CHAPTER TEN: WIZENGAMOT ACTS
“Good Morning Lords and Ladies, Heads of Departments and the public, welcome to the last Wizengamot session of the summer season. After this, we shall have a three-week recess before the winter season begins,” Tiberius Ogden, Chief Warlock, laid out for the packed chambers. Courtroom ten, usually known as the Wizengamot chambers, was full. However, Ogden was at the centre with Fudge to his left and Madam Bones as Head of the DMLE on his right. The room had been reconfigured, so they sat in the centre of the room with the scribe next to them, making notes. On the one side was the full Wizengamot, the four occupied chairs of the Ancient and Noble Houses with their Heirs sat at their feet.
Behind them were the remaining Ancient houses where Tiberius noticed the Weasley seat was once more taken but with a much younger man than Arthur Weasley. Behind them were the Noble families. The Order of Merlin members was next (with former Chief Warlock Dumbledore in his seat), then finally the heads of each major department. The rest of the room was made up of the public, with one section dedicated to the Press.
“I will remind you all this is a Wizengamot session. Only those of the Wizengamot or experts invited by Wizengamot members may speak. If the public galleries cannot control themselves, I will make this a closed session,” Ogden warned them sternly, “Now, Scribe, do you have any public announcements?”
“Yes, Sir,” Tiberius realised it was another Weasley, “After fourteen years, the House of Black rejoins this august body with the 15th Duke of Anglia, His Grace Sirius Black.”
“Welcome, Sir,” Ogden tipped his hat to the man in welcome.
“His Grace, The Duke of Anglia, would like to announce his heir and firstborn Lord Harry Anteres Black, 10th Marquess of Rendlesham,” Weasley continued on, this getting a cheer from some in the public gallery. Ogden bought his gavel down. “Next, the Ministry of Magic would like to introduce Educational Decree twenty-two: to ensure that, in the event of the current Headmaster being unable to provide a candidate for a teaching post, the Ministry should select an appropriate person. Senior Undersecretary Delores Umbridge will take the Defence Against the Arts position in the coming academic year.”
“Minister,” Ogden invited the man to speak.
“Unfortunately, Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has had several years of inefficient teachers in regards to Defence Against the Dark Arts, it is our hope the Ministry can step in and provide a stable learning environment that will lead Hogwarts to become the best school in Europe with regards to Defence Against the Dark Arts,” Minister Fudge finished his speech. Still, no one missed the snort in the silence that followed. Harry got a cuff around the head for it.
“Thank you, Minister, for a most illuminating speech,” Ogden spoke almost sarcastically as he met the eye of Griselda Marchbanks, the Head of the Department of Education and Family Services, “Now before we begin our scheduled topics does anybody wish to declare anything?”
“Chief Warlock, I would like to declare the Potter Chair and vote Extant until such time an investigation can be completed as to where the Potter House should be merged,” Sirius stood up to address the man.
“I object!” Viscountess Fawley, Head of a neutral House, spoke up.
“Your Grace, can you provide more information?” Tiberius suggested. He hoped to get this finished quickly because he knew the first topic scheduled for today would be a long one.
“Baron James Potter died without a living heir, everyone thought my son was the last heir of Potter, but as you can now see, that is no longer true,” Sirius explained, touching Harry’s head. “Therefore, no one should be voting in the Potter seat until it’s decided which House Potter should be merged with,”
“Granted, I shall send a representative to Gringotts and the Department of Heritage to find out what we can about the House of Potter. Hopefully, we should have a report prepared by the Winter Session,” the Chief Warlock nodded then looked to Dedalus Diggle, “Master Diggle, we thank and excuse you as the Potter Proxy, you may leave.”
The small man nodded eagerly, happily hopping off the chair; he exited the chambers as everyone looked on. Inside, Dumbledore was seething; how dare that upstart lose him a vote on the Wizengamot. Admittedly it was only one vote, but sometimes one vote changed the course of history.
“Right, now our first scheduled topic of the day is the Muggle-born Act of 1995, briefly introduced in the last Wizengamot session. Today we shall be reviewing it, making any amendments then voting on it. If it voted through the Act shall be ratified and come into law on September first 1995,” Tiberius announced. “As Mister Corban Yaxley is the master behind the law, he will talk us through it.”
“Thank you, it is my pleasure to speak in front of such an august body,” Harry stiffened as he looked at the blond; he recognised the voice from the Graveyard just a few months ago. He was also the proxy for the LeStranges on the Wizengamot. “Wizards are superior to muggles in all ways. Though we may be smaller in number, our way of life is far superior to those of Muggles. How then does Muggle-born’s come by their magic if no proven Wizarding ancestry exists? Thus we must conclude the Muggle-born has obtained their magic by theft or force.
The Muggle-born Act of 1995 will set up a Muggle-born Registration Commission to register all the Muggle-born’s in our society; we hope to protect all those of long Wizarding lines and their magic. We hope to bring into effect a new set of laws regarding Muggle-borns; they shall not be permitted to gather in magical spaces such as Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley; Muggle-born’s wands will have to be doubly registered with the committee. Jobs must first and foremost go to the purer lines and the half-bloods; Labourer and menial jobs shall now be attended by Muggle-borns if they wish to remain in our society.
Any minor under the age of sixteen shall be apprenticed to a pure-blood family to learn about Magical society and their place in society. There shall be fines or imprisonment in Azkaban for breaking these rules,” Yaxley continued, “and finally, those deemed to be helping Muggle-born through financial assistance, marriage or charity will also face fines or imprisonment.”
Harry sat back absolutely shocked; he remembered reading about American history and something called Black Codes, which was basically slavery but by another name. This new law was the complete and absolute slavery of muggle-borns. As his thoughts come back to the present, he began to hear the counter-arguments for the proposed Act. Both sides of the Act wheeled out ‘experts’ and pleaded their case. Several hours later, the Chief Warlock finally banged his gavel down.
“We shall a 90-minute recess, now that we have heard each side we will listen to the proposed Amendments, then vote whether the Act should go through this Wizengamot and be ratified,” He banged down again, and the session ended. Before Harry could speak, Sirius had grabbed his robes.
“Don’t say a word until I say,” Sirius hissed, then become the epitome of a pure-blood. Smiling and nodding, Sirius led his son through the crowds then into a private corridor that had an Auror stationed in front of it. They passed a couple of doors until they reached one, which had the Black family crest on it. Sirius pushed the door open and pulled Harry in. Remus and Narcissa were already in the room. Before Harry could say anything, there was a knock on the door. Remus allowed entrance to Augusta Longbottom and Amelia Bones though Harry noticed an exchange of smiles between Sirius and the stern Bones. He raised an eyebrow at his father but got a death glare instead. He would be having fun with that later, he thought, as Sirius held a hand up.
“Hræfen,” He spoke, and a maroon fire raced around the room walls and the door. “We can now speak freely without being overheard,”
“What the hell was that?” Remus exploded; Harry had never seen him so angry, “That is slavery by any other name.”
“I agree-“ Sirius started but was interrupted by a knock on the door. He quickly cut the spell, opening the door so the person outside could not see in.
“Your Grace, I have someone that would like a meeting with you,” The Auror said, then revealed Minerva McGonagall.
“Come in,” he invited the Scottish women in, then as the Auror turned his back, he whispered, “Obliviate.”
“What was that?” Harry asked as he closed the door and once again warded it.
“We don’t want anyone knowing the Deputy Headmistress of Hogwart’s is in a meeting with Black, Longbottom and Bones,” Sirius explained.
“You would be correct,” McGonagall stated, for once agreeing with the action.
“So, what are you doing here?” Harry asked, a little too cheekily. The Gryffindor Head gave him a slight glare.
“This cannot happen! If this Act goes through unhindered, we are condemning any young Muggle-born to slavery and a life of destitution,”
“I agree with you. Unfortunately, we cannot do anything for past years except get them a family that will treat them right. But the newest batch of Muggle-born coming this year, we may have a chance of helping or sending them to allies across the pond,” Black explained.
“You’ve thought about this,” Narcissa spoke up.
“I was given the literature a week ago, I’ve been in contact with several people in America, but I wasn’t sure on the numbers we were looking at here,” Black looked to his old teacher.
“We have forty-three incoming students; of them, there are only eight from Muggle-born families, including one who lived close to you, Harry,” McGonagall looked at the boy.
“Mark Evans,” Harry grinned real wide when he realised the small boy he used to protect was a wizard.
“Yes, he was such a polite boy when I visited him last week,” the Scottish woman had thoroughly enjoyed that visit, “I think we could persuade three of the others to leave the country; they did not have many ties. A fourth wants to come to Hogwart’s at all costs; she was our scholarship student, the fifth and sixth were orphans. However, the last one is going to be the biggest problem, Cepheus Granger.” Professor McGonagall took in the exchange of looks between Narcissa, Remus and Sirius. “What?”
“Do you not think Cepheus is a bit of an odd name for a Muggle-born?” Sirius suggested lightly. He had finally taken the potion that retrieved his memories a few days before and had remembered a lot more than any of them had expected.
“I grant you it’s an odd name, but then so is Hermione; I expected her parents to name their second child something strange,” she admitted.
“We think Cepheus might be Sirius second-born child,” Remus finally told the assembled group, which got different reactions.
“You have another child?” this came from Amelia Bones.
“I’m not sure entirely, but a second trust vault was started eleven years ago, and I had relations with Holly Du Vere while in Azkaban,” Sirius started, “Hermione also gets fuzzy when she tries to recall telling Ron and Harry about her little brother,”
“That’s circumstantial at best,” Bones spoke like the law-enforcement officer she was.
“I know every child on the address list; it did not say, Cepheus Black,” Minerva was firm.
“Could it have been tampered with?” Bones asked.
“What about the Register?” Madam Longbottom spoke up.
“What’s the Register?” Harry asked, curious.
“On their birth, every magical child is registered in a special book in Hogwart’s, the address list usually comes from that, but it’s not infallible. However, the book has so many charms it cannot be corrupted, but it can only be opened every September first where it has a duplication charm so I may read out the new first-year student’s names.”
“So we won’t know until September First?” Remus asked.
“Not for definite, no,” Sirius answered for her.
“We won’t have to worry about the minors for six months if this goes through, anyway,” Madam Bones suggested.
“Why?” Augusta leant forward.
“Because the Muggle-Born Registration committee will have to be set up, there will be protocols to be put in place; I’m going to try push for independent representatives from the DMLE to visit any Houses that took on a minor child. I have already considered Arthur Weasley as the head of the new department,” Bones told them.
“That is clever, I’ll back that,” Sirius laughed at the audacity of the DMLE.
“Even with six months, the biggest problem is going to be Hermione Granger. She will still be considered a minor; her close friendship means she’s in real danger from the darker element of the Wizengamot,” McGonagall was reluctant to suggest it. Still, she was worried about her favourite student.
“Don’t worry, we already have a plan for that,” Sirius said with a big grin on his face; Harry did not like the look of that grin,
“Your Grace, Recess is over, and everyone is being called back to the Wizengamot.” Someone knocked on the door. None of the group had realised how long they had been talking. Amelia Bones, Minerva McGonagall, and Narcissa disillusioned themselves before slipping out the door. Regent Longbottom had no qualm about people seeing the new alliance between their families.
“We are now back in the last summer session of nineteen ninety-five. Before we recessed, we heard the proposed Muggle-born Act of 1995. Would anybody like to table any amendments to it?” Tiberius Ogden restarted the Wizengamot session.“The Duke of Anglia is recognised.”
“Thank you, Tiberius, under the Wizard Council, and it’s amendments, the Wizengamot are not permitted to put into a law that affects who the Noble Houses marry,” Sirius emanated power and authority, looking like the Duke he was. “The Wizengamot has already restricted the Houses by putting into effect the Anti-werewolf Legislation Act 1993.”
“Because they are dangerous beasts,” Madame Umbridge’s voice rang out.
“You are not a Wizengamot member; please do not speak, or I will have you removed,” Ogden snapped at the women.
“I propose the Muggle-born Act be amended to allow for the chance that they can be rehabilitated by the noble Lords and Ladies of this land, only Muggle-born’s shall be fined or imprisoned for breaking our esteemed laws,” Sirius played to the pure-blood crowd, who had settled back now wondering if this Duke was more like his recent relatives than they had initially thought.
“Honey, we’re home,” Harry’s voice rang out through the parlour. He led Sirius, Remus and Narcissa into the drawing-room where Draco and Hermione joined them.
“You’ve been gone all day; we expected you back hours ago,” Hermione commented, sipping from the tea, one of the house-elf’s had left. She frowned at the creature but decided now wasn’t the right moment to say anything.
“Well, what happened?” Draco prompted them.
“Harry was announced as my heir, and the Potter chair was placed under investigation.” Harry tried not to grin as Hermione looked between the three adults, knowing that she wanted to know about the Muggle-born Act.
“And what about the Muggle-born Act?” she finally couldn’t help herself. She had read the proposed Act and was absolutely disgusted by it. Sirius glared at his son, flicking him a Galleon in the process. Hermione looked between the two of them, confused.
“You bet on Granger?” Draco laughed out loud. Hermione harrumphed, folding her arms together. Harry thought she looked cute when she was angry.
“The Muggle-born Act of 1995 was ratified with twenty-seven voting against it, twenty-nine for it and four abstaining,” Remus shared, knowing the girl was getting frustrated.
“That is absolutely disgusting; it’s sla-“ Hermione was cut off in her tirade by Sirius.
“We were able to get some amendments in place that protects Mundane-borns,”
“You would be proud Draco; Dad was every bit the Slytherin he should be. He played them like fiddles,” Harry crowed; Sirius looked at the boy with pride.
“What amendment’s?” Hermione was not to be deterred or ignored.
“It’ll take some time to set up the Muggle-born registration committee, but a panel of six members set out what the committee will do; we have two of our own on that panel,” Remus explained.
“Minors from nine to seventeen who are Mundane-born will have a guardian that is pure-blood to teach them how our society works, now this will be regulated by a new department in the DMLE known as Independent Muggle-born Services. The new department will be headed by Arthur Weasley; they will be the first contact for Mundane-Borns, assign guardians after petitions from pure-bloods and check up on the guardians,” Narcissa continued, “that was an extremely hard-fought battle.”
“We almost lost that one, but the Houses definitely saw the need for the Service,” Remus agreed.
“The final amendment we got was for pure-bloods to be able to ‘help Muggleborn’s be rehabilitated’.” Sirius finished. Hermione’s face when bright red as she looked set to explode.
“That is absolutely ridiculous like Muggle-borns actually stole magic!” she shouted. She placed her tea on the table with a thunk then stormed out of the room.
“I think that’s the angriest I’ve ever seen her,” Harry commented. Sirius looked to Draco then sighed.
“Draco, do you think you can give us time to talk?” Sirius asked, oddly serious.
“Yes, I’ll be in my room,” Draco told them, leaving the drawing-room. Spellfire raced across the room, sealing them in until Harry found himself opposite three severe-looking adults.
“I’ve not done anything wrong, have I?” Harry joked, but it fell flat.
“Harry, how do you feel about Hermione?” Narcissa asked softly. This wasn’t what he was expecting.
“She’s my best friend, probably better than Ron if I was being completely honest,” Harry answered, blushing slightly.
“I can see that.” Narcissa gave him a smile. “Do you have stronger feelings for Hermione, romantic feelings?”
“I, erm-“ Harry sputtered, not sure how to answer. Harry had only just reached that conclusion himself, that he liked his best friend.
“We put that last amendment in to protect Hermione,” Sirius explained.
“How do you mean?”
“Not only have you got Death Eater’s on the Wizengamot, but there are several nobles that would love to have Hermione under their thumb. She’s almost as legendary in her own right, but if the wrong person became her ‘guardian’, it could well be used against you,” Sirius told the teen frankly.
“So, what happens next?”
“We want to organise a betrothal contract to her,” Remus continued.
“Remus, Narcissa and I believe this will help protect her, to save Hermione from becoming the wife of a Death Eater or a pawn in Dumbledore’s games,” Sirius laid it on thick.
“Who?” Harry all but growled
“Harry, we want Hermione to become betrothed to you,” Narcissa broke it to the boy.
“I know how you feel about her; we can all see that. I can even smell it,” Remus wrinkled his nose up, but tried to laugh as Harry went bright red, “but it will save Hermione from a fate none of us wants to happen; she joins the House of Black and has heavy protections.”
“Will Sanctuary not work?” Harry asked. He knew how he felt for Hermione though he wasn’t sure how she felt for him. He did not want to spoil their friendship.
“No, unfortunately, even becoming a Vassal is not strong enough to protect her if one of the older families push the law in their favour,” Sirius answered.
“I don’t know how she feels about me,” Harry finally uttered his biggest fear.
“She clearly likes you too,” Narcissa felt sympathetic towards the boy.
“How long have we got?” Harry asked.
“If we don’t write up the betrothal contract soon, I’d say we have six months until we are really worrying,” Sirius answered.
“Look, I know it’s to protect Hermione, but I don’t want to push her into this betrothal without knowing how she feels. Give me until Christmas to let us explore, then we’ll ask her about the betrothal.”
“OK, we’ll do it your way,” Sirius patted Harry’s knee and released the magic sealing the room.
Days had passed since Hermione had been told about the new Act going into effect. She had been so angry at the magical world. Why had no one told her about the nobility and the way the government worked when she arrived? Should there have been a class in Hogwarts on it? Since she had arrived at Hárasteorra Hall, Narcissa had been giving her lessons all about the Ancient families, along with some lessons on etiquette. She knew now why Draco had disliked Harry from the first day of Hogwarts.
The light was just fading as dusk drew in the night when Hermione’s wondering bought her to the drawing-room where she found Harry and Sirius having a talk. She didn’t want to intrude as she watched the black-haired teen before her. She had been feeling a lot more than friendship for Harry recently, realising she might have a crush on her best friend.
“Before the fifth-year, I never thought I had a chance with your mother, even though I had liked her since our third-year. I dated Amelia Bones for the entire fourth-year,” Sirius chuckled; Hermione smiled at the pair of them.
“You mean Madam Bones, Director of the DMLE, Bones?” Harry looked astonished.
“Yep, we decided to move on that summer, then the next year I ended up with your mother, and you know that story,” Sirius confirmed, “I proposed to your mother on Valentines Day, 1979. Yeah, I know, pretty cheesy.”
“Damn right, it was cheesy,” Harry grinned, “How did James take it?”
“He liked Lily too, but he knew we were dating, so he stepped back respectfully, but because we were hiding our relationship, the pair of them had to be seen, the Brightest Witch of her age ‘dating’ a light-born pure-blood. Though that was at Dumbeldore’s insistence,” Sirius explained bitterly. “However, we thought he didn’t know about Lily and me, so they faked their wedding.”
“You mean they really did have a wedding?” Harry asked.
“Why? When she was so in love with you?” Hermione couldn’t contain herself, so she entered, taking a seat.
“The War was heating up; it was pure-bloods of the ‘light side’ against those of the ‘dark side’. I was a traitor to my family but seen with suspicion by the light families. I wanted to protect, Lily, as she was a Mundane-born,” Sirius told the pair, “so we conceived the idea to have Lils dating James for show.”
“But Dumbledore must have found out somehow,” Harry said bitterly.
“The wedding was the biggest thing in our world, but Lils was getting annoyed with it all by the autumn time, so the three of us went to New York for a Holiday.” Sirius looked rather red in the face as Harry looked confused.
“Harry was conceived there right,” Hermione’s voice was a bit more high pitched.
“Erm yeah, then we found out in November we were expecting. I was overjoyed. In December 1979, Lily, James, and I were called to Dumbledore, ostensibly meeting about Voldemort. However, somehow he had discovered our ruse and that Lily was pregnant. That’s when my old memories were wiped,” Sirius continued. “I had met Holly Du Vere when I entered the Auror training program. She was a Slytherin, in the same year as me, but we really hit it off as friends,”
“She sounds really nice,” Harry commented.
“Your Mum and James loved her; though her family were pure-blood, they were neutral, staying out of the fight. Because I didn’t remember ever being with your Mum, I began to pursue Holly in 1980. During the summer, her family were killed by Death Eaters because they refused to choose a side,” Sirius wiped a tear from his eye. “I comforted her, and we become a couple not long after their deaths. Until that fateful night in 1981 where I ended up in Azkaban,”
“But she must have visited you in prison for you to have, erm, another child?” Harry was red-faced. Then it dawned on Hermione why, and she felt embarrassed.
“Despite going to Azkaban without a trial, the Warden knew I was old-blood, so put me in the Medium-security wing where there were fewer Dementors, he also allowed access to Holly who petitioned him, and we had several conjugal visits over the next few years.” Sirius was mortified he was telling his son this but felt he had to know. “August 1983 was the last visit, I know because I saw a Daily Prophet not long after. Then Dumbledore came to visit discovering I was only in the Medium-security wing.”
“I gather the Warden was fired,” Hermione made the connection.
“Yes, I was immediately transferred to High-security, and Dumbledore obliviated me again,” Sirius sighed. Hermione wondered how many times someone could be Obliviated? She knew the potion retrieved memories, but not all of them. Sirius still had some very large gaps that needed filling.
“So, how do you know you have a son?” Hermione asked.
“Well, when I got out of prison, I eventually found out Holly had died giving birth to a son, but at the time, I didn’t know I was the father. However, the timing makes sense,” He said, looking at Hermione, “Do you know anything about your brother?”
“What? Why?” Hermione was startled about the change in subject.
“After Harry explained that you were confused about why you hadn’t told the pair of them about your brother, I was able to get my lawyer to do a little digging.”
“I was told he was adopted the year I got my letter for Hogwarts, I had always had my suspicions because of the dark hair and grey eyes,” Hermione explained, “Cepheus was told at the beginning of summer, not long after he received his letter to Hogwarts.”
“We could find nothing about the boy; we know he was adopted by your parents in June 1984, but not from what agency or where the child comes from,” Sirius went over their discoveries.
“Would your son not have a magical birth certificate?” Hermione asked.
“If there is, we haven’t found it yet, we’re looking through the Ministry and have approached Gringott’s, but we’re waiting to hear anything, “Sirus replied, then went on to explain about the Register at Hogwarts.
“So you’re pinning your hope on the Register revealing the truth?” Hermione asked.
“Yes, until we get word back from Hogwarts,” Sirius looked thoughtful. “What would your parents be doing right now?”
“Probably having dinner. Why?”
“Well, maybe we could go have a chat with them,” Sirius suggested taking in the Mundane clothing they were wearing. Harry in jeans and the green jumper Narcissa and Draco had got him. Hermione was in jeans too, with a lovely white jumper that seemed to suit her.
“O-OK,” Hermione replied as Sirius transfigured his clothes into a smart suit, then tied his hair back. Harry rolled his eyes at Sirius as the man offered an arm each to the pair of them. He apparated the two teens from the house until they reached a leafy estate in London. Harry’s eyes widened as they took in the neighbourhood; these houses looked like mansions compared to Privet drive, probably worth more as well
“How come you never told me you were rich?” Harry asked. She looked a bit nervous, so Harry took her hand, smiling at his best friend. He loved how her hand felt in his, especially when she returned his smile, not taking her hand away.
“You know how Ron moans about your wealth, my parents are dentists, which is quite well paid, but they bought this several years ago with some old inheritance money,” She answered him as she led the two Black to the gate of a detached house. She shivered and looked up at Sirius. “The house is Warded.”
“Yes, we had Gringotts come and Ward your house; we wanted your family to be safe,” Sirius told her.
“Do my parent’s know?”
“No, at the moment, only yourself, your family, Harry, Nymphadora, Remus and I are keyed into the Wards. I’ll transfer the Wards over to you tonight,” Sirius explained. There was a small driveway, the two cars looked rather luxurious. Hermione led the way to a large wooden door; she pushed it open into an airy house.
“Mum, Dad, are you home?” she called out, entering the house, followed by Sirius and Harry.
“We’re in the kitchen,” they heard a female lilt. The kitchen was a large open area with an island in the middle, where her dad was leaning up against it, and her Mum was drying some plates. “We didn’t expect to see you home until Christmas or next summer.”
“Can we go sit in the lounge? We want to have a chat with you,” Hermione said nervously. After getting a round of tea and coffee’s for everyone, they were sat on two cream coloured sofas looking at each other. Harry had Hermione’s hand in his own; her parent’s were exchanging looks.
“Hello, Mr and Mrs Granger. I’m Harry Black, and this is my father, Sirius,” Harry introduced himself, feeling weird to call himself Black.
“Please call us William and Isabella,” Mr Granger said, “Are you Harry Potter, my daughter’s friend?”
“Yes, Sir, I recently discovered Sirius was my father,” Harry answered.
“I can see why my daughter likes you; she’s always talking about you in her letters,” Isabella spoke with a grin. Hermione flushed red as Sirius barked out laughter.
“Have you now?” Harry turned to Hermione, “I hope it’s all good.”
“Oh, I like your parents,” Sirius spoke.
“Forgive us for asking, but are you the same Sirius Black they were searching for in the papers?” William asked.
“Bit of a misunderstanding, I was sent to jail for something I didn’t do, but I’m now free and innocent,” Sirius returned, then looked around the house, “you have a lovely home.”
“Thank you, we love it here. Although we could do with a bigger library,” William looked at his daughter, who tucked herself further into Harry.
“Thank god Ceph isn’t like that, or we’d have to doubly expand the library and study,” Isabella laughed.
“I quite like her studiousness,” Harry spoke defensively.
“Big words, Black,” Hermione muttered.
“You misunderstand me; Ceph is the strange one. He likes sports; the rest of us all love books.”
“I’m sure you come here for another reason rather than Hermione’s love of books,” William said.
“Speaking of your son, he’s the reason we’re here. How much do you know of his birth parents?” Sirius asked.
“Not a lot, we just know they named him Cepheus, which we liked, and he was born May eighth 1984,” Isabella looked confused.
“Can you remember where you adopted him from?” Harry asked.
“Some agency in London, but for some reason, I can’t remember where,” William answered, suddenly looking pale and clammy. Isabella held her husband as Sirius conjured up a glass of water.
“Memory charm?” Harry and Sirius said at the same time.
“You think?” Hermione asked.
“Can someone please explain what’s going on?” Isabella demanded.
“I had a memory charm, my memories removed, to make me forget I had a relationship with Harry’s mother and a second relationship. However, my bank opened up a second trust fund eleven years, meaning I had a second child. Recently I took a potion to retrieve those memories, which helped me remember I had been in a relationship with a woman called Holly Du Vere after Hogwarts, possibly engaged. Sometime in 1983, I had a conjugal visit from Holly,” Sirius blushed hard.
“You think Cepheus might be your child?” The light went off in Isabella, “Why?”
“The dates add up, and even though Harry, Hermione and Ron have been friends for fives years, not once has she mentioned ever having a sibling,” Sirius ticked off the points on his hand.
“That does sound off, but not conclusive,”
“I’ll also add every Black child is named after a star-“
“And Cepheus is the name of a star,” William finished.
“We’ll know for certain September first. If he is, I don’t want to take him away from you, but Harry and I would like to know him.” William settled down a little bit at that.
“Cepheus, could you come downstairs, please,” the man shouted. Several minutes later, they heard a herd of elephants come downstairs, then a young boy slid into the front room. Sirius gasped.
“He looks like Regulus at that age,” Sirius whispered. Harry looked at the boy, probably a foot shorter than him, with dark hair and stormy grey eyes. He also looked like Draco a bit; if this wasn’t Sirius’ son and his half-brother, this was his doppelganger.
“Ceph, I’d like you to meet Mr Black and his son Harry,” William introduced the pair.
“You’re the one Mi likes; she’s got little hearts with HG + HP in her diary,” Ceph was quite outspoken. Harry tried not to laugh as his friend grabbed the boy and gave him a noogie. They chatted for a while longer, allowing Sirius to get to know the Granger’s. Cepheus had pulled Harry off to show the older teen his room.
“Have you taken him to Diagon Alley yet?” Sirius asked as they were about to leave.
“Not yet,” Hermione’s Mum said.
“I believe Hermione needs her stuff also, so we can take them together,” Sirius suggested.
“Sounds like a good idea. Hermione, well done on becoming a prefect,” Isabella hugged her again as Harry came down from seeing Ceph’s room.
“So you’re not a couple then?” William blurted, looking between Harry and Hermione.
“No, we’re just very close friends,” Harry responded with a smile towards his friend.
“Well, Hermione has had a crush on you since the first-year,” Isabella completely mortified her daughter.
“What? You’re not embarrassed, are you?”
“On that note, I think it’s time we left,” The three bid the Granger’s goodbye, then went off to find somewhere to apparate back to Hárasteorra Hall.