Hello there! * Waves*

In what seems like a lifetime ago (in actuality, ten years) I used to write fanfiction. I loved it. Then I was diagnosed with epilepsy. Everything went downhill as my seizures got worse and worse; I lost that creative spark. I have always pondered how Harry's life would have been if Sirius had raised him; if he hadn't gone after Wormtail, who knows what would have happened? So at the insistence of my brother, I gritted my teeth, sat myself down at the computer and began typing away.

This is my first foray back into the world of fanfiction and to be honest, I am quite apprehensive about it all. My writing has become rather rusty and I am hoping that over time, I will regain those skills that used to be my lifeline. Pretty pretty PLEASE with sugar on top take the time to review each chapter; ego boosting makes the world go 'round! I would also love to hear any constructive criticism so if the story gets boring and what not, tell me so I can slap myself, eat fire or do something equally thrilling to reignite a sense of excitement. Above all, pleeeeaaaase be kind to a poor seizure ridden soul!

I would like to pre warn you that this isn't an entirely new timeline regarding what happens in the books. Therefore, if you would prefer to read something entirely different (i.e. Sirius running away with Harry, evil-Dumbledore, etc) this story is not for you. Comments made regarding this will be ignored.

Hope you enjoy the first chapter!

Also, for the sake of this story (and the fact that I could not get it out of my head) Sirius arrives at the Potter's house BEFORE Hagrid. Apologies to any hard-core canon buffs but as this story already goes off the tangent, I hope you won't be too offended

Disclaimer: i do not own Harry Potter. If I did, I'd be rolling in cash with a million puppies in my glorious mansion. Ah well, a woman can dream!

CHAPTER ONE: CHOICES

Sirius Black trusted his instincts.

It was his greatest attribute in school. After all, he was always the one who could sense a teacher's suspicions prior to a well-prepared prank, slyly leading even Professor McGonagall down the wrong path sometimes. With his good looks and natural charm, he could convince Professor Slughorn to supply him with various potions ingredients under the guise of further research outside of the classroom. The professor had been completely unaware that Sirius and James were concocting a concoction that would cause Snivellus Snape to break wind every thirty seconds. He had pleaded with the potions professor to write he and his friends a permission slip to enter the Restricted Section in the Hogwarts library, knowing full well that his brilliance and charm would sway Slughorn into believing his story, unlike the other professors who often doubted the marauder's innocence. By doing this, he and his friends were able to study to become animagi, without any suspicion amongst their peers and teachers. He had even honed the ability to carefully dodge teachers as he hooked up with several Hogwarts girls in varying broom cupboards and classrooms. Stealing James's invisibility cloak, he had shot past Professor McGonagall on her nightly rounds, fixing his tie and preparing to tell his friends the whole story. He had questioned Remus's monthly absences first, suspecting it had had something to do with the presence of the full moon.

Yes, he had honed his instincts from a very young age. Up until now, he had had no reason to doubt them.

However, as the young man flew his motorcycle with frantic speed towards the house of his best friend, Sirius had never felt so wrong in his life.

Skidding to a halt at the edge of James and Lily Potter's house, the animagus felt his heart drop to his feet. "No…" he murmured, gazing in horror at the sight before him. He knew exactly what it meant. "NO!" It was true then; Peter had betrayed them to Voldemort.

He bolted towards the ruins of the Potter's house, terror filling every vein in his body. Fighting his way through the front door, which had almost fallen off its hinges, he worked his way through the debris of the lounge room, stopping when he noticed a still body lying on the floor.

"James…." He whispered brokenly. Sirius dropped to his knees, staring at the face of his best friend. He touched his face softly; James was cold, his eyes wide open yet unseeing. Fury coursed through him, filling his lungs, his heart, his whole body. With a scream of mingled rage and grief, he clutched James to his chest, sobbing over the body of his dead best friend.

"I'm sorry, Prongs," he cried. "I'm so sorry." He gingerly closed his friend's eyes, and clutched James's hand in his, unwilling to let go. But the thought of Lily and Harry entered his thoughts with a sudden jolt. Sirius tried to find his way through the rubble, searching for any sign of Lily and his godson. His heart sank once more when he saw the body of Lily Potter lying motionless on the ground, her eyes also wide open and lifeless. He grabbed her hands shakily; they were ice cold and unresponsive. With another strangled yell he threw a panel of wood across the ruins of what had once been Harry's bedroom.

Dead. They were all dead. Sirius sobbed openly, clenching his fists, aching to destroy the man who had betrayed his best friends. Fury suddenly overcame him; he was going to murder Peter Pettigrew, slowly and painfully. He was roused from his thoughts by a familiar cry close by. He stared around him in shock to find his godson sitting in his crib, crying.

"Oh my God," Sirius breathed, pushing the broken furniture and rubble aside. He stood over Harry's crib.

"Harry," he murmured in disbelief. "How..." He clutched the boy to his chest, gazing down at his face. Pushing the mop of black hair aside, he gasped at what he found; a scar, shaped like a lightning bolt on Harry's forehead. Sirius gaped at his Godson. Voldemort…he must have tried to kill Harry. How did Harry survive? Sirius stared at his godson, who was wailing loudly. The shock of everything finally overtook him and he fell to his knees once more, still holding the crying baby in his arms. He stayed there for a long while, unaware of how much time had passed. The numbness he felt seemed to grow until he felt as though he was dead also. The only thing that brought him back to reality was the sobbing infant he was hugging to his heart.

"Sirius?"

He slowly turned around to face none other than the Hogwarts gamekeeper behind him. The enormous man was approaching him tentatively, staring in horror at the devastation surrounding him.

"Hagrid," Sirius acknowledged, in a choked voice. Hagrid stood before him; Sirius could see tears filling the half giants eyes.

"Bleedin' Hippogriff," Hagrid stated, looking down at the baby in Sirius's arms. "How in hell did he survive?" He pushed back Harry's hair with an enormous finger, gasping as Sirius had done when he saw the scar on his forehead. "How'd this happen?"

Sirius shook his head in response. He cradled Harry tightly, his last connection to James. Hagrid placed an enormous hand on Sirius's shoulder. The young man breathed in shakily, still in utter shock. It felt as though he was in a nightmare and he would never wake up.

A loud trumpeting noise roused him from his thoughts. Hagrid was openly sobbing, blowing his nose in an enormous hankie.

"Lily an' James," he bawled, dabbing at his eyes with the only dry spot left on his handkerchief. "I can' believe it!" He wiped at his face with his enormous cloak, trying to stifle his sobs. Sirius nodded once more. He looked over at James's body again numbly. Words failed him. Hagrid placed an enormous hand on his shoulder

"I'm 'ere to collect young 'Arry."

"What?" Sirius suddenly found his voice and leapt to his feet at once, staring at Hagrid defiantly. "On what grounds do you think that you can take Harry?"

"Dumbledore wants 'im ter live with his relatives," Hagrid answered sadly. Sirius's eyes almost bulged out of his head at the incredulity of Dumbledore's supposed wisdom.

"Are you kidding me?" He shouted in disbelief. "I'm his godfather, Hagrid! It was Lily and James's wish for me to take care of him!"

" As I said, Dumbledore's orders, Sirius," Hagrid replied uncomfortably. "He wants me ter bring Harry ter his relatives, yer know I can't disobey 'im. Yer best off talkin' to 'im yerself."

Sirius felt cold anger filling him to the brim. But he didn't argue in return. There was no point in trying to persuade Hagrid in this state; the half giant was incredibly loyal to Dumbledore and would never disobey an order. Hexing him would not do Sirius any favours if he were to earn the Headmaster's trust. He knew that it would already be depleted as it was.

"Take my bike," he said finally. "I will discuss this with Dumbledore later." Hagrid bowed his head, hugging him (Sirius felt as though his bones would crush under the weight of the enormous man), took Harry in his arms and kicked off on Sirius's motorcycle. The animagus watched as Hagrid disappeared into the night sky, and sat down wearily, hugging his knees as he took in the destruction around him. He had a choice to make and it felt as though he was being torn in two directions.

He could leave Godric's Hollow right now, track down that treacherous bastard named Wormtail and take enormous pleasure in killing the little rat. He would enjoy watching the life leave Peter's eyes, as James's had stared lifelessly at back at him. There would be no greater satiety for his aching heart than murdering the man who killed James, the man who had saved Sirius from himself long ago. He longed to kill the traitor who robbed Lily of her life and the joys of motherhood for years to come. Sirius's eyes gleamed at the thought of murder. He could slay Peter with a mere flick of his wand and vengeance would be served. It would never bring back his friends, he thought with a pang, but it would fill some of the void in his heart.

But then there was Harry. His godson who he had promised his best friend that he would raise and care for should his mother and father perish. The desire to murder Peter outweighed his duty and longing for the little boy. Sirius closed his eyes, counting to ten and looked up at the sky. Hagrid was long gone; Sirius supposed he would soon be at the Dursley's. He shuddered at the thought of little Harry forced to live with his cold, unfeeling relatives. That thought alone forced the young man to reassess his priorities. After kissing Lily's lifeless face, he began to make his way through the rubble as deftly as he could. He paused when he reached James. Kneeling down before his friend once more, he brushed back the familiar mop of jet-black hair.

"Goodbye, Prongs," he whispered with tears in his eyes. He placed his hand on his friend's chest. James's heart would never beat again. He kissed James's forehead and gently placed him on the ground once more. With one last pained look at the ruins before him, he ran through the dense forest behind what was left of the house to avoid the eyes of the many muggles living in the village.

Hold on, Harry, Sirius thought determinedly, as he apparated. I'm coming.