Disclaimer: I wish I could say I own the series but I don't. **sigh** If you want to sue me, go ahead but you have to get in line with everyone else who are trying to collect from me.
Bad Author Notes: I started this fic back in April of 2002, so to say this fic does NOT follow Book 5 is to be expected.
Death, Destroyer of Worlds
By Lady FoxFire
October 11, 2003
The sun valiantly tried to peek out through the impenetrable blanket of clouds and shine its golden rays down upon the crowded streets of the market on this dreary November morning when the imposing sky threatened to touch the rooftops. But even the gloomy day couldn't impede the lively mood of shoppers as they bustled in and out of the crowded market place.
It seemed as if the carnival-like atmosphere of the wizarding community had spilled across boundary of the magical world, infecting everyone with glee. For the Dark Lord, He-Who-Shan't-Be-Named was dead. Dead, not at the hands of a great witch or wizard, but by a child—a child still clad in his nappies.
Only one man did not share this joy. For on that day, two of his best friends had died by the monster's hand. And now he hunted the betrayer—the one who sold their lives to that dark evil.
He brushed his long black hair away from his face as he scrutinized happiness etched in each of the shoppers' blissful faces. "I know you're here. I know you're here, you bastard. I'll find you and you'll pay for what you've done." He mumbled to himself as he watched people bustle around him.
"Sirius!" A familiar nasal voice cried out. "Why, Sirius? Why did you do it? Why did you betray Lily and James?"
Sirius Black turned to face his accuser—a man he once called friend. The man whose betrayal led to the death of Lily and James Potter now stood before him with tears running down his face.
While a few of the customers slipped away from them as fast as they could to avoid the impending fight, many more paused briefly to watch the ensuing argument between the two men.
"It's your fault they're dead!" Peter exclaimed furiously. His Welsh accent become more pronounced, more nasal as the pudgy man nervously played with his hands.
"That's a lie," Sirius growled so softly that he could barely hear himself. "You're the one who betrayed them."
"Tell me, Sirius why. Why did you betray all of us?" Tears continue to run down the fat little man's face as a twisted grin suddenly appeared on his face. Sirius's hand reached for his wand as he saw his ex-best friend raise his wand, knowing that it was already too late.
"Stupefy!" A strong rugged voice called from the crowd. Almost immediately, Peter's body crumpled to the ground in a boneless heap as if he had been shot. The crowd began to panic—many believing that the pudgy little man had been shot and that the madman was still on the loose. A few people rushed to his aid as Sirius stood there, wand still clutched in a shaking hand, staring at the unconscious body of his former friend in incredulity and confusion.
"Sirius?" the rugged voice prompted gently as a hand squeezed his shoulder in a firm but friendly way.
Taking a ragged breath, Sirius turned to face the man who probably had saved his life. Before him stood a tall trim older man, clad in a sleek black oilskin drover coat. Long streaks of silvery white hair tied neatly into a braid that fell down his back framed a pair of startling green eyes that sparked with laughter. A huge grin was plastered onto his pale gaunt face that the Cheshire Cat would have been jealous of.
Several pops could be heard as Aurors and members of the Accidental Magic Reversal Squad apparated before the two and began to deal with the Muggles.
"Sirius Black! You are under arrest for attempted murder, murder, treason, and for activities as a Death Eater." An older Auror said as he and two others pointed their wands at him.
Their wands suddenly flew out of their grasps and into the extended glowing hand of the old man beside Sirius. "You seem to be mistaken, Auror Ferrell. Mr. Black is innocent of all charges," he announced in a firm voice as his eyes glowed eerily.
"This thing," he continued, as he toed Peter in the head with his boot. "This thing was the Potters' secret keeper and Voldemort's spy." All those within the sound of the old man's voice blanched at the use of the Dark Lord's name.
"This rat was about to destroy half the street, taking out as many innocent lives as he could while he escaped to freedom," the old man turned towards Sirius and looked him straight in the eyes, "leaving you to take the blame for his crime."
"How do you know all of this?" Auror Ferrell retorted, glaring suspiciously at the old man. "How do we know you're telling the truth and that you're not a Death Eater?"
The old man's head snapped back toward the Auror, his eyes glowed brightly for a moment. "You're not worth my time or effort to offer an explanation. I require two Auror to escort Mr. Black and myself to the Ministry. There, everything will be explained."
"I want an explanation, and I want it now!" Ferrell bellowed as he glared evilly at the old man, knowing full well that he had no power to stop this man.
The white haired man dismissed Ferrell's ravings with a casual wave of his hand as he studied the Aurors moving around him. "Alastor Moody?" he called out when he spotted the man he was searching for. "Would you please come here?"
"Yea. You called for me." Moody said cautiously in a gruff voice as he came over. His magic eye peered at everyone, judging them, gauging how much of a danger they were.
"I need an escort for Black and myself. I also need a pair of trusted Aurors to take Peter in. They'll need manacles for Animagus."
Everyone with the exception of Sirius looked at the old man in confusion. "Peter is an unlicensed Animagus," he explained with a shrug. "To be exact, he's a dirty sewage rat."
"How did you…?" Sirius babbled as he looked upon the old man with fear in his eyes. The old man just smiled up at Sirius and patted his shoulder reassuringly
"You have two Aurors on the force by the name of Longbottom, a married couple I believe." The white hair man stated. "Mr. Black and I will accompany them to the Ministry if you'll deal with this rat."
"Now see here! I'm in charge of this investigation, and Sirius Black is under arrest!" Ferrell spat angrily as he puffed his chest menacingly. "No one is doing anything unt…" His words were choked off in an instant, when suddenly, a white rabbit with long ears and a pink nose sat in his place.
The old man walked over to the rabbit that sat, still in shock. Picking it up carefully, he brought it up to eye level. "Now understand this, Auror Ferrell, I am in charge of Sirius Black, and if anyone harms him, I'll be having hasenpfeffer for dinner. Understand?"
"Who are you?!?" Sirius voice trembled as he watched the old man transfigure the rabbit back into a man.
The old man turned to Sirius, his eyes filled with sorrow and pain. "I am Death, the Destroyer of Worlds."