Author's Note: Harry Potter is the property of JK Rowling, as such all rights, royalties, characters, and settings belong to her.
The Son of Prongs and the Snitch and Stone
Chapter 1: Black's Chance
"Pettigrew!" Sirius Black spat the name, as if it was something foul, while he rode his vintage motorcycle. The bike flew through the clouds as the stars twinkled high overhead. Swallowing back a lump in his throat he stared down at the streetlights stretched out below. "That damn rat!"
Slowly he descended. A darkened village appeared before him almost totally devoid of the sparkle of city lights. Smoke rose from the chimney of many a home, and the ghostly light of fire-lit lamps twinkled out the windows of others.
Panic flooded the man as he bent low over the bike urging it faster. Maybe I'm in time, maybe Pettigrew hasn't given them up yet, maybe… His internal monolog froze as the smashed remains of a cottage appeared before him. Tears began to run down his cheeks as he dropped the altitude and bounced onto the road just outside the picket fence. The bike screeched to a stop and Black leapt out of the seat. "James?" He yelled as he stumbled through the gate and up the walk to the door. "James!"
"Sirius…" A familiar voice echoed from the smashed second floor and Sirius pushed his way through the building's front door. He froze just inside and starred at the crumpled body on the floor.
"James…" Sirius Black said as he bent down next to the man. His glasses were eschew and not a mark was upon his body, if it weren't for the absence of breath he would appear to be asleep, laid out after a party from a glorious prank pulled without consequence. Sirius picked up the short length of wood that sat beside the body, the wand he'd seen James Potter use since they'd first met. A wand that had caused mischief and mayhem throughout school, a wand that had failed his best friend in his time of greatest need.
"Sirius…" The thick familiar voice spoke again and an enormous hand clasped his shoulder. It squeezed him in a comforting gesture as Sirius looked up into the face of the man who had spoken. A wild beard covered a kind face that was covered in tear tracks, and his two beetle-like eyes glimmered in the dim light. "There was nothing you could have done."
"Hagrid… Harry? Lily?" Sirius asked.
The giant of a man shook his head. "I havn't found Harry yet. Lily's upstairs… same as James."
"Killing curse." Sirius said quietly. "I… I'll help find Harry… I'll take Harry. I'm his godfather."
"Dumbledore wants me to take him." Hagrid said as he sat up. "Gotta get him someplace safe."
"Let… let's find him first." Sirius said as the giant headed up the stairs. Sirius followed behind him, careful to duck under a fallen beam. As he stepped into the nursery he found that a whole wall had been blown out and bits of the ceiling covered the floor. It seemed to have buried the boy's cot. "What… what happened?"
"Don't know. There's a robe… a black robe just in front of the cradle." Hagrid said as he stepped toward the cradle and grabbed hold of a pile of debris shoveling it out of the way. "Lily is over there." He gestured to the far corner where a body lay under a thick red blanket. "Didn' find her wand… didn' stand a chance."
As the pile of boards that covered the cradle shifted a sudden cry rang out, the screams of a babe in distress. Swearing Sirius scrambled forward and began to toss aside debris. "Harry!" He yelled as Hagrid pulled aside a pile of lumber to expose the boy clad in a simple blue blanket. The one year old squirmed in the crib as Hagrid bent over him and carefully ran one enormous hand through his messy black hair.
"Bloody bowtruckles, Dumbledore said he was alive… but I didn' believe it with the house and all." Hagrid lifted the boy from the cot and Black starred as he caught sight of a scratch like a lightning bolt just beneath the boy's hairline.
"Hagrid… Voldemort?" Sirius glanced around and stared at the burnt and torn robe in the middle of the room. "He… he killed the dark lord?"
"Coddswallop, no one year old will destroy You-Know-Who." Hagrid said as he tucked the boy into his shoulder. "Funny scar, I don't remember seeing that before."
Sirius stared at the lightning bolt-shaped scar. "That's a curse scar Hagrid…"
"You're saying You-Know-Who tried to kill the boy and couldn't? You're mad Black!" Hagrid said as he headed for the door and downstairs.
"Hagrid, I'm his godfather, let me take him!"
"No, I got my orders. Gotta take him to Dumbledore." Hagrid said. "He's meeting me in Surrey."
Surrey? Sirius stared at Hagrid for a long moment. "At least take my bike."
"Alright Sirius… you're a good man." Hagrid clapped an enormous hand to his shoulder and nodded. "It'll make the journey a sight easier."
Sirius stood by the door and watched the half-giant clamber onto the bike with the bundle of blankets that was Harry. "Forgettin' something…" He muttered then snapped his fingers and pulled a rather irritated tawny owl from a pocket, scribbled a note on the parchment and let the owl loose.
A red dawn began to fill the eastward sky and Sirius watched with tears in his eyes as the giant rode off down the street. With a shudder he sat on the doorstep then, transformed into a large black dog that sniffed the air.
He could smell them, those that had been in the house before. There was the flowery aroma of Lily's shampoo, the sharp smell of James's aftershave, the oily scent of an old school enemy, another scent that was like that of darkness and decay. One more remained a smell that made every single hair on his body stand up and his hackles shot up. The rat! I'm coming for you Pettigrew!
In a plain respectable white house in Surrey, Mr. Dursley hummed as he picked out his most boring tie for work, and Mrs. Dursley gossiped away happily as she wrestled a screaming Dudley into his high chair.
None of them noticed a large, tawny owl flutter past the window.
At half past eight, Mr. Dursley picked up his briefcase, pecked Mrs. Dursley on the cheek, and tried to kiss Dudley good-bye but missed, because Dudley was now having a tantrum and throwing his cereal at the walls.
"Little tyke," chortled Mr. Dursley as he left the house. He got into his car and backed out of the drive. It was on the corner of the street that he noticed the first sign of something peculiar – a cat reading a map.
For a second, Mr. Dursley didn't realize what he had seen – then he jerked his head around to look again. There was a tabby cat standing on the corner of Privet drive, but there wasn't a map in sight. Mr. Dursley blinked and stared at the cat. It stared back. As Mr. Dursley drove around the corner and up the road, he watched the cat in his mirror. It was now reading the sign that said Privet Drive – no, looking at the sign; cats couldn't read maps or signs.
Mr. Dursley gave himself a little shake and put the cat out of his mind. As he drove toward town he thought of nothing except a large order of drills he was hoping to get that day. But on the edge of town, drills were driven out of his mind by something else. As he sat in the usual morning traffic jam, he couldn't help noticing that there seemed to be a lot of strangely dressed people about. People in cloaks.
The scent of the rat turned down one of the tightly packed side streets as Sirius wove between the mobs of people exiting one of the shops. His paws scratched at the street surface. Ahead he could see Peter, weaving between the muggles. With a flash of movement, Sirius transformed and drew his wand. "Peter!"
The squat prematurely balding form of Peter Pettigrew spun on his heel. "Sirius! Why'd you do it Sirius?"
Sirius gaped in shock as he froze. How dare he!
"James and Lily… why'd you do it?" Then the rat went for his wand.
No! Sirius flicked his wand just as an enormous explosion ripped through the crowd. Pieces of concrete tore through the air and as the smoke cleared, an enormous crater filled the street, deep enough to crack the sewer below. A bloody robe was settling to the bottom of the crater along with a single bloody finger.
"Son of a bitch!" Sirius said as he slumped to the ground. Pain filled his heart and he felt tears begin to stream down his cheeks. I will not cry… I shan't! He staggered to his feet and a mad chuckle rumbled through his chest. Then he laughed. A mirthless laugh that shook his body, with a crack he heard others apparating into the street.
"Black!" A man shouted and Sirius snarled.
Harry! No, I won't let this happen! Sirius spun on his heel and felt the nausea of apparition swarm over him, and he disapparated with a crack just before the Aurors could put up an anti-apparation ward.
It was a cool November night as the man with a grey beard, purple robes, and high-heeled boots walked outside the picket fence. On the doorstep of Number Four Privet Drive a bundle of blankets sat, holding a child with a lightning shape scar upon his forehead. The man turned around and nodded to the bundle. "Good luck Harry." Then he disappeared with a crack.
A wind blew down the street rustling leaves and the little boy opened his bright green eyes and starred up into the inky black sky above, he watched the glitter of stars. Even at one he felt an ache in his heart. He babbled quietly and slowly a set of tears streamed down his cheek.
The padding of feet echoed across the sidewalk and Harry heard the click of claws on the pavement. Slowly the snout of a big black dog pressed itself against his chest. Harry grabbed the dog and hugged it as best as his little form could, he grabbed a fist full of hair and the dog whimpered.
Slowly the fur clutched in his hand grew into shaggy long dark hair. The dog's snout contorted into a familiar face, a man's face. "Harry?"
The boy's face lit up and he giggled. The man glanced at the door and sighed. "I can't take you, not now… not with the Ministry after me. I'll get you to Moony." Black picked him up from the doorstep and cradled him in his arms. He slipped the letter into his pocket. "Your mum wouldn't like you to go here. Come on pup. Let's go find our furry friend." The two of them turned on the spot and disappeared with a crack.
"To Harry Potter the boy who lived." Their host said with a lift of his glass.
Albus Dumbledore smiled faintly as he set the mug of fire whiskey onto the tabletop. The joyful expressions that lit up the partygoers tugged at his heart. It had been too long since he had seen joy on the faces of so many adults. Turning slightly he saw that not all seemed quite so joyful, a few were in tears remembering those who had been lost.
Still, Dumbledore knew that it was just a reprieve. How long it would be until Tom Riddle returned: a year, ten, fifteen, or more. He could not say with any accuracy, and while his heart was filled with joy at the disappearance of the Dark Lord, he knew the man would return. The prophecy ensured it. From the mark on his forehead, he knew. Harry Potter would be the one that finally defeated Riddle.
A boy that was little more than a babe swathed in blankets held the fate of the entire Wizarding World in his tiny hands. It is best this way. Such fame could go to his head. Could you imagine the arrogance? Famous before he could walk and talk, famous for something he won't even remember.
Unfortunately, the boy would remember.
"Moony, I've been looking for you." A voice called out in the dimly lit pub in Scotland. At the bar on a stool, the brown haired and gray-eyed man set down his pint and slowly turned. With a flash of anger, he pulled his wand.
"Padfoot!" Remus Lupin bellowed as he lifted his wand toward Sirius Black. "What are you…" He voice faded as his eyes flicked to the bundle of blankets Black clutched to his chest.
"It wasn't me… I convince Lily and James to use Wormtail. He was the secret keeper." Black answered. "I tried to send a patronus but… I couldn't."
"Is that?" Lupin asked as he slowly lowered the wand.
"It is. Dumbledork left him on a doorstep in Surrey. You remember Lily's sister?" Black asked as he cradled the babe.
Lupin nodded. "I remember, Lily swore that I'd be a better guardian then…" Lupin froze and pushed himself away from the table. "No… it's not safe!"
"He needs protecting, and I can't keep him with the ministry after me. Just keep him until I can clear this up." Black said quickly. "Alright?"
"Where? I have no money Sirius. I can't keep a babe…"
Black nodded. "I've got that covered. My family has a small cottage not too far from here. We can ward it and use it. Please Remus… Harry needs us."
Lupin took a deep breath and nodded. "Alright."
Sirius took out the letter that Dumbledore had lain with the babe and handed it over to Remus. "Dumbledore was planning on using a blood ward over Petunia's house to keep the boy safe. I think we can do better… I've still got the book on the Fidelius."
"You'll be secret keeper then?" Lupin asked.
Black nodded. "I will. I made a mistake trusting Peter with it." He glanced at the bundle stirring slightly in his arms. "I'll meet you back here in the morning and take you to the cottage. If I can't get the Ministry to listen… you'll be our only link to the rest of the Wizarding World."
"I know Padfoot. You always liked muggle stuff, maybe you could slip into their world." Remus said with a faint smile.
Dawn slowly lifted over Privet Drive, Mr. Dursley sat before the telly as the image of a man with slightly curly brown hair, and a mustache appeared on the screen. The newsreader's voice rang in his ears. "The terrorist known as Sirius Black is believed responsible for the death of thirteen people in an explosion last night. A special phone line has been setup and the government urges to report such sighting immediately. You are encouraged not to approach him as he is considered extremely dangerous."
"I'm off to work. Marge is talking about coming by in a week or two to see Dudley." Vernon Dursley said as he stood and headed out the door. He didn't notice the gaze of Mrs. Figg across the street watching him as he walked over to the car, or how she hurried down the lane toward her home.
Sirius Black lowered his wand. He felt drained from the effort of the previous day, and that was now added to the drain from the casting of the Fidelius Charm upon the hunting cottage that would be their home. In his mind, he repeated the knowledge that he'd hidden within his very soul. The Wolf's Lair is located at the Ancestral Black Hunting Lodge in Scotland. The log cabin appeared before him, its decorated features harkening back to his family home in London. Their appearance made his lip curl as he stepped through the door and into the foyer.
In his arms, Harry starred at the surrounding and gurgled happily before adding in his broken speech. "Pad! Pad! Paddy's house?"
"Yes Harry, its Paddy's house. It'll be your house too." Black said as he walked into one of the small guestrooms and flicked his wand at the bed transfiguring it into a crib. He slowly lowered the boy into the bed and sighed. "Paddy will find food for you."
"'arry hungy!" The boy said and Sirius smiled.
Albus Dumbledore swore as one instrument after another on his table shut off. He stood from behind his desk just as the fireplace flared green and Mrs. Figg's head appeared within it. "Albus! The Potter boy wasn't on the doorstep this morning!"
Horror suddenly filled his heart. But… No one with evil intent for the boy could get through the wards! He swore as he walked over to the fireplace and knelt beside it. "Arabella, my instruments tracking the boy have failed as well. I can only guess that he has been kidnapped."
A gasp of horror from the woman made it clear she understood the severity of the situation. Dumbledore stepped back. "Fawkes, I'll need you to get messages to all remaining Order Members. Harry Potter has been kidnapped. As my instruments have failed I cannot locate him."
A sharp trill from the bird reminding Albus that the phoenix couldn't tell them all that so he fumbled for a quill and pin hastily writing a note and duplicating it a dozen times with a wave of his wand and handed the lot to Fawkes who disappeared in a burst of flame.
"Thank you Arabella. I will see you soon at the meeting." Albus said before stalking over to the table filled with instruments. Only one still whirred, a steady pulse of movement. He let out a breath of relief. "At least the boy is still alive."
Sirius Black apparated before the local pub with a grocery bag in hand and nodded to Lupin. "Are you ready?"
His friend nodded and clasped Black's arm. With a turn the two of them disappeared with a crack and reappeared atop a Scottish hilltop littered with boulders. Remus glanced around for a long moment then nodded. "How far to the nearest town?"
"Thirty miles, but there's a country road just a few miles distant." Black answered as he turned to Remus, a smirk playing across his face. "The Wolf's Lair is located at the Ancestral Black Hunting Lodge in Scotland."
Remus glanced around the hilltop, as a log cabin slowly appeared as if it'd been sunken into the ground. The dark furnishings and rather grim decorations made the werewolf shiver before he walked toward the porch following Sirius. "A bit… dark isn't it?"
"Better then Grimmauld Place." Sirius said with a smirk. "We'll just have to brighten it up and no one has been here since my father died." He flicked his wand toward a statue of a troll and it transformed into a gleaming white marble image of a stag standing proudly atop a hill. He turned to an image of a hag was transformed into that of a bear-like dog. With another flick, an image of a gargoyle shifted into that of a werewolf with bright white fur. He pointed toward a fourth statue and the image of a small grindylow shifted to that of a rat. With a snarl, Sirius lashed out with a spell and the statue exploded into dust. "Damn traitor."
"Sirius, the muggles have got an alert for your arrest. I heard it this morning. They're calling you a terrorist." Lupin said quickly as he saw the dust wafting up from the shattered statue.
"Wormtail blew up the street in an attempt to get away from me, I left when the Aurors got there but it was bad. There were dead and wounded muggles all around. Of course if the Ministry wanted them looking for me they'd call it a terrorist act." Sirius growled. "Shite, I won't be able to leave the damn house now, let alone clear my name. Not without the rat!"
"We'll figure it out." Remus offered a sad smile. "We'll do it for Harry."
"The Son of Prongs deserves a Marauder upbringing." Sirius said with a smirk slowly appearing on his face.
Remus chuckled. "Two men and a babe, sounds like a muggle movie title."
Albus Dumbledore glanced around the assembly of people. All seemed to be suffering the effects of the parties and celebrations of the night before. Others looked as though they had been busy with official ministry business, especially Alastor Moody the old Auror and Arthur Weasley from the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office.
"I have bad news, early this morning Mrs. Figg of Privet Drive reported that young Harry Potter was no longer present at Petunia Dursley, his aunt's, home. At the same time, my own instruments keyed to Mr. Potter began to shut down, all save the health sensor, which has remained going strong. I can only conclude that Harry has been kidnapped."
Gasps of horror circled the table and Minerva McGonagall hung her head. Hagrid looked as if he'd been told that his favorite animals within the forest had been murdered, and Severus Snape looked as if he'd been slapped across the face.
"You put him with Petunia?" Severus snapped and the entire room went deathly silent. "She would rather see the boy die than raise her sister's son."
Albus frowned. "He is the only living relative. There was no other viable choice for his guardianship. Especially now, that Mr. Black has been revealed as the traitor within our midst. The blood wards I constructed around the home should have kept anyone that wished the boy harm out. The failure of the instruments, some of which are of my own invention, suggests that the boy is now under a Fidelius."
"Then we'll never find them." Arthur Weasley said.
"Perhaps not, but I believe that we should search nonetheless." Albus said quietly. "You should all remain on your guard, despite the defeat Lord Voldemort suffered at the hands of the young Potter boy. His Death Eaters have not entirely quit the field. I would suggest that you remain on your guard in case of an attempt at revenge against us."
"The Lestranges are likely to attempt to strike back at us, most others are not nearly so fanatical in their beliefs. Most will try to cover up their allegiances and slither back into normal society." Snape stated quickly. "I would be most careful Mr. and Mrs. Longbottom. Many amongst the Death Eaters believed that the prophecy meant your son, not Potter. They may act out of that belief."
As the meeting broke up Snape glanced at Dumbledore and snarled. "You noticed that Remus has not arrived."
"Fawkes could not find him." Albus said quietly. "You think that he has something to do with Potter's disappearance?"
"Probably, amongst the four Marauders, Remus was the one with the most… stable temperament despite his nature." Snape snarled. "But, if he is with Potter… are you willing to allow another werewolf through Hogwarts?"
Albus sighed. "We shall see what comes about, that was almost a compliment of one of your school enemies. I shall have to remember that."
Snape snorted. "Even the Marauders would do better raising the boy then Petunia. I have never met such a spiteful soul amongst muggles. If she had been born pure-blood you would have been fighting her amongst the Dark Lord's legions."
"Would it truly have been that bad Severus?"
Snape glared at him for a long moment. "The boy would have been lucky to live to see his eleventh birthday."