Summary: With Sirius cleared of all charges, Harry is finally able to move in with his godfather. But when life seems to be too good to be true, Sirius is declared dead and Harry is ripped away from everything he knows. Alone and with no one to rely on but himself, can Harry find the strength he needs to survive? AU from book 5 on.
Disclaimer: JK Rowling owns the books, I own Javen Derios, Say Goodnight Not Goodbye belongs to Beth Neilsen-Chapman (beautiful song, by the way). Suing me is rather pointless since all you'll get is some lint and a piece of mint gum.
Author Notes: I had posted this story before, but it was removed for reasons that are still unknown to me. I have a feeling that they think I committed plagiarism against another writer. I was not allowed to defend myself before it was taken down, so I will defend myself now. For those of you who feel that it is your God-given duty to flame me, first ask me incase you are mistaken. I have spoken to the author in question and I have complete permission to base my story off of hers. I have changed it so only the ideas remain. I am further editing it from its previous copy so as not to offend anyone else. I do not wish to be mean, but I would like to be approached at least before being punished. Usually, there is a reasonable explanation for any action I have taken. Just because I do not go around shouting all of my personal correspondences to you does not mean that I have not covered all of the appropriate bases. For those of you who have approached me in a mature and friendly manner, I thank you profusely for your understanding and I am glad that I have removed your doubts and fears.
Without further ado or ranting, here it is! My first attempt at HP fanfiction. Enjoy and please review! Every 50th reviewer gets a chapter/story designed/dedicated by/for them. Did that make any sense…? Oh well…Say Goodnight, Not Goodbye Part 1: Changing of the Guard
"…And I want it made clear that forever more, Sirius Black is officially pardoned of all crimes he was convicted of. Furthermore, he is awarded the Order of Merlin, First Class for his efforts in bringing the true criminal to our attention. With his help, I believe that Peter Pettigrew will be found soon and tried for his crimes. In response to his and young Potter's request, I grant him legal guardianship over Harry," Fudge paused from his speech to glance down at Sirius and Harry, "Congratulations."
Sirius hadn't stopped beaming since the Minister started his speech. All his dreams were finally coming true. He was a free man, awarded the Order of Merlin no less, and legally able to watch over Harry as he had been doing for nearly a year now. He could now take Harry away from those horrible Muggles at last!
He wrapped an arm around the boy's shoulder loosely, but with no less affection. Harry, he noticed, was grinning at the news. He turned to Sirius, his bright green eyes shining.
"When can I move in?" he asked. Sirius remembered a time when he had been asked that same question little over a year ago. Back then, his future did not seem so certain although hopes were high. Hopes that came crashing down on top of him with the escape of Wormtail. Now, his hopes had finally prevailed…he could only imagine the look on James and Lily's faces if they could have seen this.
"I need to find a place first. Would you be all right at the Dursley's for a week or two while I get things straightened out? I'll come and get you when it's time."
Harry thought it over a moment. He frowned at the thought of returning to his uncle's home again. Sirius smiled at the boy, "I want you to come with me now too. But I want you be where I know it's safe until everything's ready. You understand, don't you?" Geez, he thought, I sound like a parent already.
"Of course I do," Harry said quickly, "I'll be fine at the Dursley's."
Sirius nodded. He turned around and was met with a blinding flash of light. He and Harry rubbed their eyes, trying to get them to work properly again. His hand was grasped tightly by another with long fingernails. Someone was shaking his hand roughly, nearly taking his arm off.
"Rita Skeeter, special correspondent for the Daily Prophet," a cool feminine voice said. Sirius opened his eyes and focused on the reporter.
"Rita? Didn't we go to school together? You were in…"
"Ravenclaw, yes. Do you suppose you could grant an old friend a bit of your time?"
Sirius saw Harry out of the corner of his eye. He was frantically making gestures to him that easily translated themselves. He looked back at Rita. Wasn't she the girl who tried to scare off his official 'We-Worship-The-Quill-Sirius-Chews-On Club' by spreading the false rumor that he was gay…? And since when was she considered an 'old friend' of his?
"Actually, Miss Skeeter," he tried diplomatically, "Harry and I were just…"
"Oh, splendid!" She beamed, "A double interview then?"
"No, Rita," Harry said, not bothering to be diplomatic, "We're busy."
She decidedly ignored the boy, "Do you feel that John and Lilac Potter would be happy that you have been given full custody over their only son? Has your official pardon affected your feelings toward Peter any?"
"That's James and Lily, and I would rather not comment right now. Come Harry." Sirius tried valiantly to push his way through the growing number of reporters and cameras. They finally exited the courthouse after being blinded by half a dozen bright lights and flashes as reporters talked quickly to their Quick-Quotes Quills.
After escaping the mob of reporters, Harry and Sirius were able to see properly enough to avoid the curious public. At first, Sirius thought he only imagined the beautiful machine standing there in front of him. But there it was; his old flying motorcycle parked right in front of the courthouse. For a moment, he could barely believe it was really his. The silver paint looked as though it had just been applied, and the gears were brand new. He found a note pinned on the seat of the bike:
Here's your old bike. I kept it safe after you gave it to me. Thought it might come in handy someday.Hagrid
Harry smiled with disbelief, "You have a motorcycle?"
"Not only that," Sirius answered with pride in his voice, "I enchanted it to fly myself."
"You are officially the coolest godfather in Britain," Harry said, unable to take his eyes off of the shining machine. Sirius laughed.
"Thanks, I think. You wanna have a go on it?"
"Could we really?"
"Of course. Hop on." He conjured Harry a helmet and put one on himself. Sirius sat in the front, every nerve cell in his body tingling with the excitement of a 5-year old on Christmas. He never knew how much he missed it until then. He ran his hands lovingly over the handles and knobs he installed himself. Harry was James' baby…this motorcycle was his.
Harry climbed up behind Sirius with mixed emotions. Last time he rode in a flying vehicle that should otherwise stay on the ground, he ended up flying into the Whomping Willow headfirst.
"Hang on," Sirius yelled over the sound of the engine. With the press of a button, the motorcycle launched itself into the air. Harry wrapped his arms around Sirius' waist so he wouldn't be knocked off.
"Sirius," he said as they rose above the clouds, "I've had dreams about this. It's like I've been here before."
"Those weren't dreams," Sirius said, "When you were little I used to take you flying all the time. Your mother hated it." It no longer hurt to talk about the past, for everything was all right between Sirius and Harry now.
"Why did Hagrid have it?"
Sirius took a deep breath. Perhaps the past could still hurt a bit. "When Voldemort attacked you, I was the first to arrive. I was going to take you with me, but Hagrid came on Dumbledore's orders to bring you to the Dursley's. I had no choice," Sirius had to steady his voice before continuing. "I told him that if I could not have you…then he could take my motorcycle so you would get there quicker. I wouldn't need it again. I had to find Peter…"
Harry said nothing at this, but Sirius felt the boy give him a tight squeeze around his waist where he held on. The boy did not know the finer points of the story, and Sirius decided that he would not tell him until he was older. How could he be the one to tell Harry about how much it could still torment him with the sight of the dead body of his best friend in the ruin of his home, wand still in hand? And the panic and despair that gripped his heart at the sight of a melted, charred bassinette next to the crumpled form of Lily. No, he thought, it was better not to tell. Everything was fine now; why bring that up?
"We're here," he announced, his voice recovering. Harry lifted his head. They were parked in front of 4 Privet Drive already. Harry removed his helmet and stood up. Sirius turned to Harry.
"Don't tell them yet," he said, a mischievous smile appearing on his face, "I want to surprise them when I come."
"All right," Harry said, putting the helmet into a compartment, "I can't wait to see their faces when an ex-convict shows up to take me away."
Sirius nodded, "Remember, if they give you any trouble, let me know. No one can pick on my godson but me."
"Will do, Sirius. Bye!" He stood back as Sirius revved up the engine. Waving, Sirius pressed the 'flight' button and circled his motorcycle around the Dursley's lamppost and roared into the open sky. Harry stood outside and watched his godfather until he disappeared from view. He smiled to himself and turned toward the front door. Neither Dudley's tantrums nor Aunt Petunia's shrieking could spoil his day. For one of the first times in his life, Harry could step back and say life was perfect.
He sighed and stepped up to the door, visions of flying motorcycles still fresh in his mind. When he opened the door, it was as loud as he remembered it. Dudley was apparently put out that he couldn't have both a boat and a dog. He was currently whining in the kitchen as he ate lunch.
Uncle Vernon looked up from his newspaper as Aunt Petunia stood there with tears in her eyes as she pleaded with her son. He frowned when he saw Harry.
"Still alive, are you boy?" He asked. Harry shrugged and nodded. It was the usual greeting at the Dursley household reserved only for him.
"Where have you been?" demanded Aunt Petunia, her fight with Dudley over for the moment. He was stuffing his face then, apparently exhausted from the exertion of talking.
"Out," Harry said, "Sirius wanted a word."
This did it. Whenever mention of Harry's godfather came up, the Dursely's would simultaneously look as though they had to be sick. Dudley choked on his fourth helping of pie and Aunt Petunia dropped her plate. Uncle Vernon stared at Harry who managed to keep a straight face.
"You…you've been seeing him, have you?" He asked.
"Yeah. He just wanted to make sure everything was all right."
He tried not to smile as Uncle Vernon's panicked look increased. They only allowed Harry to have contact with his godfather because they were afraid he would come and kill them in their beds if they didn't.
"We've been treating you ruddy good," Uncle Vernon choked out, "We…"
"Yeah, I know," Harry said, "I told him everything was fine."
His uncle's face relaxed slightly as did his aunt's. His cousin's however was still pale and sickly. He seemed to be mentally reliving the ordeal with the pig tail nearly five years.
"I'll be upstairs," he said, not wanting them to ruin his day. Before they could say another word, he ran upstairs to his room…the only place in the house where he could have a bit of privacy.
In less than an hour, he was packed and ready to go. He only kept out what he needed so when Sirius came, he would not have to scramble at the last minute. He hoped his godfather would hurry and find a place for them. As long as he could be with someone who cared about him, Harry didn't care if Sirius bought a cardboard box. Anything was better than life with the Dursleys.
The days went by slowly for Harry. Even slower than when he was waiting for school to start. Every morning, he would lay in bed straining to hear the sound of a motorcycle roaring into the driveway. But every morning for almost three weeks, he was disappointed to hear nothing but Hedwig's hungry squawks.
It was seven weeks until school started and no word from Sirius. That Sunday morning, Harry rolled out of bed, groaning. He could hear his cousin whining considerably louder than usual; it would definitely be a long day.
"Now, Dudders," pleaded Aunt Petunia, near tears, "You know you can't just pick up some dog off the street. Look at him. He's probably got fleas and he'll shed everywhere. Maybe later we can go out and find you a nice goldfish."
"I don't want a goldfish!" yelled Dudley, "I want a dog! Harry has an owl…"
"Now, Dudders," Uncle Vernon soothed, trying to reason with him, "Harry's…abnormal. And really. This dog is no good. I say we bring him to the pound so they can destroy it. No one wants strays clogging the streets."
"But I want him!" Dudley wailed. Harry decided to come down the stairs to see what the fuss about a dog was all about. His eyes widened when he saw the animal. He knew that big shaggy dog anywhere. He decided to play along for the time being.
"Uncle Vernon's right, Dudley," he said managing to keep a straight face, "It is kinda shabby. Probably covered with fleas."
The dog, who had Dudley's chubby arms wrapped around his neck, glared at Harry and gave an indignant grunt. Harry couldn't help but grin. That's what he got for leaving him here for so long.
"You stay out of it, boy," snarled Aunt Petunia, "Go upstairs."
Harry shook his head, "No, I don't think I will, thanks."
Uncle Vernon turned on Harry, "You'll do as you're told, boy, or I'll box your ears so hard…"
Harry took a step back. He had entered dangerous waters. Time to use the fail-safe phrase.
"Alright, but my godfather…"
"I'll bet you haven't got a godfather!" exclaimed Dudley; his arms still around the dog's neck as though it would run away the first chance it got.
"I do too," shot back Harry, "And he's…"
"Then why haven't we heard from him ourselves?" demanded Uncle Vernon, "For a man so concerned with your safety, he sure is a silent bloke. Not one letter."
"No more lies, boy! I have a right mind to take that ruddy wand of yours and…"
"Please, Dursley," a soft voice said behind him, "We'll have none of that."
Dudley shrieked out in terror and quite literally flew 20 feet, his hand underneath his large bottom. Uncle Vernon swung around and found himself face to face with a tall handsome man rubbing his sore neck where Dudley had nearly choked him.
"Wh-who are you?!" Aunt Petunia gasped, stepping back. Sirius bowed mockingly to her.
"Sirius Black at your service, Mam," he said, still rubbing his neck, "Your son has quite a grip."
"Get out my house, Black!" shouted Uncle Vernon, some of his anger returning, "I'll call the police…"
Sirius just stared at him a moment as if trying to decide if he was joking or not. His fake joviality did not leave him. He was obviously annoyed out of his mind. Turning to Harry he asked, "Got your things?"
"Been packed for ages, Sirius," Harry said lightly, "What took you so long?"
"Had to get a few things in order. You alright?"
"Let's go then."
"Where are you taking him?" demanded Uncle Vernon.
"Away from you, if you don't mind." He said this as he climbed the stairs after Harry.
"Of course we mind!" Uncle Vernon roared, "That boy is under our care. You are not taking him out of this house!"
Sirius stopped and looked at Uncle Vernon. This time he did not bother to hide his annoyance, "I'll tell you what I'm not doing, Dursley. I'm not leaving my godson in your 'care' for another minute. His parents and the Ministry entrusted him to me and I will take him. A Muggle like you is not going to stop me."
He was up in Vernon's face then. Aunt Petunia got between the two men before a scuffle broke out, "Take him, then. We never wanted him."
The battle over, Harry ran upstairs and grabbed his trunk. Everything he ever owned fit into it, so it was not so hard to pack. He opened Hedwig's cage and let her out.
"We're leaving, Hedwig," he said excitedly, "And we're not coming back."
She hooted a sleepy reply and hopped onto his shoulder. She obviously didn't feel like following a flying motorcycle by wing.
Sirius entered Harry's room and waved his wand, making the trunk feather-light. He shot a glance to the doorway downstairs where the Dursleys were.
"Charming creatures, aren't they?" he asked. Harry smiled at him.
"Wait till they get going. This is a good day for them."
Sirius was still looking at the Muggles thoughtfully, "What did you say your aunt's name was?"
"Petunia. She was my mum's sister." Harry saw his godfather nod.
"Now I remember her. During the summer holidays James would visit Lily at her house. Sometimes I would be dragged along. That Petunia is the most insufferable Muggle I've ever met. James always said that she would make a perfect Slytherin. Lily never really appreciated that, of course…"
"Black!" Yelled Uncle Vernon from downstairs, "Are you leaving or not?!"
"Wait a moment, Dursley!" Sirius returned. He picked up the enchanted trunk and led the way down the stairs with Harry right behind him. Uncle Vernon was waiting for them by the door with his wife and son in the living room.
"This is permanent then?" He asked, stopping Sirius at the door.
"Then I don't want to hear from either of you again. We did our part by keeping him alive for 13 years…"
"15," Harry corrected.
"…And if the police catch you, it's none of our concern. Do you hear me, Black?"
"Police?" Sirius asked, confused.
"Law enforcers," Harry supplied, "For Muggles."
"But didn't you explain to your uncle that I'm innocent?" he asked with fake reproach. His godson shrugged.
"I guess I forgot to include that."
Sirius laughed, "And to think all this time they thought I was some mass murderer."
Uncle Vernon's eyebrows shot up, "What?!" He looked ready to throttle the boy who had a smug smile on his face.
Sirius ignored this, "Oh well. No harm done. It was nice seeing you again, Petunia. Come, Harry."
"Well, bye then," Harry said to his uncle as he followed his godfather out the door. The Dursleys didn't say a thing; they just watched him leave. Harry couldn't be sure who was happier that he was gone: Sirius, himself, or the Dursleys.