AN: Another drabble from weallfalldown(me!)… I was watching Prisoner of Azkaban, and I got the idea. Nothing original, just a bit about Sirius' point of view when he first sees Harry walking along Wisteria Lane after running away from the Dursleys. I mean, Harry had no clue, but think about it – for Sirius, that was the first time he'd seen his Godson in 12 years, and to find that he looks so much like James…
12 years in a tiny cell gives you a lot of time to think and plan.
At first, I raged. I spent hours screaming against Peter, against Voldemort, clutching the bars and ignoring the way they were slick on my hands from condensation. Then I screamed for Dumbledore: the man who should have known that the filthy rat was a spy. Didn't he always know everything that happened? How many times had he known who was behind even the cleverest of our pranks, and just smiled innocently? How the bloody hell could something like this get past him? And Remus… Remus should have known that I would die before betraying James and Lily. Moony, of all people, should have been first in line to demand a trial. I would have done that for him, I told myself; before I remembered the times I'd argued with James that Moony had to be the spy.
I stopped screaming quickly. The dementors had taken to hovering around my cell; all my rationalizations were built on happy memories of simpler times.
It took me weeks before I could even comprehend that James was dead, let alone Lily… I had been the one to find her. The house was mostly wrecked, but I knew that house like the back of my hand. I gave up hope that night, when I saw her lying on the floor of what used to be the nursery. Surely if there was any justice the world would have ended right then. Only to be brought back at the sight of Harry – of my godson – crying and reaching for his dead mother.
That was the one memory the dementors could never affect – the moment I picked up Harry and held him, knowing that he was an orphan, knowing that Wormtail had betrayed us, knowing that I would be blamed and sent away for good. It wasn't happy. But it was the moment I realized that this boy had become the most important thing in my life and that I may never see him again.
He'd be thirteen, now. A third year at Hogwarts - I'd stake my blasted family fortune on him being a Gryffindor. Wonder if he plays Quidditch like his Dad… or if he has a favorite subject. Maybe a girlfriend, even, or if he's already stuck on a girl like his Dad had been. James had never wavered, from first year onwards, in his attention towards Lily. I could be content to speculate; I could watch Harry's whole life inside my head. The spectacular catches in Quidditch games, laughing with shadowy friends (there were always 4 in my mind…) in Hogsmeade. Or I would have, if I hadn't seen that newspaper. Pettigrew at Hogwarts – with my Godson.
There was no way I would sit back and wait for the rat to strike.
I knew Harry would be with Lily's sister – after all, his Godfather was locked up and a werewolf would never be allowed custody of the boy-who-lived. I also knew Lily would have cheerfully murdered Dumbledore if she knew her son had been placed with that ignorant, bigoted muggle. Last we'd heard, she'd married some idiot who made something called dills. The stupid things those Muggles think up.
After that, it was just a matter of finding a phone book.
It had been raining – I remember that. The grass was damp, and the scents had all run together. I had the right neighborhood, though. 12 years of remembering meant I knew Harry's scent like the back of my hand.
When I first heard the footsteps, I tensed – if a person was nice, I could present myself as a stray and possibly get food. Or I may have to bolt, and I certainly didn't want to have to use magic anywhere near where Harry was – they were sure to have alerts on the home of the boy-who-lived. The last thing I needed was a group of aurors out investigating suspected underage magic and finding out that it had come from a wand stolen 2 weeks ago.
But no – I'd know that scent anywhere.
James had always smelled like fresh air, leather, and a bit of peppermint from the candies he was always eating. Lily was a bit like parchment, freesia, and rain. Harry had always been slightly masked by the scents of baby powder and his parents, but every human has a unique scent, and Harry's had always smelled like peppermint and grass – it always reminded me of the afternoons we'd sneak him out to ride on the training broom I'd bought (against Lily's wishes).
It took me a minute to take him in, since at first I thought I was seeing things – the messy black hair, skinny frame, even his face – he looked so much like James. For a second I really thought I'd been found and killed, and that this was… well, whatever happens next. Life couldn't be this horrible; the only way I could bring myself to bother at this point was by telling myself that this was what James would want me to do.
I imagine most people recognize Harry Potter by the unique lightning bolt scar on his forehead, but for me, I will always know him because of his eyes. Lily's eyes in the face of my long-dead best friend and brother. In that moment, I swore I wouldn't abandon him again. I would find Wormtail and forget Azkaban – there was no way I could ever let this boy go. I'd been there when he was born and when his parents had died, but I hadn't been there for all the years that mattered – when he grew and learned about the person he was destined to be. I couldn't go back in time and change that, but I could make sure that it only got better from now on.
He had to be miserable here, living with muggles. But if I could get my name cleared, he could stay with me – I am his Godfather, aren't I? We'd be a real family. Maybe Moony could stay too, almost like before…
Things would be better. I had to keep telling myself that. And as Harry saw me and realized I was drawing nearer, I glanced up at the dark sky and smiled.
He's just like you, Prongs.