CHAPTER TWO: BORROWING
Harry awoke with a start, his hand reaching blindly for his glasses on the bedside table, fumbling to get them to sit on his nose properly. His other hand simultaneously reached for the wand that he kept beneath his pillow. He couldn’t recall what had awoken him, but he knew that he slept fairly deeply, mainly to block out the noise of his cousin Dudley Dursley snoring in the next room.
Harry flicked on the lamp on the bedside and looked around the room. Everything was in perfect order. He jumped, startled, when he heard a soft tapping at his window.
For a moment, he couldn’t tell who was at his window. They looked familiar, but Harry’s mind was a complete blank. And then it hit him.
His eyes widened as he recognised the face behind the pane of glass. He jumped to his feet and opened the window, helping his godfather to clamber through the opening. Sirius looked different from Harry’s memory of him. When they had said goodbye, Sirius’ face had been gaunt and sunken, surrounded by a quantity of long, black, matted hair – but the hair was short and clean now, Sirius’ face fuller, and he looked younger, much more like the photograph Harry had of him, which had been taken at the Potter’s wedding.
“What are you doing here?” Harry whispered, fearful of waking any of the Dursley’s.
“I have a favour to ask,” Sirius whispered back, equally aware of the trouble he could be in if the Dursley’s found him in Harry’s room. No doubt, they would call the muggle police, who were also on the lookout for him, and then the Ministry of Magic would then be notified.
“Anything,” Harry replied. It was strange, his loyalty to the man he barely knew, but he was desperate for any sort of link to his family. Sirius Black was his godfather and he’d been James’ best friend before James had died, so Harry felt incredibly attached to the man he’d met only weeks ago.
“Do you think you could spare your invisibility cloak for a few weeks?” Sirius asked.
Harry nodded immediately, moving to his trunk to get the requested item. He had never had use of the cloak at Privet Drive, so he didn’t mind giving the item up for a few weeks. Especially if it would help Sirius. He didn’t know why he hadn’t thought of it earlier, and offered it to him to keep Sirius away from the prying eyes of the Ministry.
“Is this so you won’t be found by the Ministry?” Harry asked, digging through his trunk.
“I’m not hiding from the Ministry, no,” Sirius replied. He grinned suddenly and Harry was shocked by the sudden transformation that Sirius’ face had taken. He looked ten years younger and there was a spark in his eyes that Harry had never seen before.
Sirius reached into his newly purchased robes (ordered by owl mail under a fake name, but through his own vault) and pulled out the photograph of his laughing daughter. He handed it to Harry as the Boy-Who-Lived gave up his father’s cloak, and looked at the photograph in confusion.
“Who are they?”
“The blonde girl…her name is Eliza Black,” Sirius said proudly.
It took a moment for Harry to catch on. His jaw dropped and he looked completely astonished.
“I never knew you had a daughter!” Harry exclaimed. He suddenly realised he had made too much noise and clamped a hand over his mouth. For several moments there was silence in the room, and when they were sure that Harry hadn’t awoken any of his relatives, they continued to talk, whispering softly.
“She’s more than just my daughter,” Sirius said. “She’s your cousin.”
“What?!” Harry yelped quietly. “Mum had another sister? I could have been living with them instead of the Dursley’s?”
Sirius chuckled slightly. He’d known that Harry’s reaction would be something like that, and every time he saw Harry, he recognised more and more of James and Lily in the young man.
“She wasn’t Lily’s sister,” Sirius replied. “She was James’. His twin to be exact.”
“Are you serious?” Harry asked.
Sirius resisted the urge to crack a joke. He’d done it often at school, but could contain himself now that he was an adult.
“Where is she? What’s she like? You married dad’s sister? Doesn’t that make you my uncle or something?” Harry questioned quickly.
“She’s in California, she uh…well, she used to be the loveliest woman I’d ever met, yes I married your father’s sister, and I am technically your uncle by marriage,” Sirius answered.
“Wait…used to be?” Harry repeated sadly. “What happened?”
“I betrayed her brother,” Sirius said sadly. “Or she still thinks I did. Never even gave me the benefit of the doubt. She just took Eliza with her to America and got re-married. To a muggle! Not that I have anything against muggles, but…my daughter doesn’t even know about magic! It’s…it’s not right.”
“So what are you going to do now?” Harry asked curiously.
He was intrigued by what Sirius had just told him. He’d never even considered asking about the remaining family left on his father’s side. No one had ever told him about his father having a sister, and he’d assumed that his dad was an only child. It was strange to think that not only did James have a sister, but a twin sister at that. And that Sirius Black had married her.
“I’m going to find my daughter,” Sirius replied simply. “I’m going to ask her to come back to England with me.”
Harry’s eyes scrunched up in confusion. It was all Sirius could do to not laugh. That was definitely a trait from the Potter side. Joyce and James had both done the same facial expression whenever they were confused, and to see it on Harry made Sirius grin.
“Why would you come back here?” Harry asked. It wasn’t that he didn’t want his godfather around, but the man was a wanted criminal. “Don’t get me wrong, I want you here, but…you have a chance to start over in a country where no one knows you. You could stay in America with her and never have to worry about being caught by the Ministry ever again.”
Sirius had to admit that he had been tempted by the idea. The problem was, Voldemort was still a threat even though he wasn’t actually returned. But he knew that things were stirring amongst the Death-Eaters, and that things would begin to get ugly and soon. He couldn’t just leave the wizarding world to fend for itself. It went against his very nature. He wanted –needed- to be there for the fight. He may have failed James and Lily, but he would be damned if he left Harry to fight for himself.
“It is tempting,” Sirius admitted. “But I’m not about to leave my godson to fend for himself when the war begins.”
Harry grinned and hugged his godfather fiercely. He’d never really had a father figure before, and so far Sirius was doing a terrific job of it.
Harry pulled back, a little embarrassed by his sudden display of affection. Sirius didn’t seem to mind it though, and Harry was grateful for that.
“You’ll let me know how it goes though, won’t you?” Harry asked.
Sirius nodded. “You’ll be the first one I tell,” he promised.
Harry grinned and felt incredibly light-hearted for the moment. He’d been craving contact from any of his friends, but having Sirius there was just as good. Now he’d discovered part of his lost family, and he would hopefully have the opportunity to meet another link to his parents.
“Good luck,” Harry said.
Sirius grinned and winked at his godson. He quickly donned the invisibility cloak and disapparated away from Privet Drive.