Disclaimers:  I do not own Harry Potter or any of its characters.  I am only borrowing them for the sole purpose of
entertainment and nothing else.  No money is being made from this.

Notes:  Summer is nearly over and Ron is worried about Harry since he hasn’t gotten word of his friend in months.  Sirius gets
word of Harry’s silence and leaves to find him.



Sordidus Ars Magica
(Sordid Sorcery)



Part One


The summer was drawing to a close and the day when Ron Weasley would go back to Hogwarts was fast approaching.  
However, as much as he looked forward to going back to school and seeing all of his friends again, he couldn’t help but worry
about one friend in particular.  He hadn’t heard from his best friend, Harry Potter since he had watched the other youth walk
away from him at the train station when they had finished the previous school year.

He hadn’t gotten one owl from Harry all summer.  It was quite disturbing.  Those Dursleys were probably locking Harry up
again.  All of Ron’s invitations for Harry to come and stay with him were returned unopened.  Even Ron’s parents were
worried.  Mr. and Mrs. Weasley often discussed whether they should go get him or not.  And they had finally decided . . . if
Harry didn’t respond to the letter that Ron had sent out with Pigwideon, Pig for short, they’d go and get him from the Dursleys
themselves.  All he had to do was wait until Pig got back.

Suddenly, something that resembled a tennis ball with wings flew through Ron’s open window, hitting him in the head and then
circling him in a flutter of its feathery wings.  Ron reached out, grabbing Pig with his hand, nearly growling as he got the hyper
little owl to calm down.

Then Ron’s eyes widened, feeling something slick and warm against his fingers and hearing as Pig squeaked in pain.  Ron
opened his hand, surprised to see Pig sitting still for a moment, his mouth gaping open as he saw the blood on one of Pig’s
small wings.  In an instant, Ron had jumped to his feet and was running down the stairs to the kitchen, cradling Pig against his
stomach as he ran.

“Ronald Weasley, you calm down this instant.”  Mrs. Weasley chided, shaking her finger at him as she spoke.  “Don’t run in
the house.”

“Mum, Dad . . . look.”  Ron said, breathless as he set Pigwideon down on the kitchen table, watching as the little bird stood
there squawking pathetically.

“Good gracious.”  Mrs. Weasley gasped, looking the owl over.  “It looks as if someone’s been throwing rocks at him.”  She
immediately scooped Pig into her hands and took him out of the room to tend to him.

“Probably that git, Dudley.”  Fred muttered over his breakfast, his twin brother George snickering.

“Now, now . . . we have no proof that it was that Dudley boy.”  Mr. Weasley said.

“But Dad, the letter I sent to Harry was still attached to Pig’s leg . . . I saw it.  It hasn’t been touched.  I bet those Dursleys are
doing something to him.”  Ron said in a rush.

Mr. Weasley nodded.  “I’ll send a letter to Dumbledore . . . we’ll have to inform him and ask if we can intervene.  Best send
Hermes for this . . . Errol probably won’t make the trip fast enough.”  Mr. Weasley said, rising to his feet and walking over to
Hermes, writing a quick letter and attaching it to the owl’s leg.

A moment later, Hermes was gone, off to deliver Mr. Weasley’s letter.  Ron hoped that Dumbledore would let them do
something to help Harry.  Maybe this time Harry wouldn’t ever have to go back with those horrible Muggles.


*****


Sirius Black sat in Albus Dumbledore’s office, sipping at a glass of pumpkin juice.  He brushed his free hand over his black
robes, smoothing out the wrinkles in his new garments.  It had been a long time since he had been able to wear clean clothes.  
He had missed this feeling . . . being free.  It would take some getting used to.

“I have to thank you once again, Professor Dumbledore.”  Sirius said, grateful to the man before him.

The headmaster had given Sirius a place to live these last few months, helping him to get settled back into the life of a free
man.  Sirius’s health was better than ever, although his skin retained its pale pallor . . . otherwise, he was quite well and had
even gained a few healthy pounds on his slender frame.  Sirius owed Albus Dumbledore his life and didn’t know how he could
ever repay this debt that he felt he now owed.

“And I will say once again, Sirius, there is no need to thank me.”  Dumbledore said, holding up his hand.  “A good man such as
yourself deserves a second chance.”

Sirius nodded.  He was getting his second chance, right here at Hogwarts.  Dumbledore had given him a position in the school,
making him the new Defense Against the Dark Arts instructor.  That put him on Serverus Snape’s bad side, since the Potions
instructor still wanted the job badly, but it was a job that Sirius knew he’d be good at.  And with him teaching at Hogwarts, he
could get to know Harry better when they both had free time.  He looked forward to getting reacquainted with his godson very
much.

A strange tapping sound drew both Dumbledore and Sirius’s attention.  They looked to the window, seeing an owl pecking at
the glass with its beak.  Dumbledore stood and moved over to the window, pulling it open and allowing the owl to fly in.  It
landed on a perch near Dumbledore’s desk, holding out its leg and flapping its wings as if telling him to hurry.

Dumbledore took the letter and read it carefully, sighing deeply before handing the parchment over to Sirius for him to read.  
Sirius read it aloud, not really knowing why he was doing it even as he read.  “Professor Dumbledore, I write to you on an
urgent matter.  As you well know, my son Ronald is good friends with Harry Potter.  As was the case during previous
summers, all of our letters to Harry have been brought back to us apparently unread.  While this is no cause for concern in and
of itself, as the Dursleys will not allow Harry to receive his owl posts, something has occurred that leads me to believe that
Harry should be removed from the Dursleys’ home as soon as possible.”

Sirius feared for Harry, but continued to read this letter.  “Pigwideon, my son’s owl, has just returned.  His wing is injured as if
someone had thrown rocks at him.  It’s nothing too serious, but this has never occurred before.  We all implore you to send
someone to investigate the situation at the Dursleys’, even if you must ask Professor Snape to do so.  We will be happy to take
Mr. Potter in for the remainder of the summer, as my entire family and I are quite fond of the young man.  I thank you for
taking the time to read this.”  It was signed by an Arthur Weasley.

Sirius looked up at Professor Dumbledore, passing the parchment back to him.  “It seems as if your godson is not doing so
well.”  Dumbledore stated.

“Leaving him with those Muggles . . . they hate him you know.”  Sirius fumed, anger boiling in his veins.  He rose to his feet,
running his hands through his hair as he gave a long, exasperated sigh.  “I’m going to get him now.”

“Don’t be so hasty, Sirius.”  Professor Dumbledore advised, laying his hand on Sirius’s shoulder to still him.  “We don’t know
for sure that he’s in any sort of danger.  There’s less than a week left until term begins . . .”

Any other words that Professor Dumbledore might have said were cut off when Snape barged into the room, all but running
over to Dumbledore’s desk.  He gave Sirius a small glare, before turning to the headmaster.  “I believe we have a problem.”  
Snape stated.  “I was in the owlry, sending a letter to an acquaintance, when this caught my attention.”

Sirius noticed that Snape was sweating rather heavily, and he was carrying something bundled up in his robes.  He watched as
the Potions Master unwrapped the object he held, laying it down on Professor Dumbledore’s desk.  Both Dumbledore and
Sirius gasped when a white owl was revealed.  They all knew without a doubt that it was Harry’s owl.  There was just
something distinctive of the usually proud looking bird.

“Hedwig!”  Sirius exclaimed, horror-stricken that the owl was injured.  There was blood on her one wing and the injury didn’t
appear recent.  She was filthy and looked ill . . . but at least she was still alive.  Although in her condition it didn’t look as if she
would be alive for too much longer.

“She seems to have been shot with a Muggle weapon called a gun.”  Snape said, gesturing to the injured wing.  “I don’t know
how long she was in the owlry, for all I know it could have been days or weeks . . . possibly more than a month.”

“That does it!”  Sirius shouted, slamming his hand down on Dumbledore’s desk, regretting it instantly, since the owl flinched
and made a pitiful squeaking sound.  However, Sirius still glared at the two men occupying the room with him.  “Now we
KNOW that something is wrong.  Harry would never let Hedwig out of her cage unless to deliver an important letter . . . the
Dursleys never allow it.  I don’t care HOW close it is to the new school term, I’m going to get Harry as far away from those
Muggles as I can.”

Dumbledore sighed, nodding his head.  “Professor McGonagall tried to tell me that it was a mistake.  I thought it would be best
for Harry.  They were his only family available at the time.”

Snape abruptly cut in.  “I am so tired of everyone doing what they think is best for that boy.”  He glared at Sirius.  “Don't say
anything Black, I’m not finished.”  Then he continued with his original line of though.  “Harry Potter should have been raised
with Wizards . . . regardless of WHO he is.  He was ignorant of everything magical when he first came to this school, and is
thrown for a loop at almost every term.”

“Voldemort didn’t help matters much!”  Sirius snapped.

Snape sighed.  “No, but I must say this.  Potter manages to surprise me every year.”  He said, grimacing even as he spoke, as
if this was very difficult for him to say.  “I would . . . regret . . . his absence.  He doesn’t let anything get him down . . . not
even having to face those Muggles every summer.  For THAT, Black, I am . . . relieved that you have been cleared of those
false charges.  I still don’t like you, or trust you, but . . . perhaps I should stop punishing the boy for the past he had no part in
personally.”

Sirius smiled.  “That is very noble of you, Serverus.”  Sirius nodded.  Then he turned to Professor Dumbledore, dropping his
smile.  “I’m going to get Harry now and there’s nothing you can say that will stop me.”

“Very well, Sirius . . . but please don’t hurt those Muggles.  It would be unfortunate if you were arrested before Harry could
get to know you better.”  Dumbledore replied.

Sirius was about to leave, but stopped and looked down at Hedwig.  He bit his lip, worrying for the injured owl.  “What about
Hedwig?”  He asked solemnly.

“I’ll take care of her.”  Snape stated, causing Sirius to blink and wonder if the man had gotten hit on the head sometime
recently.  Serverus Snape wasn’t well-known for his generosity and kindness after all . . . and here he was volunteering to take
care of an injured bird.  And not just any injured bird, but one that belonged to his least favorite student, Harry Potter.

Sirius nodded, not questioning Snape about his motives for doing this.  Perhaps the man had changed his mind about his
perceptions of the boy.  It was about time if he had lightened up on Harry . . . maybe now things would be better for Harry in
Snape’s class.

Without looking back, Sirius left Professor Dumbledore’s office and then left Hogwarts.  He had to get to Harry quickly . . . he
had to save his godson from whatever fate those Muggles had dealt to him.  And if Harry was hurt, Sirius didn’t know if he
would be responsible for his own actions against those ignorant Muggles.



To Be Continued . . .