-- (November 1, 1992) --
Sirius Black opened is eyes slowly and blinked several times, allowing his eyes to adjust to the dim light. Sirius shivered involuntarily as a Dementor drifted past his cell. He rubbed his eyes to get rid of the crusties that formed while he was sleeping.
Sirius vaguely remembered that someone had been brought in the day before and put in the cell next to his. He looked to his right and leapt off his bed and backed away from the bars. Laying on the mattress in the cell next to his was a large black panther.
Sirius pressed himself against the bars opposite the left of his cell in fear.
The panther, almost as if he sensed Sirius’ gaze, lifted its head and looked at him. It let out an exaggerated yawn as it stretched out on the bed. Then it jumped off the bed and in mid air began to transform. The figure landed on all fours, quite gracefully.
“Morning, mate,” said the person as he straightened himself out.
Sirius stared in shock as he caught sight of the person. He was only a kid, couldn’t be any older than fourteen.
The kid lightly smirked, not looking directly at Sirius. “What?” he asked. “You haven’t seen a rogue Animagus before?”
“You’re a rogue Animagus?” asked Sirius. “Is that what you’re in for?”
“Nah,” said the kid nonchalantly, shaking his head. “I’m in for… twenty, maybe thirty counts of attempted murder.”
Sirius gawked at how easily the kid shrugged off such a serious offence. “But you don’t even like your fifteen yet!”
“I’m twelve, actually. What does age have to do with anything? I believe you were only twenty when you were accused of thirteen counts of first degree murder, two accounts of accomplice to murder, and one account of accomplice to attempted murder,” raddled off the kid.
Sirius stiffened, “How… how do you know about that? It was over a decade ago.”
“Oh I know all about you, Sirius Black,” said the kid with a slight smile. “How you were born to parents who were strong advocates of Pureblood supremacy. How you rejected said beliefs, emphasizing it by becoming friends with a blood traitor, a werewolf, and a muggleborn. I know that your little brother joined Voldemort when he was sixteen and was killed when he became a deserter. I know that you fled your home to go live with the Potter’s the summer before your sixth year at Hogwarts.” Still not looking directly at Sirius, he said “But most importantly, I know it was Peter Pettigrew and not you who betrayed the Potter’s Halloween of 1981.”
“How could you possibly know that?” asked Sirius in shock. “Who are you?”
“Jeez Padfoot, Prongs would be so disappointed in you.” said the kid shaking his head.
“And why would he be disappointed in me?” asked Sirius, fiercely.
“Prongs would be disappointed in you for not recognizing his son and your godson.” said the kid lifting his head to look Sirius in the eyes.
Sirius gasped. There, standing before him was a carbon copy of his best mate. The kid looked just like James had at twelve years old. Except the eyes, Sirius knew those eyes immediately. Those were Lily’s eyes.
“Harry?” asked Sirius. “Is- is it really you?”
Harry opened his mouth, but Sirius cut him off. “Damn it, Sirius. You’ve finally lost!” Sirius snorted. “Harry James Potter. Thrown in Azkaban for attempted murder. Like that would ever happen. You’ve finally lost your marbles. Only took eleven years.”
“To the day, ironically,” pointed out Harry.
“What?” asked Sirius.
“Today is November 1st, 1992. Precisely eleven years to the day since you were arrested,” clarified Harry, smirking. “But I have to disagree with you. You haven’t lost your marbles because you can’t lose what you never had.”
“Great,” muttered Sirius. “My Dementor induced delusional version of my godson is a smart aleck.
“I’m always a smart aleck,” said Harry. “Drives Snivellus insane during class.”
“Snivellus? During class?” asked Sirius.
“Old greasy hair is the potions master of Hogwarts,” elaborated Harry.
“Ok, now I know this must be real because no matter how delusional I get, I’d never imagine someone calling Snivellus a potions master,” said Sirius, realization and comprehension dawning on his face. “THEY SENT A TWELVE YEAR-OLD TO AZKABAN!” roared Sirius.
“Without a trial, too,” supplied Harry. “but crux of the matter is I’m here, now, and am trying to make sure I leave here at least half sane. Speaking of which, where are the Dementors?”
Sirius rubbed his eyes. “The Aurors must be making a sweep to make sure everyone is still in their cells,” said Sirius. “They do that every morning.”
“So other than that, there are no Aurors around throughout the day?” asked Harry.
“No,” replied Sirius. “There are Aurors at the entrances to each wing. You see, Azkaban is divided into five sectors. A-Block, B-Block, C-Block, D-Block, and DE-Block. A-Block is for short stay occupants, roughly between a few days to a week, like petty thieves, minor offences, yah-da yah-da yah-da. B-Block is for repeat offenders who usually don’t stay for more than a month. C-Block is for big game thieves, chronic alcoholics, drug abusers, drug sellers, and people with multiple offences D-Block is for your murderers, muggle hunters, torturers, and other whack jobs. They stay anywhere between six months to a few years. Finally, DE-Block is well… basically for Death Eaters. DE-Block used to be known as E-Block, but during the war with Voldemort; Aurors renamed it Death Eater-Block, DE-Block for short,” explained Sirius. “We are in DE-Block. DE-Block is for huge Dark Arts fanatics, Death Eaters, and traitors to the Ministry. If you’ve used an Unforgivable, you automatically get yourself landed here,” Sirius was silent for a moment before continuing. “Now, each Block has four wings, except DE-Block which only has three. In A-Block, each wing is guarded by two Aurors. In B-Block, there are four Aurors per wing. In C-Block, there are five. In D-Block, there are eight. We are in DE-Block so there should be a total of thirty Aurors guarding our Block at any given time. However, from what I’ve picked up over the years, it sounds like there is only about half that guarding our Block meaning roughly five per wing.”
Sirius paused to let it sink in. Harry quietly did the math. Sirius had never told anyone how he had escaped except that he transformed into a dog and swam for it. Some how, Harry thought it was slightly more complicated then that. He had only seen Azkaban from a distance in his previous life, however, he knew that it was several stories tall. Harry assumed that they were on the top floor. That meant unless a weakened, malnourish Sirius found a window and took his chances jumping, he would have had to slip past at least fifty sum Aurors, not to mention over a hundred Dementors. Considering the fact that he already reeked like a dead animal, talk about stealth!
“No wonder they think this place is escape proof,” commented Harry, passively.
“Think?” asked Sirius with a raised eyebrow.
Harry shrugged. “The muggles thought Alcatraz was escape proof, yet the prison it self was easy to get out of, it was trying to make it to the mainland that stopped most escapees’ but even that was conquered in time.”
“So you’re saying that Azkaban is like Alcatraz?” asked Sirius.
“I actually think that they are one in the same,” replied Harry. “I’m not sure which was created first, but I think muggles copied our idea or vice versa. Think about it. An island far from the mainland in an area known to have rough waters. Built to look like a fortress. It’s too coincidental for the muggles and us to have come up with the same idea separately.”
“I can see how the Wizarding world would adapt something from the muggle world, but how would the muggles learn about Azkaban?” asked Sirius.
“Muggleborn’s passing what they know to there families who pass the idea onto others. Shipwrecked sailors talking about a mysterious island that can never purposely be found. Who knows?” said Harry with a shrug.
Sirius was about to respond when they heard a door open at the end of their corridor. Harry and Sirius backed away from each other and pretended to be staring blankly ahead. As the sound of footsteps approached, Harry raised his Occulmency shields all the way up, as to be able to hide any emotions.
The footsteps stopped outside his cell. Harry focused hard on keeping his face blank and staring ahead. His efforts completely crumbled when a familiar voice called out his name.
Harry jerked his head towards the voice, “Tonks!” he whispered, excitedly.
“Merlin Harry, I couldn’t believe it when I found out they sent you here. Shack is furious and is threatening to go to the press unless you are moved,” said Tonks.
“I won’t hold my breath on that happening anytime soon,” muttered Harry. “This doesn’t make any sense. Why would Fudge risk sending me here?”
“Technically, you aren’t here,” said Tonks grimly. “The only evidence that you’re here is a handful of Aurors who are in Fudge’s back pocket and a single document, your warrant, with Fudge’s signature on it.”
“Do you think we could get a hold of that document?” asked Harry, the gears in his head beginning to turn.
“Doubtful,” frowned Tonks. “It’s in Fudge’s personal Gringotts vault.”
Harry grinned. “Tonks would you happen to have a pen and paper?” asked Harry.
Tonks returned his grin and pulled said items out of her pockets. “They don’t let visitors in here with wands, luckily I thought ahead and figured you might want to send word to the outside world. Hell, I’m lucky that I’m an Auror, otherwise they wouldn’t have allowed me to come in alone.”
Harry hastily began to scribble a long letter. When he was done, Harry sealed the envelope and handed it to Tonks.
Tonks glanced at the named scrawled on the front: Bloodrune. Her eyes bulged out.
“Go to Gringotts and find the goblin named Slagtooth. Give him this and tell him it is from Harry Potter,” continued Harry. “After you have the document, tell Shacklebolt to cool it. I want both of you to start collecting evidence of Fudge’s incompetence. Make it an unofficial long term investigation and try to keep as many people out of the loop as possible.”
“Define long term,” said Tonks with a frown.
“Two… three years,” stated Harry.
“Two years!” hissed Tonks. “Are you telling me you’re willing to stay here for two years?”
“Hell no,” said Harry indignantly. “I plan on busting out of here by no later than June.”
“You think you could bust out of here? By June, no less?” asked Tonks.
“I could bust out of here right now if I wanted to. I just want to nail Fudge’s ass to the wall when everything is said and done. Nine months will be a lot harder to justify than a few days,” explained Harry.
“Alright,” said Tonks, grudgingly.
“Is there anything else I can do for you?” she asked.
“You can show an old dog a good time, baby,” smirked Sirius.
Before Tonks could reply, Harry groaned. “For the love of Merlin, Sirius, don’t talk about your cousin that way!”
“Cousin!” they shrieked together.
“Sirius Black, meet Nymphadora Tonks. She is Andromeda’s daughter,” introduced Harry.
“Aunt Andi had a child!” whispered Sirius, getting misty eyed. “She was my favorite aunt. How’s she doing?”
“Alright for the most part,” smiled slightly, Tonks. “She had a pretty hard time for a while there when dad died, but I think she’s alright now.”
“That reminds me,” said Harry. “Sirius is innocent and I have proof.”
“You do?” asked Sirius and Tonks, together.
“I do,” smiled Harry. “Tonks, you go to Hogwarts and find Neville Longbottom; tell him to show you where my trunk is. Inside, there is a diary written by my dad. It has charms on it so that once something is written in it, it can’t be altered. Inside, on one of the last pages, it clearly states that Peter Pettigrew, and not Sirius, was my parents Secret Keeper.”
Tonks nodded and turned to leave, but Harry stopped her. “Oh, and Tonks, if you have a little problem with Neville, tell him that Nightwing sent you and that you are aiding the cause of the black phoenix.”
Tonks stared at Harry like he was completely nuts, but nodded anyway, before leaving.
“Nightwing, eh?” said Sirius with a raised eyebrow.
“The Marauders ride again,” smirked Harry.
Sirius let out a bark of laughter, which was quickly sucked up by the return of the Dementors.
Sirius and Harry got as close to each other as their cells would allow. Leaning against the cold stone wall, Harry turned to Sirius.
“So tell me about some of the Marauder’s pranks,” said Harry.
And so for the next few hours, Harry and Sirius traded stories. Never quite more than contempt with themselves, but it did help fight the Dementors to a degree.
As the days went by, sometimes Harry and Sirius would just transform and curl up next to each other for warmth. A few days before Christmas, Harry fell asleep with a smile on his face.
-- (May 29, 1993) --
Harry’s panther ears picked up the sound of a door opening. He yawned and transformed back into his normal self.
Harry knew he must look like hell. His hair came down to his shoulders and was matted with dirt. He had easily lost thirty pounds, making him an unhealthy fifty-five pounds. The tan he had gained from Cancun was completely gone now. Harry even thought he might have been fighting the flu for the last month or so.
Harry gently shook Sirius awake so he also could transform back. Harry shivered and began rubbing his hands together, trying to generate warmth. May was quite chilly in the middle of the North Sea. As the sounds of foot steps stopped, Harry looked up and smiled.
Tonks and Shacklebolt were standing outside his cell, both looking worse for wear.
“Morning, Shack,” greeted Harry. “What word do you bring from civilization?”
“Dumbledore is pressuring Fudge big time,” said Kingsley. “He is close to getting a vote from the Wizengamot saying that any person held for six months or more without a trial is to automatically be released. They’re voting on it tomorrow. If it passes, it’ll go into affect on the thirty-first.”
“That’s good,” said Harry, wearily. “What about on the Sirius front?”
Tonks grinned. “Dumbledore is pushing for Sirius to be immediately transferred from Azkaban to a holding cell at the Ministry. The evidence the dairy provided was enough to create some doubt amongst the members to at least put Sirius on trial, The movement should be passed any day now.”
“Fudge is under a lot of political strain,” said Kingsley. “He’s managed to shift some of the blame for Sirius’ imprisonment without a trial on old Barty Crouch. It’s only relieving at little, though. If word were to get out where you really are, Harry, his entire political party might collapse.”
“Not likely with Lucius Malfoy backing him up,” murmured Harry.
“Cheer up, Harry,” said Tonks, handing them a chocolate bar. “By the end of the week, both you and Sirius will be out of here and soon, Sirius will be free!”
Harry bit into the chocolate bar. He thanked Glaux every day that chocolate was the one sure thing to quickly counteract the Dementor effect. Tonks and Kingsley had made it a point to have one or the other, if not both, stop in to check on them each week. The visits had been becoming more and more frequent this last month. They had started to come every other day. Kingsley had come up with the idea to start bringing them chocolate to eat shortly after the New Year and it had helped wonders ever since.
“Free,” muttered Sirius “I never thought that I’d hear those words used positively when aimed at me.”
“Oh, I don’t think you’ll exactly be free,” smiled Harry. “After all, you’ll have a teenager to look after.”
Sirius stared at Harry in shock. “You… you mean you’d actually want to come live with me?” asked Sirius.
“Of course,” smiled Harry.
Tears were forming in Sirius’ eyes.
“Well,” said Kingsley. “I think we should better be going. Harry, Sirius. The next time I see you, you’ll be free men.”
“Thank you, Kingsley,” said Sirius, sticking his arm through the bar “For everything.”
“No problem, Sirius,” replied Kingsley, firmly shaking Sirius’ hand.
-- (May 30, 1993) --
Harry awake from a nap with a start. Hey looked around and saw Elder standing in the cell with him. Outside his cell, about ten feet down, Auror Dawlish was paused in mid stride. Harry figured Elder must have temporarily stopped time.
Harry turned and looked up at Elder. “Now it is time,” he said before disappearing; time speed up again.
There was a bright flash above him, and his wand dropped into his lap. Harry picked it up and examined it. It had been eight months since he had last felt this wand in his hand. He held it close to him and began to chuckle.
As Dawlish came to his cell, he paused and frowned at Harry.
“What the hell is so funny, Potter?” asked Dawlish, hoping the boy was finally losing it.
Harry realized that his loose clothing hid the wand from the Auror’s view. Looking directly into Dawlish’s eyes, he drew the wand and began to openly twirl it in his hand.
Dawlish’s eyes widened and reached for his own wand, but could only utter a strangled cry of surprise as a stunner hit him square in the chest. He fell to the floor in heap making a loud thud. Harry blasted the cell door off its hinges. The noise awoke Sirius abruptly.
“Harry?” he asked. “What’s going on?”
“Ginny has been taken into the Chamber,” explained Harry. He had told Sirius about his visions months ago.
“Do what you have to,” said Sirius, standing up.
“Are you sure?” asked Harry.
“I spent a decade in Azkaban alone, Harry. I think I can handle a few days of loneliness,” smiled Sirius, hanging lazily on the bars. “Go. Save your damsel in distress.”
“If you’re not out of here by the end of the week, I’m coming back to bust you out,” said Harry.
“I’ll hold you to that,” smiled Sirius.
With one last look at his godfather, Harry took off down the rows of cells. Just as he estimated that he was a little over halfway to the door, the Dementors flooded in and began to encompass Harry.
Harry smirked. “Expecto Patronun Ignigena!” he shouted. A large ball of fire erupted from his wand. Just before it impacted with the first Dementor, the fire solidified and took on the definite form of a phoenix. A terrifying shriek rang out as the Dementor was reduced to a pile of ashes. Harry wiped his wand around, directing the phoenix to attack the Dementors, one by one destroying them each and every one of them. Harry had counted thirty of them by the time he was done.
He fired a Reductor curse at the door, blasting a chunk out of the wall and knocking down a couple Aurors. Harry stunned the few remaining Aurors that stood in his way as he ran by. It took him three minutes to reach the ground floor. At the end of the final corridor, only two Aurors blocked his path to freedom. Both quickly fell to his barrage of stunners.
Harry walked to the door and used his wand to rip it out of the wall, before throwing it to the ground. Outside, the sun was setting. The waves crashed against the shoreline. Harry breathed in the salty air, fresh air for the first time in months.
Harry stared back towards his prison, vowing never to return here again if he could help it. And with a burst of flame, Harry Potter became the first person ever to successfully escape the fortress known as Azkaban Prison.