Snacks and Letters - Part 86

Snacks and Letters - Part 86

Author: </a></b></a>[info]sionna_raven
Title: Snacks And Letters - Part 86
Word Count: 1812

~Sirius~

Kreacher has been in and out of  the house since Thursday. I've heard him shifting furniture and rummaging through the cupboards. I don't even dare to ask. There hasn't been a howler from the headmaster, so I hope the elf hasn't gone completely over the top with his ideas what I will need at Hogwarts.
I've won the fight over my wardrobe. I need some jeans and other Muggle stuff. When I reminded him that I still don't appreciate snakes in my bedroom, he looked offended and started muttering under his breath.
Yesterday I went to Andromeda's place. Kreacher has been too busy to make me lunch anyway. She has been very interested in hearing the outcome of my meeting with Kingsley.  I didn't tell her every detail. I know she would have understood, but Kingsley is right three people and a ghost are more than enough to know. It was an enjoyable afternoon. Teddy is much like his father. I hope to see him grow up to be the man Remus could have been without the curse. He already shows signs that he has inherited Dora's rare gift. Andromeda has to be on guard permanently, but she's been through it before and knows how to handle the situation. She wants him to get in contact with Muggle children as soon as possible, but it's difficult, when his hair suddenly changes colour or other strange things happen. She often visits Fleur at Shell Cottage to let him play with Victoire.

I've decided to take my bike to Hogwarts. I could have sent it by magic which would have been reasonable in this weather, but I don't want to be reasonable about that. A bit of rain for most part of the journey won't do me any harm. I'll fly as soon as I've reached the less populated regions.
There's one issue that I've given a lot of thought since I began to prepare. Regulus' portrait, of course he coming with me, but I wish to really take him for the ride. I've not forgotten that I broke the promise about the first ride on my motorbike. I took James not Reggie. I doubt he'd come, but I should have asked. Perhaps he doesn't remember. He was just about five when I made the promise.
How to take a piece of parchment on a ride on a motorbike in rain and snow? Protective spells, Impervius, but I can't possibly pin it on the back of my jacket.

“Do you mind, if I shrink you to the size of a postcard, Reggie? Just for the journey?”

“What for? Just furl me and put me into your bag. “  He watches the biker gear I'm already wearing in wonder. Then he seems to understand. “You've gotten one of those bike things, two wheeled Muggle vehicle like a broom, but unable to fly. Does yours fly?”

I grin in a way Severus would surely call arrogant. “Of course, it flies. I've said I'll make it fly.”

“Since when....? Have you …?”  He doesn't need to spell it out. I knew he remembers.

“The summer after you were drawn. No, I didn't keep my promise. How could I? Would you've come, if I called for you in front of this house I couldn't enter any more? Would you've been at home at all or already with....”

Regulus bites his lips. He thinks about his answer. His reply is barely audible.

“I don't know. You could have tried....”

“Yes, I should have tried. …..... Are you coming now?”

“Of course! Though I don't believe it's as much fun as riding a broom.”

“Judge for yourself, after you've seen it. It even more fun, if you don't get sick.”

“I never get sick. I'm a better flier than you are. “

“If you say so.... Come on, I've got to shrink you and put the protection spells on your canvas.”

I put him behind the plastic front of my breast pocket. Clever Muggle invention, I think they use it for tickets and name plates.

We take the Muggle roads north. I remember Kingsley's warning about not wanting to read reports on me.  My baby can go pretty high above the clouds, but the weather is even worse up there.
At Wigan I leave the M6. From now on it doesn't matter too much, if we are seen. Who'd believe a single farmer who claims to have seen a flying motorbike? I even take off the stupid helmet. Now I can hear Reggie squeal for joy, when we soar through the clouds. The rain splashing in our faces. I was only teasing when I said he could get sick. I knew he would love it. After a while the rain turns into snow. I go slower. The soft flakes float around us. The ground below is white. Only a few roads are cleared. I can vaguely recognise the track of the Hogwarts Express.

“You were right! This is fun!” ,Regulus shouts. “Only a bit loud! Can you go lower? I want to see more of the grounds.”

I go down, following the tracks. They are covered with snow. The next train will go in a week. There aren't any Muggles around this time of year. Far away I can see the peaks of the mountains surrounding Hogwarts. It will still take us an hour or two to get there.
There's a snow drift on the track.

“Hold on, Reggie!”

We race through it one foot above the ground. The snow swirls all around us. Regulus screams. I slow down and hovering on the spot I brush the flakes off. My old girl is still up to a bit of fun.

“That was bloody brilliant! I wish I could try this on a broomstick.”

“We'll look for a snowy landscape at Hogwarts and somewhere we should find a painted racing broom.”

I don't do any more stunts until we reach the first houses of Hogsmeade. I drive down the main road at moderate speed. People stick their heads out of windows and doors to see the source of the unusual noise. The door of The Three Broomsticks opens. Rosmerta runs out waving her hands. I stop in front of her.

“Sirius Black! About time you show your face. I had to read about your return in the papers.”

“Don't tell me you believed one single word.”

She winks and laughs.

“Now get off that mechanical monster and give us a hug.”

I lift her up and swirl her around. Regulus protests as she throws her arms around my neck and gives me a kiss on the cheek.

“What's that, Sirius?”

“My little brother Regulus. Remember him?” I point at his portrait in my pocket.

“Of course I remember young Regulus Black. Always a perfect gentleman unlike his brother.”

Rosmerta puts one finger to her lips and sends a kiss to the portrait. Regulus blushes.

“Hey careful! The boy is just fifteen.”

She giggles and Regulus turns a deeper shade of pink.

“Now Sirius, what brings you here? I don't dare to hope that you just drop by to say hello to your favourite landlady.”

“I'm afraid not. I'm on my way to the castle. Starting a new job.”

“Merlin! You are the new Defence teacher? The headmaster must be desperate.”

“He will be, if I don't get on my way. I want to be there before dusk.”

“I expect you to be back soon. You've got to tell me all about your return. Or I have to believe the papers.”

“Don't you dare! I'll see you as soon as the headmaster lets me off the leash.”

“Since when do you need for the headmaster's permission to come and see me?”

“I'd better with the current one.”

The road from Hogsmeade to the castle is magically kept free of snow and ice. The ride is quite pleasant. It's a bit like coming home. On the grounds near the castle a group of students is having a snowball fight. I have to swerve to avoid being hit. The students turn their heads. I dismount at the great oak doors. More students gather trying to get a look at my baby and there is an old acquaintance of mine. Shooing the kids out off the way Filch storms out and plants himself in front of me.

“Black!” , he barks.

“Mr. Filch.” I say trying to be polite. I had almost forgotten about him still working at Hogwarts. It is reassuring that one personal enmity hasn't changed. He gasps for breath.

“What does this mean? What are you doing with this.... on the school grounds?”

“I was hoping that you could show me a dry place to keep my girl safe, Filch.”

“You....”

Another voice much more cheerful and friendly interrupts him.
“Argus, I think we can put Professor Black's motorbike in the back of the carriage shed.” Filch looks like he's going to explode as Minerva calls me Professor. “Sirius, we've been expecting you via the Floo network. Anyway, it's good to see you.”

She has taken my hand in greeting. I raise hers to my lips. “Good to see you too, Minerva. Still my guardian protecting me from the wrath of the caretaker?” I add in a lower voice.

“I hope there's no need to protect you from anyone nowadays. Just behave yourself, Sirius Black. Or you'll feel my wrath.”

“I wouldn't risk that.”  I suddenly have an idea. “May I invite my favourite teacher and former Head of House to a round on my bike?”

“Oh Sirius, no, that's impossible. You're crazy. I can't....no....” , she protests, but I know her. I can see the gleam in her eyes. She can't possibly resist the temptation to fly. I ignore her protest and place her on the saddle.
“Put your arms around my waist.”
She does, giggling like a young girl and we rise slowly off the ground, hover a bit over the students' heads and soar up to circle Gryffindor tower. We fly a round over the roofs of the rebuilt castle and land smoothly at the entrance again. I help her off and she starts sorting her slightly ruffled skirts. “Sirius, you are impossible,” but she laughs.

A dark figure stands on top of the entrance stairs. Severus' face is unreadable as ever. I grab the saddle bags and hand my bike to Filch who pushes her towards the stables, swearing under his breath. I walk up the stairs trying to look serious.

“Headmaster.” I greet him inclining my head.

“My office, now!” Severus turns on his heels and leaves me no choice than to follow him like an unruly students awaiting his punishment. I have a certain routine in doing that I can't deny. Before the doors close behind us I turn my head and twinkle at Minerva.

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October 2013

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