The Sugar Quill
Author: The Saint  Story: No Place Like Home  Chapter: The Patron Saint of Orphans
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Chapter Two:

The Patron Saint of Orphans

She sat quietly on her perch, looking at her master’s sleeping face. Even at rest, she thought, he wasn’t getting the rest he needed. He awoke each morning more tired than the night before. Returning to this horrible place had only worsened his situation.

While they were at school, at least he had his friends to lighten his burden. Now, she was all he had. Granted, she would give her life to make his better, but there were limits to what she could do. Sure, he talked to her, but she had no effective way of responding. He needed others of his own kind for that.

She knew that he didn’t think that she saw that he always made sure that she had everything she needed to eat first, when his poor excuse for a family barely fed him enough to keep him alive. He had reached a crisis point and she had to see what she could do. She thought for a few moments and with a final look from the open window to his face, she took off, determined to help him in the only way she knew how.

Meanwhile, in Ottery St. Catchpole

Breakfast was, as a rule in the Weasley household, utter mayhem. The morning scramble to ready them for the day was louder than usual, as Molly had decided to make hot chocolate the Muggle way. It was Harry’s favorite, of course, and entirely out of season, but it made her feel a bit closer to him. She desperately wished that there were some way that she could bring him to the Burrow, to give him the mothering that he needed so badly. She had to wait until Dumbledore said it was safe, however, so a mug of out-of-season hot chocolate was as close as she would get to him for a while.

When George appeared at her side with that wide-eyed, innocent look on his face, she should have known something was up.

“Mum, isn’t it a bit warm for hot chocolate?” he asked with that same innocent tone.

“It may be for some, but I was thinking of Harry and wondered if the rest of you ungrateful lot might want some, too.” She said.

“I’ll take a mug, Mum,” responded her youngest a little too quickly. Ginny’s faced turned several shades of red in spite of all her efforts, as her mother and the twins turned to look at her. “It may be my favorite, too, you know,” she said in a less than convincing voice.

The twins both snickered and were rewarded for their teasing with a quick cuff upside the head by their mother. “Stop it,” she said, her eyes blazing. “We’re having hot chocolate in Harry’s honor, and that’s that. Now let me finish this in peace!” she said.

The wide-eyed twins responded with a somber “Yes Mum,” then gave each other a look that alerted Ginny that something was up. The feeling was confirmed when then simultaneously took two steps back, carefully watching their mother as she turned to stir the hot chocolate warming on the stove. Ginny became really alarmed when she saw the twins eyes grow even more enormous. This can’t be good, she thought. She quickly looked to see what their mother was doing. What could be harmful about putting marshmallows in with the cocoa? That would depend entirely on where the marshmallows came from, and she had a sick feeling that she knew where that was. She opened her mouth to warn her Mum, but it was too late.

A muffled boom, accompanied by a wet, splatting sound made Ginny catch her breath as she wondered just what the twins had done. The sight she witnessed as her mother turned around gave her a good idea of what they had been up to. Not wanting to encourage them by laughing at their mother’s goo-covered face, Ginny quickly ran into the living room. As she ran, Ginny heard her mother begin to bellow at the twins. “Exploding marshmallows? What genius thought that up?” In all fairness, Fred and George did try to look frightened. They succeeded for a few moments. It was a hard act to keep up when faced with a raging woman with fright-wig hair splattered liberally with white goo.

Ginny was still backing quickly into the living room when she bumped into someone. She jumped, but felt relief when she saw that it was her father.

“Dad,” Ginny said, “I need to talk to you.”

Arthur was in a hurry to get to work. “Ginny, can it wait until tonight when I get home? I have a million things to get done today,” he said. “Important things. Can’t afford to be late.” His resolve crumbled at the sight of her quivering lower lip. None of the others could get that one to work on me, he thought.

“Okay,” he said. “Make it quick.”

“I’ve done something bad,” she said. “You’re the only one who can fix it.”

Arthur, being accustomed to the antics of the twins, braced himself for the worst. “What is it, Gin?”

Ginny finally released the breath that she had been holding. “Daddy, you know that robe that Mum bought for Charlie?”

“Of course,” he said. “She bought it for him to take back to Romania with him. She was worried that he would be cold.” He was afraid to even imagine where this was leading.

“Well, you know Charlie already had that fur-lined Dragon hide one that one of his lady friends had given him, so he didn’t really need it,” Ginny said “So Mum ended up not giving it to him.”

“Ginny, I fail to see why Charlie’s robe is important enough to make me late for work…”

“Dad, when Mum decided to not give it to him, Ron owled her and said that he knew someone that needed it much more, since he had so many restless nights and didn’t have a decent robe to keep him warm” she said, her voice beginning to quiver. “Of course, Mum knew that he meant Harry. She waited to give it to him until he was ready to go back with the Dursley’s at the train station. I had completely forgotten the charm that I had placed on it until it was too late, now Harry and I both will be expelled…” Ginny could no longer hold back the tears that had been threatening all morning.

Arthur enclosed his youngest in a tender embrace and reassured her that things would be all right. “It can’t be as bad as all that, little one,” he said, trying to calm her. “What exactly did you do to the robe?”

“Daddy, honestly, I didn’t do it because of some old crush I have on Harry. I put the charm on for Charlie. I never meant it for Harry, but I sent him the incantation for the charm, thinking he could get more use out of it than…” Ginny continued in a rush.

Her father wasn’t used to his baby being so talkative. “Honey, I take it that you are worried that Harry will be expelled for use of magic outside of school?” Ginny nodded, tears still trickling down her face. “What was the charm?”

“Well,” began Ginny. “Constituo Adquieso. I picked it for Charlie, because he was so far from the Burrow and I thought he would sleep better at night if he felt a little closer to home. Then when Mum decided to give it to Harry, I just figured he could get a lot of use out of it, too. I even sent him the incantation and didn’t think about getting in trouble until last night. I deserve to be punished for being so stupid, Daddy, but after all that Harry has been through, he shouldn’t be.”

Arthur was relieved that she hadn’t taken to the naughtiness that the twins seemed to thrive on. “Ginny, don’t worry. The charm is certainly not a noticeable one, especially not now with everything that is going on. But, if it will put your mind at ease, I will let the monitors in the Illegal Magical Use department know what is going on. I can guarantee that neither of you will be in trouble, all right? Just watch what you do from now on, though. There are bad people out there that would take advantage of your feelings for Harry if they knew.”

“But Daddy, I don’t have feelings for Harry. I…” Arthur interrupted her with a quick kiss on the forehead, and a gentle, knowing smile. “Darling, just get on with your day and don’t worry about it any more. Harry will be here as soon as Albus will let him come.”

With that, he caught the attention of his wife, who was in the middle of a tirade directed at the twins. As she turned and he saw her disheveled appearance, he didn’t have to wonder much what the dressing-down was about. “Molly,” he said suppressing a giggle, “I’m off. I’ll be a bit late, so don’t wait supper on me.” With a small pop, he was gone, Apparated to the office.

Ron chose this moment to appear in the kitchen. “What’s going on, or do I need to ask?”

His mother was in no mood to be teased. “If I find out that you had anything to do with this, Ron, you’ll get the same punishment as these two.”

“Mum, I don’t even know what you are talking about,” Ron said, at first a bit confused. One good look at his mother and he realized what had happened. Slowly, he turned to look at the twins. “And exactly which of you flat-headed gits had the bright idea to booby-trap the marshmallows for mum?”

“Honestly, Ronniekins,” George said in a perfectly logical tone, “Who drinks hot chocolate year round? No one except for our dear pal Harry. You know as well as I do that it‘s been ages since we‘ve caught him with one of the Wheezes.”

“It‘s like Trelawney‘s been teaching him how to sniff the jokes out,” Fred said. “When have you ever seen him turn into a canary? Never! It‘s just not right. We decided that we would do the marshmallows. We didn’t figure anyone would use them till he got here anyway. “

The twins were doing their best to look contrite. “Honest, Mum, we‘d never do something like that to you,” George said in a pleading tone. “What Harry needs right now is a good laugh.”

They waited expectantly to see if their reasoning would save them from some awful punishment. Molly‘s face softened slightly. “Well,” she said slowly, “I suppose if you did it for him, I will excuse you…” she said as the twins‘ faces relaxed considerably. “After you de-gnome the garden, that is.”

Immediately, their faces fell, but they realized that things could have been much worse.

Ron crossed the kitchen to inspect the rapidly burning mess in the pot on the stove. “I think this stuff is done for, Mum.” As he turned once again to look at his mother, he saw the familiar white form of Hedwig flying toward the kitchen window.

“Harry!” he exclaimed. “I hope everything’s all right. He doesn’t usually write this quickly.”

Everyone in the room waited as Hedwig approached the back door of the Burrow. Ron noticed that she didn’t have a note in the carrier attached to her leg.

“Something must be wrong. She doesn’t have a note.” He quickly opened the door, allowing the snowy owl to enter. She flew about wildly, not wanting to land on Ron’s arm, but when Ginny suddenly raised her arm to tuck a wayward strand of hair behind her ear, Hedwig settled quietly onto it.

“What in the world is going on?” bellowed Ron, who was offended that Hedwig apparently preferred Ginny to him.

Ginny was as puzzled as her brother was. “I don’t know,” she said. “She has never acted like this around me before.”

Hedwig’s wide, questioning eyes continued to blink as she looked at each person in the kitchen in turn. She knew that these people could bring comfort to her master, but how could she let them know how miserable he had been? She sensed that this girl wanted to help and thought she had the best chance of understanding. As Hedwig looked down at the comfortable old dressing gown that the girl wore, she thought that maybe she could get the message across that way. She had seen her master wear one, so maybe the girl might somehow make the connection…

With this thought in mind, Hedwig began to frantically peck at the dressing gown that Ginny wore. While the others at first thought that Hedwig was trying to hurt Ginny, Ginny realized that Hedwig was trying to tell her something. “What is it, girl?” Ginny asked gently. “Is Harry in trouble, does he need our help?”

Hedwig abruptly stopped her pecking and flew at Ron, squawking loudly. Ron held his arm up for her to land on, but Hedwig seemed only interested in grabbing the Chudley Cannon’s Monthly out of his hand. As she tore at the cover, she flew back out the kitchen door. The Weasleys followed her out, trying to keep her from leaving.

“Something’s wrong, Mum,” Ginny said in a watery voice. “I just know it. She was trying to tell me something but I can’t figure out what.”

Ginny continued to rub at the spot on the arm of her robe where Hedwig had been pecking at her, when an idea began to form in her head. Harry’s robe, of course. “I think I know what Hedwig was trying to tell us, Mum, but I want to tell you in private,” she said.

Molly, eager to do anything for Harry, pulled Ginny back into the house. She rounded on the boys, who were still standing in the yard, just outside the door. “Well, off with you. I wasn’t joking about the de-gnoming. It has been ages since it’s been done.”

“But Mum, I didn’t have anything to do with all this,” Ron said with a start.

“Well, then, Mr. Weasley, get yourself out there and make sure they get the job done,” Molly said in an exasperated tone.

As the boys headed for the garden, Ginny began the story of the robe and what she thought they could do for Harry.

Meanwhile, at the home of Remus Lupin…

The man with the unkempt, shaggy black hair that wandered into Remus Lupin’s kitchen was obviously not a morning person. As he blindly staggered into the room, he tilted his head back and looked through his squinting eyes to locate a chair to sit in. It was as if the very act of opening his eyes was too much effort to put into his morning. Finally locating a chair that looked like it would support his weight, he unceremoniously flopped down into it.

“Morning,” Sirius said to his companion.

Remus considered his disheveled appearance for a moment before commenting. “There is a fully functioning bath at the end of the hall, you know. Full of clean towels, plenty of water, soap…” he said, hoping that Sirius would take the hint. When it became apparent that the idea hadn’t quite taken hold, he continued.

“Get cleaned up, and we can go to the tavern in town for a butterbeer later.”

Amazing how one simple phrase could have such a profound effect on a person.

“That would be wonderful,” Sirius said as he sat up so quickly that he almost toppled out of his chair. Realizing the impossibility of the venture, however, forced him to resume his former posture. “Nice try,” he said in a defeated tone. “You know I can’t go. Too much of a chance of someone recognizing me.”

Remus merely grinned. “I have the perfect solution. Actually, I should say the perfect potion. Polyjuice, to be exact.”

“You know that takes weeks to brew,” Sirius said. “I don’t feel like waiting a couple of weeks for a pint with the boys down at the pub!”

“I realize that brewing potions is not my greatest strength, but even I had the sense to see this situation coming and started brewing a batch almost a month ago,” Remus said. “It should be ready tomorrow night. Think you’ll still be game for a Butterbeer by then?”

Sirius shook his head in disbelief. “Moony, leave it to you to be thinking that far ahead. Just who am I going to become, though?”

“We’ll you’re not going to believe this, but…” Remus broke off abruptly as he noticed movement out the back window.

Sirius turned in the direction of Remus’ gaze. “What going on?” he asked, noticing the puzzled look on his friend’s face.

“Unless I am seriously mistaken, Harry’s owl is on its way.” he said. Sirius moved quickly to open the door, but Remus held him back.

“Let me,” he said.

Sirius strained against his friend’s hand. “ I have to know what is going on,” Sirius said. “After what that boy has been through…you know how closed off he has been. If he’s writing this soon after going back to that miserable excuse for a home, you know that something has to be wrong.”

“That’s just it,” Remus said. “I don’t think Harry has written. Hedwig doesn’t have a note.” Just then, Remus reached out to open the back door. Hedwig flew straight to the kitchen table, pacing back and forth as the two men tried to figure out what was going on.

“Great Merlin, Moony, you don’t think that--that they’ve gotten to him already, do you?” Sirius said in a choked voice.

Remus cocked his head to the side, studying Hedwig’s feet. “I am sure he’s safe, Padfoot. We would know if something had happened. I think we may have some sort of message after all,” he said as he reached for the orange scrap of paper he saw clutched in Hedwig’s claw. She obligingly held the scrap up for Remus to grab.

“What does it say?” Sirius asked anxiously.

“Nothing, really. It appears to be an orange scrap of paper,” he said as he studied it.

Something about it seemed familiar, but he couldn‘t quite pin down what it was. When he turned it over, he could make out the top half of the lettering on what must have been the cover. He quickly assessed that it had once said Chudley Cannons Monthly. A paper that surely didn’t have a wide circulation. Why did it seem so familiar? Suddenly, a memory from his year of teaching at Hogwarts flashed into his mind. He remembered sitting in a deserted classroom with Harry, trying to conjure an effective Patronus. Harry had made several attempts, which had not been very successful, but had weakened him nonetheless. Lupin had decided it was time for a break.

“Sit down, Harry,” Lupin had said, concern filling his eyes. “The strength of the happy memory is key to the strength of the Patronus that is conjured. Perhaps we need to go over some happy memories before we try this again. Lupin and Harry had discussed their own happy memories, eventually turning the conversation to happy memories of those around them. Harry’s description of Ron’s ultimate happy memory was of the Chudley Cannons winning a championship. They had both had dissolved in laughter as Harry had commented that Ron would have to travel a hundred years in the past to conjure his Patronus. Perhaps it hadn’t been right to laugh at what had to be a very painful subject for Ron, but Lupin had been immensely relieved to finally hear such laughter coming from Harry.

“This is part of the cover of Chudley Cannons Monthly, so I believe at least part of our mystery is solved.” Sirius looked at him inquiringly. “Ron Weasley is one of what I would guess to be only about half a dozen subscribers to this particular magazine. I would like to bet that Harry’s little friend here has been to visit the Burrow. Perhaps the Weasleys might be able to shed a little light on the situation.”

Remus walked toward his fireplace, a thoughtful look on his face. He glanced at the sundial out in the yard. The way things have been at the ministry, I am sure that Arthur is already at work. Molly and the kids are bound to be home. They would be more likely to know what is going on,” he said decisively. He pulled a jar of a glittery looking substance and threw a pinch into the fire.

“Molly!” he said loudly. “Remus Lupin here. I was wondering if I might have a word?”

Molly raced to her own fireplace, Ginny still in tow. “Professor Lupin!” Ginny squealed. “Something awful has happened.”

“Have you heard from Harry?” Molly said, as happy to see the professor as Ginny was.

“No, I haven’t seen him, but Hedwig’s just arrived here with the front page of Ron’s magazine in her claw,” he said. “I am assuming you were her last stop. We - I mean I - was hoping you might have an idea what is going on.”

“Oh, no,” Molly wailed. “She showed up here a bit ago with no note. Seemed a bit agitated, wouldn’t settle down anywhere till Ginny put out her arm. Then she did the oddest thing…”

“What?” Lupin asked. “Anything might give us a clue about what’s going on.”

“Well,” Molly began, “she started pecking at the sleeve of Ginny’s robe. We thought Hedwig was trying to hurt her, but Ginny is sure that she was trying to tell her something.”

“It could very well be,” Lupin said. “Ginny, do you have any idea at all what it could have been?”

“To make a long story short, I don’t think the Muggles are treating him right.” Ginny said. “I think if he were in danger, Hedwig would have found an clearer way of telling us.”

“I think you are probably on the right track, Ginny,” the professor said. “What was it about Hedwig’s behavior makes you think this?”

“Well,” Ginny said as her face began to turn as red as her hair, “Hedwig seemed fascinated with my robe. I thought at first she was hungry and wanted something to eat, but I realized that she had chosen me somehow to give a message to. I knew for sure because Ron was right there and she refused to go to him. I have never even petted Hedwig. I didn’t think she would know who I was. I knew there had to be something else to it.”

“Ginny, I don’t mean to sound impatient,” Lupin said, “but what does all this have to do with your robe?”

“Well,” she said. “It’s not like I could read her mind, but I could almost tell that she knew that I had something to do with Harry’s robe. Mom gave it to him you see, but I put a charm on it to make him feel closer to us here…”

“Virginia Weasley!” Molly said, startled. “How could you have done something like that without telling me? You could have gotten yourself and Harry into trouble!”

“But Mum, I put the charm on for Charlie, so he would feel closer to home at night when he put it on.” Ginny said. “I didn’t know that it would end up going to Harry. I just sent him the incantation for the charm later after Mum gave it to him at the train station.”

“Don’t either of you upset yourselves over this,” Lupin said. “I think the wisest thing for us to do would be to contact Dumbledore about what has happened. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Hedwig was headed there anyway. Harry’s family doesn’t know what he has been through and I am sure that he won’t tell them. He needs special help after all that he has been through, and I don’t think the Muggles can provide that.”

“Poor Harry,” Molly cried. “I want to go over to that house and snatch him away from those heathens and baby him like he deserves to be. Do you think it would do any good to ask Albus if he can come yet?”

“Well,” the professor began uncertainly, “Let me contact him. I have some other things to discuss with him. Maybe we can formulate some kind of plan. I will let you know as soon as we have something figured out. Meanwhile, send him something, anything, to cheer him up. Just don’t let on that we are planning anything. I have just had an idea of what can be done, but I wouldn’t want to disappoint him if things fall through.”

“Of course,” Molly said. “ I’ll send him some home-baked goodies. Maybe that will help.”

“Molly, I’m sure it will.” Lupin said. “Hopefully, it won’t be long before we can get him out of there and back where he belongs. I’d better get on with our game plan then. Ginny, if you would do me one little favor before we go?”

“Anything, Professor,” Ginny said.

“When you let the rest of the family know what is going on, pull Ron aside and tell him that Snuffles knows everything, too and might be able to help”

Ginny looked confused. “Snuffles?”

“Don’t worry,” Lupin said. “Ron will understand. Just sit tight while Professor Dumbledore and I get some sort of plan together. And Ginny? The charm was a thoughtful thing of you to do. I wish I had thought of it.”

At this, Ginny once again turned red. “Yes, Professor.”

With a small popping sound, Lupin’s image disappeared from the fireplace. Molly turned to Ginny. “Well, we have a busy day ahead of us in the kitchen. I assume you won’t mind helping me?”

“Of course not, Mum, I just wish there was a way we could send him a mug of hot chocolate.”

“Maybe there is, Gin, maybe there is!” Molly said.

Remus, his conversation with Molly concluded, turned back to Sirius with a troubled expression on his face.

“You look worried,” Sirius said. “I thought you said you just had an idea about what to do?”

“I have,” he said. “I am just thinking that we shouldn’t undertake something so important without contacting Dumbledore first.”

“Well, let’s get on with it, then” Sirius said impatiently. “Time’s wasting and Harry doesn’t deserve to sit in that awful place anymore.”

“I agree, Sirius,” he said. “This will take some planning. We can’t just go in and snatch him. The Muggles tend to notice that kind of thing.”

With that, Lupin threw another bit of the glittery substance into the fireplace, calling out Dumbledore’s name at the same time. The sight that greeted his eyes as Dumbledore came into view did not surprise him at all.

“Professor Lupin,” Dumbledore said with a slight chuckle. “I assume this is not a social call. I also have the feeling that it might have something to do with my surprise visitor here.” As he said this, he gestured to the proud snowy owl comfortably perched on his arm.

Lupin breathed a sigh of relief. “Of course, I thought she might be headed there,” he said. “But I wasn’t sure. Hedwig has been making the rounds of all Harry’s friends. It has us all quite stirred up. What do you suppose has happened?”

“Well, the surest way would be to go and check on him,” Dumbledore said. “but that could turn out to be a tricky undertaking. We have to think things out, because the Muggles, while not overly fond of Harry, provide him with protection and take every opportunity to make him unhappy.”

“Yes, I know.” he said. “I have had an idea, though, that I think you may not quite approve of.”

“I know how your mind works, Remus,” Dumbledore said. “and I think I have an idea of what your plan may be. I think you will find that I am so disapproving as you might think. Some changes will have to be made, if you see what I mean, but I think that, in the end, it will be beneficial for all concerned. I assume that Sirius is there with you?”

“Yes,” Lupin said. “He has been wanting to talk to you.”

An extremely agitated Sirius stepped in front of the fire. “Please let me go and get him out of there. Something bad is going on. I know it. I can’t just sit back and let him suffer like this.”

“Sirius, I need you to listen to me, and promise that you will abide by whatever decision I make,” Dumbledore said gravely. “There are many things more than Harry’s discomfort that we need to consider here.”

Sirius felt his throat tighten with frustration. In his mind, there was only one logical resolution for this situation. He realized he was thinking with his heart and not his head though, and knew that had almost always led him into trouble in the past.

He bowed his head in resignation. “I know. I’ll do whatever is best for Harry.”

“Sirius,” Dumbledore said, “no need for you to be so glum. I promise you that you will have a role to play in whatever we do for him. You may not see this now, but I care for him as much as you do. I count you all as members of my family.”

Sirius nodded his head, tears stinging his eyes. “I’ll do whatever you say. I just don’t want him to hurt anymore.”

Dumbledore nodded his head in agreement. “Neither do I, Sirius. Will you do me a big favor now? This may seem trivial to you at the moment, but Remus will explain to you when you get back.”

“Of course, “ Sirius said. “Anything you say. I’d be glad to have something useful to do to keep me busy.”

“Well, then,” Dumbledore said, “I would like you to gather as many pictures, mementos, trinkets or whatever from your school days. A journal filled with any memories concerning James and Lily and of course yourselves would be helpful. See if you can work up a journaling charms and perhaps place any memories that you might deem appropriate for Harry in a book. Can you do that for me?”

“Yes, of course I can,” Sirius said. “I don’t understand how this will help, though.”

Dumbledore held up a hand to silence him. “On the contrary, it will be of utmost importance when the time comes. You are the perfect person for the job I have in mind.”

Sirius nodded his head and left the room, giving Remus a doubtful look as he went

Remus turned back to the fire. “As I said, I doubt that you will approve of my plan, but I can think of no other solution at the moment.”

“I am sure that my reaction will not be as negative as you expect,” Dumbledore said. “Just tell me what you have come up with and we can proceed from there.”

“Well, some weeks ago when I knew that Sirius would be coming here, I anticipated that he might develop a case of cabin fever if forced to stay indoors for any amount of time, especially after, well, you know,” Lupin hesitated. “Anyway, I though brewing up Polyjuice Potion would be a simple way for him to get out and escape detection. Of course, after what happened with Moody, if you are nervous about the plan, I will understand.”

“Let me hear the rest of it before I make my decision,” Dumbledore said. “I have the feeling that the best part of this is yet to come.”

“Well,” Lupin said with a small chuckle, “I think it is. You see, I thought that Sirius would be the most logical choice to send in to check on Harry. Not only would it ease Harry’s mind, it would help Sirius immensely. He feels that he is not being of use. I think this would be the perfect opportunity to deal with two problems at once. We will have to think of some sort of cover story that the Muggles will believe, of course, but I really think this could work.”

“It definitely has possibilities,” Dumbledore said. “ I am concerned more about Sirius’ reaction than I am about Harry’s at this point. I don’t think that Harry has told Sirius quite how badly his family has treated him. If Sirius were to learn just how miserable his upbringing has been, I fear that he will let his heart control his actions instead of his head.”

“I know,” Lupin said. “I am worried too, but I think the benefits far exceed the risks. I believe that Sirius will do what is best for Harry, no matter what his personal feelings are. He speaks constantly of the obligation that he feels toward James and Lily, still. I think, given the proper disguise and cover story, we can do this.”

“Very well,” the older wizard said. “I trust your judgement. Just who did you have in mind to disguise him as?”

“Well,” Lupin said, “I mean no offense to any of my former colleagues at Hogwarts, but I believe that there is a certain teacher on staff there that would be even less pleased with this disguise than I am sure Sirius will be…”

To be continued…

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