Here's that slightly more original fic I've been promising. I can safely say that I have NEVER read or even heard of a story with anything even remotely close to this since I started reading HP fan fiction, much less one that was H/G, so I hope no one comes on and tells me that I took it somewhere, because I swear that I didn't.
Besides, I canguarantee the twist in chapter 1 (since this is a prologue) will be both unexpected and completely my idea.
Now, as I said in the last chapter of Betrayal of the Light, I write this fic when I'm having trouble writing that one, so updates will be a little slower. I think there will still be about one every week though. This will be a Harry/Ginny fic. There may be other pairings, but as of yet I haven't decided.
Special thanks to my (official on this one) co-writer JC-S, who's ideas comments, and beta-reading are invaluable. Also a big thank you to my beta, Yavinbase, who spots things I never would have with seeming ease.
Disclaimer: I own nothing and no one that I write of in this story. It all belongs to the wonderful, brilliant J.K. Rowling.
Sirius Black sat in human form, gazing out the bars of his small window dejectedly. Halloween. It had been four years since he had failed them. Four long lonely years. Lily and James were dead; it was all his fault. They had depended on him, and it had cost them their lives.
Now he was in Azkaban, supposedly for killing 13 innocent people. His hands curled into fists at the very thought. Peter. He had betrayed them all. Soon, Sirius was going to leave this place, and he was going to take his revenge on Peter. As soon as he found him, of course.
He studied the bars on the window. He might be able to do it. He was thin enough, in his animagus form. The dementors were far enough away that he only felt cold instead of reliving his painful memories.
A sudden resolve came over him. Yes, he could do it. He would escape now. He needed to take care of Harry, he needed to take him away from the relatives Lily had told him she hated. He owed his deceased best friends that much. Perhaps he could make up for his mistakes in some small way.
His nose grew into a long snout, hair sprouted up all over his body, and a tail grew from his hindquarters. He was in dog form. Unnaturally thin from a combination of not eating, fatigue, and grief, he squeezed his way through a gap between two bars.
There was a slight drop, and he was on the tiny strip of ground between the fortress of Azkaban and the low cliffs above the sea. He gulped looking out at the seemingly endless waves of blue. It was going to be a long swim.
He jumped off the cliff. It wasn't a very long drop, but long enough to give him quite a shock when he hit the water. It was cold, almost unbearably so, but he had to do it. He had failed Lily and James. He was not going to fail their son. He struck out strongly in the general direction of land, hoping that his strength would hold until he got there.
A spider scuttled across 5-year-old Harry Potter's face, waking him from a rather pleasant dream. He hurriedly brushed the little creature off as he thought about the dream it had interrupted.
It had been about a long-lost brother of his father's coming to take him away from the Dursleys forever, telling him he never had to see them again.
Oh, how he wished it were true. He hated living with the Dursleys, and they hated him living with them. Ever since his parents had died in a car crash, he'd had to live with them, though they treated him like dirt, or perhaps something lower than dirt.
That was why his bedroom was actually the cupboard underneath the stairs. That was why his bed was just a folded over blanket. That was why he both dreamed and daydreamed about someone coming to take him away from them.
It was really all he could do to pass the time when they locked him up, anyway.
And they locked him up often, for even the smallest thing. The latest incident, for instance, wasn't even his fault.
His cousin, Dudley, had been poking him again before dinner, calling him a 'freak.' Naturally, that had made Harry very angry, but he had learned the hard way that saying anything was a bad idea, so he tried to ignore it.
When his over-large cousin attempted to sit down a moment later, his chair had somehow managed to mysteriously move several inches backwards, causing him to fall flat on his backside.
Over Dudley's loud, hysterical tears, Harry's Uncle Vernon had shouted out that it was Harry's fault and that he was confined to his cupboard for two days.
None of Harry's protestations that he hadn't even been near the chair made any difference.
That was why, in the afternoon of the very next day, Harry was sleeping in his cupboard instead of working hard at some household chores for his aunt. The only reason he wasn't quite happy to trade off these two activities was that he didn't get any meals in the cupboard.
The sound of number four's front doorbell ringing brought Harry abruptly out of his daydream. His ears perked up interestedly. The Dursleys didn't get very many visitors.
Footfalls outside his door signaled his aunt going to let whoever it was in. A moment later, he heard her shriek in fright.
Dust fell from the woodwork above his head as his uncle rushed down to see what was the matter.
Harry heard angry voices at the door that soon moved into the living room. Whoever had been at the door argued with his aunt and uncle for several minutes before he heard a loud, angry-sounding roar.
Loud, pounding footsteps approached his cupboard, and the door was suddenly flung wide open. In the doorway stood a tall skeleton of a man. His face was gaunt and white, and his skin seemed stretched across it, making it look more like a skull than a living person's face. His clothes were torn and filthy, and his black hair was long and unkempt, cached with grime.
His expression, though, was the worst. He was obviously livid. Harry shrank back into the corner in fear.
When he saw this, the man's face softened, and he flashed Harry a reassuring smile, before fixing his face once more into an expression of rage and turning to the Dursleys.
"What do you think you're doing!" he roared. "He's your NEPHEW! And this is how you treat him?"
"That thing," said Vernon, indicating Harry with his hand, "Is of no relation to us. He's nothing but a worthless freak, just like his parents-"
Vernon had a hard time talking after that, because he had lost three teeth to the man's fist.
"Don't you EVER say that about Lily and James again. You're lucky I'm in a hurry, or I'd do more than that. I'm taking Harry now; I suggest you get out of here before I do something I'll regret."
Vernon, still clutching a hand to his bleeding mouth, fled into the kitchen, Petunia hot on his heels.
The man turned back to Harry, smiling brightly. "Hello," he said. "My name is Sirius Black. You're Harry, right?"
Harry nodded, reassured by Sirius' smile. "D-did you know my parents?" he asked hesitantly.
"Sharp as a tack you are," Sirius laughed. "Yes, I did know them. In fact, they made me your godfather. Do you know what that means?" Harry shook his head, so Sirius continued, "It means that if anything happened to them, they wanted me to take care of you. I'm sorry it took me so long to get here, but I'm here now, and you can come live with me if you want."
Was he kidding? Anything was better than living in a cupboard. Harry nodded excitedly, making Sirius laugh at his enthusiasm.
"Alright then, come with me."
They walked outside together, and Sirius picked a broom off the porch, much to Harry's confusion. He held it out in front of him and swung his leg over it easily, then indicated that Harry do the same in front of him.
Harry just stood there, staring at him blankly.
"It's alright, Harry, just climb aboard. I'll explain later," he said laughingly.
Harry hesitantly swung his leg over the broom, and Sirius put one arm around the boy's waist to hold him steady.
A moment later, they rocketed straight up into the blue sky, and Harry screamed in terror.
Well that's it. It's just a prologue, but please review. I promise future chapters will be infinitely longer, especially if I get lots of reviews.
Who can tell me what the title of the story (Stockholm Syndrome) actually means?