Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter and company. I am using them for fun only. I do own Dylan, Joseph, and Kayne. I am also borrowing Danu from the Irish but I think they can forgive me this one time.
A/N: I am also revising this story. It sorely needs it. Things are subject to change as with all the other stories.
Summary: WIP - Harry Potter was framed then sent to Azkaban. His friends and the Wizarding World has turned its back on the Boy Who Lived. Five years later Harry escapes and he is angry. With the help of Severus Snape and a few others, Harry tries to find proof of his innocence. Will he be able to find proof in time? Will he also be able to find forgiveness for those who had betrayed him and his trust?
Warnings: Harry/Snape friendship, no slash. Hermione and Ron bashing. Superpowerful Harry, Angst, betrayal, humor.
LACK OF FAITH
He couldn't believe that it had come to this. He never thought his friends would turn their backs on him. He always thought they would be there for him. Shivering, the man turned over on his dirty cot. Why? he thought with anguish. What had he ever done to them? They should've believed in him. Getting up from his cot, he paced around his small cell.
Why? Damnit why? Shaking his head, he tried to dispel these thoughts from his mind. They would do nothing more than drive him insane. The despair he felt was replaced by the rage of betrayal. Snorting, the man couldn't believe his own naiveté. Of course they would turn on him. The Wizarding World had turned on him once before, why not this time? They had done it before; he should have seen this coming. He just never expected it to the degree that it had happened. He hadn't expected his friends, his adopted family, and his mentor to turn on him.
He needed to leave. He had to get out. He had been foolishly waiting, hoping that someone, anyone would come and save him. He had hoped that someone would come and get him out of this prison, showing him that at least someone believed in him. No one ever had and he was tired of waiting. He would leave and he would find the proof he needed to prove his innocence. Once that was done, he was gone. Leaving the Wizarding World sounded good. He never wanted to have anything to do with the world that had turned its back on him. He never wanted anything to do with the friends who had betrayed him and his trust.
It was time to go. Looking towards the door, he concentrated hard and his form started to slowly dissipate. Turning into mist, he headed towards the barred hole in the door. Floating out of the hole, he went down the hall, keeping to the shadows. Going down the stairs, he found the corridor to the front doors. He quivered with excitement. He was almost free. He reached the front doors and floated out. He went around the prison until he found a spot out of sight. His form became solid slowly. He sat down, tired from the effort. Waiting for a few minutes, he stood up and looked out at the night sky. The stars were twinkling, and moon was high in the sky. With a grim smile, he transformed into a falcon, and with a cry, Harry Potter took to the sky for the first time in five years.
The room was dark and gloomy. There was fire burning, the logs crackling in the heat. There were shadows around the room caused the flickering light of the candles. The clock was ticking in the background, and a hissing sound came from the cauldron sitting on the fire. The cauldron was steaming, adding heat to the room. A man was stirring the liquid mixture in the cauldron furiously, keeping eye on the small clock sitting on the table. With a muttered curse, he pulled out the silver spoon and put it down on the table. The man raised his arms over his head and arched his back. He groaned as his back popped, and muscles that were tight, were stretched. He groaned and lowered his arms. With a sigh, he looked into the cauldron again.
Leaning over his cauldron, Severus Snape watched as the potion boiled. Merlin, I'm tired, he thought wearily. Even though it was summer and he didn't have to teach, he was still exhausted. There was so much to do. There were too many potions to brew, too many missions for the Order, too any missions for the Dark Lord. Straightening up with a sigh, he stirred the potion a couple more times before turning down the fire so that it would simmerIt was another batch of healing potion for the Order. He was making far too much of the stuff. Too many people were getting injured or dying.
The war was getting worse. Voldemort was gaining power and the Order was stretched too thin. People were losing hope and many Wizards were leaving England, going to other countries that Voldemort had yet to touch. Not that it mattered, because if Voldemort won this war, it would only be matter of time before he started for the other countries.
Walking over to his table, Snape sat down. Leaning forward, he placed his head in his hands. I'm so tired. I need to get some sleep. Hell, I need to eat as well. Raising his head he looked around. I'm glad I decided to stay at my home for the summer. I really need the vacation. He snorted loudly at the thought. I haven't had time for a vacation in over eleven years and I'm sure in the hell not about to have one now.
"Galen," he called out.
With a light pop, Galen appeared before Snape. "Yes, Master Snape?"
"I would like some dinner if you would, something light."
"Of course, Master Snape," squeaked the house-elf.
"Oh, and a bottle of the finest scotch I have," he requested.
"Yes, Master Snape," the house-elf said before popping out of the room.
Snape got up and walked over to the window. He opened it and took a deep breath. The cool air was enough to refresh his mind. Looking out at the night sky, he sighed. He knew what today was. It has been five years since Potter was sentenced to Azkaban. Five years since he realized there was nothing he could do for Potter. Damn it! I wished I could've helped him. I know he's innocent. I know there is no way in hell he could've killed Bill Weasley and Hagrid. Why doesn't Dumbledore see that? He has to know that his Golden boy would've never killed them. They were his friends. Merlin knows he had too few friends to be killing any of them. Unfortunately, there was proof and that was apparently good enough for the Ministry, even though the proof was circumstantial at best.
The proof was enough to put Potter away, and the Wizarding World had turned its back on him. They soon realized that they had lost their last hope of defeating Voldemort. Potter was needed to defeat Voldemort and he was the only one who could. Stupid prats, he thought with disgust. The Wizarding World turned their backs on their one hope. This'll bite them on the ass in the end, he thought maliciously. In fact, it has already started.
Over the last five years, Snape had been looking for the proof he needed to have Potter declared innocent, but so far, he had found nothing. He had suspicions, but nothing had ever panned out. Whatever happened, Voldemort was keeping this one close to him. He hadn't said a word about it, other than to laugh at the thought of the Potter being in Azkaban. Snape had tried to visit Potter, to let him know that he believed in his innocence, but the Ministry didn't want anyone to visit him. Not even Dumbledore was allowed to see Potter, not that the Headmaster had tried that hard. Snape knew there were a few others that believed in Potter's innocence, but like him, there was nothing they could do.
"Master Snape?" squeaked Galen.
Startled, he whirled around. He had been so wrapped up in his thoughts he hadn't heard the house-elf return.
"Here is your dinner, Master Snape."
"Thank you, Galen. Put it on the table," Snape said.
"Yes, Master Snape," Galen replied before walking over to the table.
Watching the house-elf absently, he wondered how Potter was doing after five years in Azkaban. Even if Snape had found proof, would Potter have managed to stay sane after all this time? Potter didn't have an Animagus form to lessen the effects of the Dementors. He didn't think it was possible that the boy would still be sane.
Shaking his head, he decided to think about it later. He was hungry and a glass of scotch was starting to sound good. Walking over to the table, he sat down and started to eat. Reaching for the bottle of scotch, he poured himself a snifter full and sipped it. Ah...that hit the spot, he thought with satisfaction.
A noise by the window made him look over, and he saw a peregrine falcon sitting on his windowsill. Watching it, he wondered where it came from, and who had sent it. As far as he knew, no one that he knew used falcons to deliver messages. There was nothing tied to his legs. Waiting to see what it did, he was surprised when it just sat there and watched him. Odd, he thought to himself.
"Well? Do you have something for me?" he asked impatiently.
The falcon just cocked its head and stared. After a few minutes, it seemed to make up its mind and flew over to join Snape at the table. Looking at his plate, the falcon then looked up at him and seemed to be waiting.
"Are you hungry?" he inquired.
With a small cry, the falcon seemed to shake its head in agreement. Staring at the falcon a few seconds, Snape shrugged, took a piece of beef from his plate, and gave it to the falcon. With a quick swipe, the falcon grabbed it and it was down its throat in a matter of seconds.
"I guess you're hungry. Does your owner not feed you? How about hunting? I would think you would be able to hunt on your own," Snape asked, curious. It would be natural for the bird to hunt on its own, yet the bird looked scruffy and skinny. Was it sick?
The falcon looked up at him, and with a small screech, his wing stretched out and shook himself. The falcon was small and lean, marking him as a male. He was black and white, with a mustache marking on his face. There was a small odd mark of white on his forehead above his right eye. He was a beautiful bird. After he settled down, the falcon looked at his plate again and then at Snape and cocked his head.
With a sigh, Snape pushed his plate in front of the falcon. "Here, you eat it. I can always get more," he said, exasperated. The falcon looked at him a moment before giving a soft screech in thanks. The falcon began to eat eagerly.
A few minutes later, the falcon was done eating. He looked up at Snape before flying up to the bookcase. Shrugging, Snape called the house-elf to have him take away the empty dishes. He sat back and sipped his scotch. Snape watched the falcon as he cleaned himself, and wondered where the falcon had come from. The falcon hadn't been carrying a letter or a package. It also looked as if it was starving. Could he have had a neglectful owner? Snape thought idly for a few minutes before pushing the thoughts to the back of his mind. He would worry about it later. Looking at the falcon one more time, Snape decided that he would leave the window open so that the falcon could leave whenever he wanted to.
"Well, I've had a long night. I'm going to go to bed. I'll leave the window open so that you may leave if you wish. Please do not destroy anything in this room," Snape snapped, feeling foolish for talking to the bird. The falcon looked at him and softly trilled at him.
Snape gave a grunt and got up from the table. He walked over to his potion and took it off the fire. Taking out his wand, he placed a cooling charm over the potion and poured it into several vials. He cleaned up the cauldron and put everything away. Looking around, he decided there was nothing else to do. As he was moving towards the door, he looked back at the falcon one last time. The falcon was still sitting on the bookshelf, watching Snape with curiosity.
"Goodnight," he said quietly before leaving the room.
The falcon sat there, staring at the door. He shook himself before settling down. With a large sigh, the falcon closed his eyes and went to sleep.
When Snape got up the next morning, the falcon was still there. He seemed to have made himself right at home, and didn't look to be going anywhere. Snape and the falcon spent several days together as Snape made more potions for the Order and Voldemort. After a couple days, Snape decided that since the falcon wasn't going anywhere, he needed a name.
"Are you leaving anytime soon?" he asked the falcon.
The falcon looked at him and gave a shrill cry. He flew down from the bookcase and landed on the table. He walked over to the bowl that Snape had set up for him and began to eat. After a day of him trying to eat off his plate, Snape decided the falcon needed his own food bowl. Looking at the falcon with amusement, Snape sat there thinking.
"I think you need a name. I can't keep calling you bird," he said thoughtfully. He considered this for a moment before asking, "How about Faucon? Not terribly original I know, but I like it."
Faucon seemed to agree with him as he gave a small cry of agreement.
Snape nodded his head. "Good, Faucon it is then," he said firmly.
A couple of nights later, Snape was stirring a potion when the fireplace came to life, and the Headmaster's head appeared in the fireplace. Faucon screeched with alarm and flew up to Snape's shoulder, trembling in agitation. Snape reached up and started to pet the bird, calming him. Faucon leaned against Snape's head and slowly calmed down.
"Good evening, Severus," Dumbledore greeted solemnly.
"Good evening, Headmaster. What can I do for you?" Snape asked.
"What is that on your shoulder, my dear boy? A falcon, is it? I didn't know you had a falcon," Dumbledore exclaimed with subtle delight, his eyes twinkling.
"I didn't, but Faucon seems to have adopted me. Was there something you needed, Albus?" Snape inquired.
"Ah, yes," Dumbledore replied solemnly. The Headmaster looked grave and the twinkle in his eyes disappeared. "It seems another prisoner has escaped from Azkaban."
"Bloody hell," Snape cursed. With a large sigh, he asked, "Who was it this time?"
"Harry Potter," Dumbledore replied quietly.
"WHAT?" Snape yelled, shocked. "When? And how?"
"We are not for certain when, but it was within the last couple of weeks or so. The guards for his cellblock only check on him every couple of weeks. With Harry's reaction to the Dementors, there was no need to check on him every day. It seems that within a year of being there, Harry was completely unresponsive, except to eat or sleep. There was no reason to watch him so closely. The last time the guards checked on his was a couple of weeks ago. When they went to his cell, they discovered that it was empty. It was locked. With the alarms that surround his door, there is no way to open it without them going off. There was no other way for him to get out. His cell didn't have a window other than the one on the door. It is very puzzling indeed," Dumbledore said with a frown.
"So, how did he leave? Did someone help him escape?" Snape asked. His mind was whirling with so many thoughts. Potter had escaped. He couldn't help but chuckle silently. The boy had done the impossible, again.
"As far as we can tell, no one helped him escape. As I said, the door on his cell was still locked from the outside, and the wards and alarms were not disturbed. I was wondering if you had heard anything from Voldemort about Harry's possible escape." Dumbledore asked hopefully.
Snape shook his head before replying, "No, Voldemort hasn't said a thing about Potter. Not since he was first put into Azkaban."
With a sigh, Dumbledore lowered his head. "When the public finds out that Harry has escaped, and has possibly joined with Voldemort, there will be panic," the old wizard commented with a grimace.
Snape snorted, a disgusted expression on his face. "Merlin forbid that the public would think otherwise."
"Severus…" Dumbledore began wearily.
"No!" Snape snarled. He glared at Dumbledore. "I have told you time and time again that there is no way that Potter could've killed those people. I don't care what kind of evidence you have. You knew Potter. You know what kind of person he is. There was no way in hell that he would have done it. Hagrid and Bill Weasley were his friends. There was no way he would've killed them. I have told you once that Wormtail also made the Marauder's map. He could have altered it. It would only take a potion and a spell to do it. I showed you myself. I don't understand why you are so ready to believe the worst of him. I would've thought that you, of all people, would've had some doubts about his case," the Potions master exclaimed angrily.
"Severus," the Headmaster sighed. "I know your view on this. I do have doubts, but it is not enough to clear Harry. You said it yourself; there was never any proof that showed him to be innocent. There is nothing you could've done. There was nothing I could've done."
"You mean nothing you wanted to do," Snape snapped. "Potter went to Azkaban thinking that everyone thought he was guilty. You know, I tried to see him. I really did, but I wasn't allowed to see him. The Ministry wouldn't allow him visitors. Can you imagine how he must've felt? He is all alone with no one to turn to. Even his supposed friends turned their backs on him," Snape said, disgusted. "He was never my favorite person, but he was just a boy, a child who had too little love in his life. He had too much responsibility on his shoulders, and the ones who were suppose to protect him, failed. All of us, even me," Snape whispered.
Snape had never seen the Headmaster look so old. He realized that both the war; and the situation with Potter were taking its toll on Dumbledore.
"I know, Severus, my boy. I wish there was something I could do. The Minister wouldn't even allow me to see him. From what I hear though, it wouldn't have mattered these last several years. He wouldn't have known we were there. Well, at least I didn't think so. Now though, since he has disappeared, I do wonder if it was all an act," Dumbledore said thoughtfully, his eyes twinkling subtly.
Snape smirked and asked, "You think he was just waiting for the right time to disappear?"
Albus smiled and his eyes twinkled once again. "Yes, but of course that is all speculation. If you hear anything about him, do let me know. I have to go the Ministry and talk to Fudge. It seems he is quite upset. Two escaped prisoners during his term doesn't put the Minister in a good light. The Wizarding World will begin to wonder just how secure Azkaban really is. I will talk to you later, Severus. Goodnight, my boy," Dumbledore said with a strained smiled.
"Goodnight, Headmaster," Snape replied. Dumbledore nodded and his head disappeared from the fireplace. Snape turned to Faucon, who was still perched on his shoulder.
"Well, Faucon, lets hope Potter is somewhere safe. Maybe I should try and find him," Snape pondered thoughtfully as he petted the falcon. "He'll need all the help he can get. What do you think Faucon?"
Faucon flew off his shoulder and landed on the table. He looked at Snape for a few minutes before flying to the floor. Snape watched in puzzlement, wondering what was going on. His eyes opened, shocked, when the falcon disappeared, and the form of a man took its place.
"Hello, Professor Snape," Harry Potter greeted with a smirk.
Faucon is French for Falcon.