… … …
Might as well read the lies the Prophet has written today, Remus Lupin thought, eyeing the Daily Prophet which was next to him.
He picked it up and began flipping through the pages. One page caught his eye. A picture of a little boy by the name of Percy Weasley was printed on one of the pages, but that wasn't what caught his eye. It was the familiar rat perched on Percy's shoulder. A rat who looked an awful like Wormtail…
… … …
"…Wormtail's alive. He didn't die because Sirius didn't kill him, nor did he betray the Potter's," Remus finished. Albus Dumbledore surveyed his former student through his half-moon glasses.
"So believe that Sirius Black is innocent?" He inquired with a calm tone. Remus nodded.
"Very well. If we can prove that Percy Weasley's rat really is Peter Pettigrew, and he confesses that he is truly guilty, I'm sure the Ministry of Magic will free Sirius of all charges; of course both Peter Pettigrew and Sirius Black will be questioned under Veritaserum first," Dumbledore explained.
"Of course," Remus agreed.
… … …
"I…I don't know what you're talking about," Peter Pettigrew stuttered. Dumbledore never took his eyes off of him, making Pettigrew twitch nervously.
"Don't you, Peter?" Dumbledore asked in his familiar calm tone.
"Okay!" Peter Pettigrew exclaimed hastily. "Maybe I do know what you're talking about…"
"Peter, listen to me. Were you or were you not the Potter's secret keeper?" Peter never said anything, but looked around the Weasley house. "Peter?" Dumbledore said again, raising his bushy white eyebrows.
"Yes," Wormtail mumbled. "James and Lily changed their secret keeper from Sirius to me."
"You were the one who betrayed the Potter's, and killed those muggles, correct?" Dumbledore asked, secretly pleased that Wormtail reluctantly spilled the truth at last.
"Correct," Wormtail replied in a quiet voice. Everyone was silent, taking in what they had just heard. Remus stared at Wormtail in disbelief. Sirius was innocent. They had got what they wanted - the truth. And the truth was, Peter Pettigrew betrayed James and Lily Potter, not Sirius.
… … …
"Don't worry." Remus laid a comforting hand on Sirius's shoulder. They sat in a room inside of the Ministry of Magic with Dumbledore, Cornelius Fudge, Peter Pettigrew and two Auror's.
"I'm not," Sirius replied, glancing at his friend. "Pettigrew admitted it, I answered all the questions they gave me while I was under Veritaserum, what's to worry about?"
Although, a part of him did worry. What if Fudge still didn't believe him? No, Sirius thought. Don't think like that. Stay positive - for Harry's sake.
Ah, yes. Harry. He thought of him every single day while he sat in his cell in Azkaban. Every single day he thought of Harry and wished that somehow he would be cleared of all charges so he could go and see his godson, to hold him in his arms.
"Sirius Black will be cleared of all charges with custody of his godson, Harry James Potter," Cornelius Fudge announced, breaking Sirius out of his thoughts. He slid a folder in front of Sirius. "You just have to sign here. Harry's current guardians - Vernon and Petunia Dursley - also have to sign it. Send it back to us by owl and the boy will be in your custody," Fudge said with a scowl. "Although, if you ask me, I'd rather Mr. Potter stay with the Dursley's."
"No one asked you," Sirius said, returning the scowl.
"We'll be watching you, Black. One hair removed from that boy's head and -" Sirius cut off Cornelius Fudge by standing up abruptly.
"I'd never - I repeat never - ever would hurt Harry. Never," Sirius growled.
Fudge narrowed his eyes. "Very well, you may go."
… … …
"Boy!" Vernon's voice boomed, startling Harry.
"Yes, sir?" Harry questioned, turning away from the stove.
"We're going to the Amusement Park," his Uncle announced.
Harry's face shone. "Really? When are we going?" He'd never been to an Amusement Park - ever!
"Petunia, Dudley and I," Vernon smirked, leaving Harry's name out purposefully, "are going to the Amusement Park because Dudley requested so." Yeah, probably more like 'demanded so,' Harry thought to himself.
"I see. What should I do with the lunch I'm cooking, uncle Vernon?"
"You have a brain - though, I'm surprised you do - USE IT!" Vernon yelled, making Harry jump out of his skin.
"Yes, sir," Harry replied, his voice getting soft. He never really understood why Vernon treated him so differently from his son, Dudley. Vernon always called Harry a 'freak,' and Harry didn't even know why. He never called Dudley a freak.
"We'll be back in an hour or so," Petunia said sharply and in a hateful tone, "so don't burn down the house while we're gone. Got it?"
Harry nodded obediently. He watched enviously as his aunt, uncle and cousin climbed into the awaiting car and drove away, wishing every second that he was in the car as well.
… … …
"It looks like nobody's home," Sirius muttered to himself as he reached number four Privet Drive.
The Dursley's are probably taking Harry out for some Ice Cream or to a park, Sirius decided with a satisfied grin. Harry deserved only the best.
Hesitating, Sirius knocked on the door. It felt so good to be free and roaming around the world again, rather than sitting in a cell.
"I'll just be a minute, I'm cleaning up spilled water!" A tiny voice called from inside the house. Sirius's brow creased. He had almost been certain no one was home.
A few seconds later a tiny boy that, at first, Sirius thought was his best friend, James Potter, opened the door. But Sirius noticed that this boy had green eyes, like Lily's.
"Harry?" Sirius asked warily.
The boy's eyes widened. This man looked so familiar. "How do you know my name?"
"Everyone knows your name, Harry," Sirius grinned. "I knew your dad. Your mum, too. James…he was my best friend you know."
This immediately caught Harry's attention. "You were my dad's best friend? Was he nice?"
Sirius nodded. "He was very nice. Do you know what?" Sirius waited for Harry to say, "What?" but nothing came. Harry just looked up at Sirius eagerly. "When you were born, your mum and dad named me your godfather."
A cautious grin formed on the young boy's face. "That means you're coming to take me away - right?" Hope clung to Harry's words.
"Where are your Aunt and Uncle?" Sirius asked, suddenly realizing that there was no sign of at least one adult.
The grin slowly faded from Harry's face. "Oh, they've taken Dudley to the Amusement Park," he replied dully, going back to the stove to turn off the soup which was now boiling.
"And they didn't invite you?" Sirius was genuinely surprised.
"Why would they take me? I'm a freak," Harry announced.
"No, you're not."
"Would you like some soup, sir?" Harry suddenly asked, changing the subject.
"No, that's okay. You eat it," Sirius replied. "You don't need to call me sir. My name's Sirius Black, but you can call me Padfoot."
Harry grinned. "Padfoot? What kind of name is that?"
Then, Sirius found himself sitting on the couch in the Living Room retelling his days at Hogwarts with Remus, James and…Peter. The soup was untouched, and none of Harry's chores were done.
"So magic is really real?" Harry asked, his brilliant green eyes shining.
"You betcha," Sirius grinned. He felt pleased that Harry had warmed up to him so quickly.
Suddenly, the sound of tires in the driveway startled Harry. He jumped up from Sirius's lap and peeked out the window, the color from his face draining.
"Oh, no," Harry closed his eyes and went into the kitchen as the Dursley's entered their home.
"None of the chores on your list are done," Vernon growled, completely oblivious to the fact that Sirius was sitting on the couch, watching the scenario.
"I…I…" Harry was at a loss for words.
"I expected the grass to be mowed. What do I find when I return home? You lounging on the sofa as if you don't have a care in the world!" He bellowed.
"I…I wasn't lounging on the sofa. And…I wasn't thinking that I don't have a care in this world," Harry said, trembling.
"Oh yeah? What were you doing then?" Vernon asked sarcastically. For the first time ever, Vernon's hand made contact with Harry's cheek. "I've had it about up to here with you, boy!"
"Hey!" Sirius suddenly jumped up from the couch. "Don't you dare touch Harry again! Do you hear me?" He demanded, cradling the whimpering boy in his arms.
"Who in the name of hell are you and why did that brat let you in?" Vernon growled.
"Sirius Black - the one and only." Sirius smirked as he watched Petunia's face pale.
"You're his…" She trailed off, grasping the edge of the counter for support.
"If you mean Harry, yes, I'm his godfather. If you mean James, yes, I was his best friend."
"I want you out of this house!" Petunia exclaimed abruptly. "And I want you to take…him…with you," she added, emphasizing 'him.'
"Sure thing. Just sign here, both of you," Sirius handed them the folder.
Petunia signed the folder hurriedly and thrust it over to her husband.
"I'm not signing anything," Vernon said smugly, "If I do, that boy will be gone, and who else will do the chores?"
This just dawned on Petunia, but she ignored it.
"Darling, just sign it. I want him out of our lives, don't you? We can always get a maid for the chores," Petunia pointed out.
"Maids cost money," Vernon replied.
"Vernon, please," Petunia pleaded, her eyes indicated the pen and paper.
Vernon muttered under his breath as he signed the paper and threw it back at Sirius.
"Now get out of my house before I call the police."
"Gladly," Sirius scowled.
… … …
"Thank you for taking me away from them," Harry said that night. He sat in Sirius's lap with his head on his chest.
"I couldn't let you live with them. They're abusive people who don't deserve someone special like you," Sirius replied.
"What's abusive mean?" Harry said, looking up at his godfather.
Sirius chuckled. "It means people who physically or psychologically hurt people," he explained.
"Oh," Harry mumbled, yawning.
Sirius couldn't help but smile. His wish had come true - he was free and had custody of Harry. He looked down fondly at the sleeping child next to him.
… … …
A/N: Alright…well…tell me what you think. Please feel free to leave some suggestions for future chapters if you like, as well!