Disclaimer: Not mine.
Even before you went to Azkaban, you were always a bit of an outcast.
As a kid, you can't help but think that you were born into the wrong family. Unlike your snotty pureblooded mother, father, and brother, the Black family crest doesn't ignite a fierce pride in your heart. You don't particularly care what "blood" someone has, as long as they're nice to you. You like it when people were nice to you, because your family sure isn't.
You stand out. At the family gatherings, you are always the outsider, the one standing alone in the corner, observing. You watch your mother glare at her sister when she mentions her muggle-born boyfriend. You see your cousins in the backyard, cursing animals with their wands and getting into fist fights. You hear your aunt's husband shout at her as she cries in a distant corner of the house. Could these people really be your family?
They are cold, cruel, and keep to themselves. You are funny, friendly, and outgoing.
You go on walks in London, in Diagon Alley or on the muggle streets. You don't care where. Because when you meet new people, you shine. All the happiness and character that your family sucks out of you comes bursting through, and pretty soon you become known as the dark, handsome, charming, funny, and intelligent boy that is often found wandering alone through the streets of London.
Where have you been, you idiot boy? echoes through the entrance hall as you walk through the front door. You shut the door slowly, feeling like you are imprisoning yourself as you do so. You watch the last sliver of sunlight disappear, then turn to face your livid mother.
She shouts and screams, and you bow your head, muttering the occasionally I'm sorry. You hate playing like the submissive son, and vow that one day, you won't. But you're only ten, and that day hasn't come yet.
After awhile, they get used to you leaving. You hardly talk to your family anymore. You like it better that way, but at least when they yelled, it meant that they cared.
They talk mutinously about you behind your back. You see the glares and looks of disgust they give you. In their eyes, you are just as bad as the muggles they hate so much.
You need out.
You'll always remember that day in July, when the highly anticipated letter came. You stand in your mother's neglected garden, kicking stones and trying to drown out the screaming that was drifting from the open window in your parent's room. The brown, speckled owl swept down, and you panic. Who would write to you? You open the letter, wearing a rare grin as you realize that
you've finally been given your ticket out of this miserable place. You hate birds, but suddenly this owl seems so friendly.
As you arrive at the train station on September 1st, you think with happiness that you are finally leaving. But really, you're just going home.
Your stomach turns nervously when you realize that you don't know anyone. The only kids your parents have ever introduced you to are mean and unfriendly, and no one you want to be friends with. This is a fresh start, you think. You are starting your life over, and this time you are going to live it your way. You're not going to follow your parent's rules anymore.
By some chance of luck, you end up sitting across from the most amazing boy you've ever met. He's funny, smart, and just like you, and he is going to be your best friend. You're just starting to see how bright your future could be, when he finds out something about you that you'd liked to have kept hidden. Slytherin? Blimey, and I thought you were alright!
Was their reputation going to follow you everywhere?
To your relief, James Potter doesn't care, and neither does the Sorting Hat. You walk to the Gryffindor table as people cheer you on, and you've never felt so proud.
For the first time in your life, you have friends, people who actually like you. And when you overhear a teacher saying, How could that boy be a Black?, there's nothing that could destroy your happiness.
You become a social butterfly. You become popular. You and your best friend James meet two other boys, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew. Remus is quiet and smart, and Peter is awkward and aloof. Your best mate thinks the Pettigrew boy is strange. But he's an outsider and reminds you of yourself, so you force James to befriend him with you, even if it is slightly out of pity.
The four of you, you and James in the lead, immediately become the running comedy routine at Hogwarts. You make jokes and play pranks, and can get even the strictest teachers to laugh. In your second year, you name yourselves the Marauders, and the name sticks. It lights a kind of talisman in your heart, so when you spend the miserable summers at Grimmauld Place, you don't feel so alone.
Out of your three main friends, James Potter always retains the title of your best mate. The two of you explore every inch of the castle together, planning and carrying out dozens of pranks. He's always been there for you, even if you like to pretend you're tough and not accept his offers to "talk" when he knows something's bothering you.
And he always knows.
Despite your attempts to hide the sadness and darkness inside you, he can see it. The only thing that consoles you is that he's the only one. He knows that your family is more than "eccentric" (as you choose to call them). He knows that your casual mention of we should get together this
summer is a beg, a plea more than a suggestion. He knows that the bruises you have when you show up at his house aren't from extra Quidditch practices, as you claim with a grin that could fool anyone but him.
He worries about you. He doesn't need to. You've made it fifteen years, why would you break now?
The act you put on for the world is perfect; sometimes even you forget how miserable you are.
When you find out that Remus is a werewolf, you want to do everything you can to help him. He's alone, he's unhappy, he's an outcast. And you know exactly what that's like.
In your fifth year, you become an Animagus alongside James and Peter. You're proud that you've performed such advanced magic, but you're prouder that you've helped one of your friends feel less alone.
In November of your fifth year, pranking and joking take a backseat because you've finally discovered girls.
There are tons of them, everywhere. How did it take you so long to notice? James has been going after the red-headed Lily Evans for months already, yet you're just starting to become aware of the giggling girls that are all over the place. They seem to be particularly fascinated by you, though you don't know why. You sneak into the girl's bathroom one night, just to see what it's like. You read the writing on the walls of the bathroom stalls. My life would be complete if I could just run my hands through Sirius Black's hair, or Merlin knew what he was doing when he made Sirius Black. You spend an hour reading all the writing in the entire bathroom, and when you walk out of there, your ego is bigger than the castle.
The next day, you ask out a pretty, bubbly, blonde, and unintelligent Hufflepuff that you've had your eye on recently. Three weeks later, it's the mysterious dark-haired Ravenclaw girl from Charms that you're meeting in a broom closet late at night. Then the outgoing Gryffindor who's a year younger. Then another blonde Hufflepuff.
You make it a routine; a new girl every month, at least. By the time you're sixteen, you've snogged more than a dozen girls and seen countless broom closets and empty classrooms. The boys are jealous of you and the girls want to go out with you, even though you've become an arrogant, ruthless womanizer and you're out of control.
It's secretly tearing you apart, but you'll never let anyone know that. You date around because it makes you feel wanted, loved—and you've never felt that way before.
You're the guy everyone wants to date, so how can you say no? You're handsome, outspoken, witty, and charming. You're the marauder every girl wants, though James is a close second.
He dates a little, too, but he does it to make Lily Evans jealous. It doesn't work. You console him and tell him that she'll come around. You tell him this for the millionth time on the train ride
home, though you secretly hope he'll just give up on her. Because when did long-term relationships ever work out for you?
You go back home, and Grimmauld place is worse than ever. Your parents are unbearable and so is your brother. You sneak out as much as you can. Your parents yell. But you're not the submissive ten year-old boy anymore, you're not the kid that they've bossed around for so long. You've got your own life, your own mind and opinion, and you can take care of yourself.
You yell back. Every bad thing you've ever thought about your "family" comes racing out of your mouth at a million miles an hour. You're out of breath as you look at your shocked and angry parents. They stand there, frozen, as you sprint upstairs and grab your things. You're racing towards the front door, pulling it open. You will never set foot in this house again!, your mother yells after you. And you hope with everything you have that she's right.
You show up at the Potter's house in the middle of the night, soaked from the rain and clutching your broomstick and trunk. It was a long flight from London, but it was worth it. James sneaks you up to the guest room without question, saying he'll talk to his parents for you in the morning. They welcome you graciously into their home, saying that you're welcome to stay as long as you like; they've got a big house, and it's a shame not to use the extra space. The Potters are friendly and kind-spirited, so you slap on a happy face and ignore the guilty feeling in the pit of your stomach.
Sixth year follows the same pattern as fifth. Pranks, Quidditch, and girls.
But this year, there are a few new additions. You spend nights alone walking around the lake, putting a silencing charm on yourself as you scream and think about what an idiot you are. You sneak into Hogsmeade and steal a bottle of firewhisky. You're even more reckless and rebellious than before.
But still, the act continues. Your dry humor and outgoing nature are all anyone has ever seen. You're the same Sirius Black you've been since day one. Your act has never wavered.
But James knows something's going on. He corners you late one night at the end of the year, in the Common Room as you're attempting to sneak out of the castle. He makes you tell him what happened that night you showed up at his house over the summer. He makes you tell him about the firewhisky.
You haven't cried since you were nine years old, but tonight you come close.
You own up to everything, and promise to change. And unlike all the other promises you've made in your life, you're planning on keeping this one. You just can't lie to James Potter.
That summer, you buy your first flat. James and his parents help you hunt for your own place, and you eventually find one several miles from the Potter's house. It's perfect. It's yours. You can watch the sun set over the hills, and there's an empty field to play Quidditch in. James stays with you for that first summer, and the two of you scour the town for things to do. You play
Quidditch, you go to concerts, you go to bars and drink responsibly. You get a girlfriend. For the first time in your life, a real girlfriend. You date for two months, but when the summer ends you're forced to break up.
And it cuts you up so much; some of the progress you've made that summer disappears.
It's your seventh year, and James seems to have everything. The family, the Head Boy title, the Quidditch Captaincy. And finally, the girl. Lily Evans and James Potter are officially going out, and for the first few weeks, his happiness is so great that it leaks onto you.
You try to get another girlfriend, but it never ends up working out. You're Sirius Black; you're supposed to only have flings. That's what they want. So that's what they get.
Your last relationship at Hogwarts is one that could have actually lasted, but you break up with her because after graduation, you want to start over. Again.
You get a job at the Ministry, and think about going to Auror Academy. You pour your life into work and charming a motorcycle to fly, and forget about girls for a while.
James's parents get sick and even St. Mungo's can't seem to cure them. The funeral is touching, and you cry for the first time in ten years. You and James are inseparable for several days, until you're both forced to go back to work.
James is often on dates with Lily, and Remus and Peter are both very dedicated to their jobs, so you've got a lot of time to yourself. You go to the pub down the road one night. And the never ending cycle of drinking and girls begins again.
You look at James's life compared to yours.
You've both got good jobs and a nice flat, and now you're both basically family-less. But he's got a fiancé, and you still date around. He doesn't drink much, and you feel the constant pull towards alcohol. He's happy and content and you're sad and alone.
At his wedding, you're the best man. You give the speech, and the jealousy you've been feeling lately turns to a sad sort of happiness as you see how happy James is.
You figure you might as well try to be more like James. You move to a new flat, closer to James and Lily's. You stay away from any bars. You call up Remus and Peter, and organize a Marauder's reunion once a week. You meet a nice girl at the park one day, and you make her your girlfriend. She's pretty and calm and slightly adventurous, and you two work well together. She likes your friends and your flying motorbike, and that's good enough for you.
After a few months, she moves to France for work, and though you try to do the whole long-distance thing, it just doesn't work out. James and Lily have just had their first son, Harry, so you spend a lot of time with them.
They always were too good for you.
You pour your life into Harry. You're his godfather, and you're constantly at his side. When his first word is "Padfoot", you nearly cry. You've really gone soft, you think to yourself.
All of the sudden, James's perfect life isn't so perfect anymore. Voldemort's after him. Voldemort. Is after your best mate.
You can't believe it. The war's been constantly getting worse, things have constantly been getting darker, but you can't believe that your best mate is now the target.
You don't trust yourself. No matter what everyone's said about you being bright, strong, and trustworthy, you think you're weak and pathetic. You've always had a low opinion of yourself.
You make James and Lily use Peter as the secret keeper. Voldemort's bound to come after you, and if he does kill you, at least you'll have done something purposeful with your life.
You stand outside the rubble of what used to be the Potter's house.
This can't be happening. It can't. It's not true. You slap yourself; you must be dreaming. You cry, crying like you've never cried before.
When Hagrid won't give Harry to you, your world has officially ended.
You vow to find Peter and kill him. So what if Voldemort's on his side? You've really got nothing left to live for anyway.
You laugh as the Ministry carts you off to Azkaban without a trial. This is perfect, just perfect. You've tried so hard to differentiate yourself from your family, and now you've managed to kill your best friend in the world and get yourself locked up in Azkaban.
You spend the next twelve years beating yourself up. Everything you've ever been ashamed of, every moment you've ever regretted goes flashing through your head. Why did you break all those girls' hearts? Why did you bring your James down with your sullenness? Why did you drink so much firewhisky? Why didn't you trust Remus? Why did you accidentally lead your best friend to his death?
Why were you such an idiot?
You wasted your life away, and now you're going to be stuck in this miserable place forever.
It takes you twelve years, but you finally manage to sneak out of the cell you've been imprisoned in for so long.
(You don't realize it, but your mind is the real prison, and you can never escape that.)
You swim to shore, and the image of the baby Harry is all that keeps you going.
You watch Harry Potter through his kitchen window as he sees your face on the television. What a freak, Harry says under his breath.
It hits you like a brick wall.
You really are an outcast.
a/n: so unedited that I didn't even reread it.