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:  The Weasleys get some unexpected visitors in the middle of the night.



Sordidus Ars Magica
(Sordid Sorcery)



Part Three


Ron jumped at the sound of a loud bang, wondering what it could be as he rose from his bed.  It was the middle of the night
almost.  He was supposed to be sleeping . . . but how could he sleep when he was so worried about Harry?  Quietly, he went
downstairs, intending to find out what all the commotion was about outside.  He was almost to the door when he heard
someone knocking on it.  He wondered who it could be at such a late hour and slowly opened the door a crack, peering outside.

“Who is it?”  He asked, not being able to distinguish the large shadow in front of him.

“Ron, that you?”  A familiar voice asked.  “It’s me . . . Sirius Black.”

Ron pulled the door open wide.  “Sirius?”  Then he gasped, seeing that Sirius had a limp body in his arms, a body that distinctly
resembled his best friend, Harry.  Ron turned and yelled at the top of his lungs.  “Mum!  Dad!  Come quick!”

In a matter of seconds, the entire Weasley household, except for Bill and Charlie since they didn’t live there anymore,
converged on the living room, all of their eyes focused on Sirius and the person that he held.  Everyone was silent, not a word
was being spoken.  It was as if everything was moving in slow motion.  Then Sirius spoke.

“Arthur Weasley?”  Sirius asked, unsurely.

Mr. Weasley stepped forward, his wand in his hand, his dressing gown loose about his shoulders as he nodded.  “Yes, I’m
Arthur Weasley.”  He replied.

“I’m Sirius Black.  I, I need your help . . . it’s Harry.”  He said, raising the bundle that he held in his arms slightly.  As if in
response to the movement, the bundle he held whimpered in obvious pain.

Mrs. Weasley rushed forward, pulling Sirius into the house.  Fred and George pulled a few pieces of luggage in from outside.  
Mr. Weasley closed the door behind them.

“Good gracious!  Harry?”  She asked in a panic, brushing her hand over Harry’s filthy and battered face.

Ron’s mouth was agape, having never seen his friend in such poor condition.  Even all the times that You-Know-Who had hurt
him, Harry had never looked this bad.  He looked like a totally different person, so thin, so pale and dirty.  Ron could see his
bones . . . and all the blood . . . it made Ron’s heart ache to see his friend like this.

“What happened to him?”  Ginny asked, tears streaming down her face.

“Those Muggles . . . that Uncle of his . . . he shot Hedwig.  I think he was keeping Harry locked in a cupboard all summer.  I
found him beating Harry tonight.”  Sirius replied.

“Enough . . . let’s tend to Harry now.  He needs our help.”  Mr. Weasley said.  “We can worry about what actually happened
to him later.”

“Percy, take this luggage up to Ron’s room and get the bed ready . . . I want Harry to be as comfortable as possible.”  Mrs.
Weasley said, giving instructions to each of the occupants of the room in turn.  Percy nodded and quickly left, not protesting
as he heaved Harry’s trunk up the stairs.  “Fred, George . . . go out to the garden and collect a few of my herbs.  You know
the ones I need.”

“Yes, Mum.”  Fred and George said at the same time, not waiting around to be told twice.  They immediately ran through to
the backyard in their bedclothes.

“Ginny, get a warm bath going . . . he’s filthy.  Then get some bandages and put them in Ron’s room.  I’ll need them I’m
sure.”  Mrs. Weasley said.  Ginny just nodded and ran off up the stairs.  “Arthur, get something for him to eat . . . something
that’ll go down easy.  And some warm chocolate, not hot.”

“Yes, dear.”  Mr. Weasley said quietly, hastily leaving the room as well.

Mrs. Weasley then gently took Harry out of Sirius’s arms.  “Sir, please contact Professor Dumbledore if you haven’t done so
already . . . I think they should hear about this.  Our owl, Hermes, came back a few hours ago, he’s in the kitchen.”

“Yes, of course.”  Sirius said, casting several worried glances at Harry before he left the room.

“What about me, Mum?”  Ron asked, wanting to be of some help, even if only a little.

Mrs. Weasley looked down at Ron and gave him a very small smile.  “Come on, I’ll need your help in the bathroom.”  She said,
turning and heading up the stairs.

Ron numbly followed her, biting his lip as he hoped for his friend’s health.  He stood in the doorway as his mother set Harry
down on the bathroom floor, stepping aside only to let Ginny pass on her way out.  He shuffled into the room, unable to keep
his eyes off of Harry’s face, taking in the sight of all those ugly wounds the Muggles had given him.  Quietly, he closed the
bathroom door, walking over and kneeling down on Harry’s other side.

“What should I do?”  Ron asked, not quite sure how to handle this.

Mrs. Weasley sighed.  “There’s not much I can do for him . . . I never was good at healing charms.  best I can do is get him
cleaned up and heal the smaller injuries.  We’ll have to let Madam Pomfrey deal with the rest when he gets to school.”  She
said, pulling out her wand and using it to cut Harry’s garments off of him.  “I need you to help me get him cleaned up, Ron.”

Ron nodded.  “Yes, Mum.”  He said, wincing as he watched more and more injuries get revealed by the removal of Harry’s
clothes, grimacing at how emaciated Harry’s body was.  Once Harry was bare, Mrs. Weasley gently picked him up and set him
down in the tub of warm water.

Harry gasped and opened his eyes, whimpering as the warm water apparently stung his many injuries.  Mrs. Weasley set her
hand on Harry’s head, whispering soothing words as she tried to calm him.  However, Harry didn’t appear as if he had heard
her, or even recognized her.  Only a moment after he had opened his eyes, they were closed once again.

Percy quietly entered the room, telling them that the bed was ready and that he had set up a couple sleeping bags on the floor
for Ron and Sirius.  Mrs. Weasley thanked him, then pointed to the garments that Harry had been wearing and told him to burn
them.  All the while, she and Ron were gently cleansing Harry’s frail body.

“Ron, you keep washing him and I’ll go get some clothes for him to wear.”  Mrs. Weasley said, having just finished rinsing
Harry’s hair out for the second time.

Ron nodded, his voice gone as he continued to help his friend, carefully cleaning the dirt and blood from each of his injured
fingers, removing several splinters from them as well.  The sight of his friend like this made Ron feel ill.  He couldn’t believe
that anyone could be so cruel or heartless as to do something like this.


*****


Mrs. Weasley closed the bathroom door as she left the room.  She leaned back against the closed door heavily, covering her
mouth with her hands as tears sprang forth from her eyes.  She hadn’t wanted to cry in front of Ron . . . she didn’t want him
to know how worried she was.  Poor Harry, she thought, horrified that the young man was injured so severely.

She took a breath, composing herself and wiping the tears from her eyes.  Once she felt that she looked relatively calm, she
headed into Ron’s room.  Percy had left Harry’s luggage near the door.  She opened the trunk first, taking note that his school
belongings were in there, including this year’s letter from Hogwarts.  She picked up the letter, putting it in the pocket of her
dressing gown.  In the morning she would send one of the boys to get Harry’s school things.  She searched around some more
until she found his money pouch, sighing as she put that in her pocket along with the letter.

Mrs. Weasley closed the trunk, picking up the smaller case that was beside it.  She opened it, frowning at the small amount of
clothing and few personal belongings that she saw inside.  The first thing that caught her attention were the broken remains of
Harry’s glasses.  The frame was in two pieces and both of the lenses were cracked.

“Reparo!”  She said firmly, watching as the pieces set themselves back together seamlessly, the cracks disappearing.  She
smiled slightly, placing the glasses back in the case and pulling out a pair of deep blue pajamas.  Just by looking at them, Mrs.
Weasley knew that they would not fit Harry . . . they were just too big.  However, it didn’t look as if there was much of
anything else in there.

With a deep sigh, Mrs. Weasley left the bedroom and headed back to the bathroom, leaving the pajamas on Ron’s bed before
she left.  She grabbed a few towels, opening the door and stepping inside to see that Ron had finished washing his friend off.  
She frowned, the wounds marring Harry’s body seeming to stick out on his pale flesh.  She wished it would be so easy to fix
Harry as it had been to repair his glasses.


*****


Ron looked up as his mother walked back into the room.  Harry was cleaned up, but still unconscious.  Ron was biting his lip
and watching his friend, keeping a close eye on him.  He didn’t want Harry to be in pain anymore.

Mrs. Weasley handed the towels that she had been carrying over to Ron.  Then she pulled Harry from the tub of dingy water,
setting him upright on his feet, although she had to hold him up to keep him from falling over.  Ron wrapped one towel around
Harry’s waist, gently beginning to dry the rest of Harry’s battered body with the remaining towel.

Once Harry was suitably dried off, Mrs. Weasley scooped Harry into her arms and carried him into Ron’s bedroom.  Ron
followed, wanting to help in some small way.  He watched as his mother laid Harry down on his bed, gently covering his
mostly nude form with the blankets.

“Ron, you keep an eye on him . . . I’m going to get something to help these cuts.”  Mrs. Weasley said, hastily leaving the room.

Ron only nodded, slowly approaching the bed and looking down at his unconscious friend.  He didn’t know what to do really,
not wanting to risk hurting Harry further by holding his hand.  So he just sat on the edge of the bed, frowning at the whimper
that escaped Harry’s cracked and bleeding lips.  Hesitantly, he reached out and set his hand on Harry’s shoulder, not knowing
what else to do to offer any kind of help or comfort.

A few minutes later, Mrs. Weasley returned.  By then, Sirius and the majority of the Weasley family was in the room with Ron,
crowding around the bed and looking down on Harry worriedly.  “All right, all of you . . . back to bed.  There's no need to
crowd the boy when I need to tend to his injuries.”  Mrs. Weasley said, shooing her children from the room, leaving only Ron,
Sirius, and Mr. and Mrs. Weasley in the room with Harry.

Ron moved off of the bed and to the side as his mother approached, giving her room.  Mrs. Weasley set a small jar of some
dark green gel on the table by the bed.  Ron knew what that stuff was . . . his mother had used it on his injuries countless times
in the past.  It was an ointment to relieve pain and quicken healing . . . Mrs. Weasley made it herself from herbs in her garden.

“Sirius, would you help me?”  Mrs. Weasley asked, pulling the blankets off of Harry and removing the towel.  “I want to do his
back first.”

Sirius nodded, lifting and gently rolling Harry over onto his stomach.  Ron bit his lip, noting the dark bruises that marred the
skin even there.  Mrs. Weasley silently worked, dipping her fingers in the gel and smearing it over his injuries.  Sirius turned
him over once she was done with his back and held him up while Mrs. Weasley applied the ointment to his front and wrapped
him in bandages.

It seemed to take hours as Mrs. Weasley took care of his wounds, although it could have easily been just a few minutes.  By
the time she was done, Harry was almost totally covered in bandages . . . like one of those mummies Ron had seen in Egypt a
few years ago.  Only Harry’s one shoulder, his face, and his feet seemed to be without bandages.  Mrs. Weasley sighed as she
and Sirius got Harry dressed into a pair of pajamas that literally hung off of his thin body.  They must have belonged to Dudley,
like all of his clothes, Ron thought.

They settled him down in bed, pulling the blankets up to once again cover his body.  Mrs. Weasley turned to her husband,
taking a bowl and spoon from him.  Then she leaned over Harry, gently shaking his shoulder where there were no bruises.

“Harry, I need you to wake up.  Can you wake up for me, Harry?”  She urged quietly, keeping her voice low.

Harry didn’t open his eyes immediately.  Slowly, he cracked them open, groaning in discomfort as he did so.  He opened his
mouth, but no words came out.  He looked so tired and weak, like he would break if someone hit him again.

“It’s okay, Harry dear . . . you don’t have to talk.  You’re safe here with us.”  Mrs. Weasley soothed, running her fingers
lightly through Harry’s hair.  “I need you to eat something now.  Okay, Harry?  Do you think you can do that?”

Harry nodded weakly, his eyes barely open, one looking like it would soon swell shut.

Sirius pushed his arm under Harry’s shoulders, getting his attention.  “This may hurt a bit, Harry.  But it'll be okay soon.”  
Sirius whispered, waiting until Harry nodded again before he helped Harry into a more upright position.  Harry’s face quickly
turned into a pain-filled grimace, his whimpering turning into a soft cry as he was moved.

Mrs. Weasley set her hand on his face, hushing him until he grew quiet again.  After a moment, Harry’s ragged breathing
returned to normal, his face lightly covered in a sheen of sweat as he blinked tiredly at her.  Mrs. Weasley stirred the contents
of the bowl around a bit with the spoon, then scooped some out and held it to his lips.

Harry opened his mouth, allowing Mrs. Weasley to spoonfeed him, wincing in obvious pain every few seconds.  He turned
away before he had finished even half of the bowl, not allowing her to feed him anymore.

Mrs. Weasley sighed.  “I suppose that’ll do for now.  Do you think you can drink some chocolate for me, Harry?”  She asked,
setting the bowl and spoon aside and taking the mug of chocolate from her husband.

Harry shook his head.  “N-No.”  He said weakly, his voice pained and rough.

“Please, Harry . . . just a few sips.  It’ll help make you stronger.”  Mrs. Weasley asked.

Harry looked at her.  For a few seconds it looked as if he would say no again, but he nodded slightly.  Mrs. Weasley smiled,
carefully placing the mug against his mouth and tipping it up, allowing only a few drops into his mouth at a time.  He started
coughing after only two swallows and Mrs. Weasley had to take it away.  Coughing looked to be agony for Harry.  Tears had
slowly crept from his eyes to trail down his bruised cheeks.

“Okay, that’s enough for now.  Why don’t you get some sleep?”  Mrs. Weasley whispered, nodding to Sirius who gently set
Harry back down again.  Before his head hit the pillow, Harry was unconscious again.

Mr. and Mrs. Weasley gathered together the items they had brought in, whispering a quiet goodbye to both Ron and Sirius
before they walked out of the room.  “He’ll be okay now, Sirius.”  Mrs. Weasley said assuringly.  “Now that he’s away from
those horrible muggles he’ll be fine.”

Sirius numbly nodded.  Ron set his hand against Harry’s shoulder, then laid down in his sleeping bag, watching Harry until he
fell asleep.  He couldn’t help but worry about Harry and Sirius.  He hoped that Sirius would be able to get some sleep and that
Harry would be okay eventually.  He hoped this trauma wouldn’t change his friend too much.



To Be Continued . . .