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Chapter 1 : The Motorbike
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It was already late by the time Sirius decided to leave his flat. The sun had gone down and he was beginning to get anxious. Nighttime always began with a vividly tangible fear now, unending until the sun came up or he’d drunk enough firewhiskey to knock him out.
He wasn’t technically supposed to leave, but he couldn’t sit around on his arse anymore. Sirius had joined the Order to fight, to do something important for the world. He’d wanted to make a difference. Now all he did was drink a seemingly endless supply of firewhiskey and just wait for something to happen.
He was twenty two, hardly had any visitors, and didn’t go to see anyone. And it was all because of Voldemort.
Sirius checked his windows one more time before he left; one could never be too paranoid in times like these, and slipped silently out the door. His motorcycle was parked directly outside. It looked ordinary enough so no muggles or Death Eaters would think anything of it.
A group of people dressed in strange clothing drew closer and Sirius gripped his wand tightly. Perhaps they were Death Eaters, just lying in wait for him to show his face. Maybe they knew where he lived, where Peter lived, where James and Lily and Harry-
A small girl in a pink dress ran past him and Sirius sank against his bike, head in his hands. Halloween. The muggles were just celebrating Halloween.
Sirius took off on his bike, sticking to the streets until he could get into the air without a muggle seeing him. He’d apparate, but Peter’s home had the same anti apparition wards as his and James’s. And riding on his motorbike was the only time he truly felt free.
It gave him a release like nothing else could. The motorbike cleared his mind and made it possible to forget how much things had changed in the span of a few short years.
Even in the last year things had changed immensely. A year ago today he’d been with his best friends for little Harry’s first Halloween. It was the last time they’d all been together.
Now James was locked away, no one was allowed to see any of the Potters unless it was necessary. Sirius knew James must be chafing under the strict rules, but he couldn’t put his best friend in anymore danger.
Peter was getting more and more squirrely about seeing anyone from the Order and Sirius could see how much the pressure of being the Potter’s secret keeper was getting to him. Peter wasn’t meant for things like that, but Sirius knew it would be better. Voldemort would never suspect.
And Remus, that traitor. There wasn’t any proof, but Sirius was sure it was him. He’d been acting odd for months and there were rumors about Voldemort enlisting werewolves; promising them rights.
Sirius pulled hard on the handlebars and launched the motorbike into the night sky. He wished he’d had a drink before leaving. Thoughts of Remus always made him wish for a drink.
But flying his bike was the next best thing, and sometimes even better.
The wind whipped through his hair and stung his eyes, erasing any thoughts of his previous happier years. Nothing seemed quite so bad when he was flying through the clouds.
It was a high, better than any drug he’d ever tried. He could be happy again, even if only for a few minutes.
Even in just ten minutes Sirius could feel the difference. The tensed muscles in his back and shoulders were beginning to relax and for the first time in weeks he let a smile spread across his face.
He was alive again.
This was where he was meant to be, soaring through the air. Sirius couldn’t stay cooped up inside. That wasn’t the way he worked. He needed the fresh air and the rush of adrenaline.
No matter what Dumbledore said, this was more important than his safety. Freedom was more important than his safety. If he couldn’t really live, what was the point of living at all?
The ride seemed to end much too soon as Sirius coasted to the ground outside Peter’s home. The lights were off inside, but Peter always was a bit strange when it came to sleeping habits. He’d just have to wake up, it was hardly past ten.
Sirius knocked on the door and waited a few moments. Then he knocked again. Three, four. By the fifth he was gravely concerned and pulled out his wand.
He blew the door off its hinges; finesse was never his strong suit and he could apologize later.
“Wormtail!” There was no response and Sirius frantically tore through the small house. “Peter! Pete!”
It was empty, and strangely missing the feeling of home. It didn’t feel like it had been lived in, although some of Peter’s things were neatly put away.
Sirius’s stomach sank and his heart sped up.
Something had happened. Something had happened to Peter, and Peter was the only person who could say where James and Lily and Harry-
He wasn’t conscious of sprinting back to his bike or even riding into the sky. Godric’s Hollow was two hours away by motorbike, but Sirius could make it by midnight if he hurried.
He put the bike in top gear, a dangerous speed he’d only used a few times when fooling around with James or showing off to one of the several muggle girls he’d brought home before the war got serious.
But this time was different. He wasn’t thinking about the speed or the danger. He wasn’t trying to show off or reach some nirvana of freedom. He didn’t even notice the sharp, stinging wind as it whipped his face and yanked back his hair.
The only thoughts going through his mind were of his best friends.
Something had happened, something bad. That much he knew. If they’d taken Peter, how long would he hold up? How long could he say no? Peter wasn’t as strong as the rest of them.
The ride was uncomfortable for the first time Sirius could remember. He didn’t care about his bike, only James. James and Lily and Harry. His best friends, nothing could happen to them. He wouldn’t be able to live with himself if something had.
Sirius pushed harder on his bike, going faster than he’d ever gone before. He hadn’t put his gloves back on and his hands were numb, nearly frozen to the handlebars.
The cold October wind turned his nose red and chapped his face. His eyes were full of tears from the stinging air.
The ride took seemingly forever. Usually Sirius felt he reached his destinations all too soon, eager for a bit longer on his bike. He always took the long way, meandering around and showing up late to everything, pissing off his friends in the process.
Tonight Sirius flew straight. He didn’t care for a long ride on his bike or the feeling of freedom. Only his friends. Only his godson.
Sirius saw the smoke before anything else. He was too far away to see exactly where it came from, but he knew.
He stayed in the air over the village, ignoring the chance that any muggles would notice his flying motorbike. He didn’t care. It was faster in the sky than on the streets.
He reached James and Lily’s house, or where it had stood. It remained a charred wreck, the acrid smoke burning his nostrils.
Sirius let his motorbike fall on its side, more rough on it than he ever had been in the past. He didn’t care.
He collapsed on the ground beside it. He couldn’t go in, he didn’t have to go in to know what was there. James and Lily and Harry.
They were all gone.
Sirius let out a sob, the first time he had cried since he was very young. James and Lily. Baby Harry. They’d all been-
A large figure exited the house and Sirius leapt up and drew his wand quickly, pointing it at the giant’s chest. He was shaking much too hard to produce any curses from the wand, but the other man didn’t know that.
“Sirius? What are ya doin’ here?”
Sirius recognized the man’s coarse voice and let his wand drop to his side. “Hagrid,” he whispered, his voice hoarse and broken. “They’re- they’re all-”
Sobs wracked his body as he covered his eyes. He didn’t care how weak he appeared to Hagrid. The giant lifted a large hand and struck him on the back, probably intending for a soothing pat.
“Not all, the little ‘un made it out, he’s alive. It’s ‘arry, look.” Hagrid drew away his coat and Sirius stared in astonishment.
The little boy was silent, but very much awake. His wide green eyes took in everything and he stared at his godfather. Sirius’s breath caught in his throat as he noticed the large gash on Harry’s head.
“Is that-? Lily and James? They’re both-”
Hagrid nodded and Sirius took a deep, shaky breath. He couldn’t fall apart, not with Harry still around. He needed to be there for Harry. “Let me take him, Hagrid. He’s my godson. He should be with me.”
“Dumbledore’s orders,” Hagrid said, shaking his head. “Harry goes to his aunt and uncle, Lily’s sister.”
“Petunia? That old hag,” Sirius snapped, disgusted at the idea. But then again, it was Dumbledore’s orders. Dumbledore knew best and Sirius could convince him later that he would be the most suitable guardian for Harry.
He had something else to take care of in the mean time. Peter. There hadn’t been a struggle at his home, he hadn’t fought back. Remus wasn’t the spy, it was Peter.
And he had led Voldemort straight to James and Lily.
Ice settled over Sirius. “Take my bike,” he said. It was his most prized possession, the only thing he’d ever really cared about except for his friends.
“I can’t take your bike,” Hagrid protested, but Sirius was adamant.
His bike was his freedom. He didn’t deserve his freedom, he didn’t deserve anything. His bike saved his life and now, well, his life wasn’t worth the meaning.
“It’s yours,” he said. “I don’t need it anymore.”
As Hagrid rode off, Sirius watched his bike fly into the night sky. It was the last time he’d see it, but he didn’t care.
What he’d told Hagrid was true. He didn’t need his bike anymore.
A/N: So I wrote this for the House Cup 2013. I hope you guys like it! Gooooo snakes!
Edit: It has now been beta-ed by the amazing ATLpaintingflowers! Thanks so much for fixing it up!
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