If my Marauders from PX390 went down a different trouser leg of time on the night of October 31st, 1981. AU everybody lives… probably. Complete with all my normal CWs for sex, trauma, abuse, self-harm, drug and alcohol abuse.
Sirius threw himself off the motorbike, bits of brick and wood littered the road. Muggles were shouting and running, trying to pick over the debris to get to the house. He wasn't aware of the decision to run, but he was running, leaping the gate without bothering to try and open it.
It was Harry's room that had exploded, he knew that. He recognised the Quidditch hoops on the wallpaper covered rubble. It was that thought alone that propelled him through the doorway – the door lying some feet away – to keep his eyes on the stairs and not on the crumpled body in the doorway to the lounge. If James was down, he was dead or unconscious, either way Sirius was of no use to him.
'Lily?' He tried to shout, but it came out as a rasp as he took the stairs four at a time.
'LILY!' He managed the yell as he careened down the landing and staggered to a halt on the broken floorboards. He took in the blood streaked crimson hair, pale face and twisted limbs before the tiny voice sobbed, 'Ee-us… Eeeee-us!'
Sirius launched himself at the cot, scooping up the tiny boy and cradling him against his chest, 'It's alright Harry, it's alright. Everything is going to be alright.'
Harry buried his face in Sirius' shoulder. Sirius took a shuddering breath, and slowly, slowly crouched down.
The hand that wasn't holding his godson reached out, pressing his fingers to Lily's neck. He closed his eyes, trying to calm himself down enough to feel…
'Sirius! What yer doin' here?'
He opened his eyes, fighting the urge to grab his wand. Hagrid's bulky form was staring in through the shattered doorway at him.
'I – Hagrid, she's alive. We need help.'
'Yeh, James is an' all. There's St. Mungo's healers coming.'
Hagrid eyed the younger man, 'Yer should give Harry to me Sirius.'
Sirius took a step back, towards the missing wall, 'Oh yeah? Why's that Hagrid?'
'Dumbledore sent me, so he's safe.'
Sirius shook his head, 'I'm his godfather Hagrid. We're all going to St. Mungo's together. If Dumbledore wants to check on Harry he can come there.'
'That's not what he ask me to do…' The big man sounded uncertain.
Sirius knew then, knew what Dumbledore thought. What Hagrid hadn't realised.
'Can you – fuck everything's a mess – Hagrid pass me that nappy bag.' Something occurred to him, something to keep the half-giant busy, 'Shit. Hagrid, the cat! You're good with animals, can you find her?'
Hagrid's beetle black eyes took in Sirius, and the toddler now sucking his thumb with his head resting on Sirius' shoulder, 'Wot? Yeh, yeh I'll find the bleedin' cat.'
Sirius waited until Hagrid had stomped across the landing to Lily and James' room before he pulled out his wand and levitated her down the stairs. He couldn't bear leaving either of them alone. He knew Healers always said not to move the wounded, but it gave him something to do.
Dammit, Lily was the healer, not him. Anyone but him. Well, not exactly anyone.
The old cold flames leapt easily to fire in the space under his ribs, an iciness that even Harry's warm little body couldn't wholly extinguish. That fucking rat. He laid Lily gently next to her husband, next to Prongs. He still couldn't look at his best friend. Didn't want to see the damage.
Even as he heard the St. Mungo's Healers start to pop into the lane outside, Sirius began to pace. Toddler in one arm, nappy bag over his shoulder. He paced. Willing himself to calm, to focus on Harry, and ignore the visceral canine urge to hurt down the thing that ripped his pack in two. That tore his alp – Sirius shook himself, now wasn't the time to think about him, or about the fighting and how wrong he had been. He couldn't even thing about Peter-fucking-Pettigrew right now, as his mind registered the tight blonde bun of Dorcas Meadowes sprinting across the lawn towards him, her withered left arm held tight in a sling to her chest.
'Siri? What the fuck happened?'
Sirius shook his head, 'It was him, but… He's gone. I don't know. Dorcas, can you… I can't, I don't…' Words evaded him, and she dropped to her knees next to the prone bodies of their friends. She and Lily had been training together as medi-witches, if he trusted anyone that wasn't Lily to patch them up, it was Dorcas.
Harry snuggled closer against Sirius' neck, and his pacing finally slowed, and he mindlessly hummed 'In The Air Tonight', not even realising he was doing it. He had been getting Harry to sleep with it every night he had babysat since the song came out.
Dorcas waved her wand in complex motions over both Lily and James.
She looked up at him, 'Sirius, we need to get the to St. Mungo's. Are you –'
He cut across her, 'Harry's face is cut too.'
He tried to turn his godson to show her, but he whipped his little face around and buried it closer into Sirius' neck.
Dorcas gave a tight little nod as the other Healers strapped the Potters to magical gurneys, 'If he's moving, I'm happy for you to bring him. Can you manage?'
'I can apparate us, we'll meet you there.'
She frowned up at him, like the Potter's he had been in hiding. He could tell she wasn't sure he was in any fit state.
'Straight there. Honest.' He tried to flash her a trademark Sirius Black grin, but he knew it was a twisted wreck of a grimace instead.
'Alright. See you in a minute.'
Sirius turned on his heel and held Harry tight as the apparition whipped them away.
The news ripped through the camp like fiendfyre.
The Dark Lord is gone…
The Potters killed him…
The Order took him out…
The Dark Lord destroyed them all…
People were running everywhere as gossip and rumour leapt from campfire to campfire. Moony sat still, a shiver up and down his spine as he took in the details, siphoning the buzzing claims to glean the most likely facts.
Voldemort was gone, that seemed clear. The Potters had been involved was also pretty self-evident. He knew they were a target, he knew they had gone into hiding, but that was all he knew.
After all, someone had suspected him.
The very few werewolves with wands – and most of those were stolen – disapparated, cracks echoed through the trees all around him, but most were running.
The camp hadn't been very subtle, but who would dare encroach on more than fifty werewolves almost all of whom served the Dark Lord. Only now, there was no Dark Lord. No one to stop the Ministry and their Werewolf Capture Unit storming in to take them. Remus very much doubted any of them would see the inside of Azkaban, they would have been "resisting arrest" in all likelihood.
Remus stood up, pushing the wolf back down. There was a bag of stolen clothes in the tent, but they did not seem very important now. Grasping his wand, he spun on the spot and disappeared with a crack.
There were two things Sirius wanted to do. Well three, but he couldn't even begin to put the third one into words, so he quelled it, shoving it to the back of his mind.
Of course, he couldn't very well do either of the two things he would admit to either.
Firstly, and most desperately he wanted to destroy Peter. He wanted it with a pain so sickly sweet it stuck to his ribs and set them ablaze with cold fury.
Secondly, he wanted to run.
They would be coming, he knew that. Everyone would assume it was him. He and James were inseparable after all. Everyone knew if the Potters were to have a secret keeper it would be him. Which is why he insisted James picked Peter. It had made sense, even Lily had agreed it made the most sense.
But he would have to explain that, slowly and calmly to the same Aurors that he had fought with, and besides and who still thought he might be a treasonous traitorous git because of his thrice dammed name!
Sirius kicked the empty bed next to James'. Hard.
He couldn't really feel it through the steel toe caps of his DMs, but the medi-witch filling in Lily's notes looked up and glared at him, so he pushed the flames back down and kept pacing.
Pacing was good. Harry was asleep, still held tight against Sirius' chest.
They had tried to make him put Harry down, but Sirius had resisted, and the boy had screamed, and everyone decided it was best to let him stay in Sirius' arms for now.
He knew it was cowardly, hiding behind his fifteen-month-old godson. But he just had to hold out until James or Lily woke up. Then they would know the truth.
Dorcas said it wouldn't be until tomorrow. She had made up a little camping cot next to James' bed, but Sirius couldn't bear to sit down.
They had closed the ward too. Apparently, hundreds of witches and wizards were all crowding towards the hospital, to find out what had happened as news spread. All wanting to see the Potters now Voldemort was gone. It was just James and Lily, their beds facing each other across the ward, curtains drawn on one side so no one looking in could see them. And Sirius pacing the floor in between the beds with Harry sleeping on his shoulder.
The part of him that was always Padfoot froze as the sound of angry voices rose outside the door to the ward. On reflex he cupped a hand over the back of Harry's head, the same way he had when Harry was new and even more tiny. He knew that voice, knew that tone.
He turned to face the door, both hands still clearly on Harry, because if they were on the boy then they didn't have a wand in them, and if he didn't have a wand, he couldn't be a threat.
Mad-Eye was levelling his wand at Sirius before the door swung shut behind him.
'Black, don't make this difficult. Just put the boy down and come quiet.'
Sirius shook his head, 'It wasn't me Mad-Eye. It was Peter, we chang – '
'That's quite enough lad. Put the boy down, nice and slow.'
Sirius clung harder to Harry, 'It. Wasn't. Me.' The Black contempt creeping into his voice, 'You fucking know me Moody. I'd murder the whole bloody lot of those scum before I bent the knee.'
'I reckoned I knew a lot of folk Black, now come on, we don't need to make this difficult. There's a lot of Aurors outside.'
Sirius swallowed, 'You've got to let me prove it. James, Lily, they'll back me up.'
'They're not going to be talking for a while Black.' Moody's tone was becoming less and less patient.
'Use a pensive. Veritaserum. Fucking anything, Mad-Eye. I can prove it wasn't me!' Sirius' voice was rising, and Harry startled awake, his cries echoing off the walls and floor.
Sirius bounced him a little, 'Hush love, you're alright Prongslet.'
'Put him down Black. Now.' Moody's growl sent a warning shudder up Sirius' spine and a judder through the Carpathian script tattooed around his left bicep. He was already turning away to put Harry carefully next to Lily. He knew it was coming. Even without a wand he could have summoned twenty different tactics, charms, geas against Mad-Eye. Instead, he was careful his Godson was already over the bed when the stunning spell hit him squarely in the spine.