Author's Note: Hello. First a quick disclaimer. As I'm sure you know, I'm not J.K. Rowling. Therefore, I do not own anything pertaining to Harry Potter and his universe. I also do not own the quotes that I like to slip into the chapters. I do note who said these quotes, though.

That said, let me get on with another important note. This is going to be my first lenghty story that I'm posting here. It's a rather odd one, and I know the story line tends to irritate a few people, so I'm going to give you a bit of background / warning to start with;) Bear with me. I know this is the boring stuff. First of all, this story is something of an AU. Originally it was not intended to be one. I had the whole basic plotline planned after I read Goblet of Fire but before Order of the Phoenix was written, so as highly unlikely as this story was at the time, it was still faintly possible. However, my plot line is too solid in my mind to change things now (including the death of a certain character...), so I changed what I could and dealt with the rest.

It's a weird story and kind of a dark story, but I like it. I hope you do, too. Please leave reviews. You have no idea how helpful they can be unless you also write.

I shall shut up now, so enjoy!

Sirius Black and the Heir to Slytherin


"O, what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practice to deceive!"

—Sir Walter Scott

Drip… Drip... Drip…

Pale eyes watched as each drop of water splashed into the tiny puddle near the wall.

Drip... Drip... Drip...

It was a steady sound. Rain or shine outside, the inside of this cell was so damp, the steady drip of water could always be heard.

Drip… Drip… Drip…

It was such a steady sound, it could drive a person insane if he were to listen for too long. But in this place that hardly mattered. The steady drip of water was better to focus on than the screams and wails that echoed from the other cells.

Drip… Drip... Drip…

Or the rats. It was better focus on the water than the rats that occasionally skittered across the floor. The pale eyes coldly watched one slip through the bars. He hated rats. His gaze lingered for a moment at the spot where it had disappeared before he shifted his focus back to the water.

Drip… Drip… Drip…

It was almost hypnotic if you watched long enough. It was almost enough to put you into a trance. That was, of course, the point. After twelve long years of fighting insanity in a place where it often struck after only a few days, the owner of those pale eyes had decided he'd had enough.

It had taken years of practice, years of training his mind, but he'd finally learned how to completely lock up his thoughts, so he could rest in black oblivion.

There were three ways in which he could bring himself rest, but neither death nor the dementor's kiss had ever appealed to him as much as systematically locking up his mind.

The most notorious prisoner of Azkaban, credited with the deaths of thirteen people, betrayal of his closest friends, the title of heir apparent to Voldemort, the most evil and dangerous dark wizard in one hundred years, was also the only prisoner to stay in that hellhole for over a year and remain sane. He largely credited that to the fact that he was innocent of all charges leveled against him.

And now that very prisoner, Sirius Black, leaned back against the cold stone of the wall and enjoyed the final stages of his mental shut-down—reliving memories, both good and bad, as they were quietly locked in the recesses of his mind.

The dementors were active today, often drifting away from his cell for a few minutes at a time—an added bonus. Something was agitating them. Perhaps a few good memories would slip in, then, before he blacked out.

Drip . . . Drip . . .

The sound was fading as he became lost in his thoughts . . . and his past.

One last note... don't worry... the chapters get longer!