AU. What if Sirius Black had Disapparated right after Pettigrew framed him, and proceeded to kidnap Harry from the Durselys? Harry grows up with Sirius while hiding from former Death Eaters, the Mi...
6th May 1982
(Six months after Harry's kidnapping)
Lucius Malfoy sat down warily in his favourite armchair. Every source of light aside from the crackling fire had been turned off. The fire cast long, sinister shadows throughout the room, and added to the dark and gloomy atmosphere of Malfoy Manor. Just how Lucius liked it.
It had been a harsh few months since his arrest by Ministry Aurors, being confined to a barren cell with none of the comforts he was used to. However, he had avoided being sent to Azkaban, and that was what counted. He had been forced to spend gold like water and call in every favour anyone in the Ministry owed him, but through bribery and deception he'd managed to convince them that he had been under the effects of the Imperius Curse. Of course, it had helped that Barty Crouch's own son had been captured as a Death Eater along with the Lestranges. Apparently the fools had been torturing the Longbottoms in an attempt to discover the whereabouts of the Dark Lord. Nice little scandal, that.
He snapped his fingers and his house-elf immediately appeared with a sharp crack!
"Wine, Dobby," Lucius ordered, pausing to consider. "Boileau's Most Ancient Ice-Wine, I think."
"Yes, Master Malfoy, sir," the house-elf squeaked and vanished to carry out his Master's orders.
Lucius wrinkled his nose in disgust. Having that non-human creature in his manor were only narrowly - narrowly! - outweighed by the benefits that came with the arrangement.
Brushing thoughts of the house-elf aside, Lucius considered what to do next. The best would absolutely be to lie low for a while. Not make any public appearances, just keep his head down until things settled. Most of his former colleagues among the Death Eaters would undoubtedly be captured. However, several of them had already managed to evade the Ministry's clutches. Wizards and witches of their talents could provide useful in the future, so it would be a good idea for Lucius to - discreetly - maintain contact with some of them.
"The Master's wine, Master Malfoy, sir," a voice said fearfully to his right. Lucius took the wine glass and dismissed the creature with a wave of his hand. He took a sip from the chilled wine and regarded the hundreds of ice-crystals that swirled around in the glass. The magical liquid calmed and refreshed him, and he could feel taut muscles finally beginning to relax after the ordeal. Lucius made himself comfortable and begun running through a mental list of those who remained of the Dark Lord's inner circle.
Evan Rosier had been killed by Aurors a month ago, a real pity... Igor Karkaroff had avoided Azkaban by selling out several other Death Eaters, but was too much of a coward to be useful... Walden Macnair had also managed to twist away; there was one potential... Crabbe and Goyle could be useful as muscle.... Avery? Maybe, maybe not...
Lucius spent an hour staring into the fire and laying plans. He would have to be very careful; he didn't put it past the Ministry to keep watch on him just to be safe. Maintaining a network of former Death Eaters would be worth the risk, however, should the Dark Lord ever return.
Ah, yes. The Dark Lord.
He shuddered and sank further down in the armchair. If the Dark Lord returned, he probably wouldn't be very happy hearing how Lucius had renounced him so quickly. But what if he presented the Dark Lord with a gift...? Like, say, in the form of the boy who caused his downfall?
Lucius grimaced. He still had trouble believing it. The Dark Lord had been a juggernaught; an unstoppable tide of darkness that had swept away all opposition. For a decade, he had gone from victory to victory, destroying everyone who dared to cross him in a numbing show of invincibility.
And then he had been destroyed by a /baby/.
According to the Daily Prophet neither the Ministry nor Dumbledore seemed to know where Harry Potter was. The boy had apparently been abducted from his Muggle relatives' house by Sirius Black; the Death Eater who had betrayed Potter's parents to the Dark Lord, and then murdered Peter Pettigrew and twelve Muggles. Lucius knew some of that to be false, however. Pettigrew had been the one to betray the Potters, whereupon Sirius Black had apparently killed him in a rage. A fitting end for the one who lead the Dark Lord to his destruction.
However... Had Black killed Pettigrew for betraying his friends, or for setting the Dark Lord up for his downfall? Was he a Death Eater or not? Out of security reasons, no one in the Dark Lord's organization had known the identity of all the others, so there was a very real possibility that Black had indeed been a Death Eater. But there was no way for Lucius to know for sure.
He drank up the last of his wine. In any case, he had no idea where Black or the boy was, but it didn't hurt to alert his remaining contacts to be on the lookout. Perhaps he would get lucky.
8th May 1982
In a glade a few kilometres north of a small Muggle village, air was suddenly displaced with a small 'pop' as the space it occupied were abruptly replaced with an adult human being. Where there previously had only been twilight and the occasional sound from insects or small animals, was now one Albus Dumbledore.
He raised his wand, muttering: "Lumos Multica."
A dozen fist-sized spheres emitting a warm, soft light flew out of his wand and spread out in a large circle around him. The old wizard let the wand disappear within the folds of his robes and folded his hands in front of him, content to wait.
A few minutes passed in which Albus did nothing, his mind obviously preoccupied elsewhere. Abruptly there was a 'pop' and a 'crack' as two tired-looking people materialized inside the circle; Minerva McGonagall and Severus Snape.
"Welcome, Minerva and Severus. Lemon drop?" Albus added out of old habit.
"No thank you, Albus," Minerva declined, like she always did. Severus merely grimaced at the mention of the sweet, like he always did.
Minerva's expression was gloomy, mixed with grim acceptance. Severus stood there with crossed his arms in front of his chest, scowling even darker than usual. Albus knew what that meant.
"From your expressions I take it that you were also unsuccessful?" he asked softly.
"/Completely/ unsuccessful!" Severus snapped. "Headmaster, is there no way to get the Ministry to resume the search? We are wasting our time, trying to find him ourself. The boy could be anywhere, and in God knows what condition!"
Minerva was dry-washing her hands in an uncharacteristic display of emotion. "I fear I must agree with Severus. You know how much Death Eaters enjoy to torture and kill-" She stopped, obviously both unwilling and incapable to continue. Despite her stern exterior, Albus knew she had a soft heart, and the thought of Harry in the hands of a Death Eater was almost more than he himself could bear.
"No, Harry is alive," Albus stated with conviction. "He must be. You all know how much depends upon him. Unfortunatly, I haven't been able to convince the Ministry of that."
Severus' expression didn't change, but Albus could see the dark rage in his eyes. "Then we'll continue to search for the boy without the Ministry."
Albus put a hand on the Potion Master's shoulder. "Yes, but for now let's head home for some much needed rest. I think all of us can do with a little sleep."
9th May 1982
It had taken six months before Sirius dared risk a new expedition to Diagon Alley. The Ministry had finally given up the search of Harry, but Sirius himself was still a wanted man. Of course, he was much more nervous about the Order of the Phoenix. The Ministry might give up, but Albus Dumbledore never would.
Carefully manoeuvring through the crowd while carrying Harry, Sirius repeatedly reminded himself no one had any reason to suspect whom they were. Both he and Harry now had short, blond hair with blue eyes, amongst other facial alterations. Harry's scar had, for a short while, posed a problem; no charm or spell seemed able to hide it. Several hours of frustration had passed before Sirius remembered how Muggles disguised themselves. After a bit of experimentation, he had settled for a thin patch of rubber, kept into place on Harry's forehead with a temporary binding spell and charmed to look like skin. Anyone who saw them would simply assume that they were father and son.
First order of business upon arriving in Diagon Alley, (per portkey, much to Harry's delight) had been a trip to Flourish & Blotts to buy a book on the Fidelius Charm, in order to increase the security at Padfoot's Den. Although he had seen that particular charm been preformed twice, he had never done so himself.
"And this time I really am going to be Secret-Keeper," Sirius thought bitterly.
Next, he needed to send a letter to Remus, explaining the whole mess he was in. Sirius had debated with himself long and hard on this. In the event that Remus wouldn't believe him, he would almost certainly go to Dumbledore with the letter. And that powerful wizard might be able to trace the owl's flightpath back to its starting point. However, in the end Sirius had decided that Remus deserved to know. Besides, if he just hired a random owl at the Owl Office, no one would be able to find them even if Dumbledore somehow did manage to trace the owl.
Sirius started slightly and looked down at Harry. "Hush, there," he said nervously and looked around to see if anyone had heard. No reason to fear. Wizards and witches were milling past in all directions totally unconcerned of the young child's outburst. None of them had any reason to know what 'Oot' meant.
None of them except one.
Sirius froze momentary as he saw the young man with light brown hair and dark circles around his eyes. It seemed as if Remus Lupin still had trouble sleeping, six months after James and Lily's deaths.
Keep walking, you idiot! Sirius berated himself.
As calmly as he could he resumed walking, brushing past his old friend. Out of the corner of his eye, Sirius saw Remus frown at him. Did he suspect anything? Their disguises were as perfect as he knew how to make them; there was simply no way that anyone could recognize them. The Portkey in his pocket seemed to have gained weight; now it felt as if he was walking around with a Bludger.
Remus' voice. Reflexively, Sirius increased his speed hoping to loose him in the crowd. This was no place for explanations of the sort Remus would want. He hurried past the Owl Office and down Knockturn Alley. Hooded wizards and witches gave him suspicious looks as he walked past barely short of a run.
Remus was right behind them now. With his heart pounding in his chest, Sirius stopped and carefully sat down Harry. He turned to face the tired and unshaven werewolf with an expression he hoped was politely curious.
"Can I help you, sir?" Sirius asked cautiously, thanking whatever gods or fates existed that he had remembered to change his voice. "My son and I are in a bit of a hurry, you see."
Remus didn't answer. He had his wand out, but didn't point it in Sirius direction. Instead he was regarding them with a frown, as if trying to make up his mind about something. Out of the corners of his eyes, Sirius could see people vanishing inside buildings. After a decade of war and frequent Auror raids, the people of Knockturn Alley had learned to stay out of trouble.
"Sir?" Sirius asked again. Remus was leaning forward, his nostrils flaring. It was almost like he was... scenting.
Bloody hell! Our scent! Sirius thought, horrified. Due to their condition, werewolves had a far better sense of smell even in their human aspect, and Sirius never even thought of masking their /scent/.
Remus' eyes suddenly narrowed in recognition. "Sirius."
Sirius cringed from the hate and loathing in his voice. "Remus, I-"
Remus gave his wand a small, almost unnoticeable flick. Yet, Sirius could feel anti-Disapparation wards come up.
"Keep your hands where I can see them," Remus said coldly.
"Remus, don't do this!" Sirius said desperately. "You don't understand!"
"What is there to understand?" Remus said bitterly. "You betrayed James and Lily to Voldemort. James and Lily, Sirius! How could you? They were your friends, they trusted you with their lives." He gave a humourless smile. "I suspected that you were the spy, you know. Ever since Peter showed me the Death Eater mask he found. I should have gone to Dumbledore, rather than give you the benefit of the doubt."
Sirius flinched as from a physical blow. Remus had suspected him? That hurt even more than the fact that Dumbledore thought him guilty. "Remus, I-"
"Step away from Harry," Remus said, his voice hard and flat.
"No, listen to me," Sirius pleaded. "I can explain-"
Years of Auror training saved Sirius from being knocked out by the curse. Instinctively, he gave the wand holster strapped to the underside of his forearm a silent command. It reacted instantly, spitting his wand out into his waiting hand.
The jet of red light slammed into the magical barrier an inch from Sirius nose. He stumbled back a few steps from the shockwave of magical energy created by the dissipated hex. Harry fared worse, however. Some of the energy glanced him, and that was enough to knock him on his backside and wipe all the spells and charms that made up his disguise. Suddenly he was green-eyed and black-haired again, with the lightning bolt scar on his forehead.
Remus hesitated, staring aghast at the child. He had obviously not meant to harm Harry.
Sirius seized the moment. "Impedimenta!"
Werewolf-enhanced reflexes allowed Remus to bring up a shield in time, and Sirius had to dive to the left, to avoid being hit by his own reflected jinx. Remus followed up with a Stunner that he narrowly managed to block. A werewolf was a formidable opponent even for a fully trained Auror. He had to reach Harry so that they could use the Portkey and get out of here!
"Harry, come here!" Sirius shouted. "Expelliarmus!"
"No! Stay where you are!" Remus snapped, as he dodged the disarming charm and returned fire with a Blasting Curse.
Harry looked in confusion at Remus and Sirius. Hesitantly, he took a step in Sirius' direction.
"No!" Remus darted forward, firing off three Stunners in rapid succession.
"Contego!" A silvery shield appeared out of thin air, hovering in front of Sirius. The three red bolts of light struck it, producing an eerie shimmering sound. Almost before the stunners had finished dissipating, he let the shield dissolve, and sent a Tripping Jinx Remus' way. Remus stumbled and fell as something tugged at his feet, but again his excellent reflexes and agility came to his aid. Swiftly, he used his forward momentum to go into a roll, came up in a crouch and fired another Blasting Curse at Sirius. Sirius leaped to his right trying to avoid it, but was a little too slow. The red jet of light struck him in his left shoulder, the impact spinning him around in a half-circle, before sending him sprawling face-first on the ground. All breath disappeared from his lungs as the ground slammed into his chest.
Remus would have won the duel then and there, if Harry hadn't screamed: "Pa'foot!" and run over to where Sirius lay, thus putting himself between the two men.
"Harry, get away from him!" Remus shouted desperately, daring not to disarm or stun Sirius lest he hit the child.
Harry ignored the call and instead crouched beside Sirius who was still gasping for air. "Padfoot?" he asked, worriedly.
Sirius rolled on his side and grasped Harry's hand in his, while the other darted down into his pocket. He felt the familiar thug behind his navel, and then they were washed away in a swirl of colour.
For a tiny moment he felt relief, which tured to alarm as invisible forces seemed to pull them violently in two different directions simultaneously. Before his mind had time to properly process what this could mean, something seemed to snap and they abruptly landed hard in a dark and dusty room. Sirius lost his balance and the back of his head slammed into the floor. Sparks ignited in front of his eyes, and he shook his head in an effort to clear his vision.
Before he knew it, an unknown voice cried: "Stupefy!"
And then darkness claimed him.