Vengeance is Black
'I cannot believe that Dumbledore would suggest such a thing.' Fudge muttered as they left the Hospital Wing. Looking at Sirius, he continued. 'Surely, you agree with me! Crouch is clearly insane! All those years of being under the Imperius would have certainly driven him mad!'
'I doubt he was sane to begin with,' Sirius said gravely. 'Remember, he was arrested and sent to prison for torturing Frank and Alice Longbottom because he and his cohorts believed that they knew where Voldemort was, despite the fact that his death was announced just days before.'
Fudge wore a thoughtful look. 'You have a point there,' he said. 'I cannot believe that Barty would do such a thing!'
'Indeed,' Sirius said neutrally.
'Imagine what the press is going to think of this! We will become a laughing stock in the wizarding world!' Fudge ranted in consternation. 'What will they think when they hear that a Death Eater was living free for all these years thanks to a person who was at one time the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement? They are going to eat us alive!'
At Sirius words, Fudge looked at him in confusion. 'What do you mean?'
'You could say that your investigative team found out all about Crouch hiding his son. Call it a secret committee that you set up to root out all the corruption in your administration. It was inspired by the injustice that happened to me. You, being who you are, could not help but think that might be more cases like mine, so you had Bagnold, Crouch and Dumbledore secretly investigated. They found out all about Crouch's son just a few hours ago. Acting immediately, you sent a party of Aurors to search for, and apprehend, both father and son. At that moment, you got a call from me after I had managed to subdue and capture both Crouch men having encountered them trying to kill my son. Since Crouch minor is an escaped convicted criminal, he was given the Kiss on site. That is standard procedure, after all. The Aurors have now apprehended the very corrupt and hypocritical Bartemius Crouch on charges of attempted murder, corruption, harbouring a fugitive, putting a minor in danger, supporting a follower of the dark lord and kidnapping.'
'That's – that's genius, my lord!' Fudge said with a beaming smile.
'Now I only need to know what to do about Dumbledore insisting that You-Know-Who is back.'
Sirius paused for a moment. Here was the defining moment. What he said next depended on whether or not he had fully forgiven Dumbledore, or if he was willing to set aside past grudges in light of a common enemy. 'Minister,' he finally said thoughtfully. 'Let's look at the facts. We know that Peter Pettigrew was at large. We also know now that Bartemius Crouch had secretly broken his son out of prison. We also know that they all collaborated to get my son. Finally, as you said, Crouch minor was under the impression that he was doing it under Voldemort's orders. So I don't see what the problem here is.'
'So,' Fudge said slowly. 'You are saying that Voldemort isn't back?'
'You did not hear me say any such thing, Minister.' Sirius said gravely. He sent the minister a significant look. 'All I said was to look at the evidence that is there for anyone to see.'
'Ah,' Fudge said, understanding. 'I understand, Lord Black!' He tapped the side of his nose with a finger. 'Of course, you cannot say.'
A shark-like grin spread across Sirius' face. 'Also, minister, consider this. After defeating Grindelwald, Dumbledore has been offered the position of Minister many times now. Yet, he has stuck to teaching in Hogwarts. Now, I don't know about you, but if I were him, I would go for that position now. Especially if I were on the last few decades of my life…'
Fudge jerked back at this. 'You are right,' he said thoughtfully. 'I shall consider your words. Ah we have reached the front doors. Thank you for your time and advice, Lord Black. You have helped me see things in a new light!'
'It was my pleasure, Minister.'
Fudge laughed. 'Please, call me Cornelius.'
'Only if you call me Sirius,'
Turning away from the Minister,
Sirius ruminated that he had not, in fact, forgiven Dumbledore. Nor was he willing to let his grudge go.
Sirius stayed the night in the Hospital Wing. Madam Pomfrey had initially objected to this, but that was until Sirius had pointed out that Harry had already been kidnapped once, and he wasn't going to risk a repeat.
The next morning, Harry woke up to see Sirius waiting for him, a change of clothes in hand.
As soon as they reached home, he sat Harry down and looked the boy right in the eye.
'There are quite a few things I have to tell you,' he began softly. 'Chief among them are the reasons for my actions the past few months, and more importantly, the past few hours.'
Sirius paused for a moment, then looked up. 'I have made a plan to permanently take care of Voldemort. Thing is, it hinges on the public not knowing about his return.'
He then launched into a long detailed explanation.
Half an hour later, the son was more than willing to play along with his father.
The presentation ceremony wasn't too grand. Harry received his prize money and the Triwizard Cup, a large structure made of crystal and shiny white metal with his name engraved on it. A facsimile would be later handed over to him to keep in his house while the original would sit in the Trophy Room for an unfortunate student to clean up for detention.
That very night, Sirius was summoned to the Headmaster's office.
'Sirius,' the old man said neutrally.
Sirius smirked internally as he sat down. The absence of a twinkle in the old man's eye was the sweetest thing he had ever seen.
'Dumbledore,' he replied with the same amount of neutrality. 'How did your meeting with the Minister go?'
'It went badly, as you know,' Dumbledore replied in a low tone. 'The Minister was quite insistent that Voldemort was not back. He also seemed to be of the funny notion that I was after his position. I know you spoke to him. What did you say to him?'
'Nothing much,' Sirius replied carelessly. 'I just gave him what probably will be the same advice given to him by his press secretary, and that was how to make himself look good and weather through the Crouch incident.'
'Did you not try to make him see reason? I would have at least thought that you would have tried to convince him that Voldemort was back and a real threat.' Dumbledore said with a hint of steel.
'No,' Sirius replied glibly and left it at that.
It was at this point that Dumbledore lost his cool.
Slamming his palms down on his desk, he asked with uncharacteristic anger, 'What will it take, Sirius? What do you want? What will it take for you to stop this madness?' he could not believe Sirius. That he would actually stoop so low as to risk the wizarding world just to get back at him was something that Albus did not expect of Sirius.
Even though the portraits of the previous headmasters and headmistresses flinched at Dumbledore's sudden burst of anger, Sirius did not even react.
Letting a slow smile spread across his face, Sirius spoke up. 'I was wondering what it would take to get that kind of reaction from you. I must say, it is quite satisfying to rile you up, Dumbledore. Not many people can do that, I am told.'
The smile slipped off his face. 'As for what I want … how about twelve years of my life back? Can you give me that? No? Well then, how about the money you took from me? You know what, I don't want that either. What I really want is my sex drive back.' His face took on an ugly look. 'I went through my old collection of porn the day I was exonerated officially. You know, to have a celebratory wank? After all it was a really long time. Imagine my surprise when none of those pictures got even the slightest reaction from me. So I bought new material. Nothing, not even the most perverted magazine or picture got a reaction from me. It was when I was sitting in the Quidditch World Cup when the Bulgarian mascots came out that I realised that it could be a problem. There was a whole troop of veela dancing there. It affected every single male in the stadium. From the thirteen year olds (and I even saw a few ten year olds affected) all the way to the ninety year olds. All of them: Except me! They did not elicit even a twinge of a reaction in me.
'It took me a lot of time to work up the courage to get to a healer. And when I finally spoke to the healer, what did I find?' Sirius paused. 'I found out that I was basically impotent. The prolonged exposure to the dementors had sapped me of my virility. And I wouldn't have minded that if it wasn't for the fact that I also found out, much, much later, that every single Death Eater inmate of Azkaban is dosed with a permanent infertility potion. Merlin knows why they would do something like that, but apparently that was something that came out of Barty Crouch's twisted mind. What was more, you agreed to it.
'Not that you saw fit to inform the prisoners in question.' Sirius laughed mirthlessly. 'So imagine that. I find out that you lot not only screwed me of a dozen years of my life, but basically ruined my future as well. I can never have children. Ever. This was, by the way, after I adopted Harry, so you can imagine the amount of guilt I felt on top of the guilt at what I thought was me trying to steal my best friend's son. I know that it is illogical now, but it took me quite some time to realise that.
'So in a nutshell, you screwed me over, Dumbledore. You screwed over the one person who believed in you, the person who actually turned his back on his own family because of you. You used me and when you had no more use for me, you just threw me away like a piece of rubbish. And you think that I am going to do anything to help you now? You think that I am going to lift a fucking finger for you?' Sirius laughed maniacally. 'How does it feel to be screwed over by a person who you desperately wanted help from? Oh, how right they are when they say "revenge is a dish best served cold".'
'I could very well get Fudge to believe that Voldemort was back,' he sneered. 'I have the connexions, I know people. I know things about people who I am not familiar with. The influence of the Most Ancient and Noble House of Black is still there. The name still carries weight. But I won't use it for you, nor will I use it for your fucking Greater Good.
'Of course, I am a reasonable man. So tell you what, I will go right now and convince Fudge that Voldemort is back. Hell, I'll even use the Imperius if it comes to it. In exchange you give me back the virility and fertility that you stole from me. I think it's a great deal. I give you world peace in return for the chance to screw a bird and have kids.' Sirius smiled sardonically. 'No? I thought so…'
He stood up. 'I would say, "Fuck you" but unfortunately, I don't have that capability. Goodbye, Dumbledore. I will not be joining the Order, nor will I offer my well warded and furnished home as headquarters.' With that, he swept towards the door.
'Oh, and one other thing.' He turned towards Dumbledore again. 'Don't even try and involve Harry in this. Trust me, I will know and when I find out … well, let's say that things will get even more difficult for you. And we wouldn't want that, would we? What will Magical Britain do then?'
With that parting shot, Sirius made to exit the office.
'If you leave now,' Dumbledore said slowly, speaking up for the first time since Sirius' monologue. 'And continue to follow the path you have chosen for yourself, then I will tell you what I told Cornelius. We have reached a parting of the ways. Hence I cannot guarantee that I will be there to protect you or your son should Voldemort decide to pay you a visit.'
Sirius only laughed. 'Oh, so you would help us if I agree to work with you, would you? Like that time you helped me because I worked with you? Yeah right. Go fuck yourself, old man. You have proven to me that Harry and I are on our own and to trust you would be foolishness.' Stepping past the threshold, Sirius slammed the door behind him with as much force as he could muster.
Looking at the closed door, Dumbledore bowed his head. His folly with Sirius was proving to be a mistake greater than what he had done to Ariana. How he wished he could take back his actions. Now the whole world will end up paying for his mistake and for Sirius' inability to let go of his anger and bitterness.
Two days later, after Harry had gone off to school, Sirius opened the door to see Remus Lupin standing outside. Stepping outside, he closed the door behind him.
'Lupin,' Sirius said neutrally. 'Finally decided to show your face around here, I see.'
'No thanks to you,' the werewolf growled. He looked at Sirius murderously. 'How could you?' he accused. 'I thought I was your friend. How could you have me infect another person? I also thought that you were against Voldemort. How could you deny his return when you know the truth?'
'How could I?' Sirius repeated incredulously. 'I wasn't the one who forgot to drink his potion that night. Nor was I the one who decided to volunteer to accompany Peter and everyone else out in the open in a full moon night! You know, if I didn't know better, I would assume that you were actually trying to help Peter out there. Perhaps hoping that by transforming, you would give him enough of time to change into a rat and escape.'
Remus was shocked. 'You know that isn't true!' he exclaimed. 'I thought I made it clear to you. I am not Voldemort's spy!'
'Really?' Sirius drawled sceptically. 'Let's look at the facts, shall we?' he held out a finger. 'One, you, knowing full well that you were a werewolf, went down to other humans on a full moon night after knowing who you would be meeting thanks to the Marauder's map. Two, you had the map, for half a year, yet you conveniently picked that night to "find" Peter Pettigrew. Three, knowing your condition fully, you still volunteered to escort Pettigrew. So yeah, I would say that it looks rather suspicious.'
Remus was speechless. 'I thought that you had killed Peter. So I wasn't exactly looking for his name, seeing as I was busy searching for yours!' he finally said heatedly. 'As for me being there at that night, well, the discovery of a long dead man and you together with Harry and two other students made me dash off. In the excitement, I had honestly forgotten about the full moon night! It happens to the best of us, Sirius!'
'Ah,' Sirius said placidly. 'That makes sense I guess. There is one small problem, however. See, you kind of testified against me back then. You told Dumbledore that I was the spy, that I was the one who was the Secret Keeper and that I was the one who had betrayed the Potters. Now, considering that Lily had left you a note in the last care package that I had delivered to your house telling you the truth, one has to wonder why you would do such a thing. After all, that could be considered perjury, you know. You are lucky that wasn't an official trial. Otherwise I would have hauled your arse in court for that. Pity, that. At any rate, you too "denied the truth" as you so eloquently put it. It's only fair that I do the same…'
Remus looked at Sirius in confusion before his face cleared up. 'Oh that package.' His features then morphed to one of horror and regret. 'I am sorry, Sirius.' He said with genuine remorse. Hanging his head, he remembered that night. 'I had only seen that package the morning after James and Lily died. When I saw that package, I remembered what Dumbledore had said. And, in my rage, I destroyed that basket. I did not even look inside.' He brought a shaking hand up to his face. 'Oh Merlin, I am so, so, so sorry, Sirius.'
If only he had gone through the contents of that basket … Remus remembered feeling regret at destroying it at that moment, but that had been because he had smelt the food coming out.
'I see,' Sirius was unmoved. 'So,' he said slowly. 'What was the reason that Harry did not even know of your existence till his third year? And how was it that he only found out that you were James' friend much later in that year?'
Remus' head dipped even lower. 'Dumbledore had told me that it wasn't a good idea to speak to Harry till he entered the magical world. By that time, I had left Britain, coming back only when Harry was in third year. Seeing him, I realised that I had completely ignored him. In my guilt, I realised I had to take it slow. After all, how do you go up to a student and say "hey, I am your dad's friend. He and I used to cause a lot of mischief when we were in school."'
'How very touching,' Sirius made no effort to hide the sarcasm in his voice. 'So, "Dumbledore said," huh? I guess I was right. You are a spy. I think of the four of us, only James and I were ever loyal to our friends. You and that rat were the spies. Wormtail was Voldemort's spy, while you were Dumbledore's.' Sirius sneered. 'Dumbledore's man, through and through, aren't you, Remus?'
Remus looked back at Sirius. 'It's not like that,' he said softly. 'Dumbledore has done a lot for me. He gave me an education despite my affliction!'
'And we stayed as your friends despite knowing about what you were!' Sirius snapped in response. 'James and I were not obligated to socialise with you. Yet we made the choice to befriend you. James and I both decided that it did not matter. We even went that extra mile and learned of a way to accompany you on those nights. The very least you could have done, in honour of that friendship, was to at least contact the man's son! Through writing if need be! But no, you didn't. Why? Because Dumbledore said so! Did you bother even looking through what I had put together for you and risked life and limb to get to your place? Again, no, you didn't. Why? Because Dumbledore said so!' he finished mockingly.
'Well, you made your choice, I guess. You decided that Dumbledore was the more important person compared to us, your friends. You know, out of the three of us, only James and I thought to remain your friends without any other person telling us? We had to convince Peter to still trust you! And you just throw that in our face!'
Sirius stepped away from Remus. 'You made your bed,' he said coldly. 'Now you can lay in it. Go bugger that old man. I know you want to anyway. I wouldn't be surprised if you spent most of the time in school secretly giving him blow jobs too. Don't talk to me again. And forget contacting Harry. I have spent the last year telling him everything. Let's just say that he hates you more than I do at this moment.'
Remus never thought he would have ever seen so much hatred in those grey eyes directed at him. Then again, he did deserve it.
'I'm sorr –'
'Save it!' Sirius said harshly. Regaining his composure, he continued in a normal voice. 'Your apologies mean nothing to me, Lupin. Now I suggest you get out of my property or I shall alert the authorities. According to the new laws, they won't exactly be gentle in throwing you out.'
'What new laws,' Remus couldn't help but ask.'Oh,' Sirius slapped a hand to his forehead. 'The laws I, and this woman Dolores Umbridge, have you heard of her? Judging by your face, you have. Anyway, Umbridge and I will be introducing a few new laws to keep the populace safe from werewolves. After all, now that Snape is one of them, who knows what will happen? Anyway, you have half a minute to get your mangy, flea bitten arse out of my front lawn, werewolf. Because that is the amount of time it's going to take me to alert someone from the De Em El Ee. I hope you enjoyed the money Dumbledore stole from me and gave you, because you won't be enjoying that for long.' Saying that, Sirius spun on his heel and Apparated out, leaving a broken man behind.