The Sugar Quill
Author: Vala  Story: Raising Sirius  Chapter: Prologue-October 31, 1981
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Prologue-October 31, 1981

Prologue-October 31, 1981

 

Disclaimer:  All characters belong to J.K. Rowling.  I am just playing.

 

Sirius Black had had a very uneasy feeling all day.  It was something that he just couldn’t shake, and he couldn’t concentrate on anything.  All day his mind had been on the Potters.  He didn’t know why, but he was suddenly questioning his decision to switch with Peter and allow him to be their Secret-Keeper.  Peter was the least likely to be targeted by Voldemort, and certainly the least likely to be the spy.  No, Sirius would be the one Voldemort would come for.  It was the perfect diversion.

Things hadn’t changed because he feared death.  It was quite the opposite.  He would die before he betrayed Lily, James, and Harry.  He feared the Veritaserum that he was sure to be given, and didn’t like the thought that he could be forced to give up his friends' whereabouts.  He didn’t like anyone else controlling him, and this way he couldn’t tell, even if he wanted to.  He didn’t fear the Death Eaters, either.  He almost welcomed a fight for his life and the adrenaline rush that would come with it.  He just didn’t want to be the death of two of his best friends and his godson.

He did, however feel bad about for switch for Peter’s sake.  Wormtail had begged him to let him do it.  He was eager and just wanted to help.  Sirius had to admire him for it, but he wasn’t sure if Peter knew what he was getting himself into.  He didn’t want to endanger his friend, but he knew that Harry must be protected at all costs and it seemed that Wormtail understood that as well.  He could do no more than he already had.  Surely, Wormtail would not betray them.

He had finally gotten to the point where he just couldn’t sit still any more and had to go check on them.  It was long past nightfall when he left his flat.  He hopped on his motorbike and when he was outside of the city, he took to the sky.  The bike had definitely been worth the investment.  Had it not been for chill he been feeling creep through his body, he would have been enjoying himself.   Very little compared to the wind combing though his hair and the sheer power that came from the bike.  It was freedom, most of the time.  But even that didn’t stop the shivers going down his spine.

He nearly fell off the bike when he saw Godric’s Hollow.  From the sky, it looked as if the roof had caved in.  He had hunch as to what caused that and he dearly hoped that he was wrong.

He felt like he had been hit in the stomach with a Bludger as he landed the bike.  Wormtail.   Wormtail had done this.  His blood was boiling and he was almost blinded by the hatred that slowly consumed him, like the fire smoldering in the front yard.(Nice!)  He hoped to God this wasn’t what it looked like.  He dashed toward the house as quickly as his legs could carry him.

“Lily!  James!” he yelled as he burst through the front door. 

It had been  unlocked.  Bloody hell, this couldn’t be a good sign.  His eyes fell over the room and took in all of the damage.  Even though nothing was going on, the place was total chaos.  Furniture was overturned, books were lying face down on the floor, some with pages loose, and there was a gaping hole in the ceiling.  Sirius could see up to the second floor.   From the doorway he could see a figure lying on the floor, covered by the rafters.  He went to unearth what turned out to be James Potter’s body.  He almost recoiled at his friend’s blank  face.  His wand was still tightly clutched in his left hand, where it must have been when he died.  He had died fighting.  There was no other way James would have gone.  Sirius punched the nearest wall, his eyes burning.

It took a little bit for him to get his bearings straight, but when he did,  he noticed a sound coming from the demolished upstairs.  It was faint, but definitely there.  He reluctantly left James to find the source of the noise.  He carefully climbed the stairs, half of which had been blown away from the wall.  He stayed close to the wall and had to jump a few gaps.  More than once, the step under him threatened to break and even lost pieces as he stepped on it.  The closer he got to the upstairs, the more he was able to discern what he was hearing.  It was a baby crying. 

He tiptoed around the wreckage and tried to find his godson.  He got to the nursery door to find that he couldn’t get it open.  Alohomora didn’t work.  He pushed on it a little and it gave slightly, but wouldn’t open.  Something was in the way.  He didn’t want to kick the door in, just in case Harry was right inside.

“Reducto!” he bellowed, and the door smashed to bits.  He ran into the room and could see a flash of red on the floor next to the crib.  He let out a slow breath, forced down the lump in his throat,  and tried not to think about it. 

Not too far from his mother’s body lay Harry Potter, alive under his upturned crib, which must have saved him from the falling shrapnel.  Sirius very carefully flipped the crib over and picked up a screaming Harry.  Much to his horror, Harry’s head was covered in blood.  He took a handkerchief out of the pocket of his jeans and tried to clean him up.  When he had wiped all of the blood away, a lightening shaped cut was visible in the middle of the boy’s forehead.  What the devil?  Something had definitely happened, but Sirius couldn’t figure out what or how he even survived.  He really didn’t care at the moment and was just glad he was alive, but it was probably important.

He didn’t have the time to think about that.  He had to get Harry out and get to Dumbledore.  It probably wouldn’t be too long before Aurors got there.  He didn’t really relish that thought much.

“C’mon, Mate,” he said to the boy, who had stopped crying by this point, “Time to go.”

“Da?  Mm?”

Sirius swallowed hard.

“Sorry, Harry.”

Sirius wrapped him in his jacket and made a sling which hung around his neck, though he still held on to Harry with one hand.  He got on the bike and took off toward Hogwarts.  Dumbledore would have an answer.  It was what he needed most right now.

***

Sirius landed right in front of Hagrid’s hut and dashed into the castle.  Harry had fallen asleep around the time they crossed over into Scotland, which was fine with him.   It would be easier to speak with the headmaster this way. 

As soon as he entered the castle, he was intercepted by Professor Minerva McGonagall.

“Good evening, Sirius,” she greeted him a little sharply, which was almost cheerful for her.

“Professor, I have to speak to Dumbledore.  It’s important.”

“He’s been expecting you.”

“What?”

She never answered him.  They walked in silence to the Headmaster’s office as Sirius was left wondering how Dumbledore knew.  The man never missed a trick.  He had to smile to himself.  He just hoped that he would be believed by the old warlock.  If Dumbledore didn’t believe him, he was done for.

He entered into the office, which was much less inviting than he remembered.   Albus Dumbledore waited patiently behind his desk.

“Please have a seat, Sirius.”

“Professor, I didn’t do this,” he blurted out, “Peter and I switched.  I swear I would never betray them.”

For a moment, Professor Dumbledore was still.  Sirius was unconsciously holding his breath.  Dumbledore then silently nodded.  Sirius let out a sigh of relief.

“How’s Harry?  I was about to send Hagrid out to get him.”

Sirius looked down at the boy and wondered why he wanted Hagrid to find Harry.  He didn’t like where this was going at all.

“Sleeping,” he answered suspiciously.

“It seems the first part of the prophecy has been fulfilled.”

Sirius only nodded, a little curtly, as the old man was stating the obvious.

“He will need to be well hidden.  No doubt Voldemort’s supporters will be looking for him.”

Sirius really didn’t have a good feeling about the look he was being given.

“You’re NOT taking him away from me,” he growled.

“I’m afraid I have to,” Dumbledore answered a little too calmly.  It was really nerve grating that the man could be so calm at a time like this.

“No you can’t!” Sirius shouted, “He was left to me by his parents!  His parents just died to protect him and I’ll be DAMNED if he goes to those relatives of his!  You can at least respect James and Lily by granting their wishes!”

Dumbledore gave him a stern look, but Sirius refused to back down.

“Please, Professor,” Sirius  begged, albeit through gritted teeth, “Let me keep him. I can protect him.”

“I cannot do that.  He needs to grow up away from our world.”

“Then I’ll raise him as a Muggle,” he answered stubbornly, “Whatever it takes.”

“Sirius, that would be a little too difficult.”

“But I can do it.  Please.  Lily and James trusted me with their son, that should be good enough for you.”

Dumbledore was quiet for a few minutes, got up, and walked toward the fireplace.  Sirius inwardly groaned as the older man paced about the room. 

“What about Peter?  Do you know where he is?”

“Probably hiding behind garbage bins in Knocturn Alley like the coward he is,” Sirius spat angrily, “I’ll get him for this.”

“That would not be wise.  You could end up in more trouble than you can get out of.”

“Then do the one thing that will assure you that I won’t go after a Death Eater who betrayed the best friend I had ever had,” Sirius countered testily, “You can’t expect me to sit here and do nothing if I have nothing holding me back but your word.  Once again, I am not a Death Eater out to kill the boy.”

Dumbledore thought on this a moment and Sirius could tell by the look on his face that he was stuck.  Good.  He wasn’t going to let Dumbledore take his godson from him.  Harry was HIS responsibility now and that was final..

 “Fine, Sirius.  However, I will only agree under certain, VERY strict  conditions,” he said wearily. 

 

//
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