With a crack, Harry and Sirius appeared in front of Black Manor. Harry felt sick because of the apparation. He'd never done it before so it felt like he had been sucked into a narrow tube and then thrown out on the other side. "What was that?" He blurted out, momentarily forgetting that his uncle had painfully made it clear that he wasn't supposed to speak unless spoken to. "That kiddo, is known as apparating. You feel sick the first few times but you get used to it gradually." Explained Sirius. "Come along now," said the man, gently steering Harry inside the manor.
As Harry went inside with his godfather, he started feeling more and more comfortable about the arm around his shoulders and slowly but steadily, he relaxed completely. He looked around the place, a look of undisguised awe on his young face. It wasn't just a house, it was a mansion! The living room itself was thrice as large as his Aunt's entire house. It had a certain vintage charm to it with high backed sofas with intricate woodwork, carpets with wonderful designs and brilliant paintings adorned the walls. The place was pure beauty.
"-rry, Harry!" he realised that Sirius had been trying to call him whilst Harry had been drinking in every single detail. "Sorry, sir." He said, it wanting to get into trouble.
Sirius frowned at the unnecessary honorific but kept quiet about it. "Nothing to be sorry about pup. I just wanted to ask you if you'd like to eat your lunch first or see your room?"
Harry's eyes all but popped out of his head at the mention of his room. He of all people was getting a room? Why would Sirius waste his time for a freak like him?
"M-My r-room?" Came the incredulous question. "Yes pup, your room." He was then led upstairs. Sirius opened the door and Harry's jaw dropped. The room was simply brilliant with Gryffindor wallpapers, a comfy looking bed with scarlet covers and a closet for Harry to unpack and put away his stuff, a sturdy looking hardwood desk, along with a bean bag incase he wanted to relax and an attached bathroom. Compared to the rest of the house, his room was slightly more modern. "Do you like it? Do you want me to chan-" Sirius never got too finish his sentence as a mop of wild black hair crashed into his chest, nearly knocking him over. Surprised by the unexpected movement, Sirius swiftly regained his balance and kissed the top of the messy black head, hugging his godson back. "A-All this is f-for m-me?" The disbelief in his voice made Sirius want to frown but he put on a smile and nodded at the boy who barely came up to his chest. The man heard a muffled 'thank you' against his shirt. He tightened his hold on Harry before giving him an encouraging pat on the back and pulling away.
Harry pulled away, shocked that he had hugged his godfather on his own accord and was even more surprised when Sirius hadn't pushed him away. It had only been an hour and he'd already received two hugs. The feeling was unfamiliar but completely welcoming. It was only then that he realised that he was nearly craving basic physical contact that he had been deprived of for so long. Something as small as a hug was enough to make him smile. "Let's go have lunch now shall we?" Said Sirius and Harry eagerly nodded although the look of incredulity and disbelief never left his face as the two of them sat down, Sirius at the head and Harry to his right.
The eleven year old's eyes nearly popped out of his head when he saw the amount of food on the table. He hadn't eaten anything much in the train and he sure was hungry. Harry only served himself small helpings of the food and waited for Sirius to start eating first. The last thing he wanted was to let his godfather think that he was ungrateful.
"Oi, that's barely enough for a five year old, Harry." Sirius pointed out and with that, he loaded Harry's plate with more than sufficient helpings of each item. "Eat up pup."
The quantity on the plate surprised Harry. This was more food than what Aunt Petunia gave him in a week. He realised that Sirius was waiting for him to start and did so at once.
Sirius noted with worry that Harry ate like he had been starved before and kept giving him sideward glances like he was expecting an order for him to stop eating or something. Becky had done a brilliant job on the lunch and for the first time, Harry had eaten till even the mere thought of food would make his stomach explode.
After lunch, Sirius asked Harry to go and unpack and call him in case he needed anything while he went to the living room and sank into a cozy armchair. He was thrilled to have his godson around and the child was simply adorable. But Sirius found certain things to be a bit disconcerting. For instance every time the man tried to initiate physical contact with his godson, the boy would flinch or tense like he was expecting a blow or something. Secondly, James had always been a little small for his age but even he hadn't been so thin. When Sirius had hugged Harry, he had barely felt any flesh underneath his clothes. Another thing that bothered him that Harry was way too polite and quiet for an eleven year old. He answered when asked a question and was very shy as well. But then maybe it was because he hardly knew Sirius. Well, the concerned godfather would definitely change that this summer.
As Harry unpacked, his mind was swimming with a thousand questions. What if he did something bad and Sirius didn't want him around anymore or what if Sirius found out about those horrible things his uncle had done to him? He would then realise that Harry was a pathetic weakling and a freak who couldn't even stand up to his muggle uncle. So far Harry had tried his best to be as good as possible and he didn't want to do anything to mess things up even the tiniest bit.
After he was done, he looked at his clock and saw that it was four o'clock and he still had a good three hours before supper was served. He didn't know what to do so he simply sat on his bed, fidgeting with the lose end of his shirt. About ten minutes later, there was a knock on the door and Sirius walked in. "I see you're done with your unpacking." He said, nodding his approval as he plonked down next to Harry.
The man frowned a little at the overly large clothes but decided to deal with that later. "So what do you want to do now?" He asked his godson who was still fidgeting. Harry didn't want to be a burden but he did want to spend at least a little time with this man who had been so very kind to him because experience had made it clear to him that good things never last, well at least for him. "If it's not too much t-trouble—you don't have to i-if you d-don't want to—could we play exploding snap please?" Asked the boy, still refusing to meet Sirius' eyes. "Of course we can." Said Sirius and so godfather and godson made their way to the living room to spend their first evening of summer together.
Dinner was a jovial but strange affair. Harry had been thoroughly shocked when Sirius had led him to the table for dinner. It was like he hadn't expected dinner. At one moment, Harry was laughing along with his godfather and the very next moment, he would offer profuse apologies for being loud. After dinner, Sirius told Harry about the countless adventures he had at Hogwarts along with James. The clock struck ten and Harry yawned softly. "Time for bed pup." Said Sirius, noticing the tired eyes.
Harry nodded and headed upstairs, to his bedroom. Sirius came in, to find his godson in very baggy pyjamas and a baggy T-shirt. Well that wouldn't do. They'd have to fix that soon. Sirius held back the covers and gestured at the small boy to get in. Harry had never been tucked in before so he couldn't help the warm feeling inside him as he crawled in and Sirius brought the covers up to his chin. "I'll be right next door in case you need me. Is that alright puppy?" Enquired Sirius as he carded his long, elegant fingers through his godson's hair. Harry nodded although he had no intention of disturbing his godfather and being a bother.
"Goodnight pup." Said Sirius as he leaned down and kissed Harry's forehead. He then walked out of the room, leaving the door open by a crack just in case Harry needed something.
The next morning, Harry awoke at about six fifteen. Just the right time to begin with all of his chores and make sure that this day was punishment free. He knew what to do at his aunt and uncle's house and he also knew what happened when he did things wrong. He shuddered at the very thought of it. He didn't know what to expect from his godfather so it was all the more scary.
Time to start his chores. He decided to make breakfast first after which he would dust the furniture. He didn't know what Sirius liked and it would probably be better of he made a bit of everything. By the time he was done, he had made scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages, pancakes, muffins and juice. He was about to lay the table when he heard Sirius coming downstairs. He was late. Fear tore at his heart. He was done for.
"Harry what-" Sirius stopped short when he saw the look of terror on Harry's face. He noticed Harry's trembling hands and the plate of pancakes he were holding. "I'm s-sorry Sirius. I t-tried to do it on time. P-Please. I'm sorry." Sirius strode forward and took the plate of pancakes from Harry's hand. Harry flinched violently and the moment Sirius was in front of him, he all but trembled. "Harry, pup, come here please." He said, pulling his godson closer towards him.
Harry knew it was wrong but he couldn't control his fear anymore. The abject fear of what was going to happen now made him quiver violently. He wrenched himself out of Sirius's hold and bolted upstairs, to his room. He knew that his punishment was definitely going to worsen now but he hadn't been able to help himself.
Sirius stood frozen for a moment before he rushed upstairs after his godson, wondering what in the world had happened. The boy had been totally fine last night so why was he so terrified now? Something was going on here and Sirius was going to find out.
He reached the room only to find it empty. He was about to leave and look for Harry in the other rooms when he heard a whimper. It was muffled, almost inaudible but thanks to his Animagus skills, he heard it. It was coming from Harry's wardrobe. He opened it to find Harry sitting inside, on the bottom most shelf. The troubled boy had pulled his knees to his chest and his eyes shone with fear. Sirius reached for his godson but Harry only curled up further. "P-Please. I-I'm sorry."
Not knowing what to do, Sirius simple sat down in Harry's bed, waiting for the child to stop quivering. This was so not what he had expected. He sat there patiently for nearly fifteen minutes until he saw that Harry's shivers had stopped. He then went and crouched down in front of Harry. "Pup, come out please. Don't be afraid. I'm not going to hurt you." He held out his hand for Harry to take and Harry flinched once more.
Sirius pulled Harry out of the wardrobe, against his chest and Harry stiffened totally. A hug was certainly not what he had been expecting. A thrashing definitely, or just a slap or two if he was lucky but certainly not a hug. He felt a kiss being pressed to his forehead and it shocked him even more. Sirius was really strange. Here he had not completed breakfast and now Sirius was being so nice to him.
The man stood up, pulling Harry with him. He didn't say anything and just led Harry downstairs. They sat down at the dining table and Sirius ordered Becky to lay the table. The Animagus took a bite of his sausage and his eyes widened. "Sweet Merlin! This is absolutely delicious."
Harry's eyes widened. No one had ever said anything remotely nice about his cooking previously. "Thank you." He mumbled rather shyly.
Once they were halfway through their breakfast, Sirius forced the words out in a calm voice although he felt anything but that. "Puppy, why did you run?" Harry's frightened behaviour worried him to no end. There was a moment of silence where neither of them said anything. When Sirius was about to ask again Harry spoke. "I was scared." He whispered, staring down at his plate. "Of what?" Sirius asked, placing a finger under Harry's chin, he coaxed his godson to look up. When Harry didn't say anything Sirius decided that it would be better if the boy got to know him better before confiding in his godfather. "It's ok pup. Never mind." He said. "Eat your breakfast now."
As they ate, Sirius couldn't help but worry about Harry. He looked at his godson who was taking timid bites of his breakfast. Harry's hand shook, due to fright as he ate. What was going on?
Sirius was awoken in the middle of the night by a terrible scream from his godson's room and the panic that came over him was massive. He threw his covers aside, grabbed his wand and bolted to Harry's room. There he was. Alone. The panic was replaced by worry as Sirius saw his pup thrashing in his bed. "Harry, puppy wake up it's just a bad dream. Wake up pup. C'mon." Slowly the thrashing stopped and Harry opened his eyes.
Harry opened his eyes to see warm grey eyes gazing at him with a slightly furrowed brow. He completely missed the concern in his godfather's eyes. The memories then came back to him. He had been dreaming that his uncle was punishing him and must've screamed loudly, causing Sirius to wake up. Oh no. He had tried so very hard to not bother his godfather and yet on the second night itself he had disturbed Sirius's sleep. Unwelcome tears welled up in his eyes and slowly but steadily started to flow. "I'm s-sorry S-Sirius." He stuttered, in between his tears.
Sirius was shocked on hearing his godson apologise. "You don't need to apologise for anything puppy. It was just a bad dream. There's no way it is your fault." He said and reached out, gathered the small boy in his arms and cradled him to his chest, not caring that Harry was probably far too old for such treatment. He ignored Harry's taut posture and stroked the boy's head, murmuring reassurances. Too tired to do anything, Harry finally gave in and buried his face in the crook of Sirius' neck. He gradually relaxed, stopped crying and drifted into sleep.
Now to say that Sirius was worried would be a huge understatement. Harry's frightened behaviour of late was getting him all worked up. Earlier, when Harry had seemed quiet and extremely polite, Sirius had dismissed it as shyness but now he was sure that there was more to it.
The man tucked the boy in and settled down in a chair near Harry's bed. There was no way in hell that he was going to leave his godson alone that night and so even he fell asleep after a long while.
The next morning Harry awoke to find himself neatly covered with the blanket and his curtains drawn. A while ago, he remembered his godfather leaving the room after brushing his hair. He glanced at the clock and his eyes widened to see that it was already nine o'clock. He had overslept. Harry ran to the bathroom to take a shower faster than you could say 'magic' and practically flew downstairs once he was done.
Sirius heard is godson come barrelling down the stairs and went to greet his pup. Harry stopped short when he saw his godfather walking towards him and he started to step away from him. He forgot that this was the man who had consoled him last night.
"I'm s-sorry sir. I didn't mean to oversleep. P-please d-don't hit me sir. I-I'm sorry." Stuttered the boy. Sirius' heart broke on hearing the fear in Harry's voice and now he understood the whole situation completely. His godson had been abused by those filthy muggles. Sirius wanted to do nothing more than go to Privet Drive, No. 4 and beat the stuffing out of the Dursleys.
"Hush pup. You have nothing to be sorry for." Wide emerald eyes looked back at him incredulously. "B-but I d-didn't cook breakfast." Replied Harry. "Pup, you made breakfast yesterday and it was wonderful but you don't have to do it everyday . Now come eat your breakfast puppy." Said Sirius. "No chores?" Came the disbelieving question. "Definitely not. I don't want you doing any chores. That's not needed. Come now." Said Sirius as he wrapped an arm around the small frame and led him to the table. Harry was still very stiff like he was expecting Sirius to slap him or something but the man didn't mention it.
They had the whole summer left and Sirius would make things better for the two of them. And that was a marauder's promise.