Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or any of the characters, I just like to play with them
Melon colored ribbons of sunlight filtered through the gauzy curtains, retreating slowly out of the second story window. In their place shadows crept steadily forward across the small bedroom, ever bolder, as Sirius slowly dressed. The soft sound of a zipper being pulled up drew the attention of the sated blond who adorned the bed in an alluring fashion.
"Do you have to go?" she asked in a sweet, sensuous voice. Sirius' turned back gave her a perfect view of his tight, toned arse which he had just poured into some leather pants. It was with effort that she stifled a sigh, preventing it from adding to his already considerable ego.
"Sorry, love," he replied, a note of regret in his voice. "I've got to check on a friend."
Their rather pleasing afternoon together had started in the Three Broomsticks where Sirius had gone looking for an amusing diversion to quell the nervous feeling in his gut. He knew of no better distraction than the one they had been pursuing for the last few hours and it had worked nicely for a time but the gnawing fizz of discontent was back and he knew he would have to answer its call.
"Alright," she said, disappointed. "Maybe I'll see you around." Harboring no illusions about him, she knew about best she could hope for was a repeat performance.
"Sure," he said noncommittally but honestly. It had been fun and she didn't seem clingy. Just his type.
Sirius sat down on the bed and let her slither over to him, the last dark orange embrace of sunlight made her skin appear to glow. Wrapping her arms around his neck so she could satisfy her fingers in his hair, she draped half of her thin, firm body across his lap. Their lips met in a kiss that spoke of imminent separation but also hinted at future fun.
"See you around?" said Sirius, breaking away first.
"Anytime," she affirmed seductively.
Without another word he stood up from the bed and exited the bedroom and then her small apartment. He jaunted down the stairs and out of the double doors into an alleyway that was just off of High Street in Hogsmeade.
Parked in the alleyway was a gleaming black motorbike that seemed to wink at him in the last gasps of sunlight. He hopped on and straddled the enormous bike between his legs as he kicked the stand back. A flick of his wand had it roaring to life, the sound reverberating between the fence and the apartment building.
Steering down the alleyway while making sure no was watching, Sirius pushed a button which lifted the front tire off of the ground, followed by the rest of the bike. He hit the accelerator and shot quickly upwards to hide his motorized contraband above the clouds.
Travelling south he watched as the pink and purple evidence of the day was replaced by even darker purple, blue and eventually black. The stars overhead twinkled in greeting and as was his custom he leaned back in the seat and looked for his star in the night sky.
The nervous feeling of foreboding was back, churning like acid in his chest. He had performed the Fidelius Charm on the Potter's home and Pettigrew earlier that day and for some reason he felt that something was off. For the thousandth time he questioned whether or not he had done the right thing.
The country was stifled in the grips of war and his two closest companions were at the very heart of the conflict. Few walked away once they had been marked for death by Voldemort.
Unbeknownst to most of the wizarding world was that the best hope for freedom from the darkest evil the world had seen in many years resided in the tiny body of a baby boy who had just crossed the year mark a few months back. It would be years before he could take up his part in the fight and that fact alone spoke of many more dark years ahead for them all.
Sirius wasn't supposed to know about the prophecy but Dumbledore was a fool to think that James wouldn't share that knowledge with him. It angered him when he thought about how an innocent such as Harry was already tainted by conflict and hatred.
As the lights of London twinkled in the distance his thoughts turned to little Peter and he wondered again if he had done the right thing. It had been a last minute decision which was made because of a suspected spy in the Order of the Phoenix. A few knew that Sirius was to be named Secret Keeper but none knew of Peter.
Peter was a good lad but not the bravest or the most skilled of wizards. Sirius had often wondered how he had made it into Gryffindor at all. His sycophantic love for James guaranteed loyalty in all of their minds but if it ever got out that a switch had been made…
Well, nothing to worry about there. Only four people in the world knew of the eleventh-hour change and two of them had the most to risk of all. Peter's fear and love would keep his mouth shut and he, Sirius Black, could be crucio'd into insanity before the secret would pass his lips.
Sirius spotted the pattern of lights that he had been looking for and lowered the front tire for his descent. He landed the bike behind a brace of trees with a light bounce before the tires gripped the dirt beneath them. Sliding over the curb with a thump and mild jostle, Sirius directed his bike down the lane towards Peter's house.
The whole street was unusually calm for this small London suburb full of families with small children and laughter and toys, reminding him of the feeling he couldn't manage to quell. He made the right turn onto Peter's street, his eyes finding the little house with the friendly exterior.
Sirius stiffened immediately because instead of the soft glow from a reading lamp shining through the windows, the house was dark. Unconsciously he urged the bike forward a little faster coming to a sudden stop in front of Peter's house. Sirius steadied the bike onto the stand and leapt off, racing to the front door. He rang the bell twice, impatiently and peered through the windows finding only darkness.
He flicked his wand at the door, opening it easily and stepped across the threshold. "Pete?" he called out.
Flicking his wand at a few lamps bathed the house in light. What he saw made him catch his breath. It looked like someone had robbed and ransacked the place. All of the furniture was gone from the living room and paper was scattered and strewn across the floor.
Sirius stepped into the living room and knelt down to pick up something that caught his eye. As he looked at the picture that had been left behind his pulse thudded in his ears.
He shook his head. Something had obviously happened but Peter would never betray them and certainly not James, never James, his idol. Casting one last fearful glance around the house he pocketed the commencement picture of the Marauders and Lily. Thieves and Death Eaters would have no use for such a picture but Peter wouldn't have left it behind.
Sirius dashed out of the house, leapt to his bike and was in the air racing towards Godric's Hollow at reckless speeds. It took time to move things out and the spell had been cast earlier that very day. There was no way that they could have gotten the Secret out of Pete so soon, if they even knew he had it.
Before he reached Godric's Hollow he saw the smoke rising into the air. He hit the accelerator and closed in ever faster on his target.
No! No! No! No! No!
There wasn't time to get the secret out of Peter, of that he was sure. There was still time to get James, Lily and Harry to a new location. There was still time!
The tires bitched loudly as they made contact with the still warm asphalt. Sirius didn't give himself time to adjust before slamming his hand on the accelerator once again. The tires spun furiously leaving a thick, black mark as the bike fish tailed wildly but stayed on course. The engine's bellow caused a few lights to turn on in upstairs windows as he swept past house after house.
The closer he got to the Potter's house the stronger the scent of something burning became, acrid and painful to his nose. Disbelief flooded his brain as he pulled up to the house and threw off the bike, crashing it the ground but he didn't care.
The front of the house was completely collapsed with only half of the back still intact, somewhere in the wreckage he could hear the Potter's cat wailing in pain.
Let them be gone! Let them be gone! Let them be gone!
Sirius took one unwilling step after another as he ran up to the house where his best friend and the nicest girl he had ever known lived. The sound from the Potter's cat was closer now, loud and pitiful, he had never heard anything like it.
The roof appeared to have been blown back while the front of the was house blown in. A few small fires still flickered here and there and all the while the sound of the cat curdled in his stomach.
He finally made it up to the house and stepped over the blown out wall. A strangled sob escaped Sirius as there was no mistaking the broken body of James Potter. The staircase lay under him in broken bits of charred wood.
Please! Please! Please! Please! Please!
He felt for a pulse but he knew in his heart there wouldn't be one. Sirius looked into the unseeing eyes of his best friend before closing them forever. He reached his head down and in a gesture he had never before performed, kissed James' brow. "Prongs," he whispered, desolate.
Shakily and with great effort he stood up and flicked his wand, sending a Patronus to Dumbledore. The plaintive, desperate wailing caught his attention once again when he suddenly realized what it was and rushed forward, nearly falling over rubble with the effort.
Harry had crawled out of his broken crib and was trying frantically to wake his mother up, the screams from the inconsolable child sounding neither real nor human. Sirius picked Harry up and held him close to his chest whispering nonsense to him in an effort to calm the boy down. Harry recognized Sirius and clung to his neck, happy for any sort of comfort at all.
Sirius stared down at the vacant eyes of Lily Potter and held onto Harry tightly. The screams slowly turned into sobs which turned into hiccoughs. Sirius wrenched his eyes away from Lily to look at Harry, checking him over for any damage.
There was a small blood stained mark on the boy's forehead that looked like a bolt of lightening. Sirius shifted Harry in his arms so he could touch the wound gingerly. Harry winced and pulled away.
"No, Pah!" he said in the small voice of a child.
"Sorry, mate," murmured Sirius, wondering how Harry had gotten such an unusual cut.
Harry rested his head against Sirius' shoulder and began whispering to him. "Pah, Pah, Pah, Pah…"
"Padfoot's here," confirmed Sirius in a low, unsteady voice.
Bending down while shielding Harry with his body to prevent him from seeing what he was doing he closed Lily's eyes. Voldemort and his Death Eaters would be back for the boy soon so he had to get out of there with him. Just as he cleared the wreckage that had once been the Potter's home a wizard Apparated into the middle of the street.
"Noooo!" wailed Hagrid loudly, great shaking sobs wracking his body. "Are they?" Hagrid couldn't bring himself to ask if James and Lily were dead.
"They're gone," whispered Sirius, the full impact of which hadn't quite hit him as he was still in shock. He rubbed Harry gently on the back to keep him quiet as he strode slowly forward.
"Dumbledore got yer message," said Hagrid, his voice thick with sorrow. "He's alerted the Ministry."
Sirius nodded, still rubbing Harry's back and bouncing him in his arms. "That's good."
"Dumbledore sent me ter get Harry," sniffled Hagrid.
"What?" said Sirius, taking a step back. "No! I'm his godfather! I'll look after him!"
"Now look 'ere, Sirius," began Hagrid. "Dumbledore'll be knowin' wha's bes' an' he ses Harry is ter go live wi' his Aunt an' Uncle."
Sirius looked crestfallen as he pressed his face into Harry's neck. "James and Lily never wanted Petunia to have Harry."
"Dumbledore ses i's fer Harry's protection," pressed Hagrid.
"What? I'm not protection enough?" said Sirius hotly.
"He said sum'pthen abou' old magic, abou' Lily's blood protectin' Harry if he wen' an' lived with Petunia. He said you'd be knowin' wha' tha' means." Hagrid inched closer to Sirius.
Sirius slowly nodded. "Lily died protecting Harry…of course." He sighed wearily and pressed his lips against Harry's forehead, just to the right of the red mark. "I'll never be far," he promised Harry. He handed Harry over to Hagrid and then walked over to his bike, lifting it off the pavement. "Take my bike, Hagrid. I'm not going to need it anymore."
Hagrid gave Sirius an odd, concerned look. "Are you alrigh' there, Sirius?"
"I'm fine, there's just something I need to handle." He had been a fool about Peter and while he could never make it right retribution was required. He gave Harry one last longing look before spinning on the spot and disappearing.
Sirius spent the next twenty four hours searching for Peter, tirelessly, with no food or sleep, vengeance his only fuel. Sirius had never killed before but Pettigrew's life was now forfeit.
It seemed wherever he went he was just an hour or less behind Peter. It gave him hope of finding the filthy traitor because of how well he knew him.
As he turned the corner down a muggle populated street he saw the short, fat, blond man he had once called friend.
"I should have known when you elected to be a rat," spat Sirius, making Peter turn.
"N-n-now Sirius…j-j-just calm down," stuttered Peter.
"James and Lily are dead!" bellowed Sirius.
"Because of you!" accused Peter with genuine sorrow in his voice. "If you hadn't switched…you killed James and Lily! It was your idea!"
A crowd of muggles had gathered around the two men who were squared off and circling each other like dogs about to fight. The short, blond was nervously clutching a short, thick piece of wood while the other tall, dark haired man confidently twirled a longer piece of wood in his elegant, refined hands. The muggles murmured to each other about the curiosity of this, of why they seemed so focused on twigs.
Sirius saw the glimmer of the knife in Peter's hand as it reflected off of a streetlamp and laughed. "Going to cut me, Wormy?"
"It's not for you," said Peter darkly, who suddenly flicked his wand. Sirius countered with a flick of his own but missed. Peter's spell hit the pavement and with a tremendous explosion the street rent apart flinging pieces of asphalt and stone everywhere leaving a gaping crater in the middle of the street. There were screams and wailing all around them as muggles were hit with the flying debris. Sirius was flung ten feet back into the air, only getting control of his body in time to see Peter transform. Sirius shot a stunner at Peter but again missed and then the rat was gone, fleeing into the sewers.
It only took moments for the Aurors to arrive on the scene, shocked by the damage and mayhem all around them. More teams were called in by Patronus as they set about their work, repairing damage, healing those muggles that they could, casting Memory Charms and counting the bodies.
Their uniform robes gave them away as officials and a muggle ran up to them and pointed his finger at Sirius. "He did this, and the man he blew apart said he killed a James and Lily."
"Blew apart?" protested Sirius. "He did this not me!"
The Auror looked sharply at Sirius. "James and Lily Potter are dead, killed this very night. Didn't you know them fairly well?" The edge in his voice was heavy with suspicion.
Before Sirius could answer an Auror behind them shouted out, "We've got a finger!"
"You see," said the agitated muggle accusingly, "he killed that poor little man and all that's left is his finger!"
"That blond man was terribly frightened of him," said another muggle, pointing at Sirius.
Sirius ignored the muggle's accusations, talking loudly over them to the Auror, rebuking him for his suggestion. "Right!" he laughed mirthlessly. "Me? Kill James and Lily?"
"We'll at least have to take you in for questioning," replied the Auror. "According to Rubeus Hagrid you were there tonight, before anyone else. Were you the last to the see the Potter's alive?"
"No!" said Sirius heatedly. "That honor goes to Voldemort, the man who killed them!"
The Auror hissed at the name. "If You-Know-Who killed them then why were you there?"
Before Sirius could answer another Auror walked up and whispered something that Sirius could just barely make out. "We've got thirteen dead muggles."
"Sorry, mate," said the Auror. "We've got to take you in."
A portly man, anxiously twirling a lime green bowler hat that Sirius recognized as being Cornelius Fudge, Undersecretary to the Minister of Magic came over to the pair eyeing Sirius nervously. "Are you Sirius Black?" Sirius nodded carefully. "You have been charged and found guilty for the murder of James and Lily Potter and sentenced to life in Azkaban."
The utter absurdity of the situation was more than Sirius could handle, he tipped his hat at life as being the ultimate prankster and threw back his head and let out a loud, unhappy laugh, a sound so out of place at the scene of such death and destruction. His bizarre reaction startled and stunned the Ministry officials who watched as the laughter just went on and on.
Still laughing, before the Ministry employees could move on him, Sirius Black began to twinkle and shimmer from head to toe. Apparently this surprised him as much as it did them and his laughter abruptly stopped.
"What the f-"
Before he could finish his thought, Sirius Black was gone.
A/N: This story just won't shut up in my head so here goes…
There are 2 chapters left to Innocence which are in the works.