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Apologetically, Sirius Black

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Ch 1. Marcy, Junior Assistant Reporter

3 January 2019

To the current Headteacher of Hogwarts Ms Hermione Granger,

I'm having trouble verifying the attendance records of an alleged student: Viridian Fitzpatrick III. Would it be possible to meet with one of the librarians and check the admittance archives? I am specifically interested in the years between 1970 and 1979, and I believe those scrolls have not been fully digitised yet.

Marceline Thompson
Junior Assistant Reporter
The Daily Prophet

In accordance with the Glasgow Wulver Academy's safety warding, I do solemnly swear that I mean no harm to the current teacher of Defence Against The Dark Arts. Signed by Marceline Thompson. Dated: 7 January 2019.

Prof. Remus Lupin,

Would you be available for lunch this weekend? I'm having trouble with finding a verifiable source on whether there was ever a Lady Twattington who financed The Order of the Phoenix's efforts in the First War. She may, or may not, have had a daughter named Daffodilia - "Daft Daffy" - who went to various Pureblood banquets and parties with Order members on assignment. I have reason to believe that you attended the Ministry's autumnal equinox banquet of 1980 with her and a friend, and I would love to find out more about her and her mother.

- Marcy

14 January 2019

Dear Prof. Severus Snape,

As the current head of the Half-Blood Welcoming Society at Hogwarts, I wanted to ask you about a Half-blood student who might have been a member during your school days. Viridian Fitzpatrick the Third, supposedly, claimed entry through his Pureblood maternal line of the Kelp family in Aberdeenshire. If he really did exist, that is. Though I would like to find out more about Viridian, I would greatly appreciate if you could respond with any lack of evidence as well.

M. Thompson

Ch 2. Inter-Office Memos

Memo to all assistants and interns working on 'The Black Sheep of the Family':

Do not use any of the auto-read spells with the physical pages. Sleepy Tincture Ink works with that family of spells to put listeners to sleep. Reading aloud can also trigger this, so do not read more than one page out loud within thirty minutes of each other.

Good luck,
Rita Skeeter

Hey Bert,

The anti-copying spell went off again. Are you sure there's no guild secrets?

- Gerald

Pansy -

Owl the guild named in the manuscript. It should be easy to run an interview or an excerpt without giving anything away in The Prophet itself, but there's at least a whole chapter in the book draft that's alerting Gerry.

- Rita

To: Head of Communications, The Daily Prophet

From: Communications Liaison for the Scottish Magi-Wool Guild

The British Magi-Wool Guild would like to schedule a meeting between the representative for Scotland and one of the senior editors at your earliest convenience.

Rita -

Would it be possible to cut down on the woolly portion? Really, there's too many pages about sheep husbandry, shearing, and wool processing for a tell-all about war.

- Hubert, Senior Editor

Ch 3. Pansy, Unofficial Head of Junior Assistant Reporters


To my favourite accountant,

Olivia's idea about covering queer sexuality in prison was approved for some sort of Wizarding-Muggle crossover piece for LGBT+ History Month. Unsurprisingly, attempts to reach out to current inmates have been spotty, and they haven't been keen on questions about past experiences during the worst part of winter. It's likely that she'll reach out to the post-Azkaban support group and try to find former inmates to interview, but I think a certain trusted Malfoy should give them advance warning.

- Pans

4/02/2019, Monday

To my favourite Head of House,

I haven't been able to find anything about taking someone to a Whomping Willow as a part of Pureblood courting rituals. I've found similar folklore related to other trees, depending on one's coven affiliation, but it's old enough to have fallen out of fashion – outside of certain literary references and a few pre-Victorian handfasting vows. Is someone trying to prank one of our hatchlings?

Your favourite colubrid columnist,
Pansy Parkinson-Weasley


To my brave husband,

Someone should check on Sirius. I know Astoria and Draco have been stopping by for weekly tea all winter, and Sirius sees an awful lot of Gregory on Harry's behalf. However, something has prompted Sev – yes, our Potions professor, that Severus Snape – to pay him a visit for lunch next Sunday.

I shall spare you from Sev's concerns about whether the date is too close to a certain holiday for now, but prepare yourself for after Rose is put to bed. I've already double checked that the anti-duelling measures are still in effect, and they finished out their weregild meetings nearly ten years, so I know that no one's going to end up St Mungo's. In theory. Could you just happen to stop by on the 17th around 2 p.m. with a sample of that bubble-gum you're working on for the shop? Just to make sure Sirius is still in one piece.


P.S. I'll stop by The Fourth Broomstick to pick up some navratan korma on my way home.

Ch 4. Fact Checking Division

Dear Gregory Goyle,

Would you be available to talk with Margaret Wimbley-Wood and I about animal husbandry this afternoon? There's a fascinating overlap with Muggle techniques that I was hoping to talk to an experienced sheep farmer about.

William Blacksmith
Fact Checker
The Daily Prophet

To Marcy Thompson,

Copies of past responses to interview and book requests with Sirius Black are enclosed. Standard procedure for Sleepy Tincture Ink applies to all of them. Please ignore Adam Smyth's handwritten speculation about how the ink and auto-reading spells might be formulated in the margins (he was intentionally listening to excerpts to treat his insomnia at the time).

An update to the 2002 excerpt: The thorough reporting and photographs of the different snail species in Black's garden led to the Conchological Society having enough documentation to recognise a new subspecies of land snail first discovered by Mx Luna Lovegood. Black admits in an interview in Mollusc World that he was trying to "bore a reporter pestering him about rumours of sexual deviancy within prison" (issue no. 2, July 2003).

The Fact Checking Division did not start until December 2012, so early responses do not have a report attached to them. The refusals to interview requests around the anniversaries of the end of the First and Second Wars are non-applicable, but Black did start to provide excerpts to Rita's book requests that have an "Unknown" rating. As to your question about Viridian: several prior excerpts mention him, but we have not been able to verify if that is a code name or a real person.

Kevin Bletchingley
Head Fact Checker

Auror Nymphadora Tonks:

I would like to ask a few questions about the residence that your mother was guardian of during the Second War – Number 12 Grimmauld Place. I am aware that it was burnt down in a raid by Death Eaters, but I have received information from Sirius Black that provides a different set of events to the loss of the property. As this is still considered an open and active investigation, I feel it would be best if we talk in person.

Fact Checker, The Daily Prophet: Sarah Cook

Ch 5. Confusedly, Sirius

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Dear Greg,

I didn't realise that the British Magi-Wool Guild would talk to you. I know this sounds hard to believe, but I didn't think that anyone would actually read what I wrote. I don't mean to say that what you do is boring, but I thought there was too much detail for anyone to finish all those pages. In the past, I've sent in accounts of pickling various vegetables for the fair, creating hand-made ink, and documentation of all the snails in my back garden.

Most of the sheep raising process is, honestly, very similar to what the Muggles do, and I wrote most of that shearing account based on what I could find at the library. I sprinkled in a few spells or inferences to what seemed most efficient and practical, like that spell to find a lost sheep, and I did not realise there were any guild secrets involved. I could provide a record of which books I checked out at the library if that would convince you.

I can understand why you're upset, and I can understand why you aren't coming to the vernal equinox celebration. Maybe next year?


Friday, 15 March 2019

To Severus,

I'm sorry if I seemed a bit pushy with the lemon poppyseed cake last Sunday. I have far more of it than I can possibly eat alone due to the recent cancellation of next weekend's party. I'm not sure if Draco already told you about that or not, but it's officially not happening this year. Harry wanted to support Greg, and –

Never-mind. You mentioned someone at lunch, I believe a classmate of ours. How did you hear about Viridian Fitzpatrick?

- Sirius

Ch 6. Hubert, Senior Editor

28 March 2019

Rita -

The Fact Checkers are all over this tell-all about Black's war-time experiences, and I do not mean that in a positive way. Lady Twattington, her daughter Daffodilia, and the childhood friend do not exist. The team's gone back through past submissions, and it's worse – details on Grimmauld Place are wrong, duels and raids don't match up with The Order of the Phoenix or Auror archives, contradictory professions and hiding places are named, and Viridian was first introduced back in 2004.

Now, it's not entirely fictional, or we could recategorize it. There are various pieces and details that are true, but publishing this manuscript as is would be a mistake. At this point, the only way your 20th anniversary tell-all will be published is, in all likelihood, if Sirius Black is interviewed in-person under Veritaserum.

- Hubert, Senior Editor

Ch 7. Anonymous, Reporter for The Daily Prophet

Anonymous submission to The Invisi-Quill website posted on Friday, 5 April 2019:

Sirius Black: What is the truth?

Former Azkaban prisoner, Sirius Black, has been contacted over the years about writing a tell-all book, sources close to The Daily Prophet say. However, it wasn't until recently that excerpts from his responses have been shared. The following quotes raise serious questions about the credibility of Black's word and, I think, should not be hidden away in book that may or may not be published. After all, it was on his word and his version of the truth that Black was ever granted a new trial after the Second War. I ask my readers now to consider: Did we make a mistake?

Viridian Fitzpatrick III wanted to follow in the great Kelp family tradition of being sorted into Hufflepuff.

Please click here to continue reading...
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Ch 8. From

To: Senior Auror Penelope Clearwater
From: Auror Michael Creevey-Smith
Subject: Tip A387-B Closed

The querent was fully cooperative and did not fight the Veritaserum during questioning. A full transcript is attached, but Sirius Orion Black did not offer false testimony to the Wizengamot, provide inaccurate witness accounts to Aurors, file any false reports with the Auror Office, or fraudulently claim to be a member of any guild that involved revealing guild secrets. The querent wrote intentionally inaccurate stories about his life when prompted by reporters from The Daily Prophet, which substantiates the Fact Checking Divison's lack of evidence for several named characters.

As far as Auror Lovegood-Longbottom and I can ascertain, there has been no violation of the terms of Sirius Orion Black's parole, but we will leave a full inquiry into inappropriate use of postal services to Probation Auror TJ Madison, who may assign a minimum of 10 community service hours as a cleaner. As of 8 April 2019 at 13:34, Tip #A387-B has been closed and flagged with no need for follow up.

- Auror Michael Creevey-Smith

8 April 2019, 13:45

To: Adam Smyth
From: Mike Creevey-Smith
Subject: You'll never believe who we interviewed!!!

There's no open cases or whatever, and you probably shouldn't go telling everyone, yeah? But! That former inmate who wrote all that Sleepy Tincture Ink stuff that you haven't been able to find in forever was brought in, and I got him to explain how he did the thing.

Apparently, this ink used to be really common, and parents could use it to help their kids fall asleep (and it was printed in books). Like, all you have to do is order the ink from this bloke with a shop in Knockturn, and then it's really easy to alter one of the auto-reading spells.

Therry Kreischer: t [dot] kreischer [at] owlmail [dot] com

I told you that all you needed to do was ask him how he did it!

Ch 9. Harry, Intrepid A&E Traveller

9 April 2019, 10:15

Prof. Snape:

Do you have a bottle of that Cognitive Clarity potion? The last time Sirius was taken in for a long Veritaserum interrogation, he needed one or two doses to break the post-interview... Erm, not quite a flashback, but definitely a foggy state? I'll stop by around 2 to pick it up. None of my letters have been getting through, so I think there's been a change in the postal warding again.

- Harry

Tuesday, 9 April 2019, 14:30

Auror Madison,

Have there been any changes in Sirius' housing lately? As a wild example, him being moved to a different re-entry village. I stopped by his house, and no one's there – the medication timer for his morning tablets was going off, the owls in the aviary needed fed, and there wasn't any note that he was going out. After having him provide daily timetables for his exact movements on and off as parole terms changed, you should not be surprised that this is atypical behaviour.

I don't want to raise a false alarm, but Sirius didn't exactly do well after his last Veritaserum session. The Aurors paid a visit to his house and dosed him there, so he didn't trust any of his food and went looking for "new food" in the bins behind the shops. Trying to convince the Muggles who found him that he did not need hospitalised took a lot of paperwork. So, I would greatly appreciate a response about whether he's in new Ministry housing or not.

Harry Potter

Same Day, 15:25

Greg ☙

It's okay!

There was some sort of accident while washing the cutlery, and Sirius needed stitches on his fingers. There was a bit of a wait time in the A&E, and he fell asleep there. He's back at home now and complaining about the timetable for feeding the owls being off.

❧ Harry

P.S. I'm a little unnerved by how fast that Lost Sheep Tracker can find non-sheep. I know it's a guild secret, but you may not want to tell Sirius about how we found him for a bit. After that Invisi-Quill article, there's been a lot of threatening voicemails and he's a bit skittish on the whole topic of Tracking.

Ch 10. Hermione Granger, Headteacher of Hogwarts

Friday, 12 April 2019

Dear Prof. Snape,

The extra warding for the Post Owlery in Hogsmeade has been keeping out the worst of the threats regarding the inclusion of Vincent Crabbe's name in the memorial list, but I'm afraid it's caught personal correspondence. Post Master Wadley should have a letter from your partner waiting for pick-up.

Hermione Granger
Headteacher of Hogwarts

14 April 2019

Ms Granger,

If someone is claiming to be my partner, there has been a mistake. There's an unfortunate number of witches who have tried to invite themselves to the memorial every year. I have already indicated that I will not have a plus one.

Severus Snape
Potions Master, Head of Slytherin

Monday, 15 April 2019

Dear Prof. Snape,

I didn't mean a plus one for the memorial.

Oh, this dictation quill is so slow – Apologies, Severus. I know you value your privacy, so I don't mean to pry, but I couldn't help but notice the courting gifts appearing in your office recently. I know courting has fallen in and out of fashion over the years, but the items seem to line up with one of those queered gift charts I've been seeing for a few years now.

It does away with the parental negotiations and chaperoned teas, but there's still several connections to the traditional gifts. A pot of sweet basil for well wishes, an inkwell for clear communication, and for food, all of that lemon poppyseed cake. (Due to pregnancy cravings, I could recognise one of those cakes in my sleep.) While it is possible that these are all separate and unrelated gifts, I had thought that Sirius was making an attempt at courting.

~ H. Granger

Ch 11. Hopefully, Sirius

Post-marked: 10 April | Read: 18 April 2019


Thank you for the clarity potion. I don't know if it's a cumulative response to all the questioning throughout the years, a side effect of getting older, a new variation of Truth Serum, or a combination, but Veritaserum makes me feel like someone put my brain in a blender.

I also wanted to apologise for... Well... Not mentioning the book requests or how I add in some details to characters based on people I've known before that Invisi-Quill article was posted. I didn't realise that the way I'd written Viridian taking Sarah to the Whomping Willow was too close to what I put you through until it was too late to bring up.

Some of it was unprecedented circumstances and wanting to avoid such an awkward conversation. Some of it was... Having someone voluntarily come over for tea was actually rather nice. Yes, I know, it's a sign of not getting out and being around people much, and it wasn't right to let you think that courting was involved.

Truthfully, it's been a very long time since I entertained the thought of someone being interested in me and courting. I skived my mum's lessons because I was expected to initiate courting with a Pureblood witch, and queer wizards hadn't yet started to reclaim courting before I was an ineligible match. Being in prison for murder brings out some odd types, and hiding from everyone isn't the best time to order flowers and all that. And avoiding people who think I should be back in Azkaban hasn't –

Okay. What I'm trying to say is that I haven't been in a – romantic type – relationship since Thatcher's first term as PM. I mean, James and Lily were still alive. I wouldn't say no to something – courting or dating or whatever – with you, but I'm definitely out of practice here. Not that you have to! If this was all too much like pulling a prank on you, and I can't say I blame you, though I couldn't hear what all was being said while Mr Farthing screeched, so –


If you want, we can just go back to being civil when we have to be in the same room. That's not a bad thing, yeah?


Ch 12. Ron Weasley, Accidental Damage Control Expert



I didn't know Sirius was assigned to sweep in Knockturn this week, and Rose was confused and upset by seeing him being heckled by the Aurors. One of the trainees panicked a bit when she started tearing up, and all in all, it was a bad trip to Count Chocula's Creamery. I think we'll have to have a talk about what parole is with her.

- Ron

P.S. I agreed to make mac and cheese for dinner, which was totally unrelated to Rose crying. There will be a plate in the oven for you when you get home.



I know Greg's still not interested in going over to see Sirius, and I can't remember if it's about time for any babies to start showing up in the barn or not. I know, you tell me every year, and it's still a surprise. But do you think you could kindly ask your partner to send a photo of any lambs from this season if they're here already?

I'm not saying that Greg has to pretend that nothing happened, and I can't say I blame him for not wanting to talk shop anymore. Just something to keep in contact with him, you know? I think this round of Veritaserum and so many people not wanting to talk to him is affecting Sirius more than he wants to tell anyone.

Your favourite supplier of Canary Creams


Dear Mione,

I know you're busy with the war memorial planning. I also know it's short notice, but could you deliver the symbolic invitation in person this year? Sirius knows he still can't get permission to go to Hogwarts, and I'm sure he'll shrug it off like other years. It's just... Has anyone heard from him lately? It's been quite a few years since he was assigned street cleaning duties, and that Invisi-Quill post calling into question believing him about the First War was so close to the Aurors questioning everyone. I dunno. He's been awfully silent.

- Ron

Ch 13. In Solidarity, Greg

Sunday, 28 April

Sirius --

I'm still not sure how I feel about your book and everything. But I could use a cuppa with someone who knows about... The war and Vince and stuff. His mum overheard one of the Ministry ribbon-cutters say that they should've gone with one of their first designs that put Vince's name down near the ground where it basically wouldn't be seen by anyone.

I know Harry (and Ron) (and all the Slytherins) are trying to be supportive...

I don't know if the aurors want you to stay home so close to the memorial. But I'd like to stop by before the first - whenever you're free.

In solidarity, Greg

Friday, 3 May


We all went down to the garden and listened to your speech on the wireless. I'm sure Vince would've fallen asleep with how long the headteacher talked and all those Ministry representatives. One of your neighbours complimented the memorial bench and Marmalade enjoyed eating some of the plants down by Coke River. It wasn't half bad.

I know that he wouldn't have admitted to liking sunflowers back when we were in school. Vince, I mean. I can understand why Mrs Crabbe fought to attend the memorial planning meetings and wanted his name on it. But I think our unofficial memorial is doing just fine. Luna did stop by to take pictures of a bubbling – some sort of – butterfly thing. Honestly, I don't know if it exists... She was very polite and offered some suggestions for more plants to add so she might reach out to you about that.

Mind the Lightening Charms that'll end when you unwrap the pyrex. Sirius had leftover lemon poppyseed cake from the bake sale for the Azkaban commissary fundraiser. Reckon it's easier to buy a cake than it is to owl a galleon to... Them – or us if we were just a bit older, I guess. Someone should probably ask him for his recipe so he can perfect a new one. I think if you were to mention a new type of cake while returning the pyrex, he'd look into it.

- Greg

Ch 14. Apologetically, Sirius Black

Printed in the morning edition of The Daily Prophet for 7 May 2019, in the section for letters to the editor:

I, Sirius Orion Black, would like to extend an apology to those who were interviewed in relation to the so-called tell-all manuscript that may have been titled 'The Black Sheep of the Family' or 'Hiding Amongst The Shearers' depending on which intern entered the title for printing. To Margaret Wimbley-Wood, I would especially like to apologise for requests into the archives of the British Magi-Wool Guild and concerns about guild secrets being revealed to the public. To Severus Snape, I would also like to apologise for interviews relating to Viridian Fitzpatrick the Third.

I have been fielding requests for around 20 years for a tell-all about my time with The Order of the Phoenix in the First Voldemortian War, my 'early life', my time in Azkaban, and/or my time hiding from Aurors during the Second Voldemortian War. These requests have ranged from general inquiries to prying questions dropped on me while fulfilling community service hours to a list of deeply personal questions posted to my latest - and still Trackable - residence. Do I have a comment on the discovery of Inferi in a cave where my brother's body was found? Was I ever in 'The Hole' at Azkaban? Did I enjoy the internet connection at Hogwarts?

Astute readers who are aware of internet connection only being approved at Hogwarts in the early 2000s may be confused by that last question. Quite frankly, I have tried to not be too cruel with the various interns who are studying under Rita Skeeter and her colleagues at this paper, and I cannot rule out that a few have actually represented other periodicals. However, I have not been very serious about answering some of these inquiries. Most of my responses have not been published, and I must admit to adapting a Sleepy Tincture Ink - which causes drowsiness when spelled to read the words aloud - so that anyone reading or listening to the reply will be too tired to finish the letter. Or pitch for a book, the outline of a manuscript, or an excerpt of a supposed response.

This was not dangerous, and I merely adapted a method of putting young children listening to a bedtime story to sleep that has been used for decades now. I was not expecting an intrepid junior assistant to find a workaround and treat my latest response with far more sincerity and seriousness than it deserved. Hence copies being distributed for follow up questions. I did not intend to hurt anyone's feelings or cause confusion with any real people. In the past, a terribly long excerpt about something like stamp collectors or, in this manuscript, raising sheep for enchanted wool would be ignored as a non-answer that was pulling the requester's chain.

Truthfully, I have not had an exciting life that would merit a tell-all book. The First War involved passing on notes and messages - and following a few people around - and my experiences weren't half as dramatic as that film 'Ashes to Ashes' made the First War sound. (For the curious, 'A Phoenix In Berlin' was far more inspired by Muggle Cold War stories than reflective of what I remember of that time, but I will admit it was a very entertaining series.) I have no previously unheard stories of James Potter, and it still aches to talk about Peter Pettigrew; so, it was far easier to create Viridian as a classmate to project humour onto. He got to test out Zonko's products, win first place in exotic flobberworm showmanship, take photographs of Nessie, and importantly, he did not have to reconcile childhood memories with war.

I am glad that a reporter will barely blink an eye when they ask if I have a boyfriend these days, but I would ask that you not act quite so surprised if I still, occasionally, flinch. I realised that I 'flew for my own team' when homosexuality was still a mental illness that needed cured, and even The Order of the Phoenix thought it would be best if I were to find a girlfriend so I would be less susceptible to bribes and extortion. My family said that they kicked me out because of my Muggle-favourable views, but really, my mum found out that I snogged a bloke at a concert. I was homeless for a bit. I was probably surrounded by more people with "that Muggle virus" than I knew at the time, but I mostly lost friends by being forgotten in prison instead of seeing them die in front of me from AIDS. A part of me still expects an Auror to turn a blind eye to someone roughing my lot up instead of trusting them - all smiles and rainbow robes - at London Pride.

Azkaban is like a broken bone that never healed properly - or a stain that can never be worked out. I did not have a plucky optimism that I would one day have a new trial or have the charges against me altered. I was blood-supremacist scum like the rest of my family, and it'd be doing everyone a favour if I offed myself. I was in solitary for my own good - protection, that is - and I had used up my appeals right before I tried to escape. I had no idea if I was going to live through the attempt, and I didn't particularly care. Living in hiding was no better than being trapped in a stone cell, and I still wake up on certain cold, winter nights with an aching despair in my bones. It took years to not panic if I needed to leave the house or if the shops were a bit too crowded. I was changed by Azkaban, in ways that still hurt today, and I cannot say it was for the better.

I have lived too many years to say that I have only known unending misery, but these inquiries into my past are not a glib question for anyone at the War Memorial Banquet to answer. I've moved from one re-entry home to another, and I still have people wanting to gawk at the 'infamous mass-murderer'. I've picked up bottles in Diagon Alley, swept the kerb in Knockturn Alley, and hoovered Muggle office buildings with photographers and reporters following my every breath. Some of these topics may have turned into questions on history exams, but still, this is my life. Digging into my loneliest and darkest days just for a newspaper team to make a few galleons is not easy. (Prohibitions against profiting off of my time in Azkaban or any crimes I've been charged with make it rather unknown if I could get any compensation from certain requests for information.)

If I do not put up a veneer of humour, I am not sure what to say to these interns and assistants. A lifetime of parole is not glamorous, and I am not dining on the finest truffles known to Wizardkind. Throughout the decades, I have not been allowed in certain Wizarding public spaces, in certain Muggle public areas, to socialise with Dark witches and wizards, or to contact any shapeshifters. (Which amounts to more loneliness and a great deal of listening to matches on the wireless.) At a point when too many parolees were selling blood to the vampires to make rent, I was finally given the prestigious job of shovelling out the owl pellets from the Ministry of Magic's Owlery. I also look after the non-native owls who were too old to re-home to their native territories, so it's really not as sad as it sounds. But, still, this is not book-worthy.

Ch 15. In Sirius' Outgoing Post on 8 May

To the Parkinson-Weasley household, at about 9:15:

Is there a specific reason why our Rosy Posy Little Ms Nosy has left me no fewer than six voicemails already today? She's asked me what "an Inferi" is, where is "The Hole" and is it bad, what homosexuality is, what's "the Muggle virus", if I've eaten yet today, if Mr Farthing will be okay if something happens to me, and if "offing myself" is a bad thing. I'm pretty sure there were a few other easy to answer at 8 in the morning questions, but overall, I would appreciate some parental assistance here.

- Uncle Sirius, who is fine, has eaten breakfast, and who has fed Mr Farthing.

To the Post Owlery Nest for The Quibbler, around 10:30:

Mx Lovegood,

It wasn't my intention to downplay the corroborating evidence for that snail species, but I'm not sure that readers would be interested in hearing about that either. If Mollusc World would like to do a follow up interview for the 20th anniversary of the species recognition, I'll be free this weekend.

- Sirius

P.S. Yes, I was asked to send in some more photographs and stuff. Charles Ott makes sure to owl reminders at least every five years. I'm a little afraid he'll start asking for yearly counts and if I wouldn't mind trying to breed a few soon.

To the Greengrass-Malfoy residence, shortly before 11:


Honestly, I don't think I've ever made a carrot cake before, but of course, I'm willing to try for Scorpius' birthday. I can't promise that I'll have colour-changing frosting, especially plaid, worked out by then.

You can tell Draco that I appreciate the offer to come back to the post-Azkaban support group, but the post-Second War reforms really did make it feel like I served in a different prison. My parole mandates a certain number of Mind Healing sessions every year, so I'm not trying to tough this out on my own.

Your favourite astronomy enabler

To the flat above Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, around 13:45:


I'm still not sure when I can go into more detail on how we created the map, especially since it's been incorporated into the official defence system for Hogwarts. Too much detail could lead to duplicates or whatever my parole officer said.

However, I certainly would not say no to taste-testing your 'Classic Zoinks!' line to see how close it gets to some of Zonko's original products. Some of the gag products probably haven't been missed, but a whole section of sweets and flavour-changing charms were lost when Owen Bobble died after the war. I still can't rule out that he might tell us the original Sugar Quill recipe in a séance or something.

I solemnly swear that I, Sirius Black, am up to no good.

To the private office of the Potions Master and Head of Slytherin, around 15:18:

Severus ☙

I truly didn't go into very much detail in that letter, and I'm still dealing with people who weren't prepared for how not-positive it was. Perhaps it's a bit cynical of me, but I feel like this is just proof that a true 'tell-all' of my life would never be published. I must admit, it is a little touching that you wrote to check on me, but I'm decades beyond being in a true crisis.

You're the second person to bring up wanting a flavour of cake other than lemon poppyseed after this, though. Scorpius wants carrot cake for his birthday, and now, you want to share some sort of chocolate cake recipe from your mum. And yes, of course, I'm free any weekend before the term ends to try baking it, but... Is... Is something wrong with my lemon poppyseed cake?

❧ Sirius

Ch 16. Epilogue

2 December 2019

Dear Marcy Thompson,

I wouldn't blame you for not trusting me with this proposal, but I have something that could use a pair of eyes. I'm willing to pay your freelance editing rate, if you'd rather keep this away from official pay-stubs, and I have not used any Sleepy Tincture Ink in the handwriting, typing, or printing process. It's currently titled Recipes on the Run and mixes a few anecdotes in with recipes and food acquisition tips.

I'm unsure if the homeless teen section needs reworked or some sort of legal disclaimer since there were a couple five finger discounts to get some of the ingredients. The section on recreating Azkaban's pre-reforms menu should have some sort of disclaimer about getting proper nutrient supplementation to avoid malnutrition and starvation, but I'm not sure if I need to actually get a Healer's statement on that or not.

To sweeten this deal: I'll sit down for an interview for The Nibbling Niffler column, which I am aware that you've put a lot of work into starting at The Daily Prophet. I'm still working out the details on how to "not profit" off of my incarceration with my parole officer, but it's possible that Silver Snidget Publishing – coincidentally behind The Prophet's large amount of book deals with clients – will receive a larger cut of sales than usual. Oh and – My infamous lemon poppyseed cake is included among the refeeding recipes.

Sirius Black