October 31, 1981
Green light rushing towards a face framed in red hair.
There was a hiss of a breath that might've once been intended as a scream, followed by the heavy thump of a corpse hitting the wood floor. Lord Voldemort watched impassively as the life left the body of his latest victim, slowly pocketing his wand, the tip of which was still vaguely glowing green. It matched the color of her eyes, which were still exposed to him, staring up glassily as she lay boneless across the ground, an arm sprawled over her chest.
Stifling satisfied laughter, he stepped over her and stopped before the small crib she'd been protecting. In it, a young child sat, staring at the scene before him with wide eyes. Voldemort was quite sure he didn't understand what was going on, which he supposed was all the better. When he'd heard rumors--from Pettigrew, mostly--that Miss Lily Evans (or Missus Lily Potter, he did get confused at times) had given birth to a child that looked quite like him, he'd been rather . . . intrigued. After all, he'd been fairly certain he was sterile; black magic provided power but drained the body, he knew that before he even started practicing it.
But, paternity charms didn't lie, and young Harry (what a horrid name, he thought, so common and muggle) was his son.
It wasn't as though he liked children, quite the opposite really, but his own child would be . . . different . . . than the little brats the Death Eaters spawned, or the fools he went to school with. His child would be . . . powerful.
So, he'd spent the last year traipsing across England just looking. Even though the Fidelius Charm had no longer been an obstacle, the Potters had moved frequently and it had been hard to pin them down. But, after almost an entire year of moving from town to town, decimating populations and interrogating wizard and muggle neighbors alike, he'd finally found them.
And on Halloween, too, how nice. Someone had tried to compliment Bella on her 'costume' and had almost received a Cruciatus as a result.
Harry was still staring at him, wide green eyes possibly showing fright.
Quickly reaching over the railing of the crib and grabbing him, he held him awkwardly in his arms, both fascinated and repulsed at the same time. He'd never found babies cute, and didn't find this one any better than any of the others. Still, after all that wasted time of looking, it wasn't as though he was going to leave him behind.
With a long suffering sigh, he pulled his wand back out and shouted "Incendio", watching with no small amount of satisfaction as the house caught aflame. Hurrying down the stairs and pausing briefly to smirk at James Potter's lifeless body, he fled through the front door and hustled the few Death Eaters standing outside away, very sure that some muggle was going to be calling the authorities soon.
Some muggle living in Godric's Hollow had called the police, and Sirius Black knew something very horrible had happened.
"I'm sure they're alright," said Remus as they rushed to get past the apparation wards at Hogwarts, but Sirius could hear the nervousness and upset in his voice. "They're alright. They've--they've got to be."
Sirius didn't try to correct him, his vocal cords seemingly frozen. He hadn't seen James in almost a year, since he and Lily and Harry had gone into hiding. Dumbledore hadn't been very clear on why Fidelius had been necessary, saying some nonsense about James being the head of a light pureblooded family and possibly being targeted--
He couldn't really remember at the moment, his thoughts too confused for him to pin any particular one down. They'd reached the boundary and he apparated, closing his eyes briefly--
--and he smelt the smoke before he opened them. His heart sank.
Remus gasped and Sirius almost did so, too. The house was burning, and apparently had been for quite some time, as almost nothing was left. Muggle firefighters had gotten there before the wizards, complete with their huge trucks and ambulances, which were parked on the street. However, a group of aurors had taken them (along with the neighbors who had come out of their homes) off to the side and were in the process of obliviating them, while other aurors were investigating the house, casting spells to put out the fire. The Dark Mark hung above the rubble, the skull and snake shining eerily against the early morning sky.
And Dumbledore was there, talking with a weeping Minerva McGonagall and idly watching the proceedings.
"Dumbledore!" shouted Sirius, making his way across the lawn. The man turned to him, his eyes unsparkling beneath the glasses.
"What happened? What the hell happened? Where--where are James and Lily? I mean---" He was babbling, but he couldn't form a coherent sentence in his state. And even though he might've been asking about them, might've been fighting the truth, deep down he already knew where James and Lily were. He'd seen similar things so many times over the course of the War, but somehow he'd never thought it would happen to his own friends--
Dumbledore didn't want to answer his questions, he could tell that much. But, after a pause, he did.
"James and Lily . . . are gone, Sirius. They're dead. I'm sorry."
And now he couldn't deny it to himself anymore. He could hear Remus sob in disbelief next to him, and ask another question he'd been dreading.
"But about what Harry?"
McGonagall started crying harder, and it was answer enough.
"Not him, too," choked Remus, grabbing onto Sirius's arm and holding tight.
Dumbledore nodded slowly. "I'm sorry."
After a long, numb moment, Moody wandered over, looking a grim as ever.
"You-Know-Who, all right," he said, shaking his head. "He was here personally--we've got his magical signature on the scene. Seems he's been coming out more from whatever pit he lives in. Used the Killing Curse on the two adults--couldn't find the baby's body, though, probably burnt up--"
Remus and McGonagall didn't take the last very well, and Dumbledore quickly sent Moody away to Saint Mungo's, giving him orders to relay to the coroner.
Sirius stood there holding Remus, the smell of smoke and death clinging to his clothes and hair, the sound of sobbing in the background, and wondered--
What was he going to do?
Author's Note: Yay! I hated this chapter for quite awhile, so I rewrote it to be longer and have more explanation. I'm going to be doing the same for chapter two, as well. It still has a crappy ending, but what can I do?
Oh, and for whatever reason a year and a half ago when I started writing this I decided that I wouldn't have Sirius go to Azkaban (don't know why I decided that, truly, but whatever). So . . .yeah.