The Sugar Quill
Author: birgit (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: The Godfather Part I - Decisions  Chapter: Chapter 1: The Perfect Plan
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The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

Disclaimer: This is Harry Potter fan fiction, meaning that it is inspired on the Harry Potter series and some elements will be similar to the original story. It also means that I'm not making any money off this and that I don't believe that this is a better version than the original story – how could anything be better?

Author's note: Many thanks to my amazing beta readers Jo Wickaninnish, Whimsy and CornedBee, and to Dinka Kartinka, without whom it would never have been published.


The Godfather Part I – Decisions

by Birgit


Chapter 1 – The Perfect Plan


Sirius was humming to himself as he flew over London. He was in a good mood. Things had been quite tense in the past few weeks, after Professor Dumbledore had made it clear that James, Lily and Harry were in great danger, but today, a week after the Fidelius Charm had been performed, still nothing had happened at all. The Death Eaters hadn’t even come looking for Sirius, although he was the obvious Secret-Keeper for James. Apparently, Dumbledore had been exaggerating about the threat.

Sirius, however, had been lonely. He couldn’t visit James, obviously, and Peter was in hiding too. As was Sirius, strictly speaking. But tonight, he had mounted his motorbike and flown to London to check up on Peter. The poor boy was probably too terrified to have any fun. It was a big responsibility, of course, being James’ Secret-Keeper, and for a fleeting moment, Sirius wondered if it might be too much for Peter. He had never been the strongest of the Marauders. Sirius quickly pushed this thought away. Of course Peter was up to the task. He had to be. It was the perfect plan after all.

Sirius landed on the pavement and parked his motorbike against a wall. He had only recently discovered the charms that kept the Knight Bus from being seen by Muggles, and had added those features to his motorbike. “Muggles! Don’ look properly, do they,” Daniel Shunpike had said. And that had turned out to be the brilliant idea behind the charm. Sirius smiled to himself. He always loved figuring out obscure or complex charms.

He knocked on the door of Peter’s flat, amusing himself with the mental image of Peter having a heart attack at the sound: he would think it was the Death Eaters. Therefore, it was not really surprising that after a minute Peter still hadn’t opened the door. Sirius briefly considered sneaking in, but he finally decided to act responsibly today and call for Peter instead.

“Peter!” he shouted at the closed door. “Peter, it’s me! Open up!”

Another minute passed, and still nothing had happened. Sirius started to feel uncomfortable. What if they had come for Peter? What if they had found out about the plan? What if they had taken Peter away? Peter wouldn’t survive that; he wasn’t strong enough, he would break.

Sirius nervously looked around, but no one was in sight. He took out his wand and whispered, “Alohomora.

He stepped inside.

The hall was empty. The door to the living room was slightly ajar. Sirius pushed it open, frightened of what he would see. But there was no blood. No broken furniture. No sign of a struggle at all.

“Peter?” he asked.

Ice formed in his stomach, and his brain seemed to want to tell him something, but he didn’t want to hear it. He walked to Peter’s bedroom. No Peter. Sirius stood very still for a moment; then he walked to the wardrobe and opened the door.

The wardrobe was empty.

Sirius sank to his knees, his face in his hands, as the horrible truth dawned on him. Dumbledore had been right after all. There had been a spy. And it hadn’t been Remus.

They had been stupid. Stupid to refuse Dumbledore’s offer, stupid to change Secret-Keepers. Sirius had been the most stupid of all, with his ‘perfect plan’. No one would suspect Peter as the Secret-Keeper, no, indeed. Because no one would be stupid enough to make Peter Secret-Keeper.

Peter. How could it be Peter? He might not be the most talented wizard, but he was a good friend. He always found tricky solutions to practical problems – that was his real strength. He was often annoying as well, but still – he was a good friend.

Not any more. The tidy, unscathed house and the empty wardrobe proved it: Peter was no longer Sirius’ friend. No matter how little Sirius wanted to believe it, there really was a traitor. Peter had betrayed them.

Peter. The weak wizard whom Sirius had trusted beyond all others, apart from James.

James. Sirius suddenly realised that he was wasting time. He had to warn James. They had to perform the Fidelius Charm again. And Dumbledore needed to be alerted. But James first.

Sirius rushed out of Peter’s flat. Within a minute, he was flying again, to Godric’s Hollow. The Fidelius Charm didn’t prevent him from knowing where James lived; it prevented him from noticing James. He would just have to speak into nothing and hope James was listening. Sirius would not be able to hear a spoken reply, but they would find a way to communicate.

If the Fidelius Charm hasn’t already been broken.

The motorbike swayed dangerously, but Sirius hardly noticed. Could the charm be broken already? Would Peter really betray his best friends to Voldemort? Would he really betray their trust?

Cold logic pulled Sirius back to the horrible reality. Peter had gone from his home voluntarily. If he had told Voldemort James’ whereabouts as soon as they had met, Voldemort could be in Godric’s Hollow right now. James, Lily and little Harry could already be dead.

Sirius urged his bike to go faster. It couldn’t happen, could it? Voldemort caused death and destruction everywhere, but James? Surely not James? It wouldn’t get the Marauders.

But Sirius didn’t believe himself any more. The Marauders were already lost. Peter had gone over to the Dark Side. They would never be the same again. And James might be dead.

The final minutes of the journey were agonizing. It was only six minutes from Peter’s house to Godric’s Hollow at this speed, and the sensible part of him, which he hadn’t even known he had, had told him he was much too upset to Apparate. He would have been splinched for sure. However, that knowledge didn’t make it easier.

Thoughts about Peter kept haunting him – Peter on the Hogwarts Express in their first year, Peter with Voldemort, Peter when he was made Secret-Keeper, Peter laughing evilly over James’ dead body, Peter last week. Peter evil, Peter not evil.

Finally Godric’s Hollow came into sight, and all thoughts of Peter disappeared from Sirius’ mind. There was no Dark Mark. A great wave of relief swept over him; James and Lily were still alive. Sirius had never felt this anxious. He had to get to them and get them out of there before Voldemort arrived.

He passed a couple of large trees, and got his first sight of the house.

Or what had once been the house. It was in ruins.

The world came crashing down on him. He howled. He was too late. His best friend and his family, all dead. And it was his fault. His stupid mistake.

Sirius wasn’t sure how he managed to get his bike safely to the ground. But he was sure of one thing: he would find Peter and kill him for this. He didn’t care if doing so landed him in Azkaban for murder, as long as Peter paid for what he had done.

Rage like he had never felt before was eating Sirius’ insides when he prepared to change into his dog form to try to find Peter’s scent. He took one last human look at the ruined house – and he saw movement. He took a few steps forward, his wand ready, in a shaking hand.

He lowered his wand again, surprised, when he recognised the huge form that climbed out of the ruins, carrying something small. “Hagrid?”

Hagrid looked up. “Sirius Black?”

“Hagrid, what happened?” Sirius rushed forwards, but stopped abruptly when his eye fell on the bundle of blankets the giant was carrying. “What’s that?”

“It’s little Harry,” Hagrid said, sniffing slightly. “Poor boy, he’s lost his parents. But he’ll be famous in our world, as The Boy Who Lived. The one that defeated the Dark Lord.”

What?

“You-Know-Who’s gone, Sirius,” Hagrid said. “He killed James an’ Lily, but he couldn’ kill Harry.”

Sirius stared at the bearded face in front of him. He saw a gleaming tear slowly make its way down Hagrid’s cheek.

“Harry ... defeated ...” he managed. “James ...”

And it was all Peter’s fault. Sirius felt the anger well up in him again, and straightened up, just as Hagrid said, “Sirius, I’m goin’ ter take Harry to Hogwarts.”

“No!” Sirius exclaimed. “Why Hogwarts? Hagrid, give Harry to me! I’m his godfather, I’ll take care of him!”

“Can’t do that, Sirius,” Hagrid said. “Orders from Professor Dumbledore.”

Sirius stared at him, thoughts racing through his head. He wanted to hunt Peter down, but suddenly that did not seem the most important thing in the world. Harry was that now. Harry had no one left, aside from Sirius. Harry was going to Hogwarts, and so was his godfather.

They drove to Hogwarts together, on Sirius’ giant motorbike. Hagrid had agreed to let Sirius hold Harry, while Hagrid steered the bike. Although it was the middle of the night when they arrived, Sirius didn’t feel tired at all. He was feeling anger and hatred directed towards Peter, the traitor, but he also felt compassion and love for the baby in his arms.

Hagrid parked the motorbike next to his hut. The Hogwarts grounds were eerily quiet. Sirius wanted to shout, howl, cry, to somehow break the silence, but he didn’t. They walked in complete silence to the castle, up the marble staircases Sirius knew so well, to Dumbledore’s office.

“Chocolate Frog,” Hagrid said to the stone gargoyle.

They stepped on the staircase and let it take them up. Hagrid knocked and opened the door. Dumbledore was sitting behind his desk, and he raised his eyebrows slightly upon seeing Sirius.

“Sit down,” Dumbledore said. “Were there any problems, Hagrid?”

“No, Professor Dumbledore, sir,” Hagrid replied. “House was almost destroyed but I got him out all right before the Muggles started swarmin’ around. And then I met Sirius.”

Dumbledore shifted his gaze to Sirius. “How did you know?” he asked calmly.

“I went to check up on Peter,” Sirius said harshly. “He wasn’t there. No signs of struggle, no clothes. He’s gone. The little rat!” He swallowed hard. “Then I went to Godric’s Hollow. But – but I was too late.”

Sirius would have buried his face in his hands, but they were still holding Harry. Instead he looked at his godson and carefully traced the cut on the little forehead with his finger.

“Peter? Peter Pettigrew betrayed Lily an’ James an’ Harry?” Hagrid asked.

“He did,” Dumbledore said.

Sirius looked up from the child in his arms. “How did Harry survive?”

“We may never know,” Dumbledore said cryptically. After a pause, he said, “Do you know, Sirius, whether Harry has any other relatives except Lily’s sister Petunia and her husband?”

“He hasn’t got any relatives at all,” Sirius said. “Petunia Dursley and that husband of hers don’t count.”

“I’m afraid they do count,” Dumbledore said. “Harry will have to go and live with them.”

Sirius’ eyes widened in shock. Then he relaxed. Dumbledore was joking, of course. It was a strange moment to be joking, but Dumbledore had always been eccentric.

“I thought you meant it for a moment there, Professor. Luckily Harry doesn’t have to live with the Dursley family.”

“What do you mean, Sirius?” Dumbledore asked.

Sirius felt his mouth fall open. Dumbledore wasn’t joking. “Don’t you know James made me Harry’s guardian?”

“Ah,” said Dumbledore. “Well, Sirius, I’ll fetch Madam Pomfrey. You and Harry need a good night’s sleep, and we’ll talk tomorrow.”

Sirius didn’t react. He couldn’t think straight, but he doubted that the lateness of the hour was the only reason. And he was sure he wouldn’t be able to sleep anyway. Besides, wasn’t Dumbledore avoiding the topic of where Harry would go now?

But before Sirius had sorted it all out in his head, Madam Pomfrey had arrived with Dreamless Sleep Potion. Dumbledore escorted them to a room near his office, and conjured a little bed for Harry next to the normal-sized one in the room. Sirius insisted on helping to put Harry to bed and only agreed to drink his own potion after the small boy was asleep. Then he fell into a deep, dreamless sleep.

//
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