He Only Got a Glimpse
Just the tiniest little glimpse of his godson. The boy that he should have been there for. Hell, he was the boy that should have had the two best parents in the world. And what had happened? He, Sirius Black, had destroyed everything.
He knew what James would say if he was there. He would have said that it wasn't his fault. How was he supposed to know that Peter was a traitor? He had always been the weak one, the little guy on the sidelines, always tying to be as good as the rest. In fact, that was why he had told James to use that traitorous piece of scum in the first place! Why would Voldemort suspect that they would be stupid enough to use little Wormy?
Oh Prongs. You didn't have to listen to me.
Now he was gone.
Sirius had never forgotten what that night was like. Hearing the rumors.
"Yes, they say he's dead… defeated by just a baby…"
"…the Potter's son…Harry…."
"Lily and James…"
It had hit him. He had killed his best friend.
No, no, no, no, no. He couldn't have. They couldn't be dead. A world without Prongs and his Flower was no world at all.
He had rushed to the Potter's, hoping that they had been wrong. Seven years at Hogwarts had taught him that rumors weren't often true. He could only hope that this was one of many. James could not be dead… Lily could not be dead… They, the Marauders, Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs, were supposed to be together through everything. James would not leave him like this.
He had searched the rubble, yelling, screaming, refusing to believe the obvious fact.
When Hagrid found the child, he knew that all was not lost.
There was a tiny ray of hope. As he looked at the messy black hair that the boy's mother had joked about, the almond-shaped, brilliant green eyes that his father had loved, he knew that James and Lily would never die, so long as this boy lived.
He had begged Hagrid to let him take care of Harry. Wasn't that how it was supposed to work? Harry was his godson. Not only that, he was his best friends son, for crying out loud! He would look after him!
But Hagrid had said that Dumbledore wanted hi to go to his Aunt and Uncle. That could only have meant Petunia, Lily's vile sister, and Vernon, her whale of a husband. Sirius did not want the only son of Lily and James Potter to live with those vile, horrid, slimy gits! There were no words to describe them!
But that was what Dumbledore had wanted, and so that was what had happened.
So Sirius had been forced to stand there, watching as Hagrid flew away with Harry Potter.
He did not know how long he had stood there, staring at the sky, tears streaming down his face. His whole world was gone. His best mate and one of his closest friends were gone. Their son, his godson, had been taken away to a life of misery. There was nothing left for him.
He supposed he could go to Remus. He might not have heard the news. Or Peter.
At the thought of Peter, Sirius instantly disapperated to his friends' flat. Peter had been James and Lily's secret keeper. The only way Voldemort could have gotten the information would have been to torture it out of Peter.
Oh, how wrong he had been.
He did the only thing he could after that. He hunted down the wretched little rodent.
It was his fault that Prongs and Lily had died.
Sirius knew he could not put it right. He knew that they were never coming back. But that didn't change the fact that Peter had betrayed them all.
He squeezed his eyes shut, feeling a tear leak out of his eye, and start to trickle down his face, only to be stuck on a bit of fur.
How he loved being a dog. It made everything so much easier. Sometimes he would almost be able to trick himself into thinking that he had forgotten about all of his human worries.
But he knew he could never forget. And he knew that he never should.
The reason not to was sitting on the curb, across the street from where he was now.
The boy had jet-black hair, so messed up that he might have just stepped of his broom after an amazing game of Quidditch. And though he held his face in his hands, Sirius knew that if he were to look at his eyes, they would be shaped like almonds, and the most startling shade of green he had ever seen.
The eyes of Lily Potter.
Sirius felt a whimper escape his lips. He hadn't cried since James had died. But seeing this boy, his best mate's son, sitting there so miserable, and not able to do anything about it, ripped Sirius to shreds. He knew he couldn't comfort him. He had been all over the Muggle news.
Harry would think he was a murderer.
No, thought Sirius. He doesn't think I am a murderer. I am a murderer. I may not have killed those people myself, but I killed my best friend.
It hadn't taken Sirius long, just a couple of days in Azkaban to decide that, as horrible as they were, Harry was better off with the Muggles. Who would want to live with the reason their parents were dead?
He wouldn't have wished it upon his worst enemy.
Well, except maybe Peter.
Peter. Peter was going to Hogwarts.
All Peter had to do was wake up one night, steal a wand and kill Harry in his sleep. Then he could just go back into rat form and no-one would be the wiser.
He had to stop it. He owed to James and Lily. Hell, he owed it to Harry. And Remus. And Alice. And Hagrid. Dumbledore! McGonagall, Hestia Jones, Alastor Moody, Daedalus Diggle, Kingsley Shacklebolt, the Weasleys, his cousin Andromeda, her husband Ted, and all the other people in this world that had lost those two wonderful people. That could no longer laugh at James' jokes, and smile at Lily's kind heart. That have lost their friends. But Harry had lost more than that.
He had lost his parents.
This was the first time Sirius had seen Harry since Hagrid took him to his Aunt's. That was nearly twelve years ago. In Twelve years, the little baby that had laughed and reached for him when we went to the Potter's to visit had grown into this scrawny teenager, who thought he was a murderer.
Sirius was unsure whether to be happy or sad that Harry did not remember him. He should have been Harry's mate, the person he could turn to when he was angry at his parents. All kids got angry at their parents at some time or another.
Harry should have been able to be angry at his parents.
Sirius chuckled in spite of himself. Yes, Harry should have had the chance to yell at his mother and father. He should have been given a chance at a normal, happy childhood, rather than the awful one he had been forced into.
The chuckle died as suddenly as it had come. He knew it was his fault that Harry would never have those things.
Yeah, it was definitely good that Harry couldn't remember him.
Sirius continued to look at his godson. He knew this would be the only chance he got before he would have to make his way up to Hogwarts. He could not apperate without a wand, and didn't know if there were any wizards close, so he couldn't steal some floo powder. Besides, the Ministry were bound to be checking the fireplaces.
As he continued to watch, Harry's head snapped up, and stared right at Sirius. He almost ran away, but remembered that he was still a dog. Harry couldn't recognise him. Besides, he was standing in a dark corner.
When Harry lighted his wand, Sirius gasped. He had been unable to see it before, but Harry looked like James. He had known that Harry had the 'Potter Hair', but it was more than that. Apart from the bright green eyes, he looked exactly like James.
Sirius' heart felt like it had been ripped out of his chest.
A moment later, it started pounding harder than before. He knew what he had to do. This was why he had come. He needed to see this boy, this Potter, so that he knew it was not all for nothing. And in Harry's searching gaze, he found hope.
Until he was almost run over by a bus.
Sirius staggered on his four legs, then regained his balance has he heard Harry's voice.
"I fell over."
Relief flooding through him, Sirius was suddenly hit by a memory, so hard he almost fell over as well.
He was waiting outside a huge mansion, his best friends by his side. They were going back to Hogwarts after Christmas during their sixth year.
"Aren't we going to get the train?"
"No way, Wormy! Where's your sense of adventure? Come on, we're getting the Knight Bus!"
"Alright!" Sirius jumped up. "I've always wanted to ride that thing!"
"Calm down, Pads, it's just a bus."
"Just a bus? Moony, I thought you were supposed to be the smart one!"
"What? How can he even compare to me? I got an O in Defence Against the Dark Arts, I'm top in Transfiguration-"
"Oh, come on Prongs! I thought you were in the act of deflating your head so Evans might actually say 'hello' without yelling an insult at you!"
"Well, she's not here right now is she?"
"Oh, hello, Evans! What are you doing here? Come to pay dear old James a visit?"
"Lily? Where?" James spun around, running a hand through his hair. The others all burst out in laughter. "Shut up guys, that's not funny!"
"Yes it is, it's ruddy hilarious!"
"Pads, if you don't-"
"Alright, Alright! Keep your antlers on!"
Remus rolled his eyes and stuck his arm out over the road. Suddenly, a dark purple triple decker bus screeched to a halt.
"The Knight Bus."
"Yeah, Wormy. The Knight Bus. Now, hop to it, or are we all going to stand out here in the snow all day? I want to get to Hogwarts!"
"To Evans more like it," muttered Sirius, and Moony grinned.
The Marauders all piled into the bus, smiles plastered on their faces, laughing with each other.
"This is how it's supposed to be…" Muttered Remus.
"What do you mean?"
"Well, with this war, everything is so dark. I think it would be so much better if everybody just sat and had a laugh with their mates. It's so much better than all this fighting."
"But Moony," Whined Peter, "That's not going to happen."
"I know. I'm just worried about what will happen."
"Look. Nothing will happen to us. We will get great NEWT scores, a good job-"
"A nice girl, preferably Evans," Sirius joked, mimicking James voice. He continued as if he hadn't hear, although the tips of his ears went red.
"-and we will all have happy lives."
"You Promise?" Whispered Peter.
"I promise. Marauders, together forever!" James looked at his friends, and Sirius looked right at him. He knew James would never leave him.
As Sirius watched Harry boarding the Knight Bus, he knew that James had been right, in a way. He had gotten his good NEWT scores, his good job. He had a good life, despite it being cruelly cut short. He had finally won over the woman he had loved.
And he would never leave him.
For, Sirius knew, that as long as he held James in his heart, he would never truly be gone. He lived on in his heart.
He also lived in Harry. So long as Harry was alive, James would be as well. So would Lily.
Sirius knew what he had to do. He had to do what he had been unable to do before: he had to keep Harry alive, and through him, James.
Yes, Sirius had only gotten a glimpse of his godson. Just a couple of minutes as they sat across the road from each other. He knew that this could be the last time he might see Harry. He may not even make it to Hogwarts. He could get caught on the way there. But even that would not stop him. He would get to Peter eventually. He would keep Harry safe.
As he turned and ran away from Surrey, towards Hogwarts, he realized that would not happen. He would see Harry again, and he would accomplish his goal. Not even the Dementors could stop him from catching Peter.
Because that little rodent wouldn't get anywhere near Harry.
Sirius wouldn't fail his friends again. He wouldn't fail himself again. He had to try to make the world right. He had to make sure that the memory of James and Lily would not be forgotten. He had to make sure that Harry didn't die.
Because Harry was all he had left.