Categories > Books > Harry Potter

Birds of a Feather

by smfiction 19 reviews

At the start of the summer after his third year, Harry writes a letter to Sirius about all of the things he's been worrying about recently.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama - Characters: Harry,Sirius - Warnings: [!] - Published: 2008-06-19 - Updated: 2008-06-19 - 2666 words

Birds of a Feather

Dear Snuffles,

Well, I’m back at the Dursley’s for the summer and I’m not too happy about that. Hopefully, wherever you are is not only nicer than what you’re used to, but nicer than this place. Don’t worry, I’ll tell you all about Privet Drive and the Dursleys. I’ll also tell you what me and Hermione were up to that last week of school after you and Professor Lupin left. Yes, I figured out that he was going to join you. He hinted as much.

There’s so many things in my head, so much I want to tell you that I’m not even sure where to start. I want it to make sense, but I’m not sure if I have the words. I’ll try though.

Hermione would tell me to start at the beginning. Present a nice, ordered progression of important highlights, then once a timeline is established I can go back and fill in any pertinent details. Hermione’s a lot smarter than me though, so I don’t know how nice and ordered my thoughts can be made. I’ll give it a try, but I’ve pieced a lot of it together from bits of conversation over the years.

Okay. Here it goes:

After my parents were killed by the Dark Lord, Dumbledore sent Hagrid to pick me up and take me to the Dursleys. I was left on the doorstep with a letter explaining that I was their orphaned nephew and they had to raise me. Vernon and Petunia Dursley were not appreciative of this new circumstance and did all they could to make sure I was well aware of their hatred of me and my parents.

The thing is; I don’t understand how this could have even happened. I talked to you, Professor Lupin and Professor Dumbledore about the Fidelius charm hiding my parents’ house. Only the secret keeper; Peter, could tell anyone where it was located. Then how did Hagrid know where to go to find me? Peter either had to tell Hagrid or he had to die in order for the charm to break so Hagrid could even find the house. As far as I know the Fidelius is still up. Everyone knows that their house was in the village of Godric’s Hollow, but no one has ever been able to tell me exactly where in Godric’s Hollow. You would think a large farm with an orchard, pond and two-story sprawling cottage would be easy to find, but it isn’t. It’s not on any map, either. So once again I ask, how did Hagrid find it?

You can check it yourself. Ask Professor Lupin where they were hiding and I’ll bet he tells you ‘Godric’s Hollow’. Then ask him the property number or how to get there and I’ll bet he can’t quite remember.

Hagrid obviously knows where it is and I believe Professor Dumbledore does too. Peter had to have told them. So the only conclusion I can come to is that Professor Dumbledore knew that you weren’t my parents Secret Keeper.

So why didn’t he tell everyone that you weren’t the traitor?

I know that you’re probably thinking that I shouldn’t ‘cast aspirations’ on the ‘premier Light Wizard of the Age’. At least that’s what Hermione accused me of. That and ‘overly suspicious paranoia’. Hey, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe he was clueless and Peter wrote the address down and sent if off with an owl and Professor Dumbledore thought it was from you.

Still, it bothers me that you never had a trial. You were locked up on what Hermione called ‘flimsy circumstantial evidence’ alone. No testimony, no eye witnesses and no Dark Mark on your arm. Yet Lucius Malfoy practically runs the Ministry and the Hogwarts Board of Governors.

That is the biggest clue that there is something deeply wrong with the Wizarding World!

Before you ask, no, I had no idea that you had never had a trial until after we met. Everyone told me you were guilty and I believed them thinking that justice had prevailed. After Peter got away and we had to sneak both you and Buckbeak away from Hogwarts I had a bit of time to think things over. I asked Hermione for help since she had done all of the research on Buckbeak’s case. I thought that maybe we could all testify on your behalf or something like that. We could use that truth potion, verita-whatever-it’s-called to tell everyone how we saw and spoke to a very much alive Peter Pettigrew who admitted to betraying my parents and framing you for it.

Hermione and I spent nearly a week in the library looking up old trial transcripts, laws and evidence reports. We came away having learned a few things. Some were good things, but most were bad. Real bad.

One; you never had a trial. They threw you in Azkaban on shaky grounds; no testimony, no eye witnesses and no real proof. Your wand was snapped with no testing it to see if you had cast the spell that had killed the muggles.

You were an Auror and had no Dark Mark. That should have bought you at least an interrogation, but if there was one no records of it exist. No confirmed Death Eater ever named you as one of them nor could any remember ever seeing you at a revel or meeting.

They had to break their own laws in order to imprison you without trial. Why do it?

Two; over a dozen confirmed Death Eaters were found innocent by reason of being ‘bewitched’ by Voldemort. They claimed to have been under the Imperius Curse. Ron pointed out that each of them was a member of one of the wealthiest and most politically powerful families. He’s convinced, and there is some evidence to back it up, that they bought and paid for their freedom. Both the Goyle & Crabbe families went from disgustingly wealthy to only comfortably well-to-do during this time. I think it’s safe to guess where all their money went.

It was about this time that the public went nuts demanding that the Ministry do something to punish the Death Eaters. I guess too many trails ending in rich Wizengamot members and free Death Eaters was making the common folk angry. So the Ministry made a huge fuss over you and built you up as the mastermind of many raids and attacks and then locked you up. It appeased the common folk and made big splashes in the headlines. It also helped them to conveniently gloss over a scandal involving Crouch and his Death Eater son.

Three; Professor Dumbledore used his power and influence as the Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot to win Severus Snape’s freedom and then hired him to teach at Hogwarts. This one is what made me become suspicious of Professor Dumbledore and made me think about the whole mess with the Fidelius Charm. Why didn’t he insist you have a trial? Why did he believe in the innocence of a marked Death Eater but not yours?

Snape has never even bothered to pretend to like Gryffindors or muggleborns. Not only does he constantly spout Death Eater rhetoric, he threatened to snap Hermione’s wand for being an uppity mudblood. Said it right to her face. He actively encourages his slimy Slytherins to be hateful and mean to all the muggleborns and then covers up for them.

Why does Professor Dumbledore allow this?

I know this might sound selfish after everything I just wrote, but I can’t help but wonder what life would have been like for me if you would have been giving a trial and allowed to tell your side of the story with that truth potion. You wouldn’t have gone to Azkaban and I wouldn’t have had to live with the Dursley’s.

The more I think about it, the angrier I am that I had to stay with them at all. I should never have been left on the doorstep for one, and I should have been taken away at the first sign of trouble.

My first Hogwarts letter was addressed to ‘The Cupboard Under The Stairs’. Yes, that’s right. In spite of having two spare bedrooms, one used as storage and the other set aside for use by Marge Dursley a mere two weeks a year, I lived in a small boot cupboard situated in the cramped space under the stairs. I had a small camp cot that was older than Uncle Vernon, two sets of over-sized hand-me-down clothes that were little more than rags and the same pair of glasses since I was six. I didn’t even know the date of my own birthday until I started school and had to memorize it.

They told me that my parents died in a car crash. I was led to believe that my father was a good-for-nothing unemployed drunk and that my mother was a simple minded party-girl that found herself pregnant and had to get married. And isn’t it a shame that I didn’t die in the crash as well? I have lists of chores to do each day; all the laundry, cooking, cleaning, and weeding the garden. My cousin Dudley is a big fat slob who’s never lifted a finger and who is encouraged to beat me up.

Why didn’t anyone check up on me? Why wasn’t I told about the Wizarding World until I turned eleven? I didn’t know I had a Godfather till this year, does this mean I also have a Godmother? If so, why didn’t I go to live with her? My parents knew that they were being hunted by the Dark Lord, that’s why they went into hiding. Did they leave a will?

How come Professor Dumbledore, the Headmaster for a school I didn’t even go to yet, was the one to decide where I was to be raised?

This year has been a real eye-opener for me. It’s taken me a bit to put it all together, but when I do it paints a really ugly picture. See, I got to watch up close this whole mess with Buckbeak. I had no choice because Hermione was absolutely passionate about it. See, in our first COMC class, Buckbeak scratched Draco Malfoy. It was a very minor wound and would never have happened if he wasn’t such an arrogant berk as to completely dismiss every warning Hagrid gave. Lucius Malfoy then petitioned to have Buckbeak executed as a dangerous beast. Hermione was studying magical law and looking up all this stuff for Hagrid to try and defend Buckbeak. She made this completely off-the-cuff remark about it being so stupid, since it was clear that Malfoy was twisting the law in an effort to one-up Professor Dumbledore in the political arena. Buckbeak’s life was what muggles call ‘collateral damage’ in this game they were playing. The whole mess in the Shrieking Shack happened because Professor Dumbledore was cheating. He sent me and Hermione out to rescue Buckbeak with a time-turner.

Frightening isn’t it; all his political clout and instead of demanding a trial for you to prove your innocence, he sends out a pair of third year students armed with only a dangerous magical artifact to battle against the ministry and a whole host of Dementors. It would keep you alive, but it wouldn’t gain you your freedom or reputation back. It would merely preserve the status-quo.

Still, all’s well that ends well, I guess. The thing is, I got to thinking about that political game Professor Dumbledore was being forced to play with Malfoy and Fudge over Buckbeak’s fate. It reminded me of something, but I couldn’t think of what. Then it hit me. It reminded me of me. I’m the Boy-Who-Lived and that makes me the perfect chess piece for Professor Dumbledore to battle the Ministry over.

I’m not being too arrogant saying this, I have semi-proof. At the beginning of last year I escaped the Dursleys and made my way to Diagon Alley. I met Minister Fudge. He was there specifically to look for me and to ensure that I was completely aware of how important I was to the Ministry. He meant keeping me safe from you, of course. That’s why he sent all those horrid Dementors to Hogwarts. How many other students would the Ministry do that for? It made the Ministry appear to be ‘doing something’ and at the same time it infuriated Professor Dumbledore who petitioned to have them gone several times that I know of.

I can’t help but wonder if Professor Dumbledore left you in Azkaban and bundled me off to the Dursleys simply to keep me away from the Ministry’s influence.

To be perfectly honest, I have lost faith in Professor Dumbledore and the Ministry. Strangely enough my mistrust comes from the same reasons; letting you rot in prison while Death Eaters go free. I’ll never forgive Professor Dumbledore choosing Snape over you, nor will I forgive Fudge for giving Malfoy such importance and influence with the Ministry.

You are not expendable and I am not a political tool.

What I propose is that I go to Gringotts and empty my accounts. Then you, me and Professor Lupin can run off somewhere far away from the Ministry and Professor Dumbledore. Perhaps Australia or New Zealand. I hear the United States is nice this time of year. We can change our names, dye our hair and just blend in.

I’m serious about this. What is there holding me to England?

My family? No way. I don’t think of the Dursleys as family. They are my abusers, nothing more. If they all dropped dead tomorrow, I’d feel nothing but relief that they are gone from my life.

My schooling at Hogwarts? I’d miss the castle itself as well as Ron and Hermione, but that’s it. I know that Hogwarts is supposed to be the best magical school there is, but I can’t imagine how. Magical History is a joke. Professor Bins is a ghost that drones on putting the students to sleep. Which is okay since he can’t even remember anyone’s name anyway. Potions is sheer verbal torture at the hands of a Death Eater. The first day of my first year, it was the one class I was truly looking forward to. By the end of the lesson it was my least favorite. Snape has ruined potions for every non-Slytherin student in the school. DADA, which has the potential to be the most exciting class is the second worse. A Voldemort possessed psycho taught my first year, Lockhart-the-fraud taught my second and Professor Lupin was outted as a werewolf by Snape. I think he only did it because Lupin was competent and he didn’t want a new generation of students able to defend themselves against Death Eaters if they ever band together again.

My standing in Wizarding society? I don’t want anything to do with the Ministry. It’s a haven for the corrupt and for Death Eaters. Why would I want anything to do with a society that lets killers roam free while the lock up and torture innocent men?

I’ve got enough money to get us to where we are going and getting us set up. After that, well…I’m sure that you can come up with something. Think about and let me know what you think the best way to do this is. I’ll ask Hedwig to wait for your answer.

Your Godson,
Harry Potter
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