AN/: This chapter have been half done for a while, but exams (most the courses for the semester is now done!) hit me so this took time. This chapter will be from Sirius pow, which means that there will be some catch up to do. I wanted to give you a little something, to celebrate Christmas. No matter your religious leanings I wanted to give you something at least!
I have so little time for this fic, I'll probably end it after third year. If someone want to adopt it and continue it, send a pm, otherwise I'll eventually write some tying up epilogue thingy. I'm working on a good way to close up third year at the moment, I've scrapped some of my original ideas.
Sirius ran as fast as he could. He didn't know how they had managed to keep up with him. He had been desperate for food. The dementors had disappeared from Hogwarts some weeks prior and he had been wondering how to best get inside where he would be able to get the rat, get Peter. That little scum. When Sirius got his hands on him…
What had stopped these thoughts and led to his current fleeing was a newspaper. He had been reading newspapers when he could during his escape. He had nearly transformed back to human form in shock when he saw the date on the newspapers a few days after his escape. He had obviously lost track of time as he hadn't realised that Harry would be at Hogwarts, that he would be a teenager. It had also been an old newspaper from June that told him of Hogwarts and closing and Dumbledore and other hogwash that had informed Sirius that Harry lived with his muggle relatives. He had been gobsmacked. There were so many different people that were supposed to get custody of Harry.
In their will Lily and James had stated that if anything happened to them both, custody of Harry would primarily go to Sirius. That had obviously not been a possibility, but Sirius still wished in some part of him that wasn't dead set on avenging his brother in all but blood and the kindest women he had known that he had not let Hagrid take Harry from Sirius's arms. What was done was done and there were no reason to dwell on it. All that filled Sirius was getting that damn rat.
Remus, well Moony, had never been an option, not for lack of affection between them all despite their suspicions about the possibility that Remus might have gotten persuaded that life would be better without the current regime. After all it was that regime that had made it impossible for Moony to be a guardian to Harry. Their laws about werewolves were disgusting and filled of prejudice.
After Sirius then Edgar and Helen Bones and not Remus had been listed as guardians. They had been in the Order together and Lily and James were also on their list of possible guardians to their children and also their niece Susan. While not their closest friends due to age discrepancy, they did get along and most important they trusted one another. During the war that was not something that could be taken lightly. Also on the list were the Longbottoms', for the same reason as the Bones'. Sirius cousin Andromeda was also listed since Sirius trusted her. That had been good enough for Lily and James.
Now however Sirius knew that Harry lived with his muggle relatives for some godforsaken reason (as a muggle would say, Sirius thought were best not repeated). He had therefore ran in the direction of London and then moved around towards Surrey. He did remember the area in which Lily's sister had lived. He had been there once to support Lily after her parents' funeral, but he was surprised that he remembered the area.
Once there Sirius had been more than a little annoyed that he could not find the house. He had walked around finding his way just to find himself somewhere else than he intended. After doing this several times Sirius growled and felt like biting something. Shaking it of stalked to a dark corner of a park and plotted. Finally feeling less like biting and more like plotting, Sirius came to the realisation that someone had placed deception charms of some sort. While he was happy that Harry was safe, he still burned with need to see the pup. Sirius wanted to see Harry safe and sound.
After many unsuccessful attempts to find the house he settled in some bushes near a road he could swear was close to the house. He managed to realise that a big black shaggy dog might not be best welcomed in an area like this. He needed to be unseen, but hopefully he's see his godson.
Somehow, somewhere someone pushing around chance and luck, after a couple days of staying hidden during daylight and dark hours, sneaking garbage for eating and drinking out of garden ponds Sirius smelled something new but familiar. Drawn into recklessness he stepped forward (as a dog) through the passageway between the house and garage and saw a boy looking so much like James, but very much with an air of Lily about him. The boy kicked the curb and Sirius took another step. It felt like a magnetic force drove him towards the son of his loved ones, his pup. A twig broke under him, his need to see the boy had made him reckless.
Harry swirled around and raised his wand.
"Lumos." A light shone on Sirius obscuring his sight. Still he could see the boy's outline and the voice… It wasn't exactly James or James' father voice but so similar. Just a few steps closer and he would be touching his godson…
A load bang woke Sirius up to his senses. He realised it was the Knightbus and dove back into the bushes, safe in the knowledge that the Knightbus didn't pose a threat to Harry. Just in case he would stay at the lookout however.
Clearly the new conductor was of in somewhat limited use of his intelligence, but he did manage to get Harry on the bus and get Harry's attention off Sirius. Sirius looked after the bus for a long time before he finally shook himself and had started his long run towards the north. He needed to stay hidden and he needed to get a bit healthier. It probably was a good idea if his ribs wasn't visible to people standing a mile away.
Thus Sirius has started his journey north before he entered Hogsmede. During various attempts to locate the bleeding rat had failed, but he had not given up and was gathering intelligence by getting newspapers. This newspapers headline however had sent him into shock. There in bold black print it proclaimed 'Death Eater Peter Pettigrew Sentenced To Life Imprisonment, Sirius Black Exonerated'. Before he knew what was happening he gripped the paper staring on it in shock. Could it be or had he finally lost his mind?
Sirius was so shocked that he didn't realise that he has transformed back into human shape. Shouts around him alerted him to that fact however.
"It's Sirius Black! He's alive."
"Someone get a healer, look at him."
"Don't worry sir we know the truth now."
"Someone get the aurors! They've been up in the castle so they've probably not left yet…" the last one caught Sirius attention as the formerly empty street was filled with people. Transforming back into a dog he rushed out of the main street into an empty side street before someone had a chance to react. He knew without a wand he had his best chance as a dog. He bounded into the forests surrounding the village and Hogwarts. However soon he realised that he was followed. They were southing at him but he ignored them as he leaped over a stream and slalomed through the forest to avoid the stunners sent after him.
One moment Sirius is running as fast as he can dodging and leaping his way through the forest and the next he wakes up in a hospital bed looking at a witch who isn't completely unfamiliar. He blinks and tries to get up, only to realise that he is unable to move anything else then his head. He panics but a young healer in green comes forward.
"Don't worry Mr. Black you're only immobilised. This will be lifted as soon as we've determined that you don't suffer any ill effects from azkaban that could cause you to harm yourself or others." The young healer says, sounding as if this is something she has said about a million times before. Quick, snappy and impersonal. The older witch that Sirius cannot place smiles at him.
"You're no longer a wanted man Sirius, indeed the ministry owes you a big apology. However your long time exposure to dementors, which is a particularly large presence in the high risk wing, is something that can be unpredictable. So far you haven't harmed another person as far as we can find, but you did break into Gryffindor tower. You will not face charges for that or your unregistered animagus form. The first is probably not something that would have happened without you illegal incarceration and the second is something many aurors kept hidden during the war. Most of them died before they could register or registered after the war or retirement, keeping it a secret with permission from the head on law enforcement. That position is now held by me." The woman gave Sirius a strained smile. His thoughts whirred as he tried to place her. He had known her form the department. She hadn't been a member of the order, but her brother had been and Amelia Bones was one of the best and most respected aurors as Sirius went through the auror academy.
Sirius tried to respond the the information that had been given but only a rasp could be heard. The healer stepped forward again.
"It's likely that it will take a while for full control over your vocal capabilities as a human will return. Speech is a bit more intricate and you vocal cords were damaged. You'd still be able to do some limited use like making sound. However were trying to fix your vocal cords at the moment and the process often prevents speech until the healing is finished." Sirius grimaced and nodded. The healer went into more detail of his various injuries, ligaments, sinew, muscle damage, bone fragility, malnourishment, vitamin deficiencies leading to deceases, hormonal production unhinged etc. Sirius stopped listening after a while almost falling asleep to the healers litany of maladies.
The auror and ministry personal had things to say however. His lack of trial meant that he was to be given compensation. He was a free man but he would not be allowed to leave until the aurors knew that the dementor exposure hadn't caused more than his hormonal production to be unhinged. However bureaucracy didn't bow down even to the stern looks from Madam Bones, so a standard form of his animagus's forms traits had to be filled, using communication of nods, head shakes and blinks in Morse code (His parents would have been scandalised).
After some more legal wrangling, as well as the discovery that since he was never convicted, he was still an auror, with loads of back pay, the healer finally booted the ministry personnel. He had a promise that legal counsel would be given admittance. However his next visitor took Sirius by surprise.
Sirius had fallen asleep shortly after the ministry invasion of his hospital room (private, apparently there was some interest in him from the media's side, particularly some journalist called Rita Skeeter, that the healer ("Healer Jones by the way, Auror Black") muttered some highly intriguing and insulting things about. When he woke up again he was greeted by a familiar but unknown face. Could this really be Remus? This man so aged?
Sirius vocal cords couldn't obey him still, so Sirius managed not to insult his sole remaining friend alive the first thing he did. He might have cried a little, but so did Remus. Somehow they ended up half in Sirius bed, half in Remus's chair, holding each other as more than a decade of tears of grief, anger and despair washed over them.
"I'm sorry Sirius, I'm so sorry, I thought it was you, I did nothing, I should have done something…" Sirius held Remus and Remus regrets and apologies poured out of him. He didn't blame him even if Sirius would need to wait to verbally assure Remus. For now Sirius simply held his friend. Sirius tucked in his head into Remus shoulder like Remus used to do to him on those full moon nights when Remus were terrified of the monster he would shortly become. The pain Remus had learnt to handle, something that had always made Sirius and James ache, but the knowledge that he could hurt someone, was always Remus biggest fear. The fact that they had persuaded him to run around with them in their animagus form, no longer filled him with joy. The dementors had been a bit too good at getting someone to do some serious introspection.
"Harry is at Hogwarts. He's doing really well, Sirius. He looks so much like James, but that boy has so much of his mother in him. He's had some troubles with his friends, but it's slowly fixing itself now. He's so brave, too brave. Lily's sister, she… Well Harry's placed with your cousin Andromeda now. She'll most likely come over sooner or later, but she's at the school at the moment, telling Harry about you being found." Sirius felt something in him relax. The pup was safe and Andie was looking after him. Sirius really wanted to know what that horrible woman had done, but he guessed that revenge would only lead to more troubles. Not that the healers would let him get up and hunt down the information at the moment.
Remus and Sirius remained in their awkward position, holding each other just to remember that they weren't alone anymore. They didn't talk much that would come later. There would be discussions about Harry, Remus's job and how life had treated him. Remembrance for those they lost, what the wizarding world looked like today; all of it would be discussed, but not now. This moment was for two lost boys having been forced to become men by a world in war. This was for everything that they lost and having finally found the family they created again. Members of that family might be lost, but now they had each other.
It was a week later, after more visits from Remus and Andie, that Sirius was allowed to eat proper food for the first time. Apparently the healers hadn't liked the state of his digestion system at all. Sirius hadn't liked being banned from anything but broth and water as well as horrible potions, but the taste of chicken tikka masala followed by some outlandish chocolate thing from Remus Sirius was very, very pleased that he had been captured.
AN: Back to Harry next chapter and while I do have my last exam and project for the autumn term (ends in late January) in a few weeks, hopefully I'll have a little time to write something to give you to welcome the new year!