Chapter 110 : Epilogue 1A - Forty-Three Years Ago
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Epilogue 1A – Forty-Three Years Ago
A/N: This is an alternate ending to the story. This came to me when I was thinking about the ending one day. It is the often overdone "it was all a dream" ending, where the entire story of Harry Potter was a dream in the mind of a fifteen month old Harry. I certainly didn’t want to have this story have all been a dream, however, as I thought about it, I really like the scenes with some characters that I didn’t get to write very much. So, I decided to write this as an alternate ending. So, the other two epilogues should be ignored for the purposes of this alternate epilogue.
A tall man with short black hair and grey eyes moved quickly down the street in Godric’s Hollow. It was cold, and he wore a long dark cloak. The hood was pulled up, obscuring his haughty good looks, and roguish smile.
In spite of the cold, young children were walking up and down the street in costumes, trick-or-treating, as it was October thirty-first. The costumes varied, and he found them somewhat amusing. There were pirates, princesses, ghosts, werewolves, dragons, witches, devils, and many other costumes of all description. Some other costumes he recognized from a Muggle movie he had seen last year. It had been quite popular. It was some sort of space adventure, though he didn’t recall the title. The second in a series of three he thought.
It amused him to see some of the costumes. He knew ghosts, and they bared little resemblance to sheets with holes cut out for eyes. The werewolf costumes were covered in blood. He knew a werewolf, who was as gentle a person as anyone had ever met, most of the time. He did however know a witch who sort of resembled some of the costumes, though her skin wasn’t green. The number of times his former Transfiguration teacher, and head of his house, had given him detention was likely coloring his views of her a bit.
The man he knew, who by all rights could be called the devil, certainly didn’t carry a pitchfork. His weapons were far, far worse. Devil did not accurately describe him. Of course, no one had to worry about him anymore. They never would have to again.
A child came up to him, as they had every once in a while that afternoon. They were always in some kind of costume. This particular child, a young boy, perhaps seven years old, was wearing a pirate costume. He had a patch over his left eye, a plastic parrot on his shoulder, and he held a plastic hook in his hand, which was covered by a long sleeve.
The boy looked as him, trying to decide what his costume was. "What you supposed to be, mister?" asked the boy.
"What am I supposed to be," he replied mysteriously, drawing his wand from his pocket, a broad smile crossing his face as he pulled back his hood. "I am a wizard." He waved his wand in the air, a few small sparks, resembling some kind of firecracker, flew from the end.
"Wow," the boy replied excitedly. "That’s a cool costume, mister!"
"It is, isn’t it," he replied. He winked at the boy, and as he walked passed him greeting the boy’s parents with a nod, he pulled his cloak back over his head. If only they knew the half of it, he mused. The boy would never have believed it was the truth.
He knew he really needed to hurry. He was late by nearly three hours. He really couldn’t avoid being late. When you’re sitting at a bar and a gorgeous young witch starts talking to you and invites you up to her room, clearly looking for a shag, well, he couldn’t exactly say no. She was a knockout, and he was only human after all. Her feminine whiles were much too much for him to resist. Not that he wanted to resist.
He arrived at his destination, opened the gate, and walked up to the door of the house that only several weeks earlier was hidden by a Fidelius Charm. His traitorous former friend who had been the Secret Keeper for his friends, who lived here, would no longer be able to hurt anyone. He had seen to it personally that his final few days would be spent regretting what he had done in the secure ward at St. Mungo’s. In only a few days, the Dementor’s would administer the kiss, and he would not be able to betray anyone again.
He knocked on the door, and a moment later, it was opened. The beautiful woman before him had long dark red hair, piercing emerald eyes, and currently bore a striking resemblance to his former Transfiguration teacher just before she would give him detention. She was obviously not very happy with him.
"Where have you been, I’ve been worried sick," she said sternly, as she stood aside and ordered him into the house with her eyes.
He complied silently. He wasn’t brave enough to do anything else.
"I thought something had happened to you," said the red haired woman angrily. "You know, he may be gone, but he still has followers. It will be a while before the Aurors have them all rounded up. They only got Bellatrix Lestrange last night. Frank and Alice hauled her in. Please don’t worry me like that, Sirius."
"I’m so sorry, Lily," said Sirius, as he flashed his roguish smile. "I was unavoidably…detained…tied up, you might say."
"Blond, or brunette," said a man with a smile, as he walked down the hallway toward them. He had messy black hair, wore thick glasses, and had hazel eyes, and was grinning. "Do you mean tied up in a literal sense, Padfoot?"
"Blond," replied Sirius with a laugh. "There may have been…some leather straps involved." He rubbed his wrists, and smiled devilishly. "Yes, definitely tied up."
"Oh, you’re terrible," said Lily with a laugh, as she slapped Sirius’s arm.
"No, that’s just who he is, and you know we wouldn’t want him any other way, Lily," said James. He hugged Sirius. "How are you, Padfoot?"
"I’m well," said Sirius with a smile. It dissipated. "I just hope I didn’t ruin your evening. I know you really didn’t get to celebrate your first anniversary. By the way, happy anniversary."
James tried to hide a smile, but it didn’t last. "I know you so well, Padfoot," said James. "I actually made two sets of reservations tonight. One at our planned time, and one for four hours later, just in case."
The three of them had a good laugh at that.
"So, where is my godson?" asked Sirius with a smile.
"Asleep," said Lily. "He wore himself out on that broom you gave him. He won’t sleep through the night, though. I enchanted the room, when he wakes, and makes any noise you’ll hear it in the whole house."
Sirius removed his cloak and sat in a comfortable chair in the front living room. James and Lily sat beside each other on the couch opposite him, after moving some of their son’s toys. They had a little time before they had to leave, and wanted to talk a bit. James and Lily actually had some news for Sirius.
"So, what is the name of this new restaurant you two are going to tonight?" asked Sirius. "Feathers or something wasn’t it."
"The Feather of the Phoenix," said James. "It just opened, it’s supposed to be quite good, and very, very romantic."
"Where are you two off to after that?" asked Sirius.
"We’ve rented a place by the beach for a few days," said Lily. "We never really got a honeymoon. We really appreciate you looking after him. After we’ve been cooped up so long, it will be nice for us to get away for a few days. We could use some time alone."
"Oh, it’s nothing," said Sirius, as he shook his head. "I’m happy to look after my godson, you know that. I can’t think of anything else I would rather do."
"Except perhaps a blond," said James under his breath.
Lily elbowed him in the ribs, but laughed as she did so. "Neither of you are ever going to grow up are you?" asked Lily.
"Not if we can help it," said James with a laugh.
"Besides, after that funeral, I’m sure you two would like to have some fun, and I’ll have fun with my godson, said Sirius with a sad smile. "It will help remind me what we have been fighting for…and what the old man died for."
They were all quiet for a few moments. The funeral was still fresh in their minds, and it would be a long time before they could get over it completely. They had lost a good friend.
"Now, do you remember what I told you about tomorrow, Sirius?" asked Lily. "Don’t be late, I told Alice you would be there on time."
"Yes, of course I do," said Sirius. "Ten o’clock tomorrow morning, Harry and I are to floo to Frank and Alice’s. Molly and Arthur are bringing that quidditch team of theirs, and the children are going to play all day. I spoke to Alice a few days back, and she told me all that too. She said I didn’t need to stay, but I’m going to. There is nothing the children will enjoy more than a big black dog to play with. I think Alice has to be out of her mind having so many kids over at once. Those Weasley twins are already a handful and they are only three years old. It’s no wonder their parents want some time alone."
James and Lily both laughed.
"I don’t know that I would call them a quidditch team, they are one short, that Percy is the most serious child I’ve ever met, I don’t really see him as a quidditch player," said Lily. "Alice offered to have them all over. She knows Arthur and Molly were looking for some time alone, and I think Alice is looking at it as good practice. She and Frank want to have more children, a bunch more, actually. I think they want to have a quidditch team of their own some day." She turned towards James and gave him a look. He nodded to her and smiled. She looked back to Sirius and smiled. "Speaking of more children…I’m pregnant."
Sirius leapt to his feet, so fast they could hardly see him move. He had Lily in a hug almost before she was standing.
"Lily, James, congratulations," said Sirius, as he let go of Lily, and then hugged James. "That’s wonderful. I’m so happy for you both."
"Thanks, Padfoot," said James with a smile. "Do you think Remus will want to be a godfather this time around?"
"I think I can guarantee it," said Sirius with a smile. "He’s going to come over the day after tomorrow to see the little one. He’s recovered from the last episode of his furry little problem. I won’t tell him anything, I’m sure you’ll want to tell him." He smiled devilishly. "I guess that means you did find some alone time, then."
Lily hit him in the arm as James laughed. "Really, Sirius," said Lily. "If I didn’t love you like a brother, I would curse you."
"Yes, but I’m far too charming for you to want to curse me," said Sirius with a grin.
"Don’t bet on it," said James with a laugh.
"So, when are you going to settle down, Sirius?" asked Lily with a smile. "You know, in spite of your…occasionally shocking behavior…you will make a wonderful father one of these days. You are so good with children."
"For all he knows, he already is a father," said James with a laugh. It earned him an elbow in his ribs from Lily. "I was only kidding."
"I don’t know," said Sirius with a laugh. "Perhaps I’ll meet someone one day, and settle down. On the other hand, maybe I’ll just spend all my time spoiling my godson."
After they talked for a few more minutes, Lily and James collected their cloaks and their suitcases, and headed out. As they got to the gate, Lily turned to James.
"Do you think we should have told him?" asked Lily.
"No, he’ll find out soon enough," said James with a smile. "He’s going to be quite surprised when he does, that’s for sure."
James pulled Lily into a hug and kissed her. "I love you, Lily," said James. "I’m the luckiest man in the world."
"I love you too, James," said Lily with a smile. "And we don’t have to live in fear anymore. That’s the best anniversary present Albus could have given us."
"You’re absolutely right," said James. "I’m going to miss him though, he was a good friend…and he never expelled, Sirius, Remus, and I, so I owe him for that one too. That’s enough mourning tonight, love. Come on, let’s go."
In a darkened room, that could only be described as warm, cheery, and inviting, stood a crib. The room was filled with toys and stuffed animals. Photographs were hung on the walls so his family would always be close. There were pictures of his parents and their two best friends. One was of a giant of a man with black eyes and a big smile. One of the pictures was of a tall man with a long white beard and sparkling blue eyes that looked out from behind half moon spectacles.
In a corner sat an often-used rocking chair. Lily often sat there with her little son in her arms as he slept just watching him sleep. She loved to do that. Across the room was an armchair, where James would often sit and watch Lily hold their son as he slept. He loved to do that.
Inside the crib, a small child, just fifteen months old lay asleep. He had a mop of messy black hair on his head, and it seemed he would be the spitting image of his father when he got older, except for his eyes. He had his mothers’ piercing emerald eyes.
In the dim light of the room, those piercing emerald eyes sprang open. He had been having a dream. He couldn’t understand the people and things he saw. Many of the things he had seen had frightened him terribly.
He saw scary flashes of green light, and he saw a big fat man being very mean to him. He saw a giant of a man who was kind and friendly. He saw two people, a boy with red hair, and a girl with brown hair. They made him feel safe, and not so afraid. He saw a terrible man with two faces. He saw a giant snake and an evil looking boy trying to harm a pretty red haired girl. He met a man that he thought was his godfather, but he was older.
So many more images flashed through his young mind from his dream, dragons, graveyards, glowing spheres, a dark cave, and a cavernous room with a kind white haired man. He knew him, he was a friend of his parents, but he hadn’t seen him in a while.
He even saw another baby that looked just like he did, and so many other things and people. He really didn’t understand any of what he saw, though many of the things he saw frightened him anyway. The thing that scared him most was a pair of scarlet eyes. He didn’t know whose eyes they were, but whoever it was, they meant to hurt him. Those eyes were terribly frightening.
The thing he remembered most, along with the scarlet eyes, was the woman in his dream. She looked a lot like his mother, but had brown eyes. She was very nice to him.
He really didn’t understand any of what the dream was, even as it faded from his memory as dreams often do. Only the scary scarlet eyes remained. He cried out for his mother, or his father, or anyone else to come to him. He couldn’t forget the scary scarlet eyes. They terrified him.
In the living room, Sirius had fallen asleep on the couch. Two empty butterbeer bottles sat upon the table, beside a plate on which sat a mostly eaten treacle tart. The Muggle motorcycle magazine he had been reading earlier had slipped from his grasp to the floor when he fell asleep.
Suddenly he was awoken by a scream. It was the scream of a small child. It was the kind of scream that tugs at your heartstrings. It was the kind of scream that makes your sole purpose in life be to comfort the child who made it.
"I’m coming, I’m coming," called Sirius, as he leapt to his feet and headed towards the stairs. He went up the stairs two at a time.
Sirius quickly entered the warm inviting room in which his godson slept. As he did, a lamp lit itself, even as the screaming from the crib got even louder.
"What’s wrong, Harry?" cooed Sirius softly, as he walked to the crib and looked inside. It broke his heart to hear him scream like this.
His godson’s face was screwed up as he cried, tears streaming from his eyes. Sirius just wanted to make him feel better.
"Come here," said Sirius, as he lifted the little boy out of his crib and held him against his chest. "It’s all right, Sirius is here. You’re all right now."
Harry’s small hands gripped at Sirius’s shirt, as he continued to cry. Sirius cooed to him softly as he walked back and fourth in the dimly lit room. Slowly Harry began to calm down as everything from his dream, even the terrible scarlet eyes began to fade.
"Well, you don’t need a change," said Sirius, after he checked to make sure he didn’t need a fresh diaper. "Your Mum said she fed you right before you went to sleep, so you shouldn’t be hungry, and that you burped, so it’s not that either. Did you have a bad dream, Harry?"
Sirius retrieved a blanket and some tissues. He sat down in the rocking chair with his godson in his arms, and wrapped him warmly in the blanket. Harry had finally calmed down and was looking up at Sirius sleepily. Sirius gently dabbed away the tears on his little cheeks with a tissue, and kissed his forehead.
"Was it a bad dream, Harry?" asked Sirius, knowing full well he couldn’t understand or answer. That really wasn’t important. "No need for you to ever have bad dreams, Harry…not anymore anyway. You remember our friend, Albus, right? He’s the one with the long white beard you like to pull on. Well, he made sure the bad man couldn’t hurt you. The bad man is gone forever. Albus used some kind of sword he got in Germany to destroy him. The bad man can’t hurt you ever, I promise. The rat’s gone too."
Harry looked up at his godfather smiling down at him. He couldn’t remember the dream at all now. He didn’t know why he was scared. He certainly wasn’t scared anymore, not when he was with his godfather with him.
Sirius knew Harry couldn’t understand a word he was saying, but his voice seemed to calm his godson who laughed a little and looked up at him. Sirius liked talking to Harry. James would always say they were currently on the same intellectual level, but that Harry would soon outgrow him.
Harry yawned, his little mouth opening as wide as it could.
"I think you should go back to sleep," said Sirius with a smile. "I think you’re tired. Don’t worry, Harry. I’ll stay with you. No more bad dreams tonight."
Harry snuggled closer to him. He liked sleeping in the arms or his parents or his godfather, or anyone else, really. He blinked up at his godfather sleepily.
"P’df’t," said Harry, as he looked up at his godfather.
Sirius’s eyes went wide. "Did you just say Padfoot?" asked Sirius. "Can you say it again for me, Harry? Say Padfoot."
"P’df’t," said Harry again.
"Close enough,’ said Sirius with a big smile. "I think you Mum and Dad wanted to surprise me."
Sirius thought he had a pretty good idea why James was so excited when Harry said, ‘Dada’ for the first time. Sirius leaned down and kissed Harry’s forehead again.
Harry yawned again sleepily.
"Now, you should go to sleep, Harry," said Sirius. "You have a big day tomorrow. We’re going to go over to Alice’s house. Her son Neville is just about your age. Arthur and Molly are bringing over their quidditch team. Ron is your age too, if I’m not mistaken." Sirius smiled. "I just hope the reason Arthur and Molly want some time alone isn’t because they want to add to that quidditch team of theirs, seven is plenty. You know, little Ginevra has red hair. Your Dad fell in love with your Mum, and she’s a beautiful redhead, but then you know that. Who knows, maybe Molly and Arthur’s little girl will steal your heart some day, like your Mum stole your Dad’s heart."
He rocked his godson for a few minutes, but he was still awake.
"Why don’t I tell you a story, Harry," said Sirius with a smile, as Harry yawned again. "Would you like that?"
"P’df’t," said Harry softly.
"I’ll take that as a yes," said Sirius with a smile. "What story would you like to hear?" He thought for a moment. "I know what story to tell you. This is the story of three great and powerful wizards. They were more than just powerful wizards though…they were best friends." Sirius paused. "No, they were more than that…they were brothers." Sirius smiled. "They liked to call themselves, Prongs, Padfoot, and Moony."
A/N: The movie Sirius had seen last year was The Empire Strikes Back. I wanted to use that to help set the date as 1981.