well.”

They decided to split up. Remus would search for Harry in the two sweet shops and the magical pet shop. Sirius would try Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour, the magical toy shop and Gambol and Japes Wizarding Joke Shop.

“If I had seen a boy on his own in my shop, sir, I would have locked him up in my back room,” the salesman in the toy shop said haughtily, “and as soon as the father came to get the little brat, I would give him a severe talking-to about leaving his son alone to wreak havoc in shops.”

Sirius fought the urge to strangle the man, and instead turned his back on him and walked out of the shop without a thank-you. Resolving never to buy anything in that shop again, he marched over to Florean’s. Florean Fortescue was a lot friendlier and expressed his regret at not being able to help Sirius, as he had not seen any small, dark-haired boys in his parlour all day. Sirius remembered to thank him politely before running off to Gambol and Japes.

The inside of the joke shop was in state of chaos. In sharp contrast to the salesman of the toy shop, misters Gambol and Japes didn’t seem to mind children wreaking havoc at all. The shop smelled distinctly of Dungbombs, and a disgruntled mother was handing one of the owners several coins, while her daughter, looking sheepish, held an empty bag of Dungbombs. As Sirius made his way to the counter, he had to duck an Ever-Bashing Boomerang.

“Have you seen an eight-year-old boy with dark hair in your shop in the past few hours?” Sirius asked the owner. As he received nothing but a blank look, he added, “He was alone.”

The man shrugged as he skilfully caught a flying water balloon and threw it back in the box where it belonged. “I’m sorry, I really can’t remember. It’s quite busy here, you see.”

Sirius nodded, thanked the man and miraculously made his way out of the shop without any accidents.

He met Remus in front of Flourish and Blotts. His friend looked just as miserable as Sirius felt.

“No one has seen him,” Remus said. “No one.”

Sirius sat down on a bench. Now that he wasn’t doing anything useful and had just heard Remus’ confirmation, he was sick with worry. He buried his head in his hands as he thought of Harry, who could now be anywhere, if he was still alive. Someone had recognised the small boy and taken him away, and Sirius was left without any clue what to do to rescue the boy he cared more about than anyone in the world.

Author's Note: I hope you're still enjoying the story. Sorry about the cliffhangers, but I'm trying to compensate by updating fast. Thanks for reading!

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