Welcome to a continuation of "What's in a Name"! It isn't earth-shattering that you read that story first, but you may find it useful in the background it gives. This story is AU which means that characters will not necessarily act the way they do in the books or on film. The Harry Potter world and all recognizable characters belong to Ms. Rowling; I just like to put my own twist on things.
There are a few places where I take some liberties, such as potions and books; JKR couldn't possibly cover every little thing in her books and interviews. Hence the AU warning!
For those of you who hate Severus Snape, this will not be a story for you. I like the idea of Snape and the Marauders becoming friends.
a bird without wings, that longs to be flying,
Like a motherless child, left lonely and crying.
Like a song without words, like a world without music,
I wouldn't know what to do, I'd be lost without you
Watchin' over me.
The world had completely changed overnight.
The post owls were seen flying everywhere, at all hours. The newspapers carried little beyond the screaming headline and the story that went with it. The Floo system was being overloaded by people firecalling to share the gossip and outrage. And, more important than anything else, the Minster of Magic was being bombarded by constant Howlers.
SIRIUS BLACK FREE
EXHONORATED OF ALL CHARGES!!!
By: Ashlyn McYnnis
Word came down last night of a secret gathering of the Wizengamot, who had met to discuss the charges that had been leveled against Sirius Black. It seems that Mr. Black is not who we, the wizarding public, have been led to believe.
Mr. Black was the best friend of James Potter and his wife Lily, and had been named Godfather of their only child, Harry Potter (better known as the Boy-Who-Lived). He was accused of being a servant of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, blamed for the murder of the Potters, and, when confronted by another friend Peter Pettigrew, blowing up a street, killing many muggles and Pettigrew. He was sent to Azkaban for life and escaped last year, it was believed that he was trying to find little Harry Potter, now in attendance at Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
It turns out, dear readers, that we have been LIED to!
Sirius Black was NEVER a servant of You-Know-Who, was not the secret keeper for the Potter family, never blew up that street that killed the muggles, and Peter Pettigrew IS ALIVE! Black was denied a trial by the Minister and sent to Azkaban, an innocent man, to be tortured day and night by the Dementors.
Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster for Hogwarts and head of the Wizengamot, brought the matter to the attention of that august group of wizards and witches, who immediately voted by majority to correct that horrible oversight and held a trial. Dumbledore brought in witnesses, documentation, and a pensieved memory of Black being questioned under veritaserum concerning the events leading up to, during, and after the attack on the Potters.
In light of the overwhelming evidence brought before them, and the fact that the Minster made numerous attempts to not only cover everything up but also tried to bribe several members, the Wizengamot voted overwhelmingly to find Sirius Black NOT GUILTY of all charges. The Ministry has been informed that they must make recompense for the years Black spent under the horrible influence of Azkaban and the Dementors. Not only is he reinstated to his position as Head of the Black Family; he is to be given a one-time payment of twelve million galleons, one for each year spent in prison; a new wand (as his former one was snapped); a manor house of his choosing from those available; and, most important of all, he is to be given immediate custody and guardianship of his godson, Harry James Potter.
No one has heard from Mr. Black as yet, but we are hoping that he will soon grant an interview so we may get his thoughts on everything that has transpired in the last couple of days, what happened to him twelve years ago, and what his plans for the future hold. We wish him and little Harry well in their new life together!
Remus Lupin looked up at the three black haired individuals who were listening to him read the report to them as if it were a bedtime story and grinned, "So, Paddy, how does it feel to be free and richer than Merlin?"
Sirius Black, seated at the table beside his godson, gave his friend a blinding smile and wrapped his arms around the boy for a tight hug, "I could care less about the money, as long as I got custody of Harry. That's what was most important to me."
His hug was returned, just as tightly, "Money certainly doesn't hurt, but I'm just glad you're not on the run anymore. Now I won't have any more nightmares about you getting caught and turned over to the Dementors to have your soul sucked out."
The three men exchanged looks of concern before Severus Snape leaned across the table slightly to look at the boy, "Harry, did you have another night terror?" The teen shook his head and the potions master studied him closely, pleased that there were no signs of distress or fatigue in his green eyes, "Good, hopefully with Padfoot's trial over and less stress on both of you, you shouldn't have any more."
Sirius ruffled the boy's already messy hair, "Hey, pup, I feel a shopping spree coming on, how about a trip to Diagon Alley today?"
The werewolf looked up from the paper in concern, "Are you sure that's a good idea? The paper has only come out today, so you may want to give people time to come to grips with the fact that you're innocent so you don't get mobbed."
His friend made a face at him, "You're a party pooper, Moony, but I'll agree to wait for a couple of days because I don't want to put Harry in any danger."
Snape rose from his seat with a sigh, "I need to return to the school to work on my potions for the upcoming term, but thank you for the invitation to breakfast." He held out an envelope, "Albus asked me to bring this with me since I was visiting."
"Anytime and thank you," the animagus responded. He wanted Harry to have the chance to get to know the real Severus before school started and figured that having him over throughout the summer was one of the best ways to go about it. Already, Harry seemed to accept his presence at Paddy's Place without strange looks, though the wheels still were turning in his head as he remembered the evil bat of the dungeons that had been so cruel to him and his friends the past three years.
Despite all evidence to the contrary, the man was not a servant of Voldemort, instead he was a spy; and he was done with it. Having found out that the man he and Remus had thought was a traitor really wasn't, he gave up all pretenses and informed Dumbledore to find someone else to be his informant among the Death Eaters. He was dedicating the rest of his days to the health and welfare of one Harry Potter and planning on spending time with his friends without the shadow of being a spy hanging over him.
As Sev was bidding the other two farewell, Sirius was reading the letter Dumbledore had sent and rose abruptly, "Well, it looks like I'm coming along with you; Albus wants to see me in his office this morning."
"What for?" Harry asked anxiously.
He gently carded his fingers through the boy's hair, "I don't know, pup, but I'll tell you as soon as I get back." Sirius glanced over at Remus, "Are you able to stay while I'm gone or should we take Harry with us?"
The boy in question nudged him with a bony elbow indignantly, "Hey! I can stay by myself, you know. I'm almost fourteen and I've been taking care of myself for a long time."
Steady grey eyes looked deep into his green ones, "Yes," he rumbled softly, "I do know. But I also know that you don't have to anymore. The three of us are the adults, you are the child, and we are going to see to it that you don't have to make do on your own any more. Got it?"
He saw the love in the depths of those eyes and nodded, "Got it."
Remus smiled, "Actually, I do need to leave for a short time, but since this house is unplottable and only the four of us know about it, I think Harry should be safe to stay on his own for a little while. What do you think, Padfoot?"
Sirius had always been the impulsive one of the Marauders, but when it came to the safety of his godson, he wasn't about to take any chances. He took several minutes to ponder the pros and cons of leaving the boy alone and finally made a decision, "Alright, you can stay here, but you keep your wand on you at all times, just in case. If you need anything, our floo is connected to Sev's private quarters, so all you have to do is throw in some powder and say 'Snape's quarters Hogwarts' and it'll take you there."
"'Snape's quarters Hogwarts', I can do that, thanks Sirius."
Remus stepped into the floo first and called out the Leaky Cauldron for his destination, followed by the other two who went to the potion master's quarters so Sev could start working and Sirius could walk up to the headmaster's office.