A/N It's been a crazy week. Getting up at 6:30am and finishing my work at 9:30pm hasn't left much time for writing. But I've managed to get this ready, so that's something.
Chapter 12: All's well that ends well.
Well, there's not much more to say about the story of Harry and the adventure with the Giant Peach that changed his life.
True to his word, Sirius took Pettigrew into the Ministry the next day, Remus Lupin and Filius Flitwick by his side to prevent the aurors arresting him immediately. The trial was over quickly with the aid of veritaserum and the embarrassed court awarded Sirius recompense for the two years he had spent in jail unjustly. Then, with the ink on his court order still wet, he went to the custody office to register his guardianship of Harry, in the process also making Harry his son and heir.
The man at the custody office had tried to make a fuss, probably to do with prejudices or something, but his efforts had come to naught. Sirius was not a criminal; the court order attested to that. He was also Harry's godfather; the person nominated by Harry's parents to take care of Harry above all others. They had both gone out of the Ministry that morning with beaming smiles on their faces.
That afternoon, the lawyer the Black family kept on retainer received a summons to a particular room in the Leaky Cauldron. There, he was given orders to charge Vernon and Petunia Dursley with anything that would stick, magical or muggle. They ended up with combined prison sentences of fifteen years and almost every penny they owned forfeited.
Dudley went to stay with his Aunt Marge, but when she passed away from heart failure a few years later, ended up in the system. He went through several foster homes, each changing him and not always in a good way. He finally found his niche in one home which took in quite a few kids who were going down the wrong track, as it were. There he stayed until he was eighteen and was released on the world. He became a decent roofer, working in a firm for a few years until he had some experience and then set off to be self-employed. He and Harry ended up exchanging greetings at Christmas, but nothing much else: Vernon and Petunia hadn't exactly encouraged a family bond between the two to form and for a long time Dudley had felt resentment for his parents' prison sentences.
As it turned out, the Dumbledore who had given Harry the magical lemon drops which had started everything off was in fact, the same Dumbledore who ran Hogwarts. Harry and Sirius had gone up to question the Headmaster soon after Harry's adoption. Sirius asked why Dumbledore, if he had decided Harry's caretakers weren't acceptable, didn't simply step in and take Harry out. Dumbledore had twinkled at them and then said conspiratorially:
"It has always been a cherished belief of mine that every child should experience at least one adventure before coming to school. Otherwise, what will he or she do when faced with wilder school adventures with no prior experience?" He had then shooed them out of his office and no amount of questions or subtle prods would make him re-open the subject. Sirius had turned to Harry when they had once again reached the gargoyle guarding the Headmaster's office.
"You're absolutely forbidden from going on any wild adventures at school," he told Harry sternly. "You'll have me dying of heart failure before your seventh year, otherwise." He suddenly grinned. "Pranks are permissible, though." With that, they went away to plan a suitable prank on the annoyingly enigmatic and irresponsible old Headmaster. Who gives a child magical lemon drops to send them off on some dangerous adventure after all, for Merlin's sake?
As for Harry's friends, they all found their niches in the massive castle, literally in one case.
Severus became the first spider potions master: having an extra two arms, three if he pushed it, to do things with helped a huge amount. Harry sometimes wondered if the reason he liked potions so much was that they were best done down in the dark and still air of the dungeons. Certainly, the times anyone saw him above ground were few and getting fewer.
The first potion he perfected was the growing potion. People had wondered why he was putting so much effort into a potion that wasn't actually used that much, but they found out soon enough. Severus had been given a whole room to live in and he had spun webs from floor to ceiling. He then put engorgement potion on some sugar cubes and put them out. Any fly that landed on the sugar and tasted the engorgement potion would grow to an enormous size. Severus would then catch the fly and shove it into his room where he would sadistically watch it bumbling around and getting itself stuck in his web. On the days he couldn't be bothered to put the effort in, or flies weren't around, he would get some chicken blood from the kitchens. The House-Elves were rather terrified of him, it had to be said.
Hermione had immured herself in the library, only coming out for a bite to eat and a drop to drink and then returning to inhaling the books. She was perfectly happy to chat about them inside the library, as long as the visitors didn't stay too long, and had struck up a predictable relationship with Madam Pince, the librarian.
Neville, too, had made a firm friend in Professor Sprout, the herbology teacher. They had bonded over love of nature, Neville enamoured of all the different types of dirt and Sprout a lover of the plants that could be grown in those soil types. They made a good team with Neville's digesting efforts making Hogwarts' greenhouse grounds the most fertile for miles.
Draco was a disrupter plain and simple. He ended up specialising in throwing parties for all occasions, whether it was a 'we've won!' after-Quidditch party, or a winter ball, he was the being to go to for advice. In between times, he threw a regular soiree twice a week which only got wilder as the night went on. The professors allowed it as long as students below sixth year went to bed before eleven and everything finished before two am. Of course, for those students who fell asleep in class the next morning, there was no exception given. Being the centre of attention suited him and he fairly blossomed under the worshiping eyes of Hogwarts' population who had been almost dying of boredom before he came. At least, that's what he said and Harry chose to believe him.
Trelawney had made a friend of the Divination professor over tea leaves, horoscopes and sherry. They regularly caroused far into the night and Trelawney eventually went to live with her friend, to help clear her inner eye, she said. Harry went to visit her in the North tower every so often, but she had begun a rather disturbing and discomforting habit of predicting his death or maiming every five minutes.
Molly, well, Molly had firmly planted herself within Hogwarts' staff team. Every year several children were homesick, mostly first years but it wasn't unknown for second, third or even fourth years to get a bit mopey at the start of the year. Molly comforted them and made them hot chocolate, eventually turning into the school councillor as children came to her for support for other reasons. Bullying was a common issue as she wasn't seen as a teacher and she kept their confessions confidential. Abuse or unhappiness at home, too, was another common cause of children coming to her for support as, being an insect, she was seen as a much safer person to talk to than the teachers. Sometimes this unhappiness could be because of a death or even a birth, if the child felt as if he or she was being neglected by his or her parents in favour of the new baby. Either way, she had children coming to her so often that the Headmaster gave her an office and place to sleep inside the castle.
The Peach, juicy and delicious as it was, was soon consumed by the hungry residents of the castle and its stone was made into a place to go to in the gardens when it was wet or cold outside.
And Harry? Well, Harry was as happy as could be with his new father. Not that life was without its little bumps and arguments, but he never felt unloved or unwanted. His friends and Sirius formed a strong support network that never let him fall. When he was angry with Sirius, he could go to another, usually Severus or Molly, and find sympathy, though not always agreement. His friends would help talk the two of them round when their tempers got the better of them: without them, Harry was sure he and Sirius wouldn't have got on as easily as they had.
Harry never actually left Hogwarts. Well, he did for short amounts of time: a shopping trip here, a holiday there, but his place of residence remained Hogwarts. Sirius solved Dumbledore's problem of finding a Defence against the Dark Arts by becoming its teacher. Whether the curse was broken by Voldemort's final defeat, or Sirius' sheer skill stopped it taking effect, he was still there when Harry finished Hogwarts' education system.
With the aid of his friends: Hermione helping him find the right books in the library, Severus helping him with potions, Neville with herbology, Molly with making sure he kept his nose to the grind stone when necessary and Draco making him relax when not, he graduated with top NEWTs scores. He went on to become a successful lawyer and then, when he found out the wizarding world's rather lax stance on how children were treated at home, went into politics. He became Minister for Magic in his sixties retiring after two terms in office to found a couple of good orphanages: there was no such thing in the wizarding world prior to that.
Sirius, as stated before, became a Hogwarts' professor and happily passed on more than the curriculum knowledge to his students, to the exasperation of his colleagues. Proud of his son and with a circle of close friends he could depend on, he couldn't think of anything better.
And that, dear readers, is the end of this tale.
Extra by request of Wing-Gundamknight100
A figure was sneaking through the darkness towards a white house with a picket fence. A house that even in the night time looked exactly like the others around it. The figure paused behind a bush and reached into its pocket. Lifting it's hand to its lips, Sirius spoke to the spider in his palm.
"You know, I quite like you this size. At least if you try to bite me, you won't even pierce my skin. Maybe I should keep you like this…."
"You flea-bitten mutt," Severus Spider said in an annoyed tone, though smaller and squeakier tone than usual. "If you dare even think about it I'll make your life a living hell. You know I can, even like this. There'll always be dead flies in your food and webs to whisper across your face in the middle of the night. Not to mention tickles on your neck at the worst possible times during your classes. And stop calling me 'Spidie'!"
"Ok, fine," Sirius laughed. "'sides, Harry would never let me do it. I'll stop calling you Spide if you'll stop calling me a flea-bitten mutt." Severus considered it.
"Fine. Now, make me bigger." Sirius chuckled and then cast a finite incantatem on Severus, restoring him to his large dimensions. Sirius then unlocked the back door and they both slipped in. Severus headed straight upstairs to where two sets of thunderous snores were coming from. Sirius went to the kitchen instead.
Looking through the cupboards he finally smiled in triumph. He had found the hot-sauce. Humming happily to himself, he went to the fridge and then to the pantry, putting a dollop of hot-sauce into everything. The milk, the butter, last night's remains, the fresh veg, the cream, that desert which had only just been opened…. Casting a few quick glamours, Sirius smirked. The Dursleys would be on fire for weeks and never know why.
There was a whisper of movement behind him and Sirius turned to see Severus coming into the kitchen. His smirk matched Sirius'.
"All done?" Sirius checked. Severus nodded.
"I'm afraid you won't be able to speak to Harry's dear relatives. They're a little…wrapped up at the moment."
Within a few moments they were gone and everything looked exactly as it had before. Well, almost everything.
Severus looked at the muggle newspaper he had had delivered.
CHARLOTTE'S WEB CATCHES TWO NEWLY RELEASED CONVICTS
A concerned neighbour called emergency services today, worried about the sounds she had been hearing from next door. When personnel arrived, they found the two house owners Petunia (43) and Vernon Dursley (44) (recently released from prison on charges of child abuse) wrapped up in their bedroom and hanging from the ceiling.
Wrapped up was this time a literal interpretation as the two were totally trapped in what has tested to be spider silk. When the sticky silk was removed, the two house owners were revealed to be in their underwear, causing the removal to be similar to a whole-body wax. Their shrieks attested to the painfulness of the procedure.
The substance which trapped the Dursleys and hoisted them up into the air has baffled experts as no spider has ever been recorded to grow large enough to produce silk of such dimensions. Scientists are now wondering whether someone has managed to reproduce spider silk without the use of an actual spider.
Anyone with any information pertaining to this matter are highly encouraged to phone in and help solve the mystery.
Above the article was a good picture of Severus' handiwork. He smirked at their expressions of fear and the reddened skin showing from where his silk had been ripped away. Thankfully the picture had been taken not long after the process had started so very little skin was showing to scar the minds of its viewers.
Just as he was about to cut the article out so as to preserve it for later gloating purposes, the newspaper was ripped away. He looked up to glare at the intruder to his lair.
"Give it back you maggot-ridden mongrel!" he hissed at the identification of practically the only one who would dare do something like this. Sirius just smirked at him.
"Nope, gotta catch me first, you eight-legged excuse for a nightmare!" With that he turned into Padfoot, barked happily and ran off down the corridors, Severus in hot pursuit.
Well, I hope you've enjoyed it. I feel quite proud of myself for actually finishing another multi-chapter instead of just having a load of unfinished stories and ideas sitting on my hard-drive. Any feedback's welcome. Wing-Gundamknight100, I hope this met your expectactions.