Fixing Past Mistakes

Chapter 15

Sirius Black And A Reply

Two Weeks Ago - Azkaban Prison - Sirius Black

Sirius curled up in the corner of his cell, waking up groggily after having consumed a Dreamless Sleep potion just last night. Licking his dry lips, he looked around, wondering if it had been some odd dream. He had sat there completely stunned when the house elf showed up, unable to think or react at all. Then before he could kick his brain into gear, the elf had disappeared before he could question it. Who could be helping him? Remus? But he couldn't afford stuff like this, and he would have visited before this if he had realized he was innocent. Even his family was gone, not that he'd have looked to them to care enough to visit. If it had been Regulus locked up in here, they probably would have, but he'd always been the black sheep of the family, along with Andromeda, who'd actually left the fold and married a Muggle-born wizard. It had to have been real, since for the first time since being thrown in here his stomach wasn't grumbling ― he wasn't starving. He was tempted to believe it was real, since the vial was no longer there, nor was anything else he'd used last night.

Still his mind continued to dwell on it; who would help him? And the most important question was: why? If they knew he was innocent, why were they not helping him? Then again, what did he know, locked in here? He was confused, and the Dementors weren't helping anything either; shivering at the cold, he backed into the wall furthest from the black-cloaked figures, trying to stop their effects in a futile effort.

Jumping in shock when the elf appeared again with food, this time he wasn't going to stare dumbly.

"Who are you? Who's your master?" rasped Sirius quickly, his blue eyes filled with desperation.

"I am Dobby," said the house elf, not replying to the other question, since his master had told him never to reveal anything without consulting him first.

"Who's your master? Why is he helping me?" demanded Sirius, his voice less raspy; he wasn't used to using his voice unless he was screaming or begging in the throes of a Dementor-fuelled nightmare from which there was no awakening. He didn't dare move, knowing house elves were fast, and the possibility of answers was null if he was gone.

Not that it mattered, since Dobby disappeared again, leaving only the food for company.

It definitely wasn't a Black house elf; Kreacher was the only elf the Blacks had in their employment. The others were all dead, and their heads were on pikes in the house. They thought it was an honour; he just thought it was insane, complete and utter madness. It wasn't a Potter elf either, because he knew them too, having lived with the Potters for years before getting his own flat when he was of age. Sighing sadly, he realized the elf probably couldn't tell him anything, which meant that whoever was helping didn't want him to know…or maybe it was just in case they were found out? They were breaking the law, after all, by helping him, although this was probably a first, a house elf going into Azkaban with food for inmates. Groaning, he desperately wanted answers, but the smell of the food distracted him from his futile quest.

His stomach grumbled now, hungry at the smell of the food. Porridge, buttered toast, jams and scones; Sirius had to wipe the drool from his mouth as he dug into the pile. His blue eyes kept a watch on the door, listening intently just in case anyone came by and surprised him. He didn't want to lose the food, even if he didn't get answers…so he couldn't allow the guards to catch him. He wasn't sure about the time, but they hadn't delivered breakfast yet, so they could be around any time. Grabbing the spoon he practically inhaled the porridge, which was all that was left. Swallowing the last gulp, he looked at his hands; they were so dirty and disgusting.

He would do anything for a shower, a warm bath; sighing softly, he replaced the spoon and jumped when it disappeared from the room. Well, that answered at least one of his questions. They had put spells on it to take it away when he was finished; at least that meant he really wouldn't be found out, although the tray was small enough to fit through the bars in the window of his cell, even if it was a whole head above him. With the water it would have been washed away; half the time it flooded his cell. It made the room really wet, but it made it so he could at least wash sometimes.

Just then the flap at the bottom of his cell door opened and a large spoonful of burnt porridge was shoved through and into the bowl at the base of the door; water was poured into the cup. Not a sound was made. Sirius stared at it, wondering what to do. Could he throw it out the window? He didn't want them getting suspicious, and if he didn't eat they would get a healer in. And then they would know he was getting food from somewhere, and potions. Crawling over he picked up the bowl and stood beside the window, up on his tiptoes, and flung the food, banging the bowl against the outside wall until he was sure it was gone. Bringing the bowl back in, he placed it back on its spot, and drank the water―at least that was always cold and clean, taking away his thirst, usually after eating the horrible food... but not today.

In exactly an hour the Dementors would be back. They left only to give them enough time to eat and for the guards to collect the food and feed the prisoners. Deciding to make the best of it, he rolled himself onto the bed and stared at the ceiling. Closing his eyes, he fixed a picture of Harry firmly in his mind. How was he? What was he like? Was he happy? What age was he? He had tried to keep track of the days, but with the Dementors and their effects…he had lost the will to count the days quickly. After all, what was the point to counting the days? He was here until he died, unless they found Pettigrew and declared him innocent. He had hoped and prayed that would happen in the beginning, each time he heard someone, but he was constantly sorely disappointed. In his heart he held no such hope, at least until the elf had shown up with food for him and potions…For the first time in a long time he prayed that someone out there wanted to help him…that they would find Pettigrew and get him the hell out of this hellhole.

Harry, I'm so sorry, thought Sirius, his blue eyes filling with tears. He'd been such an idiot. If he'd not gone after Pettigrew, he might have been able to go to the Ministry and prove his innocence…or if he'd just run with Harry to a different country, they would have been safe. Hopefully Harry would be happy though; there hadn't been many Lily and James would trust with Harry. The Longbottoms maybe, Professor McGonagall, then the Headmaster; he doubted Dumbledore would raise Harry, though. Biting his lip, he considered further. He might have gone to family; Andromeda could be raising him…he wished he knew. Maybe the house elf would at least reveal that information. Nodding his head, he determined to keep the question safe from the Dementors, so that when Dobby came again he could ask.

Then he remembered Pettigrew was still out there somewhere― he had to warn Harry and whoever had him. He needed to tell the elf; hopefully Dobby would tell his master, and he would pass the message on. He would be back with dinner with a bit of luck, and then he could tell him; he just had to. Harry was in danger with that Death Eater out there…hopefully they would believe him…they just had to. Harry was a baby; he couldn't defend himself. How much time had passed? Was Harry even a baby anymore? Why hadn't he thought of these things before? Cursing his weak mind, he hated the fact he couldn't think straight in here for long.

He shuddered as the Dementors began closing in on him once more, but to his confusion the effects weren't as harsh as normal. He could sense them, feel them and the memories they were invoking, but they didn't impair him completely. He couldn't think as clearly as a few minutes ago, but it didn't drown him completely either. Turning around, he used his arms to squeeze down on his ears in a bid to be rid of the noise of the memories that were going like a projector in his mind. Regardless, time began to space out and he lost track of any semblance of thought.

He had no idea that in the next few weeks he wouldn't get a chance to talk to the elf, since he would be away before he came around each and every time.

Back To Normal Time - Severus And Harry - January 7th

"Letters and newspapers for Master Severus," said Heather, handing over the large bundle― she was the one on duty this morning. The breakfast had already been delivered and the elves were now off to have their own meal in their lovely room. Clay had built them a table and chairs to sit on, just right for their size, using extra wood from the back of the house. Since Master Severus said they could do what they liked, they were taking full advantage of it.

"Thank you, Heather," Severus said, accepting the bundle from the house elf. Now that the food had been delivered, he should go and wake Harry up.

"You are welcome, sir," said Heather, bowing low before she disappeared.

Severus looked through all the mail until he noticed the letter from St. Mungo's; ripping it open, he began to read the official missive. His lips twitched in satisfaction; it was always good to read that your potion was a success. Now all he needed to do was send in the potion formula and the results to the Potioneer Journal and have it officiated. He had, in his spare time, brewed dozens of them, so he didn't have to worry about being overrun. St. Mungo's wanted a copy of the formula to brew the potion themselves, offering him quite a lot of money for it. Either that, or they wanted to bulk-buy from him; the money was a lot less for the bulk-buy, but in the long run, if he continued providing for them, it would amass a greater fortune. It was just a matter of deciding what he preferred to do, brew it himself or hand over the recipe.

Placing the results and the letter aside, he opened the one from Saint Lucia; the headmaster had finally gotten in touch. An entire week it had taken, although he probably had a lot of correspondence to get through... at least Albus Dumbledore did. His pile was always sky-high, but the focus wasn't always on Hogwarts. The poor owl, having to fly all the way over here; hopefully it would get some food and rest before flying back.

Interestingly, he was being invited over there for an orientation meeting, no doubt with dozens of other prospective students' parents. It was set for March, so he would have enough time to decide on whether or not he was going to attend it. The letter acted as a Portkey, which was admittedly handy, but only necessarily if he was still here. March... His heart sank; that was when Harry would have died. It was just spooky, thinking about it. Maybe he would get over it once the date had passed. Putting that missive down, he opened the one from Gringotts. It concerned the reviews he'd asked for about the school.

According to this, students from that school went on to do great things, were at the top of their respective fields. Why did nobody here know about it? Could Dumbledore somehow be preventing students from getting letters? Then again, people didn't like sending their children to Scotland, never mind to the other side of the world. The school did seem to have everything Hogwarts lacked and more, and the students seemed very mature—at least according to the reviews about the school, and they would be genuine, otherwise Gringotts wouldn't have them.

Standing up, Severus realized that twenty minutes had passed; he placed all his letters in the drawer inside the bottom of the bookcase. Making his way up the stairs, he walked into Harry's bedroom. Just as he did so Harry woke up; sleepy green eyes were looking at him. Obviously Harry was starting to get used to their little routine.

"Good morning, Harry," Severus said, "Breakfast is ready; remember to go to the toilet."

"Morning, daddy," said Harry quietly; finally, after nearly four weeks, he was taking a chance on Severus. He'd seen how sad it made his daddy when he didn't talk, and he didn't want to see him sad anymore.

Severus froze. After nearing a month, Harry had finally spoken to him, and calling him "daddy," of all things! His heart felt as if it was about to squeeze through its ribcage; dear Merlin, it was only a word, but he felt as if his heart was about to burst with pride and love. He wasn't used to these sorts of emotions; as much as he wished he didn't, he knew he could quickly come addicted to it. He would have to explain everything to Harry. He couldn't let him grow up thinking Severus was his biological father; it wouldn't be right. As much as he hated James Potter…his love for Lily and Harry was greater.

Harry stared at him, his heart sinking; was he about to be put in a cupboard like the other nasty people had done? He knew he shouldn't have spoken; he'd been wrong to take a chance. He froze when his daddy walked over to him, fearing he was about to be put in the dark.

Severus came out of his shock and walked over to Harry, lifting him up on his knee and sitting on the bed. Closing his eyes, he pondered very briefly on how to best explain everything to the nearly three-year-old.

"I'm very proud of you for speaking, Harry. I know it was difficult, but well done," Severus said, watching the green eyes glimmer with love.

Harry just burrowed into his daddy's chest, overwhelmed; nothing bad had happened! He was happy he'd spoken! He was still a good boy, a smile slipped onto his face as he smelt the strange scents on his daddy.

"Harry? I need to speak to you about something; listen carefully, okay?" Severus said, watching Harry nod solemnly before removing himself from his chest and staring dolefully at him. He was clearly thinking it was something bad that would be said.

Severus picked up the photos on the nightstand, avoiding moving the magical globe of light. "You know this is your mummy, don't you?" asked Severus, wondering if Harry would continue to talk or take it a day at a time.

Harry looked at his mummy before moving back to his daddy and nodded his head; yes, he knew that was his mummy. "Is mummy coming home?" he asked, hopefully.

Severus swallowed thickly, barely able to keep himself from reacting, Harry had been too young to understand what had happened to her. It shouldn't surprise him that he was asking this; after all, the Dursleys sure as hell hadn't stopped to explain before throwing him into a bloody cupboard. "Your mummy is in heaven with the angels, little one. She would want nothing more than to be here with you, but she can't be. She will always look out for you, and so will I," Severus said softly, barely able to talk with the lump lodged firmly in his throat.

"Oh," said Harry, not really understanding what "heaven" meant, but he knew she'd never be here for him.

"This is your biological daddy," said Severus, showing the picture of James he'd gotten from the year book. "He is in heaven too, and can't be here for you, but he and your mummy loved you very much." Surprisingly, he didn't feel hatred stirring in his heart just thinking about the conceited jerk.

"You my daddy?" asked Harry cocking his head to the side; he didn't understand. The lady said to behave for his daddy... wasn't he his daddy too?

"I am your daddy now, but I wasn't your first daddy," Severus carefully explained. "I will take care of you from now on, I promise," Severus vowed; he would never let anyone hurt him, and if anyone tried they'd have to deal with him. Considering how vile and evil he could be when pushed…let's just say they'd find themselves running for the hills. Severus put the picture frames back on the table, hoping Harry had understood at least most of what he'd said.

Harry began squirming and trying to get down.

"What's wrong, Harry?" asked Severus, staring down at the child.

"I need to pee-pee," said Harry, squirming again, still trying to get down.

"Ah," said Severus, placing Harry on his feet and allowing him to go to the toilet on his own, which he was able to do; he had learned fast, but considering he should have already learnt this by now, it was only a good thing. Of course, bribing with sweets would get anything done quicker; a smirk graced his features as he remembered the first time Harry had tried a chocolate frog. He'd shrieked, half in glee, half shocked. Once it had stopped moving, he'd savoured the sweet as if he'd never tasted anything like it before in his life. Which, of course, he hadn't; Severus didn't give Harry sweets willy-nilly though, as he didn't want Harry's teeth to rot.

Standing up, when he heard the toilet flush, he took Harry's hand when he emerged from the toilet and took him down the stairs. Putting him in his usual spot on the sofa, he let him dig into his breakfast, then he took his own seat and ate his breakfast as well.

"Stand still for a minute, Harry; this won't hurt, okay?" Severus said, kneeling beside Harry and managing with success to avoid the Legos that were strewn all over the place. After breakfast he'd taken Harry upstairs and helped him brush his teeth and get dressed before coming back down again, ready to face the day.

Harry nodded his head, staring at him curiously.

"Indoles," murmured Severus while pointing his wand at Harry; it was the spell in the book about the Metamorphmagi. The spell entered Harry, making him glow briefly before paper furled out of the wand. It would let Severus know all Harry's talents; more specifically, what kind of Metamorphmagus he was, whether he was a partial or otherwise. "All done," he said before moving back to his seat and opening it, ready for whatever came his way.

Severus began to read the results, satisfaction thrumming through him. Harry was a full Metamorphmagus, but according to this, the ability had been temporarily halted, by James Potter no less. Why would they make the decision to stop his ability? That made no sense to him; Lily must have known…so why would she allow it? Staring over at the child, he mused about it for a while; perhaps the threat of impending death had made them do it? He couldn't understand why, and he never would get an answer, unfortunately, since both of them were gone.

His eyes widened upon seeing another talent he'd never expected the child to have: Parseltongue. Harry was a Parselmouth; he had the ability to talk to snakes. Despite his own horrible experience with the language, or rather the other wizard he knew with the talent, Severus bore no ill will towards Parselmouths. In fact, he was rather envious of the child; such ability was coveted by most pureblood families and all Slytherins.

Harry had an inherent ability to be a Legilimens; he would flawlessly be able to enter people's minds and read them if he wished. Occlumency was also another ability he could have if trained in it; someone in the Potter line must have been a natural, much like someone in the Prince line must have been. Severus had been doing it since before he was eleven years old. Of course he hadn't realized it at the time; both abilities had come very easy to him. It was a relief to know that Harry would be able to master those abilities as well. Not everyone could do it; most people assumed it had something to do with Power, but that was just idiots talking. You either had the ability or not, much like the ability to be an Animagus; Severus had the ability, but he'd never harnessed it. He had no desire to be an Animagus—or rather, he hadn't had the desire or the time to learn how.

Perhaps in a few years he could start teaching Harry meditation techniques, but that was further down the line; he had the answer he was looking for. Harry was a full Metamorphmagus. Now Black had stated Harry had changed his hair, which meant that, despite the block, Harry had been able to change. That had no doubt blown his father's pride to bits, knowing his not even one-year-old son was more powerful than he already, to be getting around the block on his ability.

Harry wandered over to Severus, a book clutched in his hands; he handed it to him, all the while staring.

"Do you want me to read it to you?" asked Severus, accepting the book: Tales of Beedle the Bard. It was Lily's copy; he'd read it to Harry once, and now it was all he wanted to hear. Not just one story either; he liked to listen to them all.

Harry nodded eagerly, climbing up on Severus' knee and leaning back, waiting patiently.

"Very well," Severus said wryly with a much put-upon sigh, knowing Harry would be sleeping within five minutes. Placing the results of his spell aside, he opened the book and in his softest voice began speaking.

"'The Wizard and the Hopping Pot. There was once a kindly old wizard who used his magic generously and wisely for the benefit of his neighbours. Rather than reveal the true source of his power, he pretended his potions, charms, and antidotes sprang ready-made from the little cauldron he called his lucky cooking pot. From miles around people came to him with their troubles, and the wizard was pleased to give his pot a stir and put things right…'" began Severus, and the little boy listened wide-eyed, as if it was the first time he was hearing it, devouring each and every word his daddy spoke, loving magic more and more each day. Thankfully he was too young to have been taught that magic was freakish…not that this particular little boy would have had the chance before death claimed him as his own and ending the line that had so eluded him to begin with.

Edited by Jake and Jordre thank you :)