Chapter 1: Me? Godfather?
(Roses are red, violets are blue. I don't own, so you don't sue)
Fifteen years ago…
Sirius Black was nervous.
No—not nervous. More like…
Completely and totally terrified.
He was never more scared than when he walked slowly through the streets of Godric's Hallow. This wasn't the usual kind fear he got during these dark days with so many friends and people dying. He wasn't scared for a sick friend or comrade who was injured during an Order mission. No, this was a very different kind of fear. Though, to most people, this trip would normally be considered as quite a joyous one.
Sirius was heading to his best friend James house; he had just been told that Lily had finally had the baby. Sirius had never been around babies or small children very much. He didn't have a clue how to act. Or what to do.
James had been thrilled when Lily had found out she was pregnant, and Sirius had been thrilled for them, but he wasn't quite so thrilled himself. Between Order work and Lily, James barely had enough time to hang out with Sirius as it was. What would it be like when James had a baby to look after as well? Of course, Sirius had realized that those were very selfish thoughts, but this was Sirius we're talking about! Of course he was selfish.
As far as Sirius was concerned, James was his brother; if not by blood then in spirit. James was possibly the only person who truly understood him, who trusted him completely. And because of that trust James had, and somehow managed to convince Lily to make Sirius their child's godfather. Sirius let out a bark-like laugh. He still wasn't sure how James got her to agree with that decision. He had a theory that James had Confunded her.
With that announcement, Sirius had felt a wave of responsibility crash upon him. But he was afraid. He knew all-to-well the dangers of the war and how unlikely that even Lily and James would make it out unscathed. He understood their fears and why they needed to know that someone would take care of their child if anything were to happen to them. Sirius would never turn down such a request from two of his best friends, but he still didn't feel ready to take on that kind of responsibility just yet.
Ever since when James had proposed to Lily, James had been the responsible one. James had been the one to get married and the one who wanted to raise a family. Sirius had just wanted to enjoy his youth for as long as possible and to do the best he could to end this bloody war. He wasn't sure if he was ready to take on all the responsibility that being a good godfather entailed, not by a long shot.
But he would do it. He was be scared witless, but he decided that would do it. He would do it because he knew that after everything that James had done for him, it was the least he could do to repay his closest friend.
So now here he was. He was facing his fear of responsibility.
Sirius quickened his pace a bit as he approached the familiar cottage. At that moment, a young woman, he recognized as a healer from St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries, look out the door as if expecting a Death Eater to be there.
Now that he thought about it, she had every reason to think so.
As Sirius came up the front walk she gasped, "Who are you?"
"Don't worry," Sirius said holding up his hands to show her that he wasn't a threat. "I'm no Death Eater. I came to see James and Lily. I heard that the kid was born?" He said it as though it were more of a question than a statement. "If you don't believe me…" he pulled out his wand and handed it to her before holding his arms up again. "I swear. I just want to see my friends."
She hesitated for a moment before she let out relieved sigh. "I believe you. Come in. Lily has just gotten through labor, but she and her husband will probably want a little time to themselves with their newborn. I'll let them know you're here, though, Mr…?"
"Black," he said. "Sirius Black."
"Oh, so you're the infamous Sirius Black that Mr. Potter told me was coming. Right, Mr. Black. I'll let them know you're here, but you'll have to wait a little while to see them."
"Of course. Thanks."
Sirius came in and headed straight for his favorite comfy armchair in the living room. The healer hadn't actually said whether Lily and the baby were okay. Now Sirius' nerves couldn't take it. He'd rather fight off a dozen Death Eaters than face this… this excruciating wait. Sirius had always been an impatient man. He didn't like to wait for anything.
He sat in that chair for awhile before he the healer came back.
"You're allowed to go see your friends now, Mr. Black," the healer said packing her bags. "They're waiting for you."
"Thanks," Sirius said as he made to stand up. "But please… call me Sirius. Don't call me Mr. It makes me sound old."
The healer nodded in response and turned to leave, but before she headed out the front door, Sirius thought to ask one of the questions that had been chewing on his mind for awhile.
"Um… are they're okay? Lily and the baby, I mean?"
The healer turned back around and smiled at him. "Yes, Mr. Bla… Sirius. Both the baby and the mother are doing perfectly well and last I checked, Mr. Potter going on and on to me about how wonderful a Quidditch player his child is going to be."
Sirius let out another one of his laughs as the woman left. Just like James to be thinking of Quidditch at a time like this. Sirius hoped for the kid's sake, and for everyone's sanity, that he or she would love Quidditch just as much as James did.
Sirius was still nervous as he walked up the stairs and to the end of the hallway to where he knew his friends were. He was still feeling selfish about having even less time with James as he placed his hand on the doorknob. He still wasn't so sure about all the responsibility that had been forced onto his shoulders along with birth of the child as he reached a hand towards the door.
But as he pushed open the door, he knew that he would love the baby. No matter how selfish and immature as he was, how could he not?
As soon as he opened the door, all of his doubts and fears were washed away because he knew that this was his real family and that they were waiting for him in that room. Who cares if they say that blood is thicker than water? He didn't need that when he had people like James and Lily, and now their baby, here. He loved them, all three of them, and that was all the proof he needed to prove that they were family.
With this new epiphany in mind, Sirius took the first few steps into the room and closed the door behind him.
The first thing he saw was Lily lying in bed and holding a small bundle of blankets. The next thing he saw was his best friend with a huge Cheshire cat grin on his face and grinning at him from beside the bed.
When Lily saw him, she gave him a warm smile and then turned back to look lovingly at her little bundle. She looked completely worn out. She was sweaty and her hair was a complete mess, but Sirius didn't think he'd ever seen her look happier or seen her smile glowing as bright as it did now.
Before Sirius could say or do anything, James walked over to him and pulled him into a hug, that manic grin still on his face all the while.
"Sirius," James said softly as they pulled away from the hug, "I want you to meet your godson."
So he had a godson. James and Lily had a little boy.
He walked over closer to Lily, wanting nothing more than to see his new little godson. The first thing he noticed as he peered inside the little bundle was the shock of jet black hair covering the tiny infant's head. Sirius couldn't contain his grin. The poor kid had inherited James' horrible hair.
"Hello, Sirius," Lily said in a soft voice so as not to wake the sleeping baby in her arms.
"Hello yourself," he replied not taking his eyes off of his godson. "Oh, the poor kid. He's stuck with Jame's bad hair."
"Bad hair? What…!" James spluttered but was cut off by Lily's mock exasperated sigh.
"I know. Poor little thing," she said as she attempted to smooth the hair on the top of her baby's tiny head.
"I'll have you know that many find my hair gorgeous," James said, crossing his arms in a pathetic attempt to sound offended, but it was ruined completely when he grinned at Lily. They all had a little laugh at that exchange.
"Come on James," Lily said. "Until I agreed to marry you, you and your hair had been the bane of my existence."
"So, have you two decided on a name for my little godson?" Sirius asked turning the conversation back to the baby.
"Harry," James announced proudly. "Harry James Potter."
"I knew you'd find some way to sneak your name in there somewhere," Sirius said with a laugh.
Lily rolled her eyes at James before she explained, "I had to do it. I wanted to name him Harry and we had to make a compromise. It was either that or calling him James Jr. And it's bad enough that he has James hair. If he looks just like him when he grows up then it'll become so confusing!"
Sirius smiled. It seemed he had been doing that a lot since he'd entered the room. Perhaps his friends' obvious good moods were contagious. Or maybe it was just the presence of baby Harry that did it. Now that he had finally seen the baby himself, he was having a hard time even thinking of all the doubts running through his head earlier.
Sirius suddenly realized that James had been talking to him. "What?" he asked James as his thoughts came back down to earth.
"Sirius, I think you ought to get your ears checked. I must've asked you at least 4 times now," James said with a goofy looking grin. "I asked if you wanted to hold Harry."
"What? Uh… now wait a minute…" was all Sirius had the chance to get out before James had gently scooped Harry from Lily's arms and placed him in Sirius'.
"Just make sure you support his head, like this," James said as he showed Sirius how to properly hold Harry.
Sirius barely even chanced breathing as he held Harry in his arms. He looked so fragile; as if he could break at the slightest wrong move. What if he dropped him? Sirius tried not to think of it and instead focused on supporting the baby's head.
His awkwardness holding Harry must have been more obvious than he thought because both Lily and James both began laughing.
"Don't worry, Sirius," Lily managed to say through her giggles, "James acted just like you are when the healer first put Harry in his arms."
That made Sirius feel better, though not by much. He did relax a little bit eventfully though. Nervously, Sirius cupped the tiny body against his chest, and with a final glance at his best friend, looked down at the baby boy in his arms.
He felt a gasp leave his mouth as he stared longingly at the tiny face, tiny toes, tiny fingers. He could feel his eyes moistening as he watched the little face snuggle against his chest, his heart, and he held him tighter to him.
"He's beautiful," he whispered. He never said that about anyone before—the word 'beautiful' always sounded so sappy to him. But it was undeniably true. James chuckled beside him, "I know."
Sirius held Harry for quite some time, occasionally adding something to the conversation Lily and James were having and eventually becoming comfortable enough with Harry to gently rock him back and forth.
As much as Sirius was afraid of responsibility, he knew he'd do anything for this little boy. He'd protect him and love him and spoil him. He'd even give his life for the little baby. And though he hoped that it wouldn't come to it, he'd raise him as his own, even though he knew nothing about kids.
Sirius wasn't sure, but as he watched Harry open his tiny mouth to let out a yawn and grab the front of Sirius' shirt in his little fist, he knew this kid was going to be something special. He didn't quite know what made him think so. It was a gut feeling.
Sirius smile threatened to split his face in two as he looked down at his godson who's little face twitched and emerald green eyes flickered open for a brief moment to stare right at the smiling man whose arms held him close.