Harry's Second Christmas by Mutt N Feathers

Summary: Sirius doesn't go after Peter, but instead takes Harry and goes into hiding in the Potter ancestral estate Linfred Hall. Can Sirius keep Harry safe when both sides of the recent war want him? Can Harry's godparents reconcile enough to care him without hexing each other? Can it possibly be a Happy Christmas?
Rating: PG-13 starstarstarstarstar
Categories: Alternate Universe, Holidays
Characters: None
Genres: None
Warnings: None
Challenges: None
Series: None
Published: 2020.12.01
Updated: 2020.12.22

Harry's Second Christmas by Mutt N Feathers
Chapter 1: Chapter 1: Among the Dead
Author's Notes:

Harry’s Second Christmas
By Mutt N Feathers

Chapter 1:
Among the Dead

Sirius stood in the ruined nursery of the cottage in Godric's Hollow, holding his little godson who was screaming for his mother. The child could see her there in the rubble, but Lily wouldn't be rising to comfort her son.

“Siri,” Harry pleaded, putting his bloody hand onto Sirius’ cheek and awakening him from his stupor.

"Right, we need to get you out of here," the Marauder said, finally awakening to the matter of being the caregiver for Harry now that his mother and father were dead. Not sure exactly where he'd go, he grabbed the nappy bag Lily carried everywhere and threw in more nappies, a couple of clean outfits, Harry's favourite blankie, his dummy, and the lion that sat in his cot. He handed Harry his stuffed dog named Paddy and covered the little boy with the quilt he slept under and covered Harry’s face. He’d seen his dead mother, Sirius didn’t want to inflict the sight of his dead father on Harry as well.

Sirius thought about bottles, but it would be a hard enough trip on the motorbike with Harry and his kit, so Sirius figured he could get whatever else he needed by coming back or by shopping. He groaned when he thought about his flat and how the place was anything but baby-proofed. He was met by Hagrid on the front pathway.

“I need to take Harry to Dumbledore,” the gamekeeper stated, reaching for the toddler.

“No,” Sirius answered, tightening his grip on Harry. “James and Lily made me his godfather, and I am meant to care for him if they can't. There are legal papers that state I'm his guardian. That is what I’m going to be.” Sirius wrapped Harry up tighter, not wanting him to hear whatever emotions might be in his voice.

"Sirius, Dumbledore's orders were to bring him, Harry," Hagrid said in a voice which might have frightened Sirius when he was a first-year who'd gone out of the castle exploring at night. Sirius was a grown man who had faced evil in the last year of his life. Hagrid didn't scare him.

“Hagrid, Dumbledore might have ordered you, but he didn’t order me. I am going to take Harry home," Sirius said firmly. Hagrid reached for the child and attempted to pull the little boy free. The quilt which had been covering Harry slipped, and the child was horror-struck by the size of the man trying to wrangle him free from his beloved godfather.

“Siri!” Harry screamed, clinging more tightly to Sirius’ neck.

“Hagrid, stop, you’re scaring him!” Sirius yelled.

“Was that why you gave them up? So you could have Harry for yourself?” the half-giant asked. Sirius felt like he’d been slapped.

“I wasn’t the secret-keeper,” Sirius yelled, becoming panicked. Perhaps their plan of making people think he was the secret-keeper was a bad idea, he thought. “It was Peter. I was too obvious.”

“Sirius, you have to give me Harry. Sort it out with Dumbledore later. He needs Harry!” Hagrid reached for the boy again, but this time the half-giant felt a shock and fell backward. Sirius sensed the ambient energy of the spell, but he hadn’t cast it. James and Lily had been talking about how strong their toddler was in his magic earlier that night. Harry had made his wishes known. Sirius took one last look at his beloved ’67 Triumph Bonneville. He’d collect it someday, he hoped.

"I'm sorry, Hagrid, but I'm not letting him go. Tell Dumbledore I have him, and he will be safe," Sirius said before Disapparating them away.

Sirius and Harry landed at the only place, besides Hogwarts, that Sirius had ever called home; Linfred Hall. The manor home was quite large, in the Shropshire countryside between the towns of Shrewsbury and Church Stretton. The manor was on the top of a rocky outcropping, and while the outer walls were important defences when it was first built, it had been centuries since the place needed to be in an offensive position. Sirius thought it might need to be again. There were still people — Death Eaters and perhaps even members of the Light side, like Dumbledore — who wanted Harry for their own reasons.

Sirius had always been able to get through the wards at Linfred Hall, even when James had strengthened the charms, curses, and hexes for protection after his parents' death. He silently begged Merlin that it was still the case. Placing his hand on the Potter Family Crest on the iron gates, he waited for his magic to be recognized.

Harry, being the inquisitive and wonder-filled child he was, mimicked Sirius and placed his little hand on the crest as well. The gates unlocked and opened on their own.

“I don’t know if that was you or me, kiddo, but we’ll be safe here,” Sirius said, putting his free hand on Harry’s head. The gate closed behind them with a clang. They walked through the silent outer courtyard. At one time, the area would have been filled with craftspeople who created the things needed for the manor to survive. Silversmiths, glass blowers, carpenters, and more would have had a stall, and not only were there items for the manor made there, but others who lived and worked near the fort-like structure could purchase wares.

Sirius thought about the time Fleamont had cast a Time-Winder Spell which allowed James, Remus, Peter, and him to see echoes of the people who worked there five-hundred years ago. The mere thought of Peter Pettigrew made Sirius want to yell, but he couldn’t. He needed to care for Harry. He wouldn’t let himself consider Prongs or Petal either; there would be time for weeping.

Reaching the front door, Sirius was surprised to find the door open and the lights on. He pulled his wand, and cautiously stepped inside. He relaxed when he saw Potter's house-elf, Peng. While elves generally were not considered beautiful, there was a loveliness to the elf, which was undeniable. Sirius remembered when she’d been born to the Potter’s elves when he was fifteen. Her name fit; it also described the frilly dishtowel set she wore as a modest dress.

"Mister Sirius," Peng squeaked. "How good it is to see you." There were tears in her eyes, and she hugged his leg in excitement.

“Peng, what are you doing here?”

“Waiting for the Master and Mistress to come home,” she said. “They were supposed to move here, out of the little flat they had near Diagon Alley, but theys never come.”

“Oh, well, we’re here now,” Sirius said, not wanting to tell Peng they were dead, especially with Harry still in his arms. “This is their little boy, Harry. Is the manor still safe?”

"Is the manor still safe?" Peng asked before she tittered. "No one has breached this manor, and it's ground in over six hundred years.”

"Good. I'll explain everything to you later, but I need to put Harry back to bed for right now. It's well past his bedtime. Does he still have a cot in his room?"

“No, the cot disappeared one day. Perhaps you and Master Harry could share the big bed?” The big bed was in Monty and Fee's bedroom, which then became James and Lily's bedroom. He couldn't sleep there.

“I think I’ll try my room instead,” he said, trying to hold onto his emotional equilibrium. “Are any of the other rooms prepared?”

“Theys all is, Mister Sirius. We’s keep the house always ready,” Peng said defensively.

"Who else is here?" he asked; her parents must be dead by now.

“My papa is here, although he tends to the gardens now. Hindsa works the kitchens. Is you hungry?”

“No, not right now. Can you ask your father to come see me please; we’ll be in my room.” Wilken, Peng’s father, was a good elf. Sirius had been surprised by him and his mate and the former kitchen elf, Elba.

"Of course, Mister Sirius." Sirius nodded his thanks and then climbed the grand staircase to the first floor and then the second. Harry was happy to sit down on the floor with his lion, named Mus because Remus gave it to him; and his Paddy to play while Sirius went into what was James' old room and transfigured James' childhood bed into a small, toddler-sized bed with bed rails. He levitated the cot into his room and settled it next to his double-sized bed. He then went into the nursery, took the rocking chair out, and brought it into his room.

Sirius lifted Harry and carried him, his blanket, and his dummy to the rocker and settled himself down. "Just you and me, Harry," he whispered.

“Mama, Dada?” Harry said with a wobbling bottom lip.

“Oh, Harry, someday you’ll understand but not today,” the man whispered before putting Harry’s head on his chest and beginning to rock him. He knew Petal sang to Harry while she was trying to put him to sleep, or he had that charmed music box she’d made him, but Sirius wasn't much of a singer. Instead, he decided to hum like Prongs had done, and Blackbird by the Beatles seemed like a good choice. It didn’t take long to get Harry asleep, but Sirius continued to hold him and rock, taking his own comfort from the little boy who’d lost so much.

“Mister Sirius,” Wilken said when he entered the room, “we’s are surprised to see you.”

“I don’t doubt it, Wilken. James and Lily were murdered tonight. They’re saying Voldemort was killed by Harry. It gave him the scar on his head,” Sirius recounted the tale, now feeling numb. He told the elf everything, how he’d been with the Potters earlier in the evening, but a distress message from Dumbledore had him racing away. It was in that time that Voldemort had struck. He told him how he’d found his friends, and then finally came upon Harry alive.

"Dumbledore wanted Harry, but that's not what James and Lily would have wanted. They made me his godfather, and, well, he has a godmother; I just need to see if she's willing to help me. The thing is, I don't think Harry is safe. There are still Death Eaters out there, and I don't understand why Dumbledore would take Harry from me. Plus, Peter is out there, and he could harm Harry or worse, I suppose," Sirius said, his mind getting lost in the idea that Peter had given their friends up to Voldemort.

“What I’m saying is that I needed somewhere safe to bring Harry, which is why we’re here. Can we stay?”

"This is the Potter Family home," Wilken said. "The enchantments accepted you; there is no reason to be concerned about being here. You and, more importantly, Harry, are safe here." The elf snapped out of the room and returned with a decanter and a glass.

"This was Master Monty's," Wilken said at his return. "I think you should have a drink. You're beginning to go into shock, sir, and my healing charms aren't what they used to be." Sirius chuckled softly at the elf and nodded. Wilken poured him a rather large amount and then left with the decanter. Sirius knew he wouldn't be far, should the man or boy need anything in the night.

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