A low rumbling pierced the night as a gargantuan man, Rubeus Hagrid, Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, came to a landing on Privet Drive next to the Headmaster and Deputy Headmistress, Professors Albus Dumbledore and Minerva McGonagall, of the school. Hagrid, when he arrived at Godric's Hollow on Dumbledore's orders to find Harry Potter and bring him to live with his blood relatives, had not found Harry. He searched the house and surrounding area for hours, but the baby was no where to be found. What he did find, however, was Sirius Black's flying motorcycle. He knew he had to get word of the missing Potter to Dumbledore as fast as possible. If Harry, now being called "The Boy Who Lived", was missing, it meant nothing good for the child, or the rest of the Wizarding World. Hagrid knew the motorbike would get him to Dumbledore the fastest, and so he used it to fly to Privet Drive.
"Hagrid," the old professor greeted. "At last." He looked at Hagrid a moment longer. "Hagrid, where is Harry?"
"I'm sorry, sir, I really am." Hagrid began sobbing. "He wasn't there, sir. Jus' Lily an' James, dead. Little Harry wasn't there. He was gone, sir."
"Hagrid, calm yourself! You'll wake the Muggles!" Professor McGonagall patted Hargid on the arm, but was looking pale herself. "Dumbledore, how can he not be there? Where else would he be? He's a baby, for heaven's sake!"
"Hagrid," Dumbledore asked, eyeing the motorbike. "Where did you get that motorcycle?"
"Was left at the house. No one was there, but Lily an' James."
"Albus, you don't think... ?" McGonagall asked, looking at, and recognizing, the motorcycle.
"Yes, Professor, I do." If it had been light out, they could have seen the usual twinkle in Dumbledore's eyes had gone out, and worry had replaced it. "Hagrid," he instructed, "alert all members of the Order you can find, excluding Remus Lupin. Tell them to be on the lookout for Sirius Black and Harry Potter." He waited for Hagrid to follow his instructions, which he did without question. Then the Headmaster of Hogwarts sent a silvery flash from his wand; it moved too fast to define its shape. "Minerva, I have just asked Frank Longbottom to send word of current events to the Ministry, so if you will now accompany me to Lupin's, he may know where Black could be headed."
When Sirius apparated outside the front door of his house, the night around him was pierced by the resulting crack of apparation and the cries of a year old baby. He had know Harry wouldn't like apparating so young, hell, he still didn't like apparating and he had done it more times than he could count.
"Shh, Harry. Shh," Sirius soothed the child as well as he could, guilt tugging at him for making his godson cry like this. "It's all right, it's ok. Harry, shh." Sirius gently bounced him in his arms as Lily used to do, rubbing his tiny back.
Sirius stepped inside his house, silently thanking James for helping him put up different protection charms around it. He didn't bother to turn on any lights, as he was still soothing Harry, until he got to the room across from his own. It was his godson's room. Sirius had changed his second guest room to a nursery for Harry shortly after he had been born. Sirius had always loved his godson more than anyone or anything, and he wasted no time in setting up a room for Harry so that he and his parents could visit whenever they felt like it and spend the night without worrying about where Harry would sleep. The room hadn't been used by Harry for a couple months, but Sirius had kept it clean, just in case. He knew that, sooner or later, he was going to have to go back to Godric's Hollow and salvage what he could, since that was where the majority of Harry's things were, as well as everything Lily and James would have wanted Harry to have, like pictures and other keep sakes from better times. (Those better times being any time before the week of Halloween of 1981.)
Gently, Sirius placed Harry, who had stopped crying and fallen asleep, in his crib, covered him with a small blanket, and kissed his forehead. He wanted to do something about Harry's new scar, but he also didn't want to do anything that would make it worse. Since it wasn't bleeding and didn't seem to be causing him any discomfort, Sirius left it alone.
He turned on a night light and turned off the lamp, trying to act like nothing had really changed. Sirius didn't want to let it sink in that his family was dead, and all because of him; because he had been too stupid and hard headed to trust Moony. If he had, Lily and Prongs would still be alive, Harry wouldn't be an orphan.
"I'm sorry, Harry. I'm so sorry." He had never meant for anything that had happened to happen. Sirius wanted to be a part of his godson's life, but he wanted Harry to know his family, his mother and father. It wasn't right; the person he loved the most (for Sirius loved Harry more than anything from the moment he was born, when he first held his tiny godson) would have to live life without ever knowing his own parents, and it was all because of him. Sirius would do everything he could for Harry, in learning about his parents to everything and anything else that would meet him in life, he owed him that.
As Sirius exited his godson's room, he closed the door part way, leaving it open enough so that, should Harry start crying again, he could still hear him. But one more look at the sleeping child, and Sirius couldn't. He went back in the room, and closed the door. He dragged the rocking chair (which he had gotten when, shortly after Harry's birth, both the Potters and the Evanses wanted to give Lily and James the chairs that had rocked their son's parents to sleep, and they worked out the solution of keeping one at Sirius, because if there was anything Harry loved, it was being rocked to sleep by one of his parents) next to Harry's crib, and slouched down in it. Reaching a hand through the crib bars, he let one of his godson's small hands unconsciously curl around his finger, and then fell into a light sleep.
Remus Lupin opened the door a second time that day, this time to his old Headmaster and Head of House.
"Professors," he said, his voice breaking. Remus had found out that the Potters were dead, and that Harry was now famous for ridding the world of Lord Voledmort. But he hadn't heard any other news on Harry, his last connection to his late friends, whom he knew Sirius had murdered. He was worried that maybe Sirius had gotten to Harry too, and killed him personally. Everything that had happened, how it happened, that it happened so fast, it had shaken him up more than a little. Remus felt so lost. What did it matter that Voldemort was gone? He had no one to celebrate that with; that's what Voldemort's diminish had cost, the lives of his best friends, who were, because of his lycanthrope state, all he had left once his parents had died almost five years ago. "Why are you here?" he asked the people standing outside his door, maybe a bit more bluntly than intended.
"We are here, Remus, because there is something we need to discuss. The world may have gotten safer overnight, but I still prefer to talk about such matters inside, away from prying ears," Dumbledore answered gravely. From the slight smell of alcohol hanging on the werewolf's breath, Albus could guess he knew what happened at the Potters', and he was hoping that Remus could fill him in on some... other details.
Remus nodded, and stood aside to let his professors from school inside. They went into the kitchen, and noticed that the normally neat, organized house was a wreck. Dumbledore only hoped he wouldn't take the news about Black and Harry as badly as he did the news on Lily and James.
"Remus," Albus started, as they sat around Lupin's small kitchen table. "Now is not a time to wallow in our own losses." He indicated to the empty bottles of various wizarding drinks present in the modest kitchen.
Again, Remus nodded. He didn't really care. James, Sirius, Lily, Harry... gone. They were all gone; dead, Death Eater, or worse. He didn't want to listen to Dumbledore tell him that he had to get on with his life, or whatever else the old man could come with to offer as condolences. Everyone who made his cursed life worth living was gone. He had never felt this alone, Remus doubted if before now, he even knew what it was to be alone.
He should have killed Black when he had the chance...
Albus indicated for McGonagall, who was still in a mild shock from learning about Sirius Black being the traitor, to continue. The witch took a moment to compose her speech, and she asked, "You know... how it happened, Remus?"
"Yeah," Remus answered, in a hollow voice. "Sirius... Voldemort..." He was desperately trying to control his emotions. If there was anything he couldn't stand, it was losing control over himself, and he had done enough of that on his own. He wouldn't lose control in front of the professors.
"Remus," Dumbledore interjected, "do you know where Sirius may have gone?"
They were speaking to him in cautious tones, as if they were speaking to a child. But Lupin found he didn't care, what did it matter anyway? His voice still monotoned, and faded, he answered, "No."
"This is about Harry," the aging professor told the young werewolf.
Remus's full attention snapped to Albus. "Where is he? Is he ok?"
Dumbledore's grave expression didn't do much to help calm Remus's nerves. "We believe," he answered slowly, "that Sirius may have taken Harry after Lord Voldemort's defeat. There has been no sign of him since then. We know as little as you concerning the well-being of Harry Potter."
"What?" Lupin asked faintly. This couldn't be happening. Sirius... murderer of James and Lily... had Harry. It couldn't be possible, how could something like this happen?
"Remus, do you know where Black may have gone?" Minerva asked him.
Remus had to think for a moment, his mind being preoccupied with thoughts of what his ex-friend could be doing to his best friends' son at the very moment he was sitting in his kitchen. "No," he said truthfully, "not if he's trying not to get caught. He'd have to go somewhere he wouldn't be found. I know where he could go, but even Sirius was never that reckless. He wouldn't bring Harry there, he'd go where they wouldn't be found..."
McGonagall nodded in understanding of what had to be going through Lupin's mind. Dumbledore suggested that they begin searching for young Harry in places that Black may have taken him, however unlikely, before it was too late. Hopefully, that wouldn't be the scenario since Black had to be, by now, the most wanted wizard in present times.
November 2, 1981
The uneasy sleep of Sirius Black was ended early in the morning by the heart wrenching cries of a baby. Sirius slowly forced his eyes open, and was met with blurry "morning vision". He blinked a few times, allowing his eyes to adjust to being awake as he tried to figure out why he felt so stiff, and why he could hear Harry crying. For he was sure that it was his godson making those cries, but Harry was with his parents at home, and Sirius was in his own home, not the Potters. Perhaps it had something to do with the awful dream he had, where Lily and James were dead, all because he trusted the wrong person.
So why was he in Harry's room?
As quickly as he could, but still slowly because he was stiff from spending a few hours sleeping on a rocking chair, Sirius got up and picked Harry up out of his crib. "It's all right, Harry. Everything's going to be ok. I promise," he told the crying child, wanting to cry himself. Upon discovering that his diaper was dry, Sirius took his godson downstairs, hoping that he was only hungry. He was so young; Sirius only hoped that he was too young to really understand what happened so that Harry wouldn't dwell on his parents' murders in his dreams, but another part of him hoped that Harry understood enough to understand that his parents weren't coming back even though they still loved him. But that was ridiculous, Harry was only one, he just wanted something to eat. Sirius could feed Harry, he had baby food, he'd fed his godson before, he could fix that; but Sirius couldn't bring Lily and James back, no matter what he did, how hard he tried, or how much he wanted to. "I promise," he said, holding Harry close. "It'll all be all right." With wet eyes, he planted a kiss on the small mess of jet black hair on top of Harry's head. "I won't let anything happen to you," Sirius said to him, entering his kitchen.
A/N: I know this kind of just left off, but it'll pick up in the next chapter.
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