A/N: So, this is my first fanfiction chapter ever and I'm kind of nervous about the reception of this story, if you could leave me a follow, favorite, or a review whether it be praise-worthy or constructive I'd appreciate it. (Currently Re-Uploading Chapters to fix any grammatical errors, if anyone would like to help, please PM me)
Chapter I: Halloween, 1981
It can't be true, Sirius thought desperately as he found himself on the grounds of a destroyed Potter Cottage, Please god it can't be true. James Potter, his best friend, screw best friend, his brother had been in hiding with his wife Lily and their newborn son, Harry. They were his targets, The Dark Lord's, but Sirius was sure he would never find them. Albus Dumbledore himself, a man toted by all as the greatest wizard alive had placed the fidelius charm over the house that should have protected the Potters from the Dark Lord.
Sirius himself had even created a second layer of protection making another close friend of his Peter Pettigrew the Secret Keeper. Sirius had thought it was the perfect plan, a prank on the Dark Lord worthy of the marauders, the one man who would be able to tell the Dark Lord the secret was a man he would never suspect. Sirius wanted that, he wanted himself to be a target. If he had to die for James so be it, but he wouldn't let any harm come to the only family he ever had.
But when Sirius had arrived and seen the destruction of the Potter Cottage first hand, he couldn't help but slam his fist so hard against the trunk of a tree it nearly broke, "Why God Damn It! It's not fair! It should have been me! They should have killed me instead!"
A chill filled Sirius as he began to piece together what happened. It was long suspected that there was a spy in the order. Though it filled Sirius with remorse to admit it, he had believed it was the last member of the Marauders, Remus Lupin. Sirius was certain that due to his Lycanthropy, he would be willing to turncoat if Voldemort had offered him the equality he sought. But now, standing in front of the wreckage of the Potter's Cottage, a pit formed in his stomach, Pettigrew.
Sirius felt his blood come to a boil, he would find Pettigrew and force him into his Animagus form before he skinned the bastard alive. He was going to kill Pettigrew for what he did to James. Sirius began walking off the property, rage creating a throbbing sensation just behind his forehead, his mind spinning with all the ways he would make Pettigrew scream, that was until he heard something.
It was faint, so faint that Sirius had for a moment believed he hadn't heard anything at all. In fact, Sirius was certain he hadn't, until it grew louder, a painful, heart-wrenching wail that echoed through the stormy winds. At that point, nothing else mattered as Sirius ran into the cottage faster than he had ever recalled his legs moving before. There was a survivor in that house, and for a moment, Sirius had hoped against all odds that James Potter was alive.
His hopes, however, were dashed as within moments of entering the home, he saw James' wand lying unused on the dining room table. Panic began to fill his heart as he raced through the home, kicking in every closet, nook, and cranny for his best friend. Then, through a flash of lightning, he saw something he had hoped was just an illusion of the light. He raced towards the shadow, and involuntarily, Sirius fell to his knees, tears swelling in his eyes as he confirmed his fear was no illusion.
Propped up against the wall just next to the staircase was a member of the only family he had left, James Potter. Sirius wiped his eyes as he stared at the tall, thin man with cold hazel eyes and untidy black hair that stuck up at the back, slowly he placed his hand on James' shoulder, shaking him. "Come on Prongs, you need to wake up. I need you. You can't be dead. Please for the love of God, wake up!"
But James never woke and Sirius, with tears running down his cheeks, placed his palm on his brother's once warm eyes and shut them for good as he whispered, "Prongs you idiot, why didn't you have your wand? What were you thinking?" Sirius swallowed hard as he nodded, "I'm sorry I failed you, I'm so sorry."
Sirius held his friend tightly, determined to not let go until once again, the wailing sound cried out from the floor above. Lily? Sirius thought in desperation, silently he begged, hoping that someone had survived the attack. He looked down at his fallen brother, before lifting him in his arms and placing his body softly on the sofa. Sirius gave James one last look, from that new position, James seemed as if he was simply sleeping. But as much as he wanted to, Sirius couldn't stay and wait for the day when by some miracle he would wake up. Knowing his friend was gone, Sirius pulled his eyes away from James and with a heavy heart, he began climbing up what was left of the old staircase, each step filling his chest with dread.
It hadn't taken long for Sirius to figure out where to look, in the tight upstairs corridor there was only one door that was swung open. As fast as he could, Sirius ran towards the door, opening it to see another horrific sight. The room had looked like a hurricane had passed through it with photos, newspapers, and chunks of the building scattered across the area. Yet all the horror in the room couldn't have pulled Sirius' hazy grey eyes away from the sight that lay in the center of the nursery. Lily Potter, a beautiful woman with thick, dark red hair that fell to her shoulders and bright green almond-shaped eyes lay dead at Sirius' feet, and beside her, a familiar black cloak.
In all his life, Sirius had never felt so cold. If he didn't know better, he would have sworn a dementor had just kissed him. He had promised James that if anything were to happen to him out on their missions that he would take care of Lily. He swore to him that he would protect her with his life, but despite his promises, Lily Potter, the love of his brother's life was now cold and lifeless, and it was all his fault.
Sirius, despite all the hardships he had survived, at that moment had wished for death more than anything else, he wanted to die as he was certain that hell could be no more painful than what he was feeling right now.
Just before Sirius was about to allow himself to continue diving deeper into his train of dark thoughts, the sound he'd been chasing since he arrived at the cottage wailed once again, and like a moth to a flame, Sirius ran to it. Laying there, completely unaware of the carnage around him, was a small baby boy, just a year old. His bright green eyes were exactly like Lily's and on his forehead, a lightning bolt scar, like nothing Sirius had ever seen before. His Godson, Harry Potter was looking up at him, a light of acknowledgment in his eyes from his cries finally being heard.
"Harry," Sirius croaked, lifting the toddler into his arms, "You're alive. Thank god you're alive."
Sirius watched as he took a seat, his emotional strain being too much to handle, to his trauma he saw Harry pulling gently on his mother's sleeve, wanting her to wake up and look at him, but she couldn't, Lily Potter was gone. All Sirius could do while he heard the sad sounds erupting from the small child's mouth was cradle him, rocking him softly as he spoke, "I'm sorry Harry, your mama loved you, she loved you so much. Your dad too, I know you miss them, I miss them too, but your uncle Padfoot won't let anything happen to you, I swear it on my life."
Harry broke into tears, and it was in that moment that Sirius had realized he had no idea what to do. He had never wanted kids, hell, he never wanted to marry. He was perfectly content being a bachelor for the rest of his days. When James had asked him to be Harry's godfather, he had assumed the gesture was purely symbolic. He had never imagined that one day, he would be truly responsible for the boy he held in his arms.
It hadn't taken long until the crying of Harry wasn't the only thing that filled the area, suddenly the loud revving of a motorcycle bellowed through the air. It was his motorcycle, the one he had lent to a friend of both himself and the Potter's, and a member of the Order of the Phoenix, Rubeus Hagrid. Sirius turned to face Harry, the toddler still crying in his arms as he rocked him gently, and at that moment all his hatred towards Pettigrew was put in to focus, Harry needed him and he would never abandon him, never, even if it meant, for the time being, Pettigrew got to live.
The door kicked in and standing in front of Sirius was a man larger than any he had ever seen, mostly due to his half-giant blood. He had a warm smile though it wasn't showing tonight and equally kind black beetle-like eyes that due to the horror of the event were as dim as a dying candle. His hair was black, scraggly and coarse which matched his bread which it reached down to meet. "Sirius?" Hagrid spoke in concern, "What happened here? James and Lily, are they-"
"Pettigrew," Was all Sirius could say, "He betrayed them. James and I agreed to make Pettigrew the secret keeper in a ruse to trick the Dark Lord, the coward changed sides, it's my fault, It's my fault their dead."
Hagrid reached over slowly placing his hand on Sirius' shoulder. It was a light but firm squeeze and for a moment, Sirius felt some comfort until Hagrid's next sentence washed over him like a bucket of cold water, "Professor Dumbledore sent me to collect Harry. He says that Harry will be safer with his aunt and uncle in the muggle world."
"Dumbledore wants to send Harry to live with Petunia and her fat oaf of a husband!" Sirius shouted, causing Harry's tears to flow more rapidly, "No, he can't have him. I'm the boy's godfather, he stays with me. James told me about the Dursley's, they're awful. I won't let them have Harry."
"I'm sure Dumbledore wouldn't send Harry to live with the muggles if they were as bad as you say. He must think that Harry living with the muggles is for the greater good," Hagrid spoke softly.
"No, I'm done caring about the greater good," Sirius growled, "The greater good lost me friends, how many order members have died in Dumbledore's peaceful attempt to win a war? The greater good has lost me everything, I believed Remus was a spy, Pettigrew's a turncoat, and James and Lily are dead. Harry's all I have left, so you hop back on that bike and you tell Dumbledore he can't have Harry. I'm his godfather and his closest wizarding relative, Harry is mine by right."
Sirius began marching towards the door, Harry wrapped softly in his blanket snug under his arm, until Hagrid stepped in front of him once more, "Sirius, Dumbledore said-"
"Out of my way Hagrid," Sirius said in a low and irritated tone, "Harry comes with me."
"But Dumble-" Hagrid started but before he could finish, Sirius' wand was drawn.
"Out of my way! Last warning!" Sirius growled.
It was a standoff that seemed like it would never end. Yet, true to his Gryffindor placement despite not completing his school years, Hagrid didn't move. Sirius cursed, either the man courageously stood before him or he called his bluff. Sirius did harbor the half-giant any ill-will, he never would have hurt him, but his patience was beginning to run thin. The thought of Pettigrew's betrayal, the death of James and Lily, the fact that Harry was an orphan before he could ever truly remember how much his parents loved him all came to a boiling point as he pointed his wand to the side of the room and shouted, "Bombarda!"
In a massive explosion, the cottage wall erupted and quickly, Sirius ran for it, jumping out with haste before he landed on the ground with a roll securely clutching Harry to his chest who giggled slightly from the excitement. Sirius cursed from the pain of his landing before forcing his body to stand. Like the lightning flashing in the night sky, Sirius bolted, not wanting to be caught before he finally escaped off the property. He quickly looked around, ensuring the view was clear of muggles before he barked, "Kreacher!"
With a pop, the decrepitly old House-Elf of his ancient and noble home appeared. His nose was long, so long that it nearly scraped the floor when he bowed, and his bat-like ears were wrinkled and drooped lazily to his shoulders. "Blood-traitorous master has called upon Kreature, how can Kreature, unfortunately, be of service to the disappointment of the once noble House of Black."
"Quiet," Sirius ordered an instantly the elf fell silent, "Apparate us to the Black Cottage in Dublin and lock down all wards, nobody gets in without my okay. You speak to no-one, you look at no-one, for all intents and purposes you act as if you don't exist until I give you further orders, am I understood?"
Without a word, the elf nodded and then, with a pop, the elf along with Sirius and an infant Harry vanished from Godric's Hollow and away from the scene that would traumatize both their dreams forever. All Sirius knew was that he would keep Harry safe, no matter the cost.
Sirius did not feel well as he stirred around the Black Cottage. He wanted to vomit, the emotional strain was like poison and he felt the urge to keel over and die, but that wasn't an option, Harry needed him, he wouldn't fail, but he was lost and beyond confused. He had ordered the Black Vaults cleared and had sent Kreacher to set up a new account in his stead in the American division of Gringotts cutting off all funding to both Dumbledore and the order in fear that it might be traced.
He couldn't afford to stay in England, not with the tensions so high. There were so many enemies, powerful enemies that even without the Dark Lord would be difficult if not impossible for Sirius to stop alone, no matter how strong of a wizard he was. Malfoy, McNair, Avery, Nott, the Carrows, Dolohov, and how could he forget his lovely cousin Bellatrix. No, Harry was at too great a risk, and with his faith in Dumbledore shaken, he needed to flee, and he needed allies, people he could trust.
Remus, of course, would be one, but the man did hold his loyalty with Dumbledore still. Sirius was thinking a fidelius charm on a new house in America would be a good location to wait out the storm, but he needed a secret keeper, somebody he could trust would be more loyal to him than Dumbledore and his kind persuasions. His mind constantly echoed the werewolf's name, but he couldn't risk it, his heart was in the right place, but he trusted Dumbledore too deeply. It was the same issue with McGonagall as much as he loved the woman.
For a moment he had considered Frank and Alice, they were good friends of the Potters, and Alice was even Harry's godmother, but Sirius couldn't do that to them. For all he knew, the damn prophecy made Neville just as much a target as Harry and there was no reason to paint a bigger target on the young families back. That's when it hit him, Andy!
He had always loved his cousin, the two of them receiving the same love from their wonderful family based on their choices of friends and lovers. Yes, Andromeda Tonks would do perfectly, and if all went well, Sirius had hoped Andromeda could provide the motherly attention that a young boy needed. She had the experience, after all, his younger cousin Nymphadora was quite a handful herself and perhaps the Tonks' steady hand would be exactly what Harry needed.
Quickly, he drafted up the letter to reinstate Andromeda into the Black Family Line, a power granted to him as many of the members of his old house perished at alarming rates following Regulus' disappearance. There were many parts about being a Lord that was irritating, but the power to make split decisions was not one that Sirius minded. With the letter written, he once again summoned Kreacher, and with a crack, he appeared. "Yes Master, how can Kreature serve the disgrace of House Black?" The elf said with a pitiful bow.
"You will bring this message to the ministry and see it is recorded. This letter reinstates the Tonks' family as part of the Black Line and makes Harry Potter an official member of the Black Family as well as my heir. You will ensure that the message is received, and you will not speak to anyone regarding mine, the Tonks', or Harry's whereabouts. Afterward, you are to find Remus Lupin along with Andromeda, Nymphadora, and Ted Tonks and bring them here at once. Tell them I have urgent business to discuss with them."
"Of Course, Master," Kreacher said as he bowed unenthusiastically, "Perhaps afterward Kreacher will hang himself for allowing the Black Line to become filthier and filthier every day."
"Begone with you!" Sirius shouted, his irritation at the elf growing with every second. The elf quickly disapparated and Sirius fell back into his chair, a sniffling Harry still in his lap as he rocked his godson, gently singing the lullaby Lily had once sung him, though far worse than she ever had. However, Sirius' efforts must have been enough as to his great relief, his Godson fell asleep, his unruly black hair pressed against his chest. With Harry finally asleep, Sirius whipped out his wand and summoned a glass and a bottle of Ogden's Old Firewhisky towards him, and in an attempt to numb his sorrows, Sirius drank, and to his great shame, Sirius cried.
Sirius wasn't sure how long he and Harry were alone in the house, but it must have been a while, as the sun was beginning to emerge, the chilly October air gave way to the frost of November. Before Sirius had shot up from his seat, he noticed that Harry was still curled to his chest, his tears dried to his cheeks. Sirius relaxed back in his chair for a while before he heard a pop echo through the house, and quickly he jumped to his feet, waking Harry as he drew his wand.
However, he was quickly calmed as he heard a familiar voice call out, "Padfoot, calm down, it's alright."
"Moony?" Sirius called out, and out of the shadows emerged a twenty-year-old man. He wore a pale face with premature lines from the stress caused by his furry little problem. His hair was a light brown, and as usual, despite Sirius' insistence that Remus could have direct access to the Black Vaults, he wore a cheaply tailored suit, that barely fit his tall stature.
Remus nodded as Sirius looked at his only remaining brother in agony. It hadn't taken long until Remus had looked down to see Harry in his arms, "Sirius, please tell me that's not who I think it is?"
Sirius could speak, instead, all he did was nod and he watched as Remus' face reflected the breaking of his heart. He stuttered more than once before he finally got his question out, "James, and Lily, what happened? Why aren't they here?"
"They're dead," Sirius finally croaked out, "The Dark Lord found them, only Harry survived, the house reeked of dark magic but He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named wasn't there. Only his black robe laid abandon on the ground."
In a rage indicative of the beast inside the calm man, he spun around slamming his fist through the wooden wall of the cottage as he growled out, "God Damn it! How could this have happened! They were supposed to be safe. Weren't you the secret keeper, how did the Dark Lord find them?"
"I wasn't the secret keeper," Sirius said lowly, "God it's all my fault Moony. James and I, we thought that me being the secret keeper was too obvious. We thought it would be the perfect prank to make Pettigrew the secret keeper instead. We thought if they came after me, and I died, at least the secret would never get out. But Pettigrew he-"
"That cowardly bastard!" Remus growled, "I'm going to find him, and when I do, I'm going to kill him."
"The rat is mine Remus," Sirius spoke, "It was my fault, I'm the one who gets to make it up to James by killing the traitor."
"All this talk of killing traitors, while it is interesting is not the most suited for my daughter's ears," A third voice broke through the crowd, "Plus, you've woken up the poor boy. Quick, hand him to me, I'll go warm some formula for him."
Facing Sirius was a woman he had not seen for many years, as he had remembered Andromeda had an uncanny physical resemblance to Bellatrix with patrician beauty and an aristocratic bearing synonymous with House Black. The main difference between her and his less than lovely cousin was her brown hair and her wider, much warmer brown eyes.
"Sirius!" A warm and excited voice called from the crowd, before toppling him with a hug due to the fact that as anyone who knew her would have expected she tripped. Sirius groaned when his back slammed against the floor, but when his eyes opened once again, he saw the familiar heart-shaped faced, warm brown eyes, and bubblegum pink hair of his favorite cousin's daughter.
"Hey Tonks," Sirius spoke quietly, "Any chance you could get off me, my balance isn't too great right now."
"Nym," Ted called, "Why don't you go to the kitchen with your mother to help Harry, Sirius and I have some business to discuss."
Tonks nodded before leaving the room leaving Remus, Ted, and Sirius alone in the living room. Ted was a larger and yet extremely kind man with fair-colored hair and a pleasant voice, "I must say Sirius, the contents of the letter your House Elf delivered from the ministry was quite surprising. I imagine you have a reason for re-invoking my wife and by extension my family back into the Black Family line. I would also like to know why my family was summoned here to attend a 'critical' meeting.
Sirius nodded and with a tired breath, he began to explain the story. The betrayal of Pettigrew, the blasé attitude of Dumbledore, and his new plan for what he wanted to do for Harry. Remus momentarily was outraged at the lack of trust Sirius currently had with Dumbledore, but after hearing the man wanted to send Harry to live with the Dursley's people who even the polite Remus would describe as unpleasant was enough to silence his doubts. It was only after the story was completed did Ted speak once again, "I understand, support, and sympathize greatly with your plan and cause, but I've yet to understand my purpose for being here."
"Frankly," Sirius said, "Your presence isn't exactly required; however, you are part of the family I'm about to ask to become a large part of the plan to keep Harry safe and I wanted you to be informed. I was going to ask Andromeda to be the secret keeper for the new Fidelius Charm. Remus is too obvious and while supposedly the charm can't be broken, there has never been a wizard as formidable as Dumbledore. As I stated, Remus is too obvious of a choice, but I feel he would overlook Andromeda as a possible secret keeper. Harry needs a motherly figure, he needs parents, and I am nowhere near qualified to be that. You have the soundest family I know, I was hoping you could help me out."
Ted seemed to mull the thought over a bit longer than Sirius had hoped before he spoke, "Most likely Andromeda would say yes, but I am concerned over my family carrying such a responsibility. Sirius, I have a job, so does Andy, and Nym, well Nym is only a few years from beginning her Hogwarts education. I can't just up and leave everything behind."
"I'm not asking you to," Sirius pleaded, "Just come down for weekend trips, teach me the basics of how to raise a kid, he's all I have left of Lily and James. I promised them I'd do anything for them, the least I can do is raise Harry in a way he doesn't become a screw-up like me."
"You're not a screw-up Sirius," He heard Andromeda call from out of the hallway, baby Harry sucking on a bottle of warm milk, "You're a mangy mutt, player, renowned philanderer, and perhaps a bit lazy, but you are a good man. If you weren't, there was no way that Lily would have consented to make you a legal guardian of their son. My husband was right of course in his assumption, I'd be more than willing to help, especially after the great financial burden you've removed from my family, but you need to believe in yourself Sirius, Harry needs you to stop fooling around and be an adult. Promise me you'll try."
"I swear it," Sirius spoke lowly, "I'll never fail Harry, never."
"Very well," Andromeda spoke kindly, "It appears we have much preparation to do."
A/N: So what do you think? Good, Bad, Awful? This is my first attempt at writing Fanfiction and I'm really trying to put my best foot forward. Let me know if you like the premise of not, cool ideas you may have, anything at all. I'm considering between making Harry either a Gryffindor or Slytherin so let me know what you would like more, I'm leaning more towards Slytherin currently. Anyways, as I said in the first author's note, this is my first chapter so if you could leave me a Follow, Favorite, or Review it would be very much appreciated! Till next time, peace!