Like my other story, I started this story from a Reddit prompt. This is unrelated to The Guise of Family. Any similarities that end up occurring are just due to me writing both of them. This story follows the canon timeline… a bit. However, there are many many parts that are different. There will be many named characters dying and many mature themes. I plan on publishing once a week, but if I feel like I want to start publishing the Guise sequel at any point, I'll just blitz the remaining chapters of this fic all at once.

Chapter 1:

The cell door closed behind him, with a clang that echoed through the hallways of the Fortress of Ekrizdis. That was the name for what was now known as Azkaban Prison. The Dark Lord Ekrizdis had not sought power for conquest, he wanted knowledge… by any means necessary. What knowledge he sought was something that no one truly knew, but it was assumed that it was about the nature of the human soul.

At least that was what Sirius Black had learned from his grandfather and uncles when he was first educated about dark magic at the tender age of six. While his childhood was filled with pain, depreciation, and hate; it wasn't without learning a great deal about magic, specifically the blackest magic known to wizard-kind.

Now inside the fortress of the Soul-Mage, Ekrizdis, he would have plenty of time to reflect on the lessons he had learned so long ago. There weren't many others this deep in the maximum security floor of Azkaban, but there would be soon, and then Sirius could get to work. Unbeknownst to anyone else, he was here by choice…

Three nights ago, Sirius's best friend was killed.

His location was supposed to be a secret, impossible for anyone to find. He was supposed to be safe under a ritual charm, invented oddly enough, by the Dark Lord whose fortress he was now a resident of. Ekrizdis had managed to find a way to seal everything about one particular idea inside a living soul. The ritual itself wasn't dark, but it was soul magic and something that everyone conveniently forgot was attributed to him and gave credit for it to some Light Wizard by mistake.

The location of James Potter, his wife, and their one-year-old son, Sirius's godson, was supposed to be completely safe within the soul of one of his other best friends, Peter Pettigrew. Peter was the only one who could reveal the existence of the location, all other traces of it were locked out of reality until Peter and Peter alone revealed it. Sirius had thought it was a brilliant plan to pick the weakest but craftiest of their friends to be the secret-keeper. Peter would be able to hide while all the focus would be on him. He had to fight and flee multiple times over the last few months from Death Eaters who assumed he could tell them the location of the Potters, and each time he laughed to himself that the plan had succeeded and they were safe even if one of these hit squads had been successful in capturing him.

The secret had been revealed to him and a few others, though he could not pass it on to anyone else. He could feel the restraint from revealing the location whenever he thought about it, which was nearly constant, as it was his best friend that he worried about. So when the restraint snapped like a rubber band in his mind three nights ago, he knew the spell had failed.

Now, in hindsight, he was able to figure out why it failed, and of all things, it was just a grammatical issue. The secret; 'The Potters can be found at Potter Cottage in Godric's Hollow,' failed because two of the three Potters were killed and only one Potter could be found at the location. Magic was stupid in that way.

When Sirius had arrived at the cottage, he had found the roof blown out from the inside, and the body of his best friend in a crumpled heap in the living room. Sparing only a few seconds to take in the loss, he followed the path of destruction up the stairs and through a broken door to find a pile of crumbling robes with the golden sigil of the Death Eaters on it, next to his godson's crib. He had seen those robes many times before and recognized them as ones belonging to the Dark Lord Voldemort. Next to the crib was also the body of his best friend's wife, Lily Potter.

Knowing that more Death Eaters might arrive at any time, he scooped up his sleeping godson, Harry, and took him back out of the house. Scanning the street for threats, he deposited Harry into the sidecar of his flying motorcycle and departed.

When he was almost up to speed to take off, a giant shadow stepped in front of him, causing him to skid to a halt. Sirius fired off several spells at the looming monstrosity, only to see them bounce off.

The giant shadow stepped into the light, and said, "Tha's some way to greet a friend. What happened 'ere?"

Sirius breathed a sigh of relief, "Hagrid, I thought you might be one of them. James and Lily are dead." A look of horror crossed over the large man's face, the part not hidden by a massive mane of hair and beard. "I'm taking Harry somewhere safe."

A few tears rolled down the man's face before he replied, "Dumbledore sent me, he felt the charm fail. Said to brin' any survivors to 'im."

"We were betrayed, but I think Voldemort is dead," Sirius said seriously, garnering a look of surprise from the large man. "Only Harry here was alive, I found him sleeping in his crib."

Hagrid looked at the sleeping child in the sidecar and said, "Ey need to brin' him to Hogwarts, he will be safe there with Dumbledore."

Sirius weighed his options, then dismounted the bike, "Take the bike, I don't want to wake him. Go straight there; no stops for drinks, no telling stories to strangers."

Hagrid gave him a nod and mounted the motorcycle, sagging heavily under his great weight. Sirius watched as the bike got up to speed and then took off into the night sky. Once Hagrid was on his way, he focused on Peter's mother's house, and apparated away.

Peter wasn't home. He was supposed to be there, he had been told not to leave. His mother admitted that Peter hadn't been home for days and complained about needing her son to help her as she was too fragile to be without someone with her for so long. Sirius resisted an urge to roll his eyes in front of the old woman. She had been saying that for as long as he had known Peter, always laying on the guilt for people to feel sorry for her and help her with every little thing. It's where Peter probably got his feelings of inadequacy, despite being quite formidable when he wanted to be.

It took nearly a whole day to track down the little rat, but he found him in Croydon, a not-so-nice district of southern London. He was obviously trying to hide out but still out in public buying a sandwich with a smile on his face like it was Christmas morning.

Sirius jumped out from a corner and knocked him flying with a blow to the face. He landed in the middle of the street and scrambled to his feet as cars screeched to a halt all around him. Sirius saw him pull his wand, but drew his faster, firing off an explosive curse toward the little man. Peter was able to shield in time causing the spell to reflect off and hit a car. The occupant barely managed to escape the flames before it exploded.

Peter looked around frantically, boxed in by the stopped cars, and backed slowly up until he was standing over a manhole cover. Sirius didn't bother with words, just marched forwards slowly firing off one spell at a time as Peter cowered behind his shield, still penned in by the cars around him.

When he stopped casting, Peter stood up slowly and yelled loudly, "You traitor! How could you have done this? You got them killed and now you come for me?" That stopped Sirius dead in his tracks and a look of confusion crossed his face.

A maniacal grin took over Peter's face as he pointed his wand straight down. A blinding flash of light went straight through one of the vent holes in the manhole cover that he stood on and an explosion rocked the street, causing the two cars he was pinned in front of to get launched to either side of the street, crashing into the buildings, causing a great amount of destruction.

When the blinding light died down, Sirius could only see a bloodstain and a solitary finger from where his former friend had been standing. Screams of muggles and burning petrol were all around the street as people ran in terror. He could only stare at the spot Peter had been standing before he had taken the coward's way out.

He had come here to seek vengeance and he would have it one way or another. There would be other Death Eaters he could seek out, others who had killed his friends and allies, but if Voldemort was truly dead, they would all be locked away at Azkaban, escaping true justice. That was when he came up with his plan, in that moment, he decided to kill them all.

Peter had set him up to take the fall for his crimes. Without Peter, everyone would assume he gave away the secret. Without Peter, everyone would assume he killed all these muggles. He would admit to all of it in court, and thanks to his ancestors making it so no pureblood wizard could be given veritaserum for testimony, no one could prove he was lying. Why would they?

Then, when he was alone in the prison with the other Death Eaters, he would find a way to take them out, one by one.

With these dark thoughts filling his mind, and the haunting memory of his best friend lying motionless on the floor of his own home, Sirius fell to his knees and began to laugh. It echoed through the streets of Croydon. He wasn't sure how long he had been laughing until he heard the cracks of apparation all around him and saw the red robes of Aurors appear just before he was hit with at least two stunning hexes, making him ricochet around like a pinball before he hit the ground and fell unconscious.