Author's note - Off to a good start already. I have been thinking about this story since before I finished with Gilderoy. Sirius Black has taken hold of me like a certain Asgardian trickster and won't let go.
Alex - I love you lady! Thank you for helping me with everything from personal to writing advice and praise. I appreciate you!
So onto Azkaban, please enjoy, read and review!
Albus looked at his niece sleeping soundly, curled up in the lap of Sirius Black with a slight but content smile on her face. He had transformed from his canine form after the girl fell asleep, stroking her hair lightly, and humming a lullaby to keep her asleep. Black wore a grin that could only be brought about by the professor's niece. It was one of pure happiness, affection, and love; the bond the two had formed over the years was tight knit and they had become almost inseparable. Both had found solace and light in the other, but it worried Dumbledore. Dahlia was a child, barely 9 years old and Sirius was in his early 20's. He let the girl sleep for now and would discuss his concerns with Sirius at a later date, there was no use in disturbing the peace they had found.
As Albus wandered off, someone else lingered. Severus Snape had formed a bond with the child as well, she held a sharp mind and keen wit that allowed her to keep up with the young and adept wizard and she was half his age. He envied the bond that Dahlia had formed with Sirius and to an extent Remus Lupin. Snape felt it was more meaningful and often coveted the look she gave Black to be directed at him. It felt as if his heart was split in two due to his lingering feelings for Lily Potter which only complicated and intensified how he felt for Dumbledore's niece the longer he was around the child with colorful silken locks. The dark haired wizard stared intently at the couple, longing to be the comfort she sought in Sirius.
With Lily and James Potter in hiding, Dahlia was the sole focus of Snape's obsessive mind. Albus had tasked him with watching over his niece when Sirius wasn't around. The time he spent with her made him feel less estranged as this bright and lovely child accepted him with no qualms as to his former association with the Dark Lord or the Death Eaters. As she was now a person of interest for Voldemort he would keep her safe even if it cost him his life. Dumbledore had only shared that information with him to keep the others in the dark was strategic and Albus felt he could trust Snape. Aberforth had trusted Albus with Dahlia's safekeeping when the whispers that Voldemort was searching for her started. The only conclusion that could be drawn was Dahlia's parentage is what raised Voldemort's interest in her.
Dahlia shivered in Sirius' lap which snapped up Snape's attention as Black re-lit the fire and consoled the child cuddling her closer to his chest. Her response was a contented sigh as she nuzzled further into the wizard. The two rivals locked eyes for a moment, both of them knowing what the girl meant to the other, it wasn't a secret, at least Sirius' feelings. Despite Snape's attempts at concealing the way he felt about her, Black knew.
"She is safe in my keeping Snape," he addressed the lanky wizard, Black's voice spat out the last name like poison.
Severus sneered at the wizard, "Hardly," he scoffed, "can't even keep her warm next to a fire."
"Don't you have an explosion to get caught in Snivellus," the mile wide smirk on his face burned into Snape's eyes.
Dahlia roused a bit, "Sirius," her soft voice was dreamy and half asleep.
"Yes my darling," he whispered softly to running his fingers through her purple hair.
"Apologize to Severus," she stated, the order was soft as she drifted off to sleep again but it was firm.
A smile crossed Sirius' face that made his deep blue eyes sparkle, "Of course little love," he gently kissed the top of her head before addressing Snape, "My apologies Severus." The apology was in fact genuine.
Snape seemed to revel in Black taking orders from a child and grinned almost evilly at his rival. It quickly dropped when he realized he would have folded to her gentle command even quicker than Sirius had. The thin wizard turned from the couple and stomped off to sulk, it seemed he would forever be alone; first Lily lost to that showboating Potter and now Dahlia to that dog in wizard's clothing.