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SIYE Time:17:58 on 17th May 2022


Black & Red
By CharmHazel

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Category: Alternate Universe
Characters:Dumbledore, Harry/Ginny, Minerva McGonagall, Sirius Black
Genres: Drama, General, Romance
Warnings: None
Rating: PG
Reviews: 70
Summary: Raised by his godfather, following the events of Halloween 1981, Harry spends his childhood, hidden from the Wizarding World, preparing to face his destiny. However, his world is turned upside down when he reunites with the beautiful redhead he rescued down in the Chamber.
Hitcount: Story Total: 19194; Chapter Total: 706
Awards: View Trophy Room




Author's Notes:
Thank you to Arnel for brilliant beta work as always. (Edited - 7/8/2021)




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“How many times do I need to tell you, Harry?” Ginny asked angrily. “I can take care of myself!”

“I know you can,” Harry responded in frustration, “but I can’t help but worry after Lucius Malfoy threatened you!”

It had been several days since Sirius had returned from his meeting with the Aurors to inform Harry of his conversation with Lucius Malfoy. Harry had been left stunned by the threat and the fact that Voldemort was aware of his relationship with Ginny. His immediate suggestion had been for either him to enrol at Hogwarts to keep an eye on his girlfriend or for Ginny to join him in being home-schooled. Much to his dismay, his dad had rejected both ideas, making clear that it was safer for Harry to remain away from the school and that Ginny’s parents would have the final say over her education.

Harry had somehow managed to wait until his usual time to call Ginny on his mirror to tell her what had occurred at the Ministry. He had begged and pleaded with her to consider asking her parents to allow her to be taken out of Hogwarts so she could be home-schooled with him. It had only led to an argument, one that had been repeated every night since, and tonight was no different.

“I understand your concerns. I truly do, but you said it yourself that Malfoy had not been clear on when and where this could potentially occur. I will be just as safe here at Hogwarts as I would be if I were at your house,” Ginny told Harry firmly.

Every night, she had said the same thing, something Harry knew to be true. Yet, he had not found the words to convey just how scared he was for her and how devastated he would be if he was to lose her. He knew that he had to try, however, especially if it helped them reach some sort of compromise that allowed him to breathe easier.

“I need you to understand, Ginny, how much this scares me,” Harry replied choosing his words carefully. “We have known for several months that you were at risk because of the diary, but now Voldemort is aware of our relationship, he could potentially use it against me, and I would let him. If it meant you would live, then I would willingly give my life to do so. That’s how much you mean to me.”

Harry could only watch in hope as Ginny’s brown eyes widened in surprise at his words. Her facial expressions changed rapidly as his words sank in, leaving him unable to decipher just what she was feeling. The only thing that he felt certain about was that he had finally made her understand how he truly felt about the situation and, most importantly, about her.

“I can honestly say that I feel the same way, Harry,” she eventually replied. “I promise I will be careful. I think my overprotective brothers will make sure that I am safe to the point of being overbearing, but if that helps you, then I will put up with it. For now.”

It was a fair response as he knew she wouldn’t accept her brothers constantly hovering over her. He knew that they needed to find out what the plan was for her, so they could make a solid plan that didn’t leave Ginny feeling smothered by the need for everyone to protect her.

“Would you be willing to keep your mirror on you at all times?” Harry tentatively asked, knowing that his girlfriend might consider the request another step too far. “I plan to keep mine on me at all times as well.”

Ginny blushed and looked away, leaving Harry confused by her reaction to his request.

“I already do,” she mumbled quietly.

“You do?”

Ginny did not immediately reply, keeping her face turned away from looking directly at the mirror. Harry figured that she needed a few seconds to compose herself before answering so he didn’t push her for an answer, and instead waited patiently.

“I have done since your dad gave them to us,” she finally confessed, the pinkness having receded from her cheeks. “I knew we wouldn’t be able to use them freely once I was at school, but I thought that if I, on the off-chance, found myself in trouble, then I had a way of getting help.”

It dawned on Harry that this was the reason his girlfriend had fought with him over his own overprotectiveness. She not only knew how to take care of herself, but she knew that she could ask for help if the situation warranted it.

“I’m sorry for being an overprotective prat,” he apologised sincerely. “It seems I overlooked the idea that you already had a plan in place on the off-chance that you found yourself in trouble.”

“I am sorry for not just telling you up front about what I was doing,” Ginny said apologetically. “I ended up being defensive when I knew you would be happy with my plan. I know there is no excuse, but I can’t help it when everyone wants to constantly protect me.”

“Can we come to a compromise, then?”

Ginny nodded.

“I will drop the whole attempt at trying to come to Hogwarts or having you come to be home-schooled with me on one condition… that you agree not to push aside the idea of being pulled from Hogwarts if an attempt is made to kidnap you?”

“I can do that,” his girlfriend immediately agreed, much to Harry’s surprise. “However, you need to get Sirius to speak to my parents and seek their approval for this option, so we are not scrambling to put everything in place if it comes to it.”

“I think he was planning to go and speak with them anyway for the same reason you suggested,” Harry confirmed, knowing his dad always liked to have back-up plans in place as a precaution.

The young couple finally put the argument to bed and moved onto other topics. Harry was pleased that interest in the DA had increased substantially as it meant the students were opening their eyes to the truth. He hated, however, that Ginny was stuck in more detentions with the toad-faced professor, something he knew his dad was also planning to rectify as soon as possible.

“I did have a thought about how Lucius Malfoy found out about us,” Ginny said suddenly, changing the subject from how well her lessons were going.

“You did?” Harry asked, curious if it was the same person that he believed it to be as, in his eyes, there was only one obvious person.

“Considering that it was Lucius Malfoy that gave your dad the warning, the only sensible answer is that it was his son, Draco,” his girlfriend suggested. “I just can’t figure out when he would have seen us as we didn’t meet in a public setting.”

Harry thought back to that day in Hogsmeade when he and his dad had met Ginny, her brothers and Hermione for lunch at the Three Broomsticks. It was the only place that they had spent any time together, both having arrived and left with other people. The only way that anyone, other than Madam Rosmerta, could have seen them together was when someone had entered or left the room.

“Best guess is that he was passing by the room as the door opened and he managed to get a glimpse inside,” Harry offered, knowing it was probably the only answer there was. “It doesn’t matter now as I doubt my dad will let us meet anywhere that he has not approved of, which basically means anywhere that isn’t my house, your house or Order headquarters.”

“It means I probably won’t be able to see you in person until the summer holidays,” Ginny sighed, disappointment evident upon her face.

Harry hated the fact that they would now not be able to meet up on Hogsmeade weekends, but he knew it was the better option when it came to his girlfriend’s safety. He just hoped that the threat would not come to fruition.

“We still have the mirrors,” he reminded her in hopes of cheering her up. “I know it isn’t the same, but it is definitely better than waiting on an owl to deliver a letter.”

Ginny smiled, her eyes brightening up at her boyfriend’s words.

“I miss you,” she told him earnestly before glancing away from the mirror. “It’s getting late, and I can hear my dorm mates getting ready for bed. Speak to you tomorrow?”

“Same time as always. Night, Gin.”

“Night, Harry.”

Harry put the mirror on his bedside table, feeling relieved that he had finally come to an agreement with Ginny over the question of her safety. That had been their first argument, not just as a couple, but since they had become friends, and he knew it wouldn’t be their last. He was just grateful that they had been able to settle it amicably and come to a compromise, something he hoped they would always be able to do.

He turned his thoughts to wondering what the next six months would bring. He knew he would be taking his OWLs in the Spring as they also continued their research on Tom Riddle’s background and the Horcruxes. Hopefully, that would keep him busy and focused until he could see Ginny again, but, somehow, he knew that something was bound to happen. He just hoped it wasn’t something that led him to losing anyone.

Turning over on to his side, Harry made himself comfortable as he felt sleep begin to wash over him. As his eyes finally closed, his last thought was of what he and Ginny would manage to get up to when she finally came to stay with him that summer.

HP&GW

The sight of The Burrow never failed to make Sirius smile. The distinctly crooked house, which was obviously held up by magic, represented what he knew of the Weasley family and that was chaos. He just wished he was visiting on one of those days when the family was all at home causing havoc for their parents.

Sirius knocked on the door, which was quickly answered by Molly.

“Sirius,” she said in surprise, “I had not been expecting a visit from you. Is Harry with you?”

“No, he is at home, finishing off an essay,” he explained as Molly gestured for him to come inside. “I was actually hoping to speak to you and Arthur.”

“Of course. Take a seat and I’ll just go and get him.”

Sirius took a seat at the kitchen table and took a deep breath to steady his nerves. He had already held off coming to meet with Molly and Arthur for the past several days, but he knew he could no longer wait to tell them about his encounter with Lucius Malfoy. It wasn’t that he had not wanted to inform them of the threat made against their daughter; it was more that he had needed to convince his own son that he couldn’t be making demands in how to protect Ginny. Thankfully, the petite red head had come through, like he knew she would, and had managed to come to a compromise with Harry. Now he knew he could speak to them with a solid plan to present to them.

“Sirius, it’s good to see you,” Arthur said as he walked into the kitchen and joined Sirius at the table. “Molly said you wished to speak with us.”

Sirius looked over to where Molly had begun preparing some tea for them. He suspected that she knew he was about to deliver unwelcome news, so he allowed her to continue what he knew she preferred to do to keep her nerves at bay.

“It would appear that Voldemort is aware of the relationship between Harry and Ginny,” he bluntly told the couple, knowing no good would come from beating around the bush. “Lucius Malfoy made a threatening remark to me about Harry not being able to protect those he loves for much longer and made a specific reference to Ginny.”

Neither Arthur, nor Molly responded, not that Sirius had expected an immediate reply given what he had just told them. He could only, therefore, watch as Arthur took off his glasses and cleaned the lenses before putting them back on. Molly, on the other hand, just seemed to freeze in her movements as she took in the words of the threat made against her only daughter.

“I can only assume that he gave no other details?” Arthur asked rhetorically.

Sirius nodded, even though he knew he did not need to answer.

“Why won’t that man leave our daughter alone?” Molly questioned angrily as she turned to face the two men. “He is the one responsible for our daughter ending up down in that awful chamber. And, now he is threatening her once again. I have no doubt that he will follow through on it when the chance presents itself.”

It was easy for Sirius to understand Molly’s distress over the threat to Ginny. He had felt like that every day since his best friends had been murdered by Voldemort and he had taken custody of his godson. He had always been upfront with Harry about what he would be facing in the future, except for the fact that his son was the Horcrux that Voldemort had never intended to make. No child should ever have to have something like that hanging over them. If it was even possible, then he knew that he would be willing to take Harry’s place when it came to facing Voldemort.

“I want to apologise for waiting a few days to tell you,” Sirius said, pushing away the thoughts of Harry’s current fate. “Harry did not react well to the threat and started coming up with ways he could help protect her. He wouldn’t listen to me over the fact that his suggestions were not viable, and it took him arguing with Ginny about her safety for him to come to that realisation himself.”

It had not been a surprise to discover that Ginny had been the one to talk Harry out of his ridiculous ideas. He had known that the young couple had spent every night since the threat was made arguing about how to protect her as it had impacted Harry’s mood. Thankfully, he had come down to breakfast that morning much happier than the previous few days before he had explained about the conversation that he’d had the night before with his girlfriend. That had prompted Sirius to finally reach out to Ginny’s parents and explain the situation.

“What did he suggest?” Arthur asked, amused by Harry’s overprotectiveness.

“He wanted to enrol at Hogwarts to be close to your daughter,” Sirius told the older couple. “It didn’t seem to matter to him that very few people are aware of his connection to Ginny and your family. He just wanted to be near to her in case something was to happen. He did have one suggestion that is a viable option, however, which could be a back-up plan if we feel it becomes necessary.”

He had agreed with Harry’s idea of Ginny being home-schooled alongside him from the moment his son had suggested it. However, with the way Harry had decided it should be done immediately with no thought for what Ginny or her parents wanted, he was not able to convince Harry to step back and look at the bigger picture. The whole situation only served to show just how much Harry had fallen for the youngest Weasley that he was on the verge of becoming reckless.

“Would this involve Ginny being pulled from Hogwarts?” Arthur enquired, causing Molly’s eyes to light up at the idea as she finally sat at the table with them, once she had placed a cup of tea in front of each of the two men.

“It does,” Sirius confirmed. “With your permission, I would like to offer her the opportunity to be home-schooled alongside Harry, but only if more threats are made or an attempt is made.”

“Why not immediately?” Molly asked, obviously not happy with the idea that her daughter would remain at the school and in danger.

“Molly, I think we can both agree that it would be unfair to disrupt our daughter’s education and take her away from her friends for one threat. It would be better to make a plan that can be immediately enacted if the situation warrants it.”

Sirius was thankful for Arthur’s calm approach. However, given Molly’s reaction, he knew he would be able to set up all the necessary paperwork so that they were ready the instant they were forced into removing Ginny from Hogwarts.

“Even if you did choose to remove Ginny from school straightaway, the Ministry still has to be notified,” Sirius explained, having been through it all after he decided to keep Harry away from Hogwarts. “Every child who is eligible to attend Hogwarts usually does accept their invitation, but if the parent or guardian chooses not to send them, then they have to inform the Ministry of their plans for their education. For those who choose to home-school, they have to provide a plan of how they intend to cover the curriculum and who will be teaching the child.”

“Will that be a problem if Ginny is learning alongside Harry?” Molly asked worriedly.

“It’s only on the rare occasion that the Ministry will deny the parent the option of home-schooling,” Arthur explained, well aware of the current education laws. “However, I believe that they wouldn’t deny us as we would be letting Sirius oversee our daughter’s education and he is on file there as being a home-educator. I am assuming we would need to sign a form giving you permission to do that though?”

“Yes,” Sirius confirmed, “and by doing so, it will allow the Ministry to speak to me about Ginny’s progress and sign off when she is ready to take her OWLs. Still, I would keep you fully informed of what we were doing, and I would not move forward with anything that I felt you needed to have full input on, specifically her exams.”

He watched as Arthur and Molly appeared to have a silent conversation with their eyes. He was certain that they were in full agreement with the back-up plan for Ginny’s education, but he wasn’t sure if they, Molly specifically, would be agreeable to Ginny coming to live with them for her protection.

“I have just one question before I agree to this plan,” Molly said, turning her eyes to look at Sirius. “If we remove Ginny from school because something happens to her, then how do we continue to keep her safe? While we have a broad selection of wards surrounding our property, I don’t think it would be enough to keep us safe from a potential attack.”

“I was planning to suggest that Ginny moves in with myself, Remus and Harry,” Sirius suggested, relieved that Molly had made it easier to bring up this part of his plan. “Only six people are currently aware of the exact location of the house and the wards are incredibly hard to get through and break down. Just the fact that Harry had to be lured off the property and beyond our wards shows just how hard it would be for anyone to get to Ginny.”

Molly turned back to her husband and gave a nod of her head. Sirius knew before Arthur even said the words that they were happy with the plan.

“Ok, then, we accept the plan,” Arthur confirmed. “What do we need to do now?”

Sirius smiled, knowing that Harry would be delighted with the news, before explaining to the two Weasleys just what needed to be accomplished if their plan was going to be ready to be followed through on if the situation came to that.

HP&GW

Sirius had just settled down in the living room when there was an unexpected knock on the door. Given how many people knew of the location of the house and with Remus spending the night at Grimmauld Place, he knew it could only be one of two people. Even then, out of those two, only one of them would likely to be turning up on his doorstep at this time in the evening. He just hoped it was not like the visit they had received nearly four years ago.

“Albus,” Sirius politely said once he had opened the front door to find the headmaster of Hogwarts on his doorstep. “I wasn’t expecting to see you, this evening.”

“My apologies, Sirius, for dropping in unexpectedly,” the headmaster replied as Sirius welcomed him into the house. “I did not want to arrange a meeting and then find I was unable to leave the school.”

The two wizards moved through to the living room with Sirius calling Harry down to join them at Dumbledore’s request. Once the younger wizard had joined them, Sirius turned his attention to the headmaster once more.

“What can we do for you, Albus?”

“I promise that I do not have any more secret chambers for you to open, Harry,” Dumbledore said to break the tension that had settled over the room. “I have received word from the Ministry, courtesy of Kingsley, and felt it would be prudent to inform you of the newest developments.”

Sirius looked over at Harry and saw the look of concern on his son’s face. The lack of news from the Ministry following Fudge’s statement the day after the interview had been released had been worrying for the both of them. They were not even aware of whether the man had accepted the Aurors’ statement confirming no one in their department had been responsible for the breakout at Azkaban. If Fudge continued to deny Voldemort’s return, even in the face of solid evidence, Sirius knew Harry would feel defeated.

“I am afraid that Cornelius has managed to retain his position as the Minister,” Dumbledore solemnly told them. “He is still continuing to deny Voldemort’s return, stating that the evidence is circumstantial at best and is only serving to cause disruption throughout our world.”

“That is complete rubbish,” Harry muttered angrily as his head fell into his hands.

“I don’t understand how he can ignore the evidence,” Sirius replied in confusion. “I know the Aurors went out to investigate the graveyard at Little Hangleton. They even viewed my own personal memories of that evening. Are you telling me that Fudge is still refusing to believe what is right in front of him?”

“To some extent, yes,” Dumbledore confirmed. “However, he has changed his stance on Death Eaters being behind a number of events that have occurred over the past couple of years. This includes the breakout at Azkaban. I believe that until Voldemort publicly reveals his return, then this will be the closest we will get to the Ministry admitting the truth for now.”

As much as he knew that Harry would be disappointed with Fudge’s stance, Sirius felt that it was much better than where the Minister had stood the day after the article was released. He wasn’t, however, going to allow the man to remain in power when they had enough evidence to remove Umbridge from her post at Hogwarts and hopefully Fudge from the position of Minister.

“Is he, at least, going to take the necessary steps to warn and prepare the public for more potential attacks?” Harry asked, pulling Sirius from his thoughts.

“I wish I could give you the response you are looking for, Harry,” the headmaster kindly replied, “but Fudge feels the Aurors’ priority is to round up every escaped prisoner. He believes that they may also be able to arrest any Death Eater that has previously escaped conviction in the process, therefore, removing any potential threat.”

Looking over at his son, Sirius knew that he needed to reveal their plan for Umbridge and Fudge.

“Are you aware that Umbridge is using a blood quill on any pupil who has detention with her?”

It was obvious that Dumbledore was not aware of what was happening in his school by the way the blood appeared to drain from his face. If the situation had not been a serious matter, Sirius knew he would be laughing at the fact that he had managed to make his former headmaster speechless.

“It is not a secret that Delores has handed out a high number of detentions, something I believe that you are aware of. But, no, I was not aware of the use of a blood quill as no one has come forward to complain about her choice of punishment and Madam Pomfrey has not notified me of any unusual injuries or illnesses. I can only assume, therefore, that you are in possession of a number of complaints?”

“We are,” Harry confirmed, “and it’s all thanks to Ginny Weasley.”

“Say no more, Harry,” Dumbledore said with a twinkle in his eyes. “I would like some plausible deniability when it comes to your plans. However, feel free to move forward with them as I will not deny that I would love to see Delores Umbridge banished from my school.”

Sirius exchanged looks with Harry, pleased that they had Dumbledore’s backing. It was time to take down Fudge and his cronies and make the Ministry accept that Voldemort was back once again.
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