A Professor of Magic at Hogwarts - C.305: Sirius and Kreacher

A Professor of Magic at Hogwarts

C.305: Sirius and Kreacher

A Few Days Ago

Number 12, Grimmauld Place, the Black family mansion.

Sirius Black lounged lazily on the couch, appearing utterly idle, his jet-black hair casually tousled.

Compared to a little over a month ago, he looked much better now. His face had regained some flesh, no longer resembling a skull freshly dug from a grave. Instead, he appeared as a slightly underweight but normal individual.

His feet rested on an elegantly crafted vintage coffee table. At intervals, Sirius would glance at a palm-sized piece of paper covered with intricate lines and densely packed tiny black dots. Only a few names, occasionally stirring, were written in golden ink on this parchment.

This state of affairs continued until noon when the house-elf Kreacher, who attended to the household, appeared with a sluggish demeanor. Sirius's eyes shifted as Kreacher made his way towards him.

Kreacher held a dirty rag in his hands, making it hard to determine whether the rag or the tattered cloth he wore was dirtier. Perhaps the rag was once his worn-out garment?

Thoughts meandered curiously in Sirius's mind. Just then, Kreacher slowly, step by step, approached, while Sirius observed him from the corner of his eye. Kreacher hopped onto the coffee table, brandishing the rag and muttering, "The wasteful young master, not knowing where he learned such bad habits. Placing his feet on the table like that. The Mistress used to enjoy her tea here, hosting many noble guests"

"Kreacher, your feet are dirtier than my shoes!" Sirius snapped in irritation.

"...Bearing so many precious memories. If the Mistress knew, how heartbroken she would be..."

Sirius's brows twitched erratically, his usual elegance giving way. He suddenly jumped up, grabbing the strip of cloth around Kreacher's neckthe makeshift collar, if you willready to throw him out.

Kreacher didn't resist. He continued rambling, "Cannot be compared to his brother, truly shouldering responsibilities"

"Are you talking about Regulus?" Sirius halted mid-step, saying, "He's a fool. I always thought he was clever enough to look out for himself but no, he went and joined the Death Eaters!"

"Master Regulus is not a fool!" Kreacher struggled vehemently, his body jolting back and forth like a wound-up toy. "He's a thousand times better than you. He joined the Death Eaters in your place"

"What did you say?" Sirius widened his eyes, lifting Kreacher to meet his gaze, "Explain yourself"

But Kreacher kept squirming, a tangled mess of snot and tears, prompting Sirius to disdainfully toss him back onto the couch.

"Let me tell you, Kreacher! He's been a Voldemort worshipper all along. Do you know why everyone at home preferred him? Because he became the noble, dignified Black they wanted."

"I even wrote him letters, asking him to stay away from Voldemort, to hide. But what happened? The moment he graduated, he joined the Death Eaters. My parents must have been thrilled, finally cleansing the stain I am. They can now tell the world that a brave little hero has emerged from the family, right?"

Kreacher lay on the floor, softly sobbing, muttering a string of profanities, "No shame, fraternizing with Muggle friends filthy, cowardly, reeking"

Furious, Sirius interjected, "Reeking? Then I'll let you experience Muggle methods. Honestly, I've wanted to do that for ages."

Sirius gripped Kreacher and ascended to the second-floor washroom, tossing him into the bathtub. He twisted the tap adorned with a small snake pattern, muttering, "You're disgustingly dirty! Even after twelve years in Azkaban, I never encountered something as absurd as this!"

With Sirius pinning him down, Kreacher was thoroughly cleansed from head to toe. Sirius even conjured a brush with his wand, diligently scrubbing. He cleaned every crevice, even the dirt lodged in the wrinkles of Kreacher's hairless scalp. Proud of his work, Sirius said, "Now, are you satisfied? Your master serving you"

One minute later, he began to regret it. The water in the bathtub turned as if gallons of ink had been poured into it. A foul stench emanated, prompting him to gag, his stomach churning. Astonishingly, he raised Kreacher's hand, asking, "Did you cook using this stuff?"

Sirius removed the bathtub plug, allowing water to drain. Half an hour passed

Clean as a whistle, Kreacher sat on the sofa. His skin was rosy and even the hair in his bat-like ears was as white and fluffy as cotton. He looked uncomfortable, scrutinizing his toes incessantly.

Exiting the bathroom, Sirius, having taken a bath himself, didn't carry any odd odors. He glanced at Kreacher, contentedly lying on the sofa, reading comics Felix Harp had given him. It was meant to kill time, accompanied by a heap of Easter chocolate eggs. Sirius had picked the ugliest one and handed it to Kreacher.

The afternoon was pleasantly spent, the air had a newfound freshness. Sirius stayed until the afternoon, timing his departure from Grimmauld Place. He reached an activity room in the Grimmauld Square community.

"Well, young man, back again today?" a skinny old man remarked.

"Yes," Sirius nonchalantly replied as he arranged a few chess pieces. "May I begin?"

"You should be playing with the white pieces," the old man suggested.

"What difference does it make?" Holding a black knight, Sirius muttered, "If only these pieces could move."

The old man chuckled heartily. "You're quite the character... but no!"

They played two games, both ending with Sirius as the loser. During the third game, he scratched his chin thoughtfully, struggling, "I remember this not being so hard. Remus and I used to play, and we could last for sixty or seventy moves..."

An old woman carrying a cloth bag entered the room. She glanced around and came over, grabbing the old man's ear. "Our son and daughter-in-law are back, and you're here playing chess?"

"Let me finish this game, just this one" the old man pleaded.

So the old woman sat beside them, observing their game. The old man furrowed his brow, entering a crucial phase. Both sides were locked in a tight contest. Suddenly, the old woman said, "Old man, move your queen."

"Right." To Sirius's astonishment, the old man moved his white queen to capture Sirius's black knight.

"This isn't fair!" Sirius protested. "It's two against one!"

The old woman smirked. "You can ignore him. After all, I taught him." Nevertheless, she fell silent. The game was irredeemable. Sirius watched helplessly as he was checkmated.

The old man scattered the chess pieces. "This round doesn't count. We'll play again some other time." He left with the old woman.

"Did our son have a fight with the neighbors?"

"No, and he even brought them a gift. There's a saying for this, right? Turning over a new leaf In these six months, they haven't played loud music at night. You won't believe it, but I followed a young person's advice and slipped a card under their door. Just like the young man from earlier, both of them had black hair"

Meanwhile, in a gloomy, dilapidated inn

A piercing voice softly spoke. It was as cold as an icy breeze, cutting through the air, "Go, Barty. Inform Peter bring Harry Potter to me. I must survive."

"As you command, my master! I'm willing to give my life for you!" the wild-eyed Barty Crouch Jr. fervently declared.

"No, my dear Barty," a voice behind the chair responded. "Remember, this is a dangerous endeavorin Dumbledore's watchful eyes. First, ensure your own safety."

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