DISCLAIMER: Harry Potter and all associated characters and ideas are owned by J.K. Rowling and various publishing companies. I make no money at that, I am just playing in her sandbox.

What Horcrux? Chapter 15

A/N: What started out as a short, one shot has turned into a short novella, perhaps. Only a couple or three chapters, trying to figure out why, according to Canon, if Basilisk venom destroys a horcrux and it's container, Harry would still have a piece of Voldemort's soul in his scar after surviving a basilisk bite AND tears of the Phoenix, both of which would destroy something that evil.

Meanwhile at the safehouse:

Using a voice that was gravelly with disuse for more than a decade, Sirius asked Kingsley, whom he barely remembered from his days as an Auror, "King, old man, what is going on?"

"Easy, Sirius," Kingsley rumbled, "there have been enough questions about your incarceration by the right people that, to avoid any "accidents" happening, I was directed to bring you here so you can recover and be out of touch by anyone that might mean for you to never reach the courtroom."

Kingsley handed Sirius a calming draught and insisted he drink it. Once it took effect, Kingsley continued, "Now, please clean up, over a decade of no bathing and having minimal food has made you somewhat aromatic. Once you are done, we can start giving you some real food as well as helping you get caught up with the outside world."

Sirius nodded, and, unlike his previous joking and fun loving wisecracks, silently moved to the bathroom, dropping his filthy prison robe on the floor as he began filling the huge tub. He looked at his filthy, bug bitten, emaciated body and sighed, sadly. Adding the haunted look in his eyes, he wondered what happened to the old Padfoot. Additionally, he was finally able to feel the bond between himself and Harry and could feel that Harry was warm, safe and happy. This relieved him more than he would willingly admit to anyone but himself.

He changed the water more than three times, using various cleansing and bug killing potions provided and even a scented soap for his last shampoo and wash. He could only try to comb and brush out his beard since he had never used a razor and didn't have a wand to use the shaving spell and doubted Kingsley would let him use his wand.

He was surprised at how his mind was clearing up so quickly now that he was away from the influence of the Dementors. He dressed in a well made, clean but nondescript robe that he found in the wardrobe. Walking out, he found Kingsley drinking a cup of tea with a with a table full of light foods, designed for nutrition. He handed Sirius a potion, "Drink this nutrient potion, it will help you physically recover. Don't ask questions yet, eat. After dinner, I will answer all the questions I can, and expect you to do the same. Now, I want an oath from you that you will not try to escape, that you will listen to me and my boss, Amelia Bones, and will be patient until we can get your case in the Wizengamot to clear you as what little available evidence seems to point in that direction. By the way, you are Lord Black, according to the goblins, have been for the last five or six years."

Sirius nodded, holding his hand out for Kingsley's wand. "I, Lord Sirius Orion Black swear upon my life and magic that I will not attempt to leave here or cause problems until released by Kingsley Shacklebolt or Amelia Susan Bones. I further swear to give truthful and correct answers to any questions involving that night and will cooperate fully, as long as it does not place my person or the person of Harry James Potter in jeopardy. So I have sworn, so mote it be." A flash of silver magic accompanied the last words.

Taking his wand back with no protest from Sirius, "I Kingsley Shacklebolt on behalf of myself and Amelia Susan Bones accept this oath. So I have stated, so mote it be." Another flash of silver accompanied his statement.

Sirius chugged down the potion and slowly began to eat. Even though he was starving, he ate will all the decorum of a lord of an Ancient and Noble House.

Finishing dinner, Sirius went to the library of the house and found a book on Charms to review. He doubted there were any new ones in the more than decade he'd been away, having grown up in the higher class wizarding world.

Kingsley came in and sat across from him and asked. "This isn't an interrogation, but can you tell me why you went after Pettigrew?"

The haunted look shadowed Sirius' eyes for a minute before he nodded and put down his book.

"Well, as you may not know, Pettigrew was the Secret Keeper, but we let it around that I was, to become a target. No one would suspect Pettigrew, but then, we did not know that he was a Death Eater. Never thought the little rat would have the guts to become one. After Dumbledore cast the Fidelius with Pettigrew as the keeper, we went our own ways."

"On October 31, I felt something wasn't right, so I went to check on the rat, he wasn't in his flat or at his mother's. I was already headed toward Godric's Hollow when I nearly wrecked my bike, feeling something had happened to Harry. I got there as fast as I could and saw the blown out wall and rushed in." He paused for a moment, gathering his thoughts and settling his emotions, "as I went in, I could see that there had been a battle and James was dead, from the looks, by the killing curse. I ran up the stairs, almost tripping on the debris and found the nursery. I found Lily's body almost covering Harry and Harry was covered in blood with that cut on his forehead. There was a pile of robes near the door but I couldn't find a wand. I didn't look too hard, but went to Harry. He was breathing, but he was unconscious. I picked him up and my mind kind of went away. I met Hagrid as I was coming down the stairs, planning to take Harry to St. Mungo's to see if he was harmed. I argued with Hagrid for a moment, then something, some compulsion made me give Harry to Hagrid and loan him my motorcycle. It was big enough to support Hagrid. He said he'd take Harry to Hogwarts and have Poppy check him. Once he said that, the compulsion to seek vengeance on Pettigrew took over. Without giving Harry another thought, I headed out and searched for Pettigrew. I changed into my animagus form and waited in the shadows by his mother's place, knowing he'd almost certainly show up there."

Kingsley nodded, having set up a dicta-quill while Sirius was talking without Sirius taking notice.

"I finally saw the rat, but he must have seen or smelled me and he took off. I finally cornered him where I was found. I confronted him, but he must have had his wand behind his back and cast a blasting spell. Too late I remembered that it was the one spell he was very good at. He cut off his finger and changed to his rat form, heading for the hole in the ground after hollering "Sirius! How could you betray the Potters?" then he turned tail, coward that he was, and headed into the hole, probably to the sewer with the other rats. The Aurors stunned me, and I woke up where you found me, in Azkaban, guest meal for the Dementors."

"Why didn't you demand a trial?" asked Kingsley.

"I did, every time a guard came by with my slop, but after exposure to the Dementors for a few months, and no word I'd ever get one, I gave up. I did discover that being in my animagus form, the Dementors didn't have as much as an effect on me. Plus, my fur was warm. I'd only change when my human warders came around. One other thing helped me keep a little sanity. I knew I was innocent and I knew Harry was alive." The haunted look came over Sirius' eyes again and took longer for him to shake off this time.

"You said you had an animagus form?" queried Kingsley. "There is no record of you registered as an animagus."

"Shack, ol' buddy," Sirius said, with a completely earnest tone, "My supervisor in the Aurors knew that James and I both had animagus forms, and kept them out of the registry for security sake. Since most of the Death Eaters were from rich old families, they lived near woodlands. The forms were better cover than any spell or invisibility cloak. Who would suspect a ten point buck? And what wizard would admit to seeing a Grim in his woods? Even though James had an invisibility cloak, there are ways of detecting them, but since we acted like the animals we were, nothing for anyone to take much notice of, we were safer. Got a lot of intel that way, but for some reason, Crouch never acted on it."

"You mentioned earlier," Kingsley said, "that a compulsion seemed to take over while you were arguing with Hagrid. Now, few people would argue with a half giant, so, do you mind if I do a couple of scans? I doubt we'll ever discover who put the compulsion on you if there was one, but we can hope."

Sirius nodded his consent and sat still while Kingsley ran a couple of scans, both of which Sirius recognized. He dictated his findings to the dicta-quill that Sirius just realized was there.

"I found the remnants of a compulsion charm on you, dates to about the correct time, but couldn't pull out the caster's signature. I also found a few Obliviations which we will see about getting reversed."

"You can do that now?" Sirius asked.

"Yes, it was discovered shortly after you were sent to Azkaban. Depends on the caster, though. As well as how strong the compulsion was," Kingsley answered.

Sirius hmmed before yawning widely.

"Head on to bed, Sirius. This wasn't an interrogation, just so you know, however, you gave some good information here, I plan to get it in shape and hand it into Amelia the next time I see her."

Sirius nodded and headed for the bed. He found some silk pajamas that fit and slipped under the covers. He was asleep immediately, not having slept warmly or in a bed for better than a decade. His last thought before sleeping was he hoped he'd get to see Harry soon.

A/N: Sorry for the long delay in updating, between illnesses in the home and lack of inspiration, I got to a spot and couldn't go further. Sadly, I do not know when the next update will be, but it will be as soon as I can get writing again.

HW