Chapter Twenty-Seven: "Par-tay"
That night the party in the Leaky Cauldron spilled out into the rest of Diagon Alley. No one seemed to mind all that much.
All over the country the words "Sirius Black is Innocent!" were screamed up and down the streets. The celebration wasn't nearly as involved or exhaustive as the one following the news of the absolute demise of Lord Voldemort, but to be fair, most people were still just recovering from that one.
As things had settled down in the courtroom, the spokeswizard for the Jury stood up and said, "We find Sirius Black innocent on the account that the man he murdered isn't dead!"
Constable Ogle immediately released Sirius from the shackles and he threw himself with a whooping holler towards the bench filled with his friends and allies. There was one giant group hug that lasted what seemed like hours, tons of screaming and laughing and even more crying.
Time passed in a blur. Sirius vaguely recalled pushing through the crowd towards the door, Donia on one side of him, Ana on the other.
And then suddenly they were all at the Cauldron.
Petunia Dursley was cowering in the corner with a white wine, talking animatedly with Arabella Figg. Remus and Ana were at the bar, laughing. Fred and George Weasly had created an impromptu dance floor with a few table-flattening charms and young couples were dancing to a Weird Sisters song that was playing from a magically amplified radio.
Ron Weasly was holding Hermione close on the dance floor, and Harry Potter was graciously taking a turn with all the fame-struck young ladies.
Albus Dumbledore and Professor Flitwick were doing a credible jig on the top of a table, and Minerva McGonnegal was trying to peek up his robes. They were all very drunk.
Severus Snape was no where to be seen.
At the moment, Constable Ogle was doing her damndest to corner Sirius Black. She admitted that they had gone to school together and she'd always had a bit of a crush on him.
When Ana came over to slip her hands in his back pocket, she got the hint and moved on to stalking Bill Weasly. He was more than happy to buy her a drink or two.
Apparently, she had a thing for ponytails.
Ana Oldwyn got ripped, stinking drunk, and hot damn did that feel good.
If you asked anyone the next day, no one could tell you who she'd fed from to get that way.
Late the next afternoon, Sirius Black rolled over in a small, generic bed that was not his and looked at the warm thing curled up in his arms.
Ana's face was flushed from the left-over alcohol, her body a small furnace from the blood she'd drunk. Her hair was a fly-away mess. She was smiling slightly in her sleep, and it made him tingle all over.
She was the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen.
He'd thought so when he first saw her, when she had opened her front door and slapped her thigh for him to follow her into the house, and he still thought so.
And Ana was in his arms.
She had said in the courtroom that she loved him.
He looked around the room, a smile twisting his mouth, trying to figure out where they were. He didn't remember coming to this room... what did he remember...?
When he had realized that Ana was drunk the night before, he had backed her into a corner and opened a vein under her ear to share the tainted blood. They were both well and truly sloshed by the time he pulled away, his own face flushed, his eyes glittering with lust and liquor.
It merely looked like they had just done some heavy petting in the corner of the tavern.
Anyone who saw the blood spotting his lips would know different.
Sirius didn't remember much after that.
Now he was waking in a strange room, alone in a strange bed with Ana. He lifted the sheet gingerly. No, he still had his pants on. Hm. And his shoes.
Ana was wearing only a shirt and her undergarments. She had on socks.
Sirius repressed a giggle, somewhere between joy and disappointment. No nookie last night, but waking up wrapped around a half-dressed Ana definitely meant there was the possibility of nookie right now.
Ah, and the nice thing about being a Vampire – no hangover!
Sirius snuggled down into the pillows and nudged his face under hers, so he could get close enough to her neck to try to give her a serious hickey. He felt her arms tighten around him, and in her sleep she shifted, throwing one leg up over his hip.
He pressed his own hips forward against her stomach and she made a soft whimpering sound. He nudged her face with his nose until she was looking up and abandoned her neck to explore her lips with his tongue. She sighed and he plundered her mouth.
Her hands fisted in his hair and he let her push him away.
"Mmm, good morning," she said sleepily, her lips twisting into the sort of smile that should have icing on a lip so he could suck it off. She opened first one blue eye, then the other. "What a way to wake up."
Sirius pulled her close, rolling onto his back and pulling her with him so she was pressed against his chest. She grinned, licked the tip of his nose, and let her knees slide down to either side of his hips.
"Good evening," he corrected, "and I'd say so."
She raised a delicate hand to her throat, skimming over the wet patch he had been sucking on. One eyebrow raised.
"Ah." She looked down into his eyes and sighed heavily. Something in her gaze made him worry.
He sat up gently, folding his legs under him and embracing her tightly. He arranged her in his lap, running one hand through her mussed hair. "Ana? What's wrong?"
"I..." she said softly, her voice small and scared sounding, muffled against his bare skin. It gave him goosebumps. "I really did kill you, didn't I? I murdered you."
Sirius squeezed his arms around her and buried his face in her hair. "No, no. I wanted it. I wanted to stay beside you."
"You want to stay beside me?"
He tucked his knuckles under her chin and made her look up at him. Silver eyes met burning blue ones. "For as long as you'll let me."
"We're Vampires," she said softly. "That could be a long time."
Sirius smiled. "I'm game if you are."
He kissed her deeply and felt all his nerves singing at once. She wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed back, just as hungry, just as passionate.
"To think," she said, her lips moving against his. "All this because I chose to move to Little Whinging instead of Dover..."
That was the last thing either said for a few hours.
Sirius Black relieved thousands of galleons in remuneration for his thirteen years of wrongful imprisonment and his three following years as a fugitive. Fudge tried to force him to serve a six-month prison term for escaping from Azkaban but Judge Lalonde literally threw the book at him.
The concussed Fudge was dragged from the courtroom by his foot by the still-grinning constable Ogle.
Peter Pettigrew went straight to Azkaban.
Cornelius Fudge went straight to unemployment.
Arthur Weasly became the New Minister of Magic. Sirius felt that the New Minister needed somewhere to live that was a little more elegant than The Burrow, so he gave Grimmauld Place to Molly and Arthur.
Charlie took over the Weasly family home, and Percy and the Twins remained with him. Ron and Ginny moved in with their parents.
Remus Lupin began teaching DADA at Hogwarts in the New Year, and everyone was happy to have him back on staff.
Sirius Black, now displaced, accepted Ana's offer to move into her house on Privet Drive with him.
Petunia Dursley returned to her own home. Her husband, Vernon, was very angry with her for leaving for a whole day without telling him where she'd gone. She refused to say anything to him. She did not reply to any of Harry's owls thereafter, nor did she interact with her neighbours.
Petunia spent many days filled with long hours sitting in her room, looking at old photo albums of her and her sister from before Lily went away to school, sobbing. Vernon didn't know what to do.
Finally, he sat down beside his wife and folded her in his arms and kissed the top of her head and said softly, "I'm sorry."
Petunia only cried harder.
The end of the school term approached and for once Harry Potter and his friends actually had the time to study. Gryffindor finally won the Quidditch cup. Harry was given advanced acceptance into Auror's school provided he passed his final year with exceptional marks. With Voldemort gone, he thought it would be possible.
Hermione proclaimed her wish to be a medi-Witch specializing in paediatrics. Ron confessed his undying love to her and promised to propose once they had graduated.
Sirius Black was officially made the guardian of Harry Potter. Donia Sawwan had great fun showing up at Vernon Dursley's doorstep with all the paperwork. She made a point of wearing her most witch-looking outfit, pointed hat included, in vitriol green.
Vernon bellowed, ranted, and roared and refused to let her into the house, or to sign the papers.
Petunia laid a gentle hand on his shoulder and said, "Let the boy go, Vernon. You don't want him here and we can't treat him the way he should be. Harry's not happy with us. Don't you want Harry to be happy?"
That made Vernon pause and he invited Ms. Sawwan into the house.
She emerged an hour later with a signed parchment and a smile. She bid them good day and Apparated away in broad daylight.
Petunia smiled and ushered her furious husband back into the house. She spared a glance across the road, where she could see a large black dog pressing his nose against the glass of the living room window. She waved briefly and the dog began to pant.
The next day she walked a cardboard box of Harry's things from his room over to number three Privet Drive and left them on the door step.
The moment the trail ended, Severus Snape was back at Hogwarts, filling a trunk.
He was finally officially retired, leaving teaching for good, and happily.
I took him a few months to get packed up and prepare for bachelor life, so he ended up staying at Hogwarts several months longer than he had wanted to.
At the end of the school term, he bought a nice, quiet, quaint Muggle house in a nice, quiet, quaint Muggle neighbourhood. It was number five, right near the end of the road, beside a small cul-de-sac, and he was pleased by the anonymity that the identical nature of the houses in the suburb lent him. It had only been on the market for a few weeks when he snapped it up.
The former owners complained of their new neighbour, a strange woman who was in and out of the house at all hours. Severus felt certain he could handle one kooky neighbour.
He was a Wizard after all.
He packed up all his furniture from his Hogwarts apartment and took what few things he wanted from Snape Manor and hired a delivery truck. On moving day, Severus Snape stood on his new porch, scowling gleefully at the bumbling movers, watching the truck back into the driveway, grimacing at the thin tinny wail of the backing-up beeps and the screech of the brakes grazing off the hot tires. His billowing black cloaks had been replaced with equally black trousers and a simple black shirt.
His hair was pulled off his face in a stubby ponytail.
He was going to live away from the Wizarding world. He was going to be a Muggle – at least, he would appear to be a Muggle around his neighbours. He was sick of people asking where his birthmark was.
No Dark Lords.
No animagi or Werewolves or Vampires.
And most importantly of all, no Harry Potter.
If there was one thing that Vernon Dursley of number four Privet drive disliked more than his good for nothing, scrawny, freak of a nephew, it was noise. Like the whine of a moving van, for instance...
The adventures continue in
"Oops, or, How Sirius Got His Goatee"
I am opening a contest for fanfic and fanart based on HPatNN to celebrate the end of the re-hashing of this story!
Challenge #1: Draco or Snape. Write either a missing scene, re-write an established scene, or write a continuation of HPatNN from Draco's or Snape's POV.
Challenge #2: Remus or Sirius. Write either a missing scene, re-write an established scene, or write a continuation of HPatNN from either Sirius' or Remus' POV. Or both.
Challenge #3: Romance! Write a missing scene which chronicles the evolution of Ron and Hermione's romance in HPatNN.
Challenge #4: Create a 'cover art' for the story or create an illustration or a series of illustrations for the story.
Challenge #5: Create a comic of a scene from the story.
Stories of any length and style are acceptable, and so is art in any medium. Please post the finished story either here on FF.N or on Schnoogle in the appropriate House, then e-mail me the link with the title "Fanfiction Challenge". Please write the challenge number in the author's notes or at the header of the story so we know which one you tackled.
All entries must be in by Valentine's Day, 2006!