He couldn’t keep track of the days that passed. He didn’t know if it had only been months or if it had been years. He tried to keep track at the beginning, making marks on the walls with his fingernails, but he had given up on that. It didn’t matter to him anymore. He watched the sunrise and then the sunset, that’s all he ever seemed to do. He watched as the full moons came and then went, remembering the good times that he felt that he would never have again.
Those were the good days, the days at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The days when he and his fellow Marauders would sit down and plan the months’ adventures. The days when things seemed simple and so clear. The days when he would make fun of his best friend for only loving Lily Evans, a beautiful, but sassy redheaded girl. Everything back then was fun, perfect even, but then it all came crashing down in their sixth year, when Lord Voldemort started to take over in power; he would be the same person who would kill his best friend and his wife and rob his godson of the perfect family.
The man, who was imprisoned in Azkaban, was tall and very thin, so thin that his ribs stuck out of his skin. He looked like he was just bones with skin that lay on top of them. He was deathly pale, so pale that he could have passed as a ghost. His usual pale blue eyes looked dead now. They looked liked dull holes that stood out on his face. His once brilliant navy blue robes were now torn in multiple places, covered in layers of dirt and dust.
Sirius Black heard voices talking, but he didn’t pay attention to them. Why should he care what people are talking about when he knew that he probably would never talk to his beloved godson ever again? When he would never hold the cute, little bundle of joy that had once called him daddy, which had resulted in Sirius getting a black eye from James.
His cell door opened, making Sirius back as far against the wall as humanly possible. It was more of a reflex then anything else, since it seemed the only time the door opened was so that the Dementors could come in and have some fun with him. A bright light shined in the cell, making Sirius squint his eyes tightly shut, and shield his eyes with his shaky, bony hand.
“He’s still not affected?” a male voice asked in shock.
“No, we just don’t understand it. He’s been here for five years and he’s perfectly sane. We don’t know why the Dementors aren’t affecting him. Lestrange went insane within two days.” a deeper male replied.
“Hey, Black. What’s your secret? What has You-Know-Who taught you about fighting off the Dementors?” the man stepped closer and Sirius saw it was Cornelius Fudge, the disgraceful Minister of Magic.
“Good day, Minister. Can I see that paper? I just miss doing the crosswords.” Sirius said in a very tight, gruff voice, when he saw Fudge had an issue of the Daily Prophet under his arm.
“Here. Keep it.” Fudge threw the paper at Sirius and turned around to leave.
Sirius opened the paper with trembling hands. He looked at the front page and his face darkened. There was Peter Pettigrew sitting on a young boy’s shoulder. Sirius read the caption very quickly, “Percy Weasley, ten years old, won England’s national Wizarding Colouring Contest. He won tickets for his whole family to the next Quidditch World Cup.”
“Fudge! Hey, Fudge!” Sirius yelled as Fudge, who was just about to leave the cell, turned around.
“What is it now, Black?” Fudge asked in a lazy tone.
“I need to talk to Albus Dumbledore right away.” Sirius told him in a desperate voice.
“I don’t think he wants to se-”
“Just, please. I need to speak with him. I-I’ll tell the whole story! I’ll spill everything that I know about Voldemort to him! I’ll tell them why he was after the Potter’s and what he wants! Please, just let me talk to him!” Sirius said the first convincing thing that popped into his head.
“You’ll tell everything you know about You-Know-You? Why? Why now?” Fudge raised his eyebrow at the convicted murderer.
“Because I need to talk to Dumbledore about my godson.”
“Fine, you can talk to him, but you sure as hell better give us some information.”
“Everything that I know.”
The next day Albus Dumbledore appeared in Sirius’s cell. He walked closer to Sirius, a grave look on his face. Sirius looked up at his former Headmaster and smiled weakly. He pulled out the paper he had in his pocket and handed it to Dumbledore. Dumbledore looked it over and the looked back at Sirius, looking utterly confused by the whole thing.
“What does this have to do with Lord Voldemort?” Dumbledore asked as he threw the paper back down on the floor.
“Everything. Look at the rat on that boy’s shoulder.” Sirius handed him back the paper.
“What about little Percy Weasley’s rat?” Dumbledore looked down at the rat, not seeing anything.
“One of his fingers is missing. Didn’t you ever hear that the biggest part of Pettigrew they ever found was his finger?”
“You’re a sick man, Black.” Dumbledore started to leave.
“No! He’s an illegal Animagus! Ask Remus, Pettigrew was a rat, James was a stag, and I’m a dog. As soon as James and I found out about Remus’s lycanthropy, we became Animagi. We figured it all out by our fifth year. Remus will probably deny it at first, he always said he felt guilty for betraying your trust, but he always forgot about it when we planned next month’s adventure.”
“Okay, so you didn’t kill Peter, you still killed twelve muggles and you betrayed James and Lily Potter to Voldemort.”
“No, I convinced James to switch Secret-Keepers at the last second, to switch to Pettigrew. We never told anybody about it. I thought it was a brilliant plan, who would suspect a worthless thing like him? I didn’t kill those muggles, that was Wormtail’s doing, just before he staged his own death.”
“I will go to the Weasley residence and retrieve the rat. If it is not Peter then I order the Dementors Kiss, Black. If it is… I’ll do all I can do to help you out, Sirius.” Dumbledore turned and left Sirius in his dark cell all by himself, a pang of hope filled Sirius’s heart.
A six-year-old scrubbed the tiles on the kitchen floor. The boy didn’t look six-years-old. He looked half his age, because he was so short and he looked so innocent. He was as thin as a stick, his bony figure looked very unhealthy. His oversized clothes gave the illusion that he wasn’t as skinny as he appeared to be. He had messy-black hair that stood up in every direction humanly possible. He had thick, round, black glasses that were held together by a piece of tape. Behind the glasses were the brightest, most brilliant, emerald, green eyes that looked unworldly. He had a very pale complexion, as if he hadn’t played outside in the sunlight for years.
Harry Potter ran his arm across his forehead to whip away the sweat that was poring down his adorable face. The oversized sweatshirt slipped down his left shoulder, revealing a very livid black and blue bruise. Harry quickly pushed the sweatshirt up to cover up the bruise, wincing slightly as he hand brushed over it.
Harry often thought about how much he hated his life while he sat inside a dark cupboard, under the stairs, at night, trying to sleep. The small boy often wished that he had died with his parents in the car crash that happened five years ago. He hated living with his Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon, who often hit him when they got mad. The same aunt and uncle who favored their own son beyond recognition and left Harry to whither away into nothingness. Harry didn’t understand why the Dursley’s hated him so much, was it because he was just a conniving piece of shit? That’s what his uncle Vernon always told him, but was it true? He didn’t even understand exactly what the phrase meant.
“Boy! Aren’t you done yet?” Uncle Vernon walked into the kitchen and looked down at his unhealthy looking nephew.
“Sorry! I’m working as fast as I can!” the boy exclaimed, not wanting to be hit again.
“Sorry? You’re sorry? That doesn’t mean anything coming out of your mouth! You think I care if you’re sorry! Oh bullocks, I’ll just let you off the hook for not doing your job because you’re sorry!” Uncle Vernon’s usual purple face turned beat red.
Harry held his breath; he knew what this would mean. Uncle Vernon’s right foot collided into the boy’s thin waist, knocking him onto the floor in a fatal position. Harry immediately covered his face with his arms, waiting for the next blow to come. Instead of another kick, Uncle Vernon grabbed him by his oversized sweatshirt and threw him into the cabinet under the sink. A large hand then wrapped itself around Harry’s rail thin neck, pushing him against the cabinet hard. Harry winced in pain as the handle to the cupboard jabbed into the small of Harry’s back, but he didn’t dare utter a sound. Harry bite his lip so that no noise would escape, blood was now started to pour down his chin. Harry muffled a sound of pain and Uncle Vernon let go.
Harry fell into a heap onto the floor, taking in all the air that he could muster. His fearful green eyes looked up at his uncle, afraid of what might happen next. Uncle Vernon took a step back. He picked up the bucket full of soap water and hurled it at the young boy. It hit the cabinet to Harry’s left, water spilling all over him and all over the floor.
“Clean it up now!” Uncle Vernon then stormed out of the room.
Harry sat up, pulling his knees close to his chest. He slowly started to rock back and forth, trying to collect himself. His gaze, which was just staring into nothingness, turned to look at the mess on the floor. Harry closed his green eyes tightly, pushing away all of the emotions that were building up inside of him. The six-year-old, who was wobbling like mad, stood up and started to clean up the mess with paper towels. Harry’s frail figure shook violently; he hated it when his uncle would beat him. This time, however, was probably the easiest beating he ever received, but why did his uncle hold back this time? He didn’t understand, but he was grateful. He didn’t know how much more he could take.
Albus Dumbledore walked through the front lawn to get to the Burrow, where the Weasley family lived. He walked up to the front door of the tilted house. He raised a hand and knocked at the door. He heard shouting from inside.
“Door, Mum!” a little boy’s voice yelled.
“Get the dungbombs, George!” a voice, that sounded much like the one before, yelled.
“Fred and George Weasley, don’t you dare!” a woman’s voice the shouted.
“Can’t you two ever act mature?” another childish voice asked in a very distinguished tone.
“Sod off, Percy!” one of the first voice’s replied.
“Enough!” the door opened and there stood a very harassed looking Molly Weasley. “Professor Dumbledore? What are you doing here? Was it Bill or Charlie? Is everything all right?”
“Everything is fine, Molly.” Dumbledore replied, not wanting to alarm the woman.
“Oh Merlin, you gave me a scare. Please, come in, Professor.” Molly stepped aside to let Dumbledore come in.
“Please, call me Albus, Molly. I am no longer your teacher.” Dumbledore smiled brightly.
“Oh course, Pro-Albus.” Molly smiled as she shut the door.
“Hey, Mum, who’s that?” a small boy asked, who apparently had a twin.
“This is Professor Dumbledore, Fred.” Molly replied.
“Mum! I’m George. That’s Fred. Honestly woman!” the boy exclaimed.
“And you call yourself our mother! You can’t even tell us apart, woman!” Fred shook his head slightly.
“Boys,” Molly looked at the twins sternly. “That’s enough. And don’t you dare call me woman again.”
“Sorry, Mister Dumbledore, they’re always like that. I’m Percy, I’ll be attending Hogwarts next year.” Percy stood up and walked over to Dumbledore, his hand extended.
Dumbledore smiled and shook the young boy’s hand. Dumbledore then sat down on the couch next to George, or maybe it was Fred. He looked at Percy, looking for a rat by him, but saw none. He wondered if Sirius was telling the truth. He hoped that he was.
“Can I get you anything at all, Albus?” Molly asked.
“No, I’m actually here to talk to Percy, Dear.” Dumbledore looked over at the small boy.
“Me? Why do you want to talk to me?” Percy asked confused.
“Looks like people have finally noticed that Percy’s a fifty-year-old trapped in a ten-year-old body.” Fred said sarcastically.
“Fred.” Molly warned.
“I understand that you have a pet rat, Percy.” Dumbledore ignored the last comments, trying not to show his amusement.
“That’s right, his name is Scabbers.” Percy replied, obviously unsure of where this was going, but trying his best to look as precocious as possible.
“How long have you had Scabbers, Percy?”
“Um… I don’t know.” Percy shrugged.
“Molly, do you know?” Dumbledore looked over at Molly.
“Five years, because I remember I just had Ginny.” Molly looked thoughtful for a moment. “Why do you ask?”
“Percy, will you please go and bring down your rat?” Percy looked over at his mother questionably before running up the stairs to his room.
“Ron! Gimme it back!” a little girl’s voice filled the house.
“I don’t have it, Ginny!” a little boy’s voice now rang through the house.
“Ronald and Virginia, do not run in the house.” Molly told two redheaded children who came running into the living room.
“Sorry, Mum.” The boy, named Ron, stopped and gave his mother a sheepish smile.
“Sit down.” Molly told the two as Ron obeyed.
“But, Mum! Ron took my dolls and ripped their heads off! Now, they’re just walking around my room bumping into things!” Ginny exclaimed.
“Ginny, dear, sit down.” Molly ordered as a very sulky Ginny did so.
“We didn’t do it, Mum. We didn’t teach Ronniekins anything.” George said in a very serious tone.
Percy then came walking down the stairs, holding his pet rat closely to his chest. He grabbed Scabbers by his tail and held him out to Dumbledore. When the rat saw Dumbledore, it started to squirm. Dumbledore quickly took the rat away from Percy, in case it tried to hurt the boy. Dumbledore took out his wand and pointed it at the rat.
“What are you doing?” Percy exclaimed, horrified that Dumbledore was going to hurt it.
“I am checking to see if this rat is an Animagus, if he is not, then what I am about to do will not hurt him in any way.” Dumbledore reassured the boy.
“Why would Scabbers be an Animagus? I thought that the Ministry kept tabs on them.” Molly looked at the older wizard in confusion.
“Not when I had three students who became illegal ones.”
Dumbledore tapped the rat twice and slowly the rat started to transform into a person. The person looked to be about in his twenties. He was a broad man with beady black eyes. He looked worried; sweat was poring down his face. He looked at everyone in the room, taking in everyone’s shocked expressions, beside Dumbledore.
“Hello, Peter. I ran into Sirius Black the other day, told me a story. Would you like to explain why you are still alive?” Dumbledore asked in a calm voice.
“Si-Sirius would ha-have killed me! I-I had to hi-hide! He-he killed Lil-Lily and James!” Pettigrew wiped the sweat off his forehead with his sleeve.
“According to Sirius, it was you who betrayed Lily and James. Right now, his story makes a lot of sense. I’m beginning to believe him.”
“He-he murdered all those people! He-he tried to ki-kill me! Sur-surely you-you don’t be-believe him!” Pettigrew looked frantic.
“I take it as a very personal insult when one of my own betrays me. The Order trusted you, Peter, and yet you betrayed James, Lily, the whole Order, and myself.” Dumbledore looked sternly as the man.
“Some how I find that hard to believe, Peter. I would like to take you down to the Ministry of Magic to sort everything out. I presume they will give you Veritaserum to make sure that your story checks out.”
Harry Potter was thrown in his cupboard without supper. Apparently, there was some water by the sink. Harry often got punishments where he received no food. All he had to eat that day was a piece of bread for breakfast. Harry’s stomach growled in protest, he hadn’t eaten much in the past week actually and the effects were taking a toll on his body.
A spider then crawled up Harry’s leg, which made him jump back in surprise. Harry squinted in the dark so that he could see it. He reached out and grabbed the spider and placed it in his hand. The spider went frantic and tried to run away, but Harry closed his hand into a fist to keep it from leaving.
“I-I just want a friend.” Harry whispered softly to the spider. “Pl-please.”
The cupboard door opened and Uncle Vernon appeared, red faced and as mad as ever. He looked at Harry’s face to his clenched fist. Uncle Vernon grabbed the boy by the shirt and pulled him out of the cupboard. Harry tried to crawl away, but Uncle Vernon grabbed the boy and pinned him to the floor.
“What are you doing making all that noise?” Uncle Vernon’s breath held a distinct scent of alcohol.
“I-I was just talking to a spider!” Harry answered as he opened his hand and the spider scurried out.
“You freak! So your kind can do that too, eh?” Uncle Vernon then grabbed Harry’s tiny wrists and held them to the ground.
Harry winced as his uncle tightened his grip on his tiny wrists. His uncle then took his knee and shoved it into the boy’s small chest. Harry bit his lip again, so that he wouldn’t let out a noise. If he let out a noise, he knew he would be in deep trouble.
“You freak! That’s all you are! You’re just a conniving, little piece of shit!” Uncle Vernon yelled at Harry.
“Please, I’m sorry.” Harry pleaded to his uncle.
“You’re not sorry! You’re just lying straight through your teeth!”
Uncle Vernon’s knee dug deeper into Harry’s chest. Harry let out a small sound of protest. All of a sudden, his uncle Vernon let go, and looked down at his hands. He looked at his hands as if they were burning; small boils then started to accumulate in his palm. He then shot Harry a look that could kill.
“You good for nothing freak! Just like that horrible father of yours and that bitch of a mother you had.”
Uncle Vernon grabbed Harry by the collar and threw him across the room, where he hit the side of the stairs. Harry stifled a cry of pain as his fragile body hit the stairs with such force, that he heard a crack. He looked up at his uncle in fear; he was the one person that Harry feared the most in life.
“Get in your cupboard, you’re not eating for a week because of your freakiness.” Uncle Vernon the stormed up the stairs.
“I-I just want to leave. Please, let me leave.” Harry whispered to no one.
Harry closed his eyes, pushing back the tears that were forming in his eyes. He never dared to cry, in fear of what might happen. Harry’s shaking body made it to the cupboard. He collapsed on the towels that were made into a bed. His eyes closed and all Harry saw was blackness.
Sirius lay in his cell in his Animagus form. He was curled up in a ball, with his head in his paws. He watched the cell doors intensely. He didn’t receive the Dementors Kiss, so Dumbledore must have found Pettigrew at the Weasleys. The cell door opened and Remus Lupin stepped in. Sirius quickly transformed back into his human self, moving to a sitting position.
“What happened?” was all that Remus said.
“We switched, Moony.” Sirius said as Remus winced slightly at the name, in which he hadn’t been called since James and Lily were still alive.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” Remus asked him, a twinge of hurt in his voice.
“I thought you were the spy. I’m sorry, Remus. I really am. I was wrong.”
“And I’m sorry for thinking you were the spy.” Remus looked down at the ground.
“So, you believe me then?” Sirius asked in surprise.
“Peter always went where he was best suited.” Remus replied bitterly.
“How are you? How’s Harry?” Sirius asked, eager for news about his godson.
“I’m doing okay, I guess. A lot better, that I know you didn’t betray James and Lily. Harry? I don’t know. I haven’t seen him in years.” Remus answered honestly.
“He doesn’t live with you?” Sirius asked, even though it was too good to be true that Harry was living with someone who cared about him.
“No, you know the Ministry would never let a werewolf care for a small child.” Remus replied, and then with an after thought added. “I would if I could though.”
“Who is does he live with?” Sirius was dreading the answer.
“The Dursleys.” Remus replied and Sirius’s heart fell.
“No…. he can’t be.” Sirius shook his head.
“Petunia, Lily’s sister, hates magic. She hated Lily ever since she got her acceptance letter to Hogwarts. She’s sure to hate Harry too. I-I can only imagine what she does to him.” Sirius felt guilty, guilty for going after Pettigrew instead of getting custody his godson.
“She wouldn’t hurt her own flesh and blood, Sirius.” Remus tried to convince him.
“In our sixth year, Lily’s parents died. For the summer she had to go live with Petunia and her husband. They locked her up in a room with bars on the windows. They locked up all of her school stuff in a cupboard under the stairs! Her brother-in-law hit her multiple times when he was drunk, Remus. She was lucky that James, Arabella, and I went to get her only two weeks after vacation started.”
“He hit her?” Remus asked in shock.
“I have a feeling he did more then just that. She actually hugged James when he came, and we all know how much Lily hated him.” Sirius closed his eyes tightly shut.
“Harry’s probably fine. He’s only six, I don’t think they would hurt him a poor, defenseless six-year-old.”
“Oh you don’t? Well, I do. When can I get out of here? I need to made sure he’s all right.”
“Peter is at the Ministry right now under Veritaserum. Dumbledore told me to come down here and see you.” Remus explained.
“It’s really great to see you again, Moony.” Sirius said sincerely.
“It’s great to see you too…. Padfoot.”
End of Chapter One
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