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
Chapter 2 – The Change
When Sirius woke up, for a few blessed
seconds he didn’t have a clue where he was. Then everything
came back to him, and the beautiful room he was in seemed to lose
some colour. He buried his head in his pillow, until he heard someone
He was out of his
bed and scooping up Harry in less than a second. Sirius supposed that
Harry was crying because he remembered what had happened the previous
night, and tried to comfort him, but Harry didn’t stop crying.
Confused, Sirius tried to remember what James always did when Harry
was crying. Then it hit him. Harry was just hungry, like babies
always are in the morning.
house-elf had brought up a large tray of food, and Sirius started
with the difficult task of feeding Harry, occasionally taking a bite
himself. He lacked appetite. Thoughts were whirling in his
head; the sight of Peter’s empty flat came back to him
repeatedly. He also thought about the weeks before Peter’s
ultimate betrayal. Ever since Professor Dumbledore had told them
that Voldemort was after James and Lily, everyone had been very subdued.
Everyone except Sirius, because Sirius had believed Dumbledore was
exaggerating. He hadn’t been able to understand that his
friends were in real danger. He hadn’t thought that the
elaborate precautions were necessary. He had acted immaturely, and he
realised that only now.
Now he could see just how much danger his
friends really had been in. Now he could see why everyone had been
acting like there was a time bomb under their feet. Now he could see
that the world wasn’t a playground, that Voldemort was real,
and that people were in great danger. Death and destruction: it
wasn’t something to joke about. This was serious, and he
realised that only now. Far too late.
Sirius felt different. He felt like he
was split into two parts: the old Sirius, who never took anything
seriously and thought the world was all about jokes, and the new
Sirius, who had lost two of his three best friends in one night, and
had entered the real world much too late. The old Sirius was losing
the battle; he was crumbling, and maybe in a few weeks, he would
disappear entirely. Sirius couldn’t mourn that.
Everything was different now.
James had changed years ago. Right
after the Whomping Willow incident. Sirius had laughed about it, a
few days later, and the others had, too. But yet James had changed.
He remembered talking to James about it some years
changed, Padfoot,” James had said. “Saving the life of
someone you hate changes everything. Not at once, but gradually. You
don’t know; you didn’t save Snape. Nothing has changed
for you. But for me, it has. You are still my friend; Snape is still
my enemy. But I’ve changed, Padfoot. Maybe sometime, you will
change, too, and you’ll understand. Everything is different
hadn’t understood then. But now, the moment James had been
talking about had come. Sirius had changed too. Changed from
an immature prat to something else. He didn’t know yet what he
had become, only that he wasn’t the same any more.
Sirius fed Harry another spoonful and
brought his thoughts back to the present situation. Would he be able
to care for Harry? Sirius really didn’t have a clue why James
had appointed him guardian, because he always spoiled Harry to bits.
James had told him once that if something ever happened to him and
Lily, Sirius should not spoil Harry. “I don’t want him to
be as big-headed as I was, Sirius,” James had pleaded.
And Sirius understood. He would miss it, but he wouldn’t spoil
Harry, now that he was his guardian.
A noise disturbed Sirius’
musings, and Dumbledore came in. Sirius kept his eyes on him as he walked
through the room.
Dumbledore sat down at the table,
opposite Sirius. He didn’t say anything. Sirius looked at him,
and then down at Harry. Suddenly, the conversation of the previous
night came back to him.
“What did you mean yesterday,”
he asked bluntly, “when you said that Harry had to go and live
with his relatives?”
Dumbledore observed him over his
half-moon glasses for a few seconds. “I know this will be
difficult for you, Sirius, but you have to try to listen to what I
have to say. I’m sure you will understand if you just stay calm
and hear me out.”
That didn’t sound very good.
Sirius felt his mood darken. Dumbledore seemed to be waiting for
Sirius to do something, so he nodded shortly.
said, “Harry Potter defeated the man who has been trying to
ruin our world for years. It seems Voldemort is gone for at least a
while, if not forever. Right now, the news is spreading.
Some wizards and witches will be very happy. Harry will be extremely
famous; famous for something he won’t even remember. Other wizards and
witches, on the other hand, are very angry now. They have lost their master, and they will do
everything they can to bring him back; Harry Potter seems to be the key to
Every time his name was mentioned,
Harry cooed happily and waved his little hands, but Sirius didn’t
really notice. He was listening intently to Professor Dumbledore.
“Now, there are two things
threatening Harry. One is the Death Eaters, the other is fame. It’s
not healthy for such a young boy to be famous. He’s much better
off without knowing that, at least until he’s prepared to deal with it, and
that will take a couple of years. On the other hand, it’s
extremely important that Harry is protected from Voldemort’s
followers. Only the strongest protection is enough for him.
“There’s only one way to
accomplish both goals. You must know that Lily protected Harry
against the Killing Curse by sacrificing herself for him. Her love is
in his very skin. Voldemort cannot understand love; he was unable to
touch someone marked by something so good. We can continue to use this
protection: as long as Harry lives at a place where his mother’s
blood dwells, Voldemort will not be able to touch him. It’s the
best protection we can offer him. Also, if he grows up with
Muggles, he won’t know about his fame until he’s ready
The horrible truth dawned on Sirius.
“You’re saying that Harry should live with Lily’s
“I am,” Dumbledore said.
“Have you even met them?”
Sirius asked. “Petunia and her husband?”
“They won’t take him. They
will never take a wizard into their home.”
Dumbledore smiled. “I’m
sure I’ll be able to persuade them.”
Sirius wasn’t angry. He knew that
the old Sirius would have been angry, but he wasn’t. He just
felt horrible. How could he ever make Dumbledore see the truth?
James’ son couldn’t go to Petunia Dursley and her
husband. He just couldn’t.
be other ways,” he said desperately. “You can’t do
that to Harry!”
no better protection than blood magic,” Dumbledore said
Sirius countered. “You told us yourself: the Fidelius Charm is
the best protection there is. It’s – it’s
infallible.” He choked on the last words. Why had he told James
“You can’t stay protected
by the Fidelius Charm for long periods of time, Sirius,”
Dumbledore said. “It’s not doable. No one will be able to
notice you, except the Secret-Keeper and those few you let in on the
Secret. You can’t live that way.”
“We can use it just for a short
time,” Sirius said. “Until the Death Eaters are all
caught. After that, protective charms will do the rest.”
Dumbledore said harshly.
Sirius felt the old Sirius taking over.
He started to get angry. “You’re not the one to decide.
James appointed me Harry’s
“I said no.
Harry will live with his blood relatives.”
exactly is wrong with me?” Sirius shouted.
not responsible enough!” Dumbledore said forcibly.
“No, you’re not. I’ve
known you for seven years as a student, and as a member of the Order
for a year and a half; you are irresponsible and immature!”
Sirius calmed down at once. The new
Sirius looked the Headmaster straight in the eyes. He kept staring
for a few seconds, and he slowly saw Dumbledore’s expression
change. He could see that the old man was surprised at what he saw in
is different now, Professor,” Sirius said with a shaking voice.
“Everything has changed. I have changed. I know I can’t
change everything overnight. But I’ve changed, and I will
change more. Give me the chance to prove myself. Please, give Harry
the chance to live the life he deserves.”
Dumbledore was taken aback. After a few
seconds, he opened his mouth to reply and –
The door of the room was thrown open
forcefully and a grey blur flew across the room, halting inches
Remus Lupin stood very still. His eyes
darted from Sirius to Dumbledore and back. Then he looked at Harry,
who was stretching his little arms out to Remus, bawling. Finally, he
stared so intently at Sirius it seemed he was trying to read his
Suddenly, his eyes widened. “You
switched? Without telling me?”
“I’m sorry, Remus,”
Sirius said miserably. “It’s all my fault.”
Remus reached out and embraced him.
They held each other tight for a full minute. When they broke apart,
they were both crying. Now there were only two Marauders left, Sirius
realised. And he had spent the last couple of weeks suspecting Remus
of being the spy.
“I thought you were the spy,
Remus,” Sirius said. “I trusted Peter. I as good as
killed James and Lily.”
“Calm down, Sirius,” Remus
said, wiping his face. “I didn’t suspect Peter either. I
thought you were the spy.”
suspected the real spy, Sirius thought wryly. Peter had fooled them
While they all sat down, the new Sirius made a decision the old Sirius never
would have made.
he said, “we’ve got to tell him about Wormtail.”
Remus’ eyes flickered towards
Dumbledore, and he paled.
“No,” he said weakly.
“Yes,” Sirius said
determined. “We’re the only ones who know. They’ll
never find him if we don’t.”
Remus nodded, but he avoided
Dumbledore’s gaze and stared out of the window.
“Professor,” Sirius said.
“Peter is an Animagus.”
Dumbledore arched an eyebrow. “He is?”
Sirius clearly sensed that Dumbledore
didn’t believe him. He thrust Harry in Remus’ hands and
stood up; concentrating hard, he felt himself morph into a large,
“Pah-foo!” Harry cried,
As a dog, Sirius could sense Remus’
sorrow, mingled with fear. He quickly changed back into a man, not
wanting to feel his friend’s emotions so strongly.
“We did it for Remus,” he
told Dumbledore. “We wanted to accompany him on the full moons.
Since it’s not allowed for underage wizards to become Animagi,
we did it in secret. Nobody knows about Peter, except us.”
“What kind of animal can Peter
transform into?” Dumbledore asked, now very serious.
When Dumbledore didn’t react,
Remus spoke up. “You’ll be able to find him. Peter is
unsure of what to do now. He’ll want to know what’s going on, and he
needs wizarding news for that. But he can’t go back to the Death Eaters,
obviously. He’ll stay around wizards in his Animagus form.”
It pained Sirius to notice that Remus
knew exactly what Peter would do. And it pained him even more that he
agreed with everything Remus said. The four of them had known each
other so well, and now it was all gone. Peter had ruined their friendship.
Everything had changed.
“Very well,” Dumbledore
said. “Remus, I presume that you’ve seen Peter transform
quite a few times?”
“I’ll extract one memory
from you later,” Dumbledore continued. “We can use that
to find Peter. Now, Sirius, we need to continue our previous
conversation about Harry. I’ve –”
“Remus, he wants to put Harry
with Petunia!” Sirius interrupted.
Remus’ eyes widened in shock. He
turned to Dumbledore, but the old wizard held his hand up to stop
“I’ve changed my mind,”
Sirius stared. “What –?”
“I will perform the Fidelius
Charm, and you and Harry will go in hiding. I’ll give you this
chance. It is only for a few weeks, however, and we will talk again when I
lift the Charm.”
Sirius nodded. He felt like someone had
lit a fire in his chest. The fire was still tiny, and it gave
only a tiny bit of warmth, but it was there. He would give Harry the
home he deserved. For the rest of his life. Because he didn’t
believe that Dumbledore would take Harry away again after a couple of