A/N: I've had this idea for so long but I had to wait until I was somewhat free so I wouldn't abandon love is just a game haha. I think I'm going to love writing this fic. I kind of had to get this chapter out of the way and it hurts me to write it, but it had to be done. So I'm thinking this chapter might play with your emotions a little but it'll get better, I promise. I hope you like it! Don't forget to review! Too much effort goes into these for you not to review. ;D
Oh yes, and this WILL be M/M!!!! (if you want to know the pairing, just go check out my other fics... if you want to be surprised, that's cool too) If you don't like that, best not even get into this fic okay? We good? Okay then... read on!
Sirius cooed at his best friend's baby, while the James stared at him in shock.
"You want to what?" James asked incredulously.
"I'm just saying, he'll realize it would be me, I'm your best friend. But who in their right mind would pick Pete for this? He won't suspect it and I think it'll make this a whole lot more secure."
James looked from Sirius, who was still bouncing Harry on his leg, to Lily. He laid his forehead against his palms feeling totally helpless. He was, twenty two years old, supposed to be in the prime of life, and here he was, convinced that he should endanger yet another one of his best friends lives.
Since just out of Hogwarts, Voldemort had been chasing after his wife Lily and himself with an unexplained passion. For three years they had moved from place to place, always staying ahead of him. This plan had been fine until the day that Lily had announced she was pregnant. They hadn't been trying, but that wasn't to say it was an unwelcome surprise.
They had had to settle down and find a permanent residence. That's where Godric's Hollow came in. And the need for a secret keeper.
The obvious answer was Sirius Black as they had been friends ever since their first day of Hogwarts. But now, here he was telling them he no longer wanted to be their secret keeper.
Well, that wasn't exactly how he had put it, but it had the same result.
He wanted Peter Pettigrew to be secret keeper; along the reasoning that no one would ever think the Potter's would bestow such a secret on him. James could understand this better than he would admit. He couldn't understand why he hadn't thought of it first.
Even so, he was reluctant to drag another friend into the whole ordeal. Peter was, so far, not terribly involved and however nice it would've been to keep it that way, it didn't seem feasible.
"Lily, what do you think?" He asked, turning to his beautiful wife who seemed in quite the turmoil herself.
"I suppose," she started, then paused. "I suppose it's the best option, isn't it? Nobody would suspect it. All the Order knows it's Sirius, so if there's a traitor, they'll have the wrong information." She dropped her gaze and frowned. "Sirius, I really don't want to entangle someone else in all this. And if we do in fact, do this; everyone will still think you are the secret keeper. That means you're still in danger."
Sirius nodded morosely. "And nobody is more upset about that than me, trust me. But I think this is the best way."
James nodded. "Then it's done." He smiled at his childhood friend. "We'll need to make preparations for the switch. And a witness."
Sirius smiled now, happy things were looking up. "I'll get on it. I assume Dumbledore is as good as any for a witness?"
James rolled his eyes. "Yes. Now leave."
Sirius tutted. "You know, you've been hanging out with Evans too long. You sound just like her."
Everyone smiled as the solemn mood lifted. Even Harry, who had been passed back to Lily giggled, making everyone look at him. Their smiles grew.
As stressful and dangerous as times were, you always had friends.
Sirius Black, Peter Pettigrew and Albus Dumbledore arrived at Godric's Hollow approximately two hours after Sirius had left.
Peter looked understandably nervous, shifting one foot to the next. It hadn't taken much to get him to agree to the idea. He seemed eager to help. In fact, the first time the Potter's had to choose a secret keeper, he had volunteered, which is the reason they didn't feel nearly so terrible asking him to take over.
Dumbledore, as always, was soft spoken and calm, something that was the envy of everyone else present.
After pleasantries, they were invited into their home and tea was offered around.
"So..." James started but didn't know how to continue. Dumbledore, as always, came to the rescue.
"This procedure requires the consent of all members. It shouldn't take that long, given the hope that everyone does his or her own part."
James let out a breath. The pink elephant in the room had been addressed.
"Well," said Sirius, who had somehow managed, once again, to find and tickle Harry, "No point in wasting precious Harry time, is there?" He was mainly addressing Harry, who was in a fit of giggles and grabbing frantically at the air. Every once in awhile, Sirius would let up to allow the baby to breathe.
Peter twitched. "Yeah, let's do it. I have somewhere to be after this." He said it all as if it were once word and seemed very desperate to get this over and done with.
Lily and James shared a look, wondering what had gotten into their friend. Shaking himself out of it, James turned to Sirius and said, "Siri, put Harry down. Come here, we should start, you're right."
"When haven't I been?" He grumbled, but put the baby down and came over nonetheless.
"Now," Dumbledore said as they all joined hands and stood in a circle, "This is actually faster than the original because the bond has already been established and now needs only be transferred."
They repeated after Dumbledore, trusting him explicitly to give them the right words.
"I, Sirius Black, hereby give up the secret that was mine to keep to Peter Pettigrew."
"I, Peter Pettigrew hereby accept this secret as my own, and will use it only at my discretion."
"We, Lily and James Potter," the two recited together, "hereby give our secret to Peter Pettigrew to use at his discretion, until we so choose to revoke that right, or death to one among us."
The links of all their hands glowed purple, and a tiny string of light purple fire circled everyone for a few seconds. Then everything went still.
"And that's that." Dumbledore sighed and released hands, all the others following. "I hope, for all our sakes, you have made the correct decision here today. Now, if you will excuse me, I believe Arthur Weasley wanted to see me about... what was it? Hammers? Oh well. All the best, until we see each other next."
"Pete, you want to stay for dinner? Lily's made some amazing meatloaf, and watching Harry eat it is like dinner and a show."
"Oh um, no thanks. I have somewhere to be, as I said earlier. Thanks anyway. Bye Lily. Sirius."
"Bye." They all chorused, none of them too upset about the fact that he was leaving, if only because they were more comfortable in just the remaining company.
"Well," said Sirius, "at least that's over with now, right? Nothing left to do for it."
"That's right. Now I just wish James would stop fretting. There's nothing we can do. Every safety precaution has been taken." Lily said, and tossed her hair in James' direction.
He glared at her.
"I am here, you know. It would be so nice to not be talked about as if I wasn't."
"Yes well... one can always dream." Lily smirked at her husband.
James sighed and mock pouted. "Why I love you is a mystery to me."
"Not me." Sirius cut in. James glared, causing Sirius to hold him arms up in defeat. "Just kidding?" James glared harder as Sirius laughed.
"Much as I am enjoying this," Lily raised her eyebrow in sarcasm, "It's time to eat."
She lifted Harry into his seat and put a dish down in front of him.
"Sirius, would you mind..." Lily gestured towards Harry. "I know you love being around him and it would be amazing if you could help out. I'm so dead from today."
Sirius smiled widely. "Course I'll help Lils. Harry's my little puppy, aren't you sweety?" He said the last bit in a baby voice, leaving Lily and James to try to smother their laughs. Who would have guessed Sirius Black, heart breaker of Hogwarts would be a baby fan. No, correct that. A Harry fan.
"Oh shut it. Harry's just so bloody cute. Look at him."
James smiled fondly, looking around at his three favourite people. "I'm aware that my son is cute Siri. Now get to your job and feed him. We aren't giving you free food for nothing, you know."
The animagus hummed his disapproval but started feeding his charge anyway. Something that, as with most things, was more difficult than it sounded. Harry didn't seem to want the meatloaf, even when Sirius disguised the spoon as an aeroplane.
"That doesn't work. That was the first thing we tried." Sirius sneered and pulled his chair around so that he was face to face with Harry.
"Hey there little Prongs. Don't you want to make my life a little bit easier? Huh? Come on. Let's eat the delicious meatloaf that Lils made. Mmm."
Harry opened his mouth, even while the spoon wasn't up to it and waited patiently, smiling.
Sirius smiled right back. "There now. That wasn't too hard." He looked at James. "Was it?"
James spluttered and said, "Get out Padfoot. Now."
Sirius smiled and settled deeper into his seat.
A long evening later, with Harry fast asleep in bed, and the three adults more than a little tired, it was finally time for Sirius to leave.
"Visit again soon, eh Padfoot? We're free next Saturday so you should come by. We're having Remmy over too so it should be good!"
"Definitely. See you soon Lils, Prongs."
A week later, Friday night, Sirius woke sharply, feeling distinctly as though he was needed somewhere. He got out of bed, and quickly traveled to the floo where he firecalled Albus.
When he got through, his head was in Albus' office where a whole range of people had gathered. He spotted at least half the Order, as well as Aurors. Remus was there and he had red streaks down his face. Dread built up in him and he said, "What's happened?"
Frank Longbottom said, "James and Lily – " But Sirius never heard the rest, he pulled his head from the fire, enlarged his motorbike and took off through the window.
He was the first to arrive.
What he saw brought him to his knees. The Potter's house, where he had been no less than one week ago, was burnt to the ground, and a dark mark above it in the sky. His eyes welled up and the breath was knocked out of him. His chest contracted and he felt it hard to breath.
His mind spun as he tried to get a grip on what had happened. No one could have known where they were. It was a secret location. And that secret was held by their best friend.
Slowly recovering from the shock, though not completely, Sirius felt hate and fury replace the pain that had settled in. He had to find Peter. No, he corrected himself. Pettigrew. That lying, deceitful bastard.
He got shakily to his feet and walked further up to the remains of the house. Surely no one was left alive. Still...
"James! Lily! Harry!" He cried out brokenly, unable to keep his voice from cracking.
Suddenly he heard a cackle that sent a chill up his spine. Pettigrew.
"You won't find them in there!" The rat cried. "My Lord has killed them all, and I will be rewarded so heavily... He will be so pleased."
Sirius thought he was going to be sick. He had never, in all his years as a pureblood, heard a person talk so casually and even gleefully, about murder.
"You're disgusting. You filth, how could you even think of doing this to Prongs! And Lily! You've always been their friend, since you were eleven. Harry was only a baby for fuck's sake. I can't believe you. I can't bloody believe you!" He ended screaming. He couldn't stop hurting and only this seemed to dim the pain.
Pettigrew sneered maliciously. "Do you really think I cared about them? Or you? You've always treated me like something on the underside of your shoe. But now I've got The Dark Lord. He treats me well. And now I'll finally be in his favour, after tonight."
Sirius held back his nausea long enough to hear something. Just a small noise, but enough to make him stop.
Before thinking of doing anything else, he screamed, "Petrificus Totalus!" at Pettigrew and he froze, and dropped where he was. Sirius scrambled to the ruins, even as he heard the dozens of pops signing apparition around him. He could only hope they were for his side.
He had heard a babies cry, and he now frantically dug around in the rubble, hoping against hope that he would find what he was looking for. After minutes of digging, his muscles screaming against him to stop, but he moved a large rock and found underneath, in a little alcove, Harry.
He was dirty – covered in dirt and blood, but beautiful little Harry. He clutched the boy to him, holding him as tightly as he dared. After all, he still wasn't sure where the blood was coming from.
He turned sharply, even violently, as he felt a hand on his shoulder but when he turned around, there was Dumbledore. "Sirius," he asked gently, "are you okay?"
Sirius tightened his grip on the now silent boy. "No," he growled. "Where's Pettigrew?"
"The Aurors have taken him to the Ministry. He will be properly taken care of as a traitor. He is no longer your concern, although I believe you will be honoured for aiding in his capture."
Sirius didn't answer; he just dropped his head next to Harry's and rubbed his cheek against Harry's soft baby hair.
Dumbledore however, wasn't finished. "I am perfectly aware that you are now Harry Potter's legal guardian. It would be prudent to take him to Saint Mungos so that they can make sure he is well. We don't yet know what sort of night he has had. Nor why he did not suffer the same fate as his parents."
Sirius, although distraught, could recognize good advice when it came his way. He apparated directly from Godric's Hollow to the doors of Saint Mungos.
Not too long afterwards, he was leaving with a newly changed and cleaned Harry. They had told him there was nothing they could do. The cut on his forehead had stopped bleeding long before he had been brought in, and there was nothing they could do about further healing it. It was from a powerful curse and would almost certainly scar. He would have it for the rest of his life. They had, however, cleaned him and given him a set of onesies as they figured out for themselves that Sirius didn't look very capable of handling a child.
Having cared for Harry as much as he could have right then, he apparated back to his apartment. He filled the fact that apparating seemed to leave Harry slightly dizzy away for future reference.
He bundled up the blankets from his bed onto the floor, and created a sort of crib shape, leaving the sides supported by extra layers. He looked around his room. He had been living the life of a bachelor and therefore didn't have anything but the barest essentials. That would have to change. He had enough money, after all.
He cuddled up on his empty bed, using the pillow to its maximum potential, and felt a tear drip down his face. All he had left now was Harry and Remus.
Next chapter will be much less angsty. I'm thinking I'm going to do some shots from Harry growing up. Tell me what you think. I already have the plot planned out, but if you have any detail requests, shoot. Oh yeah and... REVIEW!! Very different from my other fics so I'm curious about what you think!